Things to consider when walking your dog

Dogs were once bred to perform specific jobs. As time evolved they were domesticated and kept as pet by many. Nowadays they aren’t required to do these jobs, thus need an outlet for their energy, relief from boredom and time to display particular breed characteristics. That’s why a walk is as essential to a dog’s life as food and shelter.

  1. First and foremost your dog should be trained for basic obedience commands, such as ‘Heel’, ‘Sit’ and etc. This is important so that you can keep him under control at all times
  2. Take your dog on a 1-hour walk or two 30-minute walks each day, even if you’re home for part of the day and spend lots of time with him.
  3. Resist the urge to let your dog run wild and free on public property. Keep him safe by putting him on a leash. If you’re concerned about restricting him too much and your dog is well trained, a retractable leash is a good option.
  4. Allow your dog time to stop and smell the ground. Dogs gather information through their sense of smell, which is far more developed than humans. They can determine what animals have passed and what changes have occurred since the last walk.
  5. Adjust the walking distance and pace to the age and health of your dog.
  6. Let your dog greet people and other dogs appropriately while on the walk. This will help develop their social skills and thus accustom itself to their presence.
  7. Carry a pooper-scooper or small plastic bags to clean up after your dog as you go. Be responsible and keep the environment around you clean.

Obedience Training
Teach your dog a skill or two about being obedient. Visit this website for some useful tips and great videos.

Dogs DON’T bite if you:

  1. Maintain a safe distanceWhen out walking, make sure you maintain a safe distance (at least 5- 8 feet away) from other dogs being walked on a leash. Some dogs may tug at their leash and try to approach you.
  2. Get owners permissionMany dogs may seem harmless and playful, but never underestimate them. Always ask the owners permission first before approaching a dog being walked or on a leash.
  3. Never approach a barking, snarling, sleeping, eating or nursing dogSome dogs may get agitated when they are being disturb while doing their own activity. A sudden or unnecessary approach may pose as a threat to some dogs and they may retaliate to protect themselves.
  4. Do not stare the dog in the eyes or bare you teethWhen face to face with a dog, do not stare the dog in the yes or bare your teeth as these actions are perceived as a challenge to the dog and would thus provoke an attack.
  5. Turn sideways and slowly withdrawWhen a dog appears agitated (barking, snarling etc) the best thing to do is to back off slowly. By turning sideways and moving out you send the message that you don’t want confrontation and thus are withdrawing from his territory.
  6. Put an object such as tree, post or bench between you and the dogIf a dog has approached you, try to slowly put an object between you and the dog. Look for a tree, bench or post nearby to serve as a barricade.
  7. Speak softly and gentlySome dogs may response to soft and gentle tone/talk e.g “Good dog, it’s OK, go home”. This often helps calm an agitated dog down thus avoiding an impending attack.
  8. Stand still or maintain a constant slow pace out the dogs territorySudden and quick movements are often perceived as a threat to many dogs. Do not attempt to run or move quickly as some dogs will follow suit and attack. Slowly move out of his territory with a constant slow pace.

If attacked, curl up in a ball and protect your face, neck and head.
 Be aware of dogs’ presence in you route and plan ahead so you can change your route to avoid unnecessary confrontation.
 Do not provoke dogs by throwing stone, stick and etc be it for fun or for defensive purposes as this will further aggravate the situation
 Last but not least, report unleashed or very aggressive dogs to local authorities.

The fact is dogs don’t attack for the fun of it. Like all creatures they only will if you pose a threat to them. It is a natural instinct, be it for humans or animals to protect themselves when a harm is perceived. We should be proactive in avoiding these situations by playing our part in preventing provoked dog attacks.

You cant outrun a dog, not even an Olympic sprinter can