Tips for safe dog walking.

When walking your dog the safety of you and your dog, along with other members of the public and their dogs is crucial. By keeping your dog safe and under control you can relax and enjoy your walk together, whilst promoting responsible dog ownership.

Here are some points to consider whilst out walking with your dog:

  • Always carry a fully charged mobile phone with an ICE number (in case of an emergency) entered into the contact list.
  • Always let someone know where you are walking in case you get into trouble, especially if you are doing a long walk or somewhere isolated.
  • Wear footwear suitable for the terrain and clothing suitable for the weather.
  • If walking at night be seen! Wear a reflective jacket and carry a torch (do not point it at the traffic). You can also buy reflective collars and jackets for your dog.
  • Always check your dogs collar/headcollar/harness is well fitting and in good condition especially the catches.
  • Always check your dogs lead is in good condition including the catch.
  • Make sure your dog is wearing a legal identification tag bearing correct, up to date contact details. However you do need to have your address on there by law.
  • It is advisable not to put your dogs name on the tag, so your dog is not easy to be called away and stolen.
  • Always have your dog on a lead when walking next to roads, you never know when your dog may see something of interest to chase/say hello to. Don’t take chances, even with the best behaved dogs they are still dogs at the end of the day.
  • Always use a short lead when walking along roads. Please do not use extendable leads near roads as your dog may move sideways into the traffic. Have your dog close to your side, don’t allow them to run out into the traffic, trip up other people walking by or get in the way of bicycles.
  • Always be aware of bicycles and runners these can easily sneak up behind you, listen out for them and move to one side asking your dog to sit and stay as they go past.
  • Always know how much freedom your dog has on the lead and be aware of what your dog is doing at all times, making yourself ready to be proactive rather than reactive.
  • Be connected with your dog, give them a reason to be focused on you rather than everything else around them. You will find your dog is less likely to react to things if they are not constantly scanning the environment and being in a state of alertness.
  • When walking along the road side with no path, walk on the side facing the oncoming traffic and when you come up to bends in the road where you cannot see around the corner cross over to the other side so the oncoming traffic can see you, then cross back again.
  • Always place yourself between your dog and the traffic.
  • Always look both ways before crossing roads, railway lines etc. and keep your dog under control i.e. a sit at the roadside, do not allow them to step into the traffic.
  • Walk in a single file along the roads, especially where the traffic does not have much time before they see you.
  • Try to be visible and wear bright colours if you have them. When walking along roadside, reflective/fluorescent jackets are a good idea even in daylight.
  • Always clean up after your dog and carry spare poop bags.
  • Only let them off lead in safe areas and you know you can call them back to you promptly.
  • When allowed off lead always keep your dog in sight and be aware of what they are doing at all times.
  • Never wear your lead around your neck, place it diagonally around your body for your safety (can’t be strangled from behind).
  • Do not allow your dog to disturb or worry livestock and wildlife, put them on their lead to prevent this and keep them safe. Farmers are well within their rights to shoot any dog that is worrying his livestock.
  • Do not allow your dog to run up to other dogs and people when off lead, this is very rude in dog language and not all people want your dog to say hello.
  • Teach your dog to do a sit/down stay first before checking if it is ok for your dog to say hello to other dogs or people then give them a clear signal that tells them they can say hello. If it is a situation where they can not say hello either keep them in a stay or have them walk close to your side until they have gone past.
  • Respect other owners who have their dogs on lead, give them space to walk past and do not allow your dog to say hello, they may well have their dog on a lead for a reason. i.e. not too good with other dogs or is unsure of people. Give the other dog at least 5 feet space, more if you can.
  • When walking past other dogs and people with your dog on lead place yourself between your dog and them.
  • When walking past other dogs in their gardens/yards cross over to other side of road and give them and your dog some space.
  • Never allow your dog to stare at another dog, other dogs can find this quite intimidating and is likely to trigger behaviour you would rather not have. Keep your dog focused/connected with you, talk to them in a happy, relaxed way, play with your dog, ask your dog to watch you.
  • Always stay calm and in control no matter what situation you find yourself in when walking your dog. Don’t tighten the lead or hold your breath, your dog needs to know all is well from you.
  • Carry a small emergency first aid kit.
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About Silver Coast Dog Walking

A private dog walking/training Club for dog owners in and around the Caldas da Rainha area.
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