Since the rise in dog popularity during the Covid Pandemic there has also been a rise in poor management of pet dogs, and what we would describe as bad etiquette amongst owners. Sometimes it feels like the days of having a passing chat, or exchanging a friendly wave with a fellow dog walker are a distant memory! Walks can be hazardous and chaotic when they should be an enjoyable experience.
The most common problem seems to be unruly dogs off lead. Of course it's a joyful thing to see dogs running and playing, especially with each other. However, we hear of so many dog attacks or altercations between dogs who are actually friendly towards other dogs, but for some reason take a dislike to each other. Like people, some dogs's personalities will clash resulting in fights or attacks. Sadly this often leads to dogs feeling
threatened and unsafe, which in turn can make them reactive to other dogs. Dogs do not think like people because naturally they are pack animals who understand and live by hierarchal rules. You as their leader have a job to act as a protector. Unfortunately when a dog is attacked, especially out on a walk, this can result in their view of you as the leader changing. They no longer see you as able to protect them, and therefore take on the leadership role themselves. This means it could impact all aspects of your training, not just reactivity. We are very careful ourselves when out in public parks. We will call our dogs to heel to pass dogs that are on lead, or until we have decided if an off lead dog is acceptable to approach. If we are not comfortable with the way a dog is approaching our dogs, we will not allow it to.
Remember if someone has their dog on a lead it is common courtesy to put your dog on a lead too, unless it is either neutral to other dogs, or can be asked to walk past without interacting. The other dog is probably on lead for a reason so please be respectful.
It is against the law to have a dog off lead and 'out of control' in a public place. This could include your dog being off lead and worrying another person, dog or livestock.
Off lead dogs that do not have a great recall can also injur livestock, cause road traffic accidents, run off cliff edges, be stolen, or shot and encounter all sorts of other dangers. If your dog doesn't have a great recall it really shouldn't be off lead, the last thing you want to do is lose your loved one unnecessarily.
If approaching someone out walking their dog always ask before interacting. There could be many reasons why they might not want to, but please don't take this personally!
The good news is we can help you with any recall problems that you may have. Please give us a call to discuss this further on 01423 646925.
There also seems to be an increase in dog fouling, dogs barking in public places such as restaurants, and dogs escaping from gardens. All of these problems can be avoided with the right training and mind set.
For more information on the some of the UK dog laws, and the correct code of conduct in the National Forestries please check out our links below 🐾
We are lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the UK. Yorkshire holds some of the most stunning walks that we sometimes get the chance to visit when we are working, so we thought we would share a few with you.