Perhaps you are new to dog ownership, you’ve recently bought a puppy and she is getting to that age where you have to go outside. And walk. Together. Here are a few tips on how to walk nicely with your new four-legged friend, without turning into the person that other dog owners talk about behind their backs!
You know the ones I mean. I know you do.
Walking your dog in New Zealand is a lot of fun, there are many beaches, parks and walkways that are all dog-friendly – just check the hours on beaches in the summer.
Do’s & Don’ts When Walking Your Dog (If You Want To Keep Your Street Cred).
- Don’t invite friends who haven’t got a dog to walk with you. While you may think it is cute the way that your dog trots in front of your feet and almost trips you up; your non-doggy friend won’t.
- Do choose other dog parents to walk with, preferably one who has a dog that is friendly and nice – that way you’ll have something to ooh and ahhh over with as you walk. Cat friends just won’t cut the mustard – cats and dogs – what can I say?
- Don’t wear your headphones on the beach while you are walking your dog. You must be seen to be present and listening at all times. Think kids only ten times worse.
- Do be sociable to other dog walkers. Yes, yes it might be the case that you have escaped from a house full of chaos to have some quality time with your pup but still; smile and say hello to every other dog walker on the beach or park. It’s the law.
- Don’t be a dog breed snob. While purebred dogs are lovely to look at, there is nothing better than the good old bitza mutt. Don’t be one of those people that smile at the beautiful golden retriever and then cringe when they see old scabby sticky up tail running towards them. All dogs are seen to be gorgeous to their owners, remember that, please.
- Do ask other dog parents questions about their dog. This is always a good conversation starter or a way to draw the attention away from the fact that your own dog is smelling another dogs bum.
- Don’t keep your dog on one of those really long stretchy leads and then let him run around strangers feet while they are stood looking at their phone. It’s very annoying and contrary to your belief, not cute.
- Do train your puppy from an early age and be sure he knows the ‘come here’ command, that way you can let him off his lead and relax.
- Don’t judge other dog parents for not having trained their dogs properly. Not even a little frown or a tut. As well behaved as your pup is today, you never know when they might have a funny turn and not return the stick that you just threw for them – it happens, and it is embarrassing, so don’t judge.
- Do pick up your dog’s mess. This goes without saying. Try to use organic, decomposable poo bags or even better do the stick and flick method.
- Don’t use that massive sized old carrier bag that you’ve had under the sink for three months to pick up the minuscule poo that your pup has just gifted you with.
- Do throw pieces of driftwood into the sea to let your dog retrieve.
- Don’t take your dog’s favourite (and expensive) kong toy to the beach and then get upset when it sinks (even though they are supposed to float) in the waves.
- Do learn to whistle and have your dog come to you. This is cool and hip, and your dog will love you forever.
- Don’t embarrass your new puppy by shouting: ‘Come to Mummy darling! Mummys waiting’. Don’t do that. Noy if you want your dog to frequent the same beach and hold his head up with pride. The poor chap has a reputation to upkeep.
So there you have it. The rules that every dog owner should know before venturing out in public with their pooch! Let me know if you can think of any others and don’t forget to share this post with your friends – only doggy ones though – none dog owners can’t be trusted.