The dog world is a relaxed one. Well, it could be. Most of us have dogs to enjoy a bond, learn and go on walks together.
There aren’t too many rules. In my experience, the bare minimum effort that most people should be investing to make the dog world a better place, has to do with leashes.
- Rule #1: If you have a “problem dog” (I dislike calling them that, but keeping it short) – keep them on the leash until you have worked on the behavior! This can be a long leash that drags on the floor, but have something that you can grab or step on if needed! This will keep your dog and those around you safe!
- Rule #2: If you see a dog on a leash… put your dog on a leash or ask if your dog is allowed to greet the leashed dog! I repeat and can’t repeat it enough: keep your dog away from a leashed dog!
It is not difficult. You don’t know why a dog is on the leash. Just last month, my dogs had to avoid all dogs because they had a highly contagious cold with a strong cough. Whenever there was a dog approaching, my dogs were put on the leash. No matter how many times I told the owner to put their dog on the leash as well and that my dogs were contagious, they just ignored me. They couldn’t understand why I would want to avoid a dog encounter, even when I was explicitly telling them. So whose problem is it when their dog starts coughing, too?
Other very valid reasons why a dog would be on a leash: aggression, fear/insecurity, they are not trained, they need to learn to walk past other dogs or act more calmly in certain situations. You can see how a dog walking up to one of these dogs could end in his training being ruined or, in the case of aggression – injury!!
What really gets me is when people let their dogs go up to assistant dogs or guide dogs for the blind while they are working – but that is a topic for another post.
So please, please always ask before letting your dog walk up to a dog on the leash. It does no harm and only makes the entire encounter very harmonious and calm.