- Scoop the poop
If you have ever stepped in dog poo, you’ll know how it unpleasant it is! While some dog owners genuinely forget their poop bags, some believe dog poop is akin to fertiliser, nourishing the ground as it decomposes. This is a MYTH, and it is causing waterways to become polluted with disease-causing bacteria and viruses. This makes local waters undrinkable, unswimmable and unfishable and can cause severe illness in humans.
As such, it’s imperative that you are always prepared to pick up your dog’s poo and dispose of it safely. Do not let your dog do its business within 700 feet of a body of water and carry biodegradable poop bags with you and dispose of them in the specially marked bins.
- Training, training, training!
To ensure your daily strolls are enjoyable for all, you need to put the hours into training and make sure your dog is clear on what behaviour is expected of them. Work on the basics such as ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘down’, ‘come’, and ‘no’. Getting these locked down will help you to feel in control of your dog when you’re walking together. It’s also vital that your dog develops an understanding of commands such as “leave it” in order to avoid trips to the vet for your pet’s culinary choices. If scavenging becomes an ongoing risk to your dog’s safety, you may want to use our Baskerville Muzzle to help address the issue.
Use positive reinforcement to train your dog to focus on you and to walk close to you on a slack lead. You also need to make sure that your dog knows to “sit” at busy intersections and roads. If you’re in a quiet area and let them off their lead, you’ll also want the peace of mind that they’ll immediately come to you if called so an excellent recall is KEY.
Lastly, you need to train your dog not to jump up. Jumping up on a stranger may be meant as a friendly greeting but this will eventually at best, result in a disgruntled walker and a possible cleaning bill but at worst, an injury and even a court case. Either way, it is best to stay on the safe side. You can learn more about training your dog not to jump up here
- Respect others
One thing is for certain, on your daily walks you and your dog are going to encounter other dogs, people, property, and wildlife. Being respectful of your environment is one of the most important things to remember as a dog owner.
Before you allow your dog to interact with other dogs, people, or children, you must ask permission first. While you love your dog and know them to be friendly, you will frequently come across people that are uncomfortable and even fearful of dogs and that is to be respected. If someone is looking apprehensive you should simply smile and move on.
Keeping a close eye on your environment is also key to protecting the local wildlife. Your exuberant and inquisitive pooch may love to frolic in fields but be mindful of the stress this could cause ground nesting birds and livestock. You can learn more about how you can protect your local wildlife here
- Keep a close eye on the play.
Dogs love to play, and why shouldn’t they! However, it is important to make sure that everyone is happy about the state of play. If you see behaviour starting to get out of control or one of them gets too excited, it could lead to conflict.
If you do notice one playmate getting too boisterous towards the other, you need to call your dog away to allow them to calm down. If you start to see one pinning the other down or nipping their ears or face, chasing, body slamming or starting to hump excessively. Then consider it time to stop play and move on so that the experience ends on a friendly note.
- Safety first
So far, we have discussed how you and your dog can help to keep others safe, but it is equally important you keep yourself and your dog safe. While it is essential to have a charged phone on your person in case of emergencies, we recommend it stay in your pocket. “Walkies” is a time for you to focus on and bond with your dog.
By giving your pet, and your surroundings your full attention you are able to avoid potential conflicts and hazards before they occur. It may also be worth carrying a Pet Corrector with you on your walks should you need to put a stop to a dangerous situation with another animal.
It’s always tempting to let your dog run free, but we recommend that you keep your dog on the lead when out and about or else being extremely selective when you do go off lead. An excellent recall is vital for even the friendliest of dogs.
Some dogs may be nervous of your well-meaning pooch, others may have complex aggression issues, so it is best to keep them on a lead for their protection. You may want to consider using a long line or a retractable lead to give your dog more freedom but always approach others with caution and respect.