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Walking the dog

PUBLISHED: 12:01 05 May 2015 | UPDATED: 12:05 05 May 2015

Sophia Taylor of On the Scent training gives you a few leads

Walking the dog should be a relaxing experience, offering an opportunity to discover new places to walk and meet up with like minded people.

It’s a chance to unwind and relax and have fun with your dog. Taking a toy or a ball can also be enjoyable and help increase the bond between the two of you.

Unfortunately, for some dog owners, this is not always the case and this can be for a number of reasons.

Some dogs pull on the lead making the walk tiresome for the owner. Others are aggressive towards other dogs, which is a nightmare for owners, who often go to great lengths to avoid other dogs, to the point of walking their family pet at odd hours of the day and night. Walking at ‘normal’ times can be tedious for these owners, when other dog walkers make a bee line for them, even though they are doing their best to get out of the way.

Then there are those dog owners who allow their dogs to run up to everyone and invade their space with a typical comment like, “Oh it’s OK, my dog’s friendly . . . “

While you would certainly hope that if the dog wasn’t friendly it would be kept on a lead – it might be approaching another dog that isn’t as friendly. If that dog is on a lead and reacts it’s at a clear disadvantage – should a bite happen it won’t be the dog on lead that’s at fault.

So how can we be more considerate when walking the dog?

Owners with dogs that are aggressive towards others need to consider getting professional help from a dog training instructor and canine behaviourist, who can help them gain confidence while out on the walk. The aim, if possible, is to find a friend with a dog that is calm and non reactive towards other dogs, go on a walk with them, or invite them to join a suitable class where the dog has a chance to be socialised and its behaviour modified.


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