Dog Walking Etiquette 101

Keep the Peace, Mind Your Dog Walking Manners

Better dog walking etiquette Tip One: Defecation.

There is no better way to create an enemy than to leave a pile of dung on your neighbor’s lawn. Most dog walkers seem to comply with removing the dirty deed, but there those NIMBY (stands for: not in my backyard) or front or side yard, types that do not remove their dogs’ waste.
Unfortunately, there is not much recourse unless they are caught in the act and leaving the mess may become a health hazard. For good neighbor relations, speak with your fellow dog walking neighbors, or notify your neighborhood association, to devise a plan for clean-up, notification and detection.

For dog walking manners and better sanitation, there are plenty of available products.
My favorite is because they’re Canadian, are longer than the average poop bag, are thicker & are fully biodegradable.  It also helps that they’re LEAK PROOF, which is a bonus for any of those who are familiar with those Poopageddon days.
For an inexpensive additional green alternative, reuse plastic grocery shopping bags.

Additional tips: make sure you carry more than one bag with you; stuff a few paper towels in your pocket for really messy lawn cleanups and carry “just in case” hand sanitizer.

Better dog walking etiquette Tip Two: Urination.
While dog feces can be removed without leaving much of a trace, dog urine can become more of an issue. Not only is it very difficult to control where your walked dog will stop to relieve the kidneys, but the high nitrogen value of your dog’s pee will leave a lush green lawn with dead brown spots.

Personally, for my non-lawn (i live in a concrete jungle). this is not one of my pet peeves (pun intended), but it has become an issue in my neighborhood.

First, become aware of neighbors and/or condo’s that do not want your dog on their lawns and stay away;  Second, when your dog urinates on the lawn, treat the area with a product designed to help reduce the dead urine spots, such as Lawn Spot Away. Supplements to change your dog’s urine are also available, but I recommend that you consult your vet.

Better dog walking etiquette Tip Three: Trespassing.
The above tips for dog defecation and dog urine are related to the trespassing issue. Legally, a homeowner has the right to insist that you, and your dog, stay off the property.

In the spirit of good neighbor relations, respect those wishes. Even though most homeowners are tolerable of the occasional stop-by, good dog walking manners still need to be practiced. Do not let your dog reach beyond a two feet perimeter from the road or sidewalk, and that is only for the homeowners that do not request “no trespassing.”

Better dog walking etiquette Tip Four: Loud Noise.
The bark is the dog’s form of communication, expressing happiness, fright, or anger. While you may be used to the loud barking, many in the neighborhood are not and may find it disruptive and annoying. Dog walking manners call for better recognition of your neighbor’s right to reasonable peacefulness.

Be aware of the time and day of the week, especially early morning weekends, when you walk your dog. Dogs can be humanely trained to stop barking on command, although admittedly, not an easy task. I have found it easier to walk my dog at times when I know we are least likely to encounter one of her barking triggers.

Better dog walking etiquette Tip Five: Safety.
First and foremost, always walk your dog on a leash for greatest control. A retractable leash is great to give your dog more room to roam, but for proper dog walking manners, it must be kept short to avoid unsafe situations for yourself and for others, such as passing other dogs, people, and vehicles.
I must admit, I AM NOT A FAN OF RETRACTABLE leashes, due to the lack of control.

There is one type that I DO NOT recommend: a retractable leash with a very thin line, resembling a 1/8″ rope. This “leash” can very easily wrap around anything and become a ligature, or it can nearly slice through skin. Look for the warning on the label of the leash and check for its width and thickness.

Some people are fearful of dogs; a short leash and comfortable distance will indicate to others that you have control of the situation.

Walking with your dog, alone or with other dog walkers, can be very enjoyable. Unfortunately, not everyone in your neighborhood may feel the same. Keep the peace and good neighbor relations by using these tips for better dog walking etiquette.

One thought on “Dog Walking Etiquette 101

  1. Great Article Lindsay!

    I see so many dog owners walking around and letting their dogs pee and poo anywhere. That same women, almost every day, comes walking right in the middle of my front lawn letting her two dogs go through my plants and trees to do their business. I look at her through my front window with a big “what the hell?” in my face and she just keeps on walking as if it was just normal…

    My 3 boys won’t go all over the place. They have their spots in empty lots or at the parc and I have my trusty PoopBags to deal with the laughable mini poop of my big Newfoundland and the sloppy burritos from my Adopted Mexican Gringo.

    And I’ve seen too many people fall face first on the ground using those retractable leashes… It’s the perfect weapon to zip around your ankles the second your 120lbs Labradoodle starts doing his funny dance on sight of another dog… “Charlie!! NOOOOOOO!!!!” hehe…


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