Sunday, 3 July 2016

Becky & Jesse's Guide to Dog Walking Etiquette

Hey hi hello!

The good folk at got in touch with me and expressed their enthusiasm for educating people on good dog walking etiquette so naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to show off my boundless (translation: questionable) wisdom (translation #2 desire to show off).  I know I get a handful of American readers - my stats thingy tells me this, so it must be true.  Unless it's lying to me for some reason - in which case, the robots are becoming sentient, so maybe you should turn off your computer and go hide somewhere where the internet can't get you.

Anyway, yes...If you're an American reader with a stinky, licky friend of the canine variety, provides a service where it matches you up with local dog boarding, sitting and walking services should you ever need extra assistance in the care of aforementioned stinky canine.  Link!

Sentient robots and handy websites aside, Jesse (my dawg) and I have put our thinking spectacles on and come up with a list of useful (translation #3 very loosely thought out) tips for dog walking etiquette. Feel free to wear your thinking specs to read if you like.  Here are ours:

Becky & Jesse's Guide to Dog Walking Etiquette

1. On preparing for the first walkies of the day:

Becky: Morning walkies will set the tone for the whole day for both you and your dog.  It's important to greet your walking partner with enthusiasm for the adventure ahead, no matter what the weather.  That way, you will both be alert and happy to head out the door with a spring in your step.

Jesse:  No.  Just no.  Sleep > everything else that isn't sleep or food.

 2.  On dealing with aggro neighbour dogs who are indoors:

Becky:  If you know that you are going to be walking past any homes that have other dogs in them who enjoy a good bark at the window, consider their humans' feelings and poor, battered ears by giving that home a wide berth.  This way, the owners get an few extra minutes of peace and no dogs need to be needlessly agitated.

Jesse:  When you know that shouty enemy dogs are nearby and safely behind glass, strain with all your might at their house, because they shouldn't be allowed to shout at you like that and besides, they can't get you through the window.  Puff yourself up like the proud descendant of the wolf that you are, prepare yourself to maintain hostile eye contact and then... immediately regret your decision and whine like a kettle coming to the boil at your owner for being mean enough to parade you in front of nasty, barky bullies.  Why they got to be so mean?

3.  On encountering other dogs outdoors:

Becky:  When you encounter other dogs whilst out on a walk, unless you know them and you are comfortable that the exchange between pets is going to be a happy one, it's best to err on the side of caution and give them some space, crossing the street if necessary.  Just as it is with people, just because dogs are the same species, it doesn't guarantee that they will all like each other or even fancy interacting with every single other soul they meet.

Jesse:  FRIEND!! OMG IT'S ANOTHER ONE OF ME, HE MUST BE MY FRIEND, I MUST MEET...wait...why are we moving away from them? They could be my soul mate!  They could have a butt that smells like biscuits and bacon!  They could...God dammit, human, where are you dragging me??

4.  On poop

Becky:  In no situation does anyone appreciate unexpected poop.  Pick it up in a bag and dispose of it in designated bins.  And don't be one of those people who unfathomably think it's considerate to bag it and then just leave it on the street.  Or worse still, make the painstaking effort of tying it to a tree branch.  One, it's gross and two..just...why??
Jess:  Ooh, unexpected poop!  I will appreciate it with my face.  Oh, happy day!

5.  On encountering other humans:

Becky:  Similar to point #3.  If you know the person and know that they are comfortable being around dogs, by all means, go up and say hello.  If no, give them space - especially if they are out running or cycling.  I've been that runner who has nearly fallen backside over boobs over a shin height Jack Russel or two that I've been too far into my own head to see.  If you're out with your pooch, just take a step to the side and let the hobbyist pass in peace.

Jesse:  Greet all of the bipedal creatures with gusto, even the ones on wheels.  People LOVE dogs, especially me on account of my cuteness.  If you think they are ignoring you, don't worry -they simply haven't seen you.   Place yourself directly in the path of their legs or wheels and they will soon be down at ground level with you, ready to be attacked with licks.

6.  On...or off lead (Or "leash" for you folk across the big pond with the sharks in it)?

Becky: If your dog has good recall, there's no harm in letting him have a good sprint around an enclosed dog park or through some long grass in a quiet field.  If you're walking in a built up area or close to traffic, it's generally best to keep your pal safely tethered to you.  For his safety and for others'.

Jesse:  Why do you restrain me in this manner?  I am wild!  I AM WOLF!  I deserve to be FREE!  Oof, that big metal box on wheels got a bit close.  But that's besides the point!  UNHAND ME!!

We are done looking thoughtful and wise now.  There are walkies to be had!  I hope you found this useful and informative.  Jesse hopes you found some treats and will be patiently awaiting a reward for all of his hard work today.  He likes those big, chewy chicken sticks the best.

Becky:  How can I craft a post that is both sensible and informative for the good of the dog owning masses?
Jesse:  Ball...snacks...walkies...poop...

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