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'It's okay, my dog is friendly' - Dog Etiquette

Dog Etiquette

Walking your dog can be a lovely enjoyable and healthy way to clear your head, and to while away a few hours on a lovely summers day.

However after a recent incident at my local park with my beloved pooch. I decided it may be a good time to remind dog owners of some unwritten rules of social etiquette with their dogs.

Not all dogs are playful and boisterous. If you see a dog being exercised on lead, there is normally a reason for this. They may be a rescue dog, still gaining confidence with other dogs. They may even have slight aggression issues, which are hopefully being trained to deal with. Or it could be an older person who may not have the physical strength to deal with an altercation with another dog. Whilst some may just be generally timid, and struggle to socialise with other dogs.

My dog Willow is a rescue dog. She is always kept on a long leash on the park, for her safety and mine. She is never aggressive, quite the opposite, but struggles with boisterous unruly dogs, and basically will just run if one comes bounding over to her.

She knows her own boundaries, and whilst I always encourage her to become more confident, I respect that, as the same with some humans, this is her nature.

On this occasion we were minding our own business on a hot summers evening on our park, when I clearly took my eye off the ball for a second. Before I realised it, two dogs had raced over, and began chasing Willow round and round in circles. I did not even have chance to reign the lead in, but whilst trying to do so, the cord actually burnt my hand. I kept asking the owner to call her dogs, which unfortunately she did not do. Her young daughter came over, running after them in an attempt to try to catch them, this however meant that the dogs thought it was a game!

Eventually the owner walked across, and managed to put the dogs on their leads. Not quick enough for me though, as by which time I had ended up sitting on the grass, with the lead wrapped around my legs, and wrapped around the nearest tree ! I told her if you have no recall then you should not have your dogs off-lead. Her response was, 'they normally do!.'... Well sadly they did not respond on this occasion, and it was to my detriment.

If my dog had not been on leash, all three could have ended up on the busy road, and even worse hit by a car!

To allow your dogs off lead, to run free and terrorise or bully other dogs, whether intentional or not, is totally unacceptable. You as the owner have to appreciate and respect this. Dogs playing is one thing, but this has to be agreed by BOTH dog owners. It is not your place to presume and consider your dogs unruly behaviour is acceptable.. It is not !

If you do not have total recall, then do not let your dog off lead.. however much you may say..

'Its OK , my dog is fine'.. Well sorry, but my dog isn't, so get yours back on leash please.! We should not even have to ask.

Willow remained timid for a few days, as it did knock her confidence. However fortunately, she soon bounced back.. I however took a little longer to get my confidence back!

On a lighter note.. a few nice afternoon walks on the beach have been enjoyed.. not quite made it for a paddle yet, but ever hopeful if I can just find the tide in!

Another grumble about litter on the beach. We managed to fill up an entire bin bag of litter, cans, plastic bottles, throw away barbecue and a kids nappy, so full whammy that day !

An area of outstanding beauty, and some visitors leave it like a rubbish dump, disgraceful!

Please, please respect our local beaches, so everyone can continue to enjoy them, whilst also protecting our sea birds and marine life.

Enjoy the rest of the summer... and next time you are walking your four legged friend, please be mindful of the dogs kept on leads, or even dogs off leads, who still may not wish to interact with your dog, however friendly they may be, please kindly respect that.

Keep your furry paws safe..

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