Fearful Or Aggressive Dogs
While your pup may be well trained, other animals may still have trust issues to work out. These trust or aggressiveness issues may come from having experienced various types of abuse or neglect throughout their life. This doesn’t mean that these dogs aren’t ‘good dogs,’ it just means they need more love and patience while they are in the learning process of how to trust again. The important thing to keep in mind is that you can’t look at a dog and tell whether or not they have been abused. Just because a dog is a ‘friendly breed’ and he now has a ‘friendly owner’ does not mean he will have a ‘friendly’ temperament when first introduced to a new dog or person. Keeping your dog leashed, especially if your dog has an outgoing demeanor, could make all the difference between an unexpected bite and a nice walk in the park for everyone.
Consideration Of Other Pet Moms & Dads
When crossing paths with unfamiliar dogs and their parents, for everyone’s safety, it’s good to always ask for permission before engaging. Never assume because your dog is friendly and you want to be social that everyone else is in the same frame of mind. It’s good to pay attention to see if the dogs parents are on the phone, tending to children or distracted in some way. They may already have their hands full and an unexpected, unleashed or unwelcomed dog (due to circumstances) may not have the best results.
Consideration Of Dog-Walkers
Unless a dog-walker is getting out of their work vehicle or walking numerous breeds at once, it’s almost impossible to tell who is a dog-walker and who is a dog-parent. A lot of dog-walkers for liability reasons (or at the request of their clients) will not engage with other animals when on their walks. It’s not personal, it’s out of consideration to you, your dog, their client, the dog they are walking and the livelihood of their job that they may be keeping their distance. If you see someone purposefully going out of their way to not cross paths it’s important to know their actions are out of respect and consideration. After thousands of walks and years of experience as a dog-walker, the same respect and consideration in turn is always greatly appreciated!
Poisonous Foods & Drugs
It’s not uncommon for people to throw away their leftovers or uneaten food to the ground instead of in the garbage. What might have been intended to be a considerate action (like feeding the birds or stray animals) can sometimes turn into extreme consequences depending on the animal that stumbles upon the leftovers. A lot of foods that are yummy to humans can be dangerously poisonous or even deadly to dogs. You never know what someone has left on the ground and dogs can usually smell those leftovers way before humans can see them. For your pups safety, keeping them on a leash raises your chances of seeing any potentially dangerous curbside grub before your dog has the chance to gobble it up.
The Temptation Of The Chase
Some dogs are chasers and some dogs aren’t, but almost all dogs are triggered and excitable by anything moving at a fast pace. It’s instinctual. Sometimes the instigator can be a car, a runner, another dog, a rabbit, a squirrel or a ball. Some dogs may chase for attention or because they simply think someone or something is wanting to play. Keeping your dog on a leash not only keeps them safe, but also whatever it is they are inspired to chase safe as well – even if it’s all in good fun.
We hope this helps! These are some of our experiences when crossing paths with unleashed dogs and we would love to hear your experiences too! Feel free to leave any comments below.