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Dog walking etiquette.

(16 Posts)
WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 25-Oct-09 08:12:07

I have the dog, poo bags, extending lead, waterproof and the wellies are on order. Have learned the hard way she chases joggers and stop her jumping all over everyone. I put her back on her lead if we see people/dogs and always tell other owners that she is very bouncy and if their dog is ok with that before I let her off around other dogs.

Are there any unwritten rules that you are expected to learn by osmosis ? If there would someone share them with me so I can look like I do actually know what I am doing. Any other dog tips would also be gratefully received !

LadyOfTheFlowers Sun 25-Oct-09 08:20:28

I think that's it to be honest.
Mine are pretty much off the lead once I get to the field as they take absolutely NO notice of other dogs/people - they just trot along beside me, then go off for the occaisional blast across the field together. (Yes, it was VERY hard work, but worth it!)

If I see what looks like a particulaly 'active' dog ahead, I put them on the leads - I usually find this prompts the 'active' dog owner to grab hold of theirs too.

Walking them briskly along paths is good as it helps to keep their nails short and their pad skin rough so they can grip better - particularly important for one of ours as she has hip dysplasia and we have some wooden floors which she can find tricky at times.

You certainly have the gear sorted out - I am on the hunt for some new welies!

Cies Sun 25-Oct-09 08:27:32

I find there is a conversation etiquette to follow with other dog owners. hmm

If you are both walking along with dogs on leads and dogs want to sniff each other, you pause, let them do it, and make innane comments impersonating your dog, eg "hello handsome," "Oooh, I'm wagging my tail because I'm pleased to see you again". All without really making eye contact with the owner. When the male dog goes to pee on something to mark his territory you have to comment on this too.

If your dog is playing with another, then the acceptable conversation openers are to do with their dog's age, breed, temperament, and of course the weather. You can also refer to any equipment that the other dog has, eg "that looks like a good strong collar", or "where did you get his tag engraved like that?".

It's a scary new world - good luck grin.

ClivetheCatfish Sun 25-Oct-09 08:31:13

In principle, it's better for dogs to approach each other off-lead. That way they can display their natural body language (having them on a lead can force their head up into a more dominant stance and can make the dog they are approaching react badly). They also feel less threatened because they can get away from the other dog quickly if need be.

That said, there is no place for dogs jumping up on people, or charging up to small children or non-doggy people.

I try to read the approaching people - if they have their dogs off lead and look relaxed then I let mine approach theirs (or vice versa!) off-lead.

Good luck & enjoy your new friend!

ClivetheCatfish Sun 25-Oct-09 08:32:02

x post cies - so true grin

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 25-Oct-09 08:48:56

Cies that is exactly it, I knew there was something I hadn't quite got ! Jan Fenell and Gwen Bailey don't cover this sort if thing. Found myself in the local gun shop the other day on my dog whistle hunt, that was a whole new world and decided best approach was trying hard and enthusiastic new dog owner which did the job for as long as it takes to buy a whistle whilst surrounded by racks of guns.

Ladyoftheflower, about this walking by the side and ignoring thing, that's what I want but it is taking an enormous leap of imagination to see us getting there. She responds well to clicker training using "yes" instead of clicker and it is helping her walk on lead without resembling a baby elephant which I guess is a start and she will walk besides me in the garden off lead when told to heel (but we end up nearly falling over each other).She seems to think other people and dogs exist so they can play with her, which is lovely to see her enthusiasm but a big hindrance to my dream of the well trained dog dream that I have.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 25-Oct-09 08:52:47

Sorry Clivethefish, am slow typing here. I'd love to let her approach off the lead but I know she will go and jump all over their owner at the moment. I'm hoping puppy training classes will go some way towards helping some how.

ClivetheCatfish Sun 25-Oct-09 09:10:06

Yes, puppy training classes will help. You can also distract her the moment you see someone else approaching - use a handful of treats and make her focus on you. In time she will learn that it's more rewarding to look to you than approach strange people!

How old is she? It takes time to get a well trained dog so don't despair. Think in terms of months, not weeks wink for an adult dog, and a year or more for a pup.

Jan Fennell is tosh though - sell the book and use the money to buy a Bruce Fogle book.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 25-Oct-09 09:40:27

I was lent Jan Fennell so thought I should read it but the perfect puppy was much more helpful.

She's twenty weeks and we have had her for 4 weeks. Until then she was on a farm so she hadn't much experience of traffic or meeting other dogs out and about (though she was with other dogs on the farm). First proper trip out ended in disaster when we arrived at woods round corner a little spooked from the cars. Guy pulled up ahead of us with throaty car whilst we were just taking a moment to pause. He got out with big off the lead dog and came over to see as could see she was a pup. I warned him that she was a bit nervous but his dog raced over and it didn't go well. A lovely lady with older ploddy dog saw and came over to see if intro to her dog would help but by that time she was still frightened and started growling, barking and snapping, then on the way home the sight of another dog was enough to set her off.

She's made huge progress now though and just wants to play, growling etc gone and she'll approach and do the greeting stuff they do fine, but gets so excited all her feet leave the floor and she is desperate to get people to stroke her.

I go heavily armed with treats which was a nightmare when the biggest lab I have ever seen was trying to raid my pockets, completely ignoring his owner. I'm sure she will calm down and I do know it will take time and that we've got adolesence to get through yet ! I am looking forward to taking her tomorrow to classes, the guy running them has had dogs for 46 years, has a gorgeous golden retriever and I feel we will be in safe hands!

ClivetheCatfish Sun 25-Oct-09 12:40:39

Sounds like she is making good progress and a good trainer will only add to that wink

minimu Sun 25-Oct-09 13:06:21

Basically you need to be the most fun person in the whole wide world then your pup will not want to run off to other people and other dogs ever.

Play with your pup, give treats when pup is being good, when walking past other dogs get out a favourite toy or treat and give to your dog (who wants to play with other dogs when you are around!)
It is hard work but will mean in years to come that your dog will be able to go anywhere and see anybody and be able to behave.
Loads of training will help - I love clicker training and only need to show my dogs the clicker and the whole of the rabbit population could appear and they would not be bothered!

I personally would not let your dog off the lead if he is "bouncy" he has to learn that to be off lead he must not be bouncy. So get dog to sit and concentrate fully on you when other dogs are around.
Good luck and enjoy

hatwoman Sun 25-Oct-09 13:15:19

we've found that a ball is the best tool to get ours to ignore other people and dogs. he completely adores chasing a ball - and if we take it on a walk he has eyes only for us - to the extent that you could almost think him rude and unsociable. If I don;t have the ball with me I get him to sit when I see other dogs/people and give him a treat, then depending on my reading of the other dogs/people I let him run off to say hello, or just keep him sitting til they're past, or I'll carry on walking keeping him at heel. You'll be fine...sounds like you're already doing well...just keep at it.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 25-Oct-09 18:14:27

Lots of fab advice, thank you all. Had a very good walk with her earlier. Walked beautifully to heel on the lead on the way to the woods. We saw a couple of families on the way round and she sat well and pretty much stayed sitting whilst they walked past. They thanked us which was kind of them.

Then had some off lead time when no one was around and she pottered round with the DC's in a camp that was there. She's recalling really well to the whistle I got on Friday which is great. If she ignores me when I call or whistle I walk off, is that the right thing to do?

She even managed to chase a ball for a bit (have had to teach her this). Then towards the end of the walk
we met two red setters she had growled and snapped at on her first day out after the incident with the big dog. The owner said she could see puppy classes were helping which was lovely she could see a difference (couldn't have got much worse !) and she sat pretty well when we met collie lady who we've met a couple of times.

I think we need to work on being more exciting though, we rely too heavily on treats. She hasn't really got a favourite toy though which does make it harder but she is getting the hang of fetching a ball in the garden so hopefully will do it whilst out and about with practice.

Was gutted not to be able to try out my dog walking phrases that I was all geared up to using though !

spugs Mon 26-Oct-09 12:13:12

My dog walking phrases consist of awww what breed/age is he? Or Isn't he/she getting big? When I see one of the other puppy owners. I must know about 15 dogs names that I see on a daily basis and could tell you loads about them yet I dont know one thing about the owner grin.

I was told if my pups ignored me to run away from them, so I would imagine walking away would be the right thing to do.

I still take treats out with mine and use them every other time I recall. There not particularly toy orientated but will do anything for a bit of chicken liver.

It sounds like your doing really well grin

ClivetheCatfish Mon 26-Oct-09 15:05:27

If they ignore you on recall, run away calling their name in a mega excited fashion and preferably leaping up and down too. This method makes you look even more exciting than whatever it is they are currently interested in, and occasionally gets you locked up too grin

Whatever you do (and I'm sure you know this) don't go towards them - then puppy thinks you are playing that fantastic Chase The Puppy game, and will very happily oblige...

WynkenBlynkenandNod Mon 26-Oct-09 17:14:22

Right, I'll try that tomorrow then, am used to looking like I need locking up since we've got her o: Witnessed the chase the dog game in action this afternoon, lady and two dogs were crashing through the bushes after another one. You could hear the increasing desperation in her voice and I really wanted to go and help but didn't think mad puppy and 6 year old DS would have been very helpful.

The idea of liver makes me gag but I might give it a go, I dutifully copied down the liver cake recipe at our owners talk last week and was all set to make it until a friend said her friend had made it and it made the house stink for days.

Today's walk wasn't anywhere near so successful as the woods were packed with various people and she came back and had to go in the garden to chase a ball to burn off some more energy. Thank goodness puppy classes are tonight, I need to see some other puppies bouncing like mine does.

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