Dogs on Leads

by Sian Griffin // April 2017

We all want to enjoy walks out with our dogs and in turn, we all want our dogs to enjoy their walks - for a lot of people this involves their dogs having a run around off lead.

Many people want their dogs to be social and this can include them going over to other dogs to ‘say hello’ whilst out and about. This is acceptable if your dog goes over and greets in an appropriate manner and the other dog is comfortable and sociable with other dogs. If the other dog does not want dogs approaching them, this is where a solid recall comes in to play.

We cover recall in our classes and it is an important part of your dog’s training if you want them to be off the lead when out and about. A solid recall means that you can call your dog away from other dogs and therefore you don’t risk causing a problem to another dog owner or causing an unpleasant experience for the other dog and you keep your dog safe.

This is especially important if you are out on a walk and you see another dog on a lead. You should use your recall to call your dog back so you don’t allow them to go over to the dog on lead.

Dogs can be on lead for several reasons. For example: it could be for safety, they do not have a solid recall and their owner doesn’t want them disappearing; it could be that they are a new partnership and the owner and dog are bonding so they are not letting them off the lead at that moment and the dog may be OK with your dog approaching; it could be that their dog is recovering from an illness or operation or is elderly and they are taking it easy and therefore they do not want dogs running over and possibly jumping on them.

Even more important for you to bear in mind is that the dog could be frightened or worried about other dogs and they do not want other dogs running over into their personal space. It doesn’t matter how friendly a dog is; to a dog fearful of other dogs this is not a fun experience for them.

Some owners may use special coloured leads, these are typically yellow with ‘NEED SPACE’ or ‘NERVOUS’ written on them but not everyone uses these so if you see a dog on a lead, please call yours back and don’t let them approach unless their owner says it is OK to do so. If you need help with recall training, you could sign up to one of our classes or book a one to one session.