Beware of the Dog!

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It’s a common phrase often heard when out dog walking ‘It’s ok he’s friendly!’ as one off-lead dog rushes over to one carefully leaded and next to his owners.  This may well be true but is the one on the lead as friendly as yours?  Or are you inadvertently sending your companion off into a situation that is going to cause distress to you and them?

It is true that some dogs just can’t go off the lead due to poor recall but are still happy to have a sniff and get to know any dogs they encounter on walks.  But there are others, who may have been put on a lead either because they don’t like other dogs, are fearful of them or react a little too enthusiastically to the chance of a new friend. 

The owners of these dogs are normally trying to keep them from either being distressed or trying to train them to be calmer when encountering other dogs. 

If other dogs are allowed to run over to them or even just wander over their way as the owner passes this can have really negative consequences.  A fearful or anxious dog may react badly to another coming a bit too close and a dog being trained to be calm can have their training disrupted and set back.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple, unwritten rule for all of us dog owners – if you see a dog on a lead then put yours on a lead too.  Even if you know that your dog has good recall and has a lovely nature you never know what the other owner’s situation is or what might be a step too far for the other dog’s boundaries.  For our dogs’ sake, we all need to work together!