to encourage positive interactions allowing people to go beyond the stereotype. While we do rely on our pups to be good spokesdogs, we also remember we need to be self-aware and respectful dog owners. Especially in the city where the sidewalks are small, the people are many, and not everyone likes dogs.
The other day a woman stopped E when he was walking the dogs to tell him that she really admired how well-behaved and under control our dogs were. She told him that she was bitten by a dog at a young age and she has always been scared of dogs, but she had seen us walking several times and she really appreciated how respectful we were of the community, especially since there are so many people in our neighborhood who do let their dogs run at whim.
Here are some things we've learned about being respectful dog owners in a busy city:
Stay to Your Side:
family walk, we never walk side-by-side and we allow space for people to comfortably pass. We walk our dogs on the grass side only allowing ourselves to walk next to the people. When the pooches stop to sit at corners, we always make sure they are on sitting on the same side so people can walk around us, and if people stop to meet the dogs we always make sure to move to the side so we're not holding up pedestrian traffic. I also make sure when I'm picking up their poo they remain in a sit-stay on our side of the sidewalk so people can still feel comfortable passing.
The Sidewalk Dance:
If you have a sidewalk but someone is approaching walking 2 dogs, walking with a dog and a child, or they just can't seem to control their dog (including large men with 20lb pups) give them the sidewalk. Always doublecheck before turning corners in case someone is there. Don't allow your dog to stop in the middle of the sidewalk and stare down other dogs.
Awareness in Public Spaces:
markets, street festivals, and parades, but we are always aware of other people's space. We don't allow our pups to meander in front of us or walk outstretched on their leashes: we always keep them with us at our side. We don't allow them to meet other dogs, with the potential to'play on leash', knowing how loud and disruptive it is for people walking by.
These are some things that work for us.
What are some other ways you demonstrate responsible ownership when out with your pooches?
Training our dogs to walk in the busy city
Preparing your pup for a street festival
Our thoughts for new pitbull owners