Wednesday, February 12, 2014

City Dog: How Dog Walking is Like Dating

Without a backyard, I used to lament needing to take our pooches on our daily walks. Eventually, I realized how this was important for us to have dedicated time spent together; I use this time to continue working on our training and communication.
And I think it's really because of these dedicated walks, my understanding of them and their understanding of me, that our pups are able to comfortably do things like this, this, and this.
I know it's hard to constantly be "on" with training, though one rule of thumb I use: if you wouldn't do it on a date, you probably shouldn't do it while walking on your dog.

If You're not talking and interacting, it's a boring date
You would never go on a date where you don't talk, bother to look at each other, or spend the entire time walking 3 feet behind your date. During our walks I make sure the pups are walking at my side and paying attention to me. We make it engaging by practicing tricks, using the city as an obstacle course, and working on check-ins that help them with distractions.

Give your full attention; walking and texting is rude
Much like you wouldn't answer a phone call or start texting in the middle of a date, it's also rude to do this when you're out walking your pup. I make sure the time I'm with them is their time, and this has helped me learn so much more about them helping with our communication and lessoning frustrations. I know certain areas where Mr. B will bolt because he expects to see a feral cat, I watch for growing mushrooms so Miss M won't try to eat one, and I've learned our pooches' bathroom habits that are really helpful to know when I need them to go quickly.

Don't Let your Date Check out Other Dates
Much like you would be upset if your date spent time head swiveling and trying to interact with other dates, we let our pups know this walking time isn't a time to go out and meet other dogs. This is our time to walk, and if our pups are able to meet a dog then they will expect to meet every dog we meet. Which is challenging when there are probably 30 dogs living on our block alone. We also know when dogs stare it can be considered uncomfortable and challenging to other dogs, so we keep our pups focused on us as a courtesy to all the other dogs out with their people.
These are some things we've observed.

Are there any other ways you think dog walking is like dating?

Check out our Facebook page for extra photos and storylines that don't always make the blog
How we really use it
This was the dog command that changed our lives
Our dogs like showing off like this


OG said...

Great advice for both activities!

Kristen said...

We totally make out and cuddle on the couch afterwards. ;)

Jacquelin Cangro said...

That's a great analogy. I know when I walk Reggie, I see plenty of other dogs - a dozen or more easily. If the other person is on their cell phone or in some other way preoccupied, I'll usually cross the street. I like to be present on our walks. I feel like it's Reggie's time and he should have my undivided attention.

A Wonderful Dogs Life said...

That's great advice! With all of the gadgets and multi-tasking going on today it's very important to have time together that is totally focused.

I know when my human isn't playing with all her attention and focus. That's when I give up and go lay down until she realizes I'm waiting.

Dz Dog Mom said...

Hahaha!! I love this post!

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