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Important Dog-Walking Etiquette

by Joseph Hahs, MN

Joseph Hahs of St. Paul, MN, currently leads Cork, LLC, in Minnesota as the owner and founder. Beyond his various management responsibilities, Joseph Hahs enjoys spending time outdoors. He is an avid mountain biker throughout the St. Paul, MN, area and also likes to take his dog on long walks.
Walking a dog is not only one of the simplest ways to provide the animal some exercise, but is also an opportunity to develop obedience. While a dog is expected to engage in or abstain from various behaviors on a walk, the owner is responsible for enforcing proper etiquette. First and foremost, a dog owner should never leave the house without a few doggy bags. Whether the walk takes the owner and dog down a busy main road or out to the woods, it is inappropriate and rude to leave a dog’s mess behind for another walker to deal with.
Indeed, much of proper dog-walking behavior revolves around interacting with other dog owners. For example, it is very natural for dogs to sniff one another when they cross paths. That said, owners must be vigilant. If one or both dogs seem to be growing aggressive during such a meet-and-greet, the dogs should be carefully and calmly separated. Similarly, other owners have places to go. If one dog seems much more engaged in the sniffing, that dog’s owner should allow the behavior to continue for only a few seconds before taking his or her pet in the opposite direction. Other important pieces of dog-walking etiquette include steering a dog away from neighborhood cats, avoiding private property whenever possible, and keeping the dog leashed at all times.                            
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