How do you walk a dog? Do you walk ahead of the dog? Side by Side? What side should a dog walk on? Going on walks with your dog is a great way to bond and get some exercise. However, if it’s just one of your first times taking your dog out for a walk, you may have a few questions about the best way to do it.
There isn’t really a “right” side to walk your dog on. While most hunting or show dogs are trained to walk on the left side of their human, it’s really up to you and your dog’s preference.
If you want to learn more about how to have the best possible experience walking your dog, keep reading for tips on everything from what type of leash to use, how often you should walk your dog, and some handy dog walking etiquette.
What Side Should A Dog Walk On – The Right or Left Side?
There’s no correct answer to this question, and it ultimately depends on what you and your dog are comfortable with. If you’re unsure, start by walking on the right side since that’s the convention in most places. However, if you find your dog constantly getting in front of you or tangled up in the leash, it may be better to switch to the left side. Ultimately, it’s up to you and your dog to find what works best for the two of you.
Dog experts also suggest you pick a side on the first day of the walk and stick to it. This will help your dog get used to how you walk, avoid confusion, and prevent your dog from getting tangled in the leash.
On the other end of the spectrum, some prefer and recommend walking dogs on the left side. Why? It’s believed that walking your dog on the left side teaches your dog who is in charge and exhibits you as the leader of the pack. It gives you more control over your pet and keeps your right hand free so that you can conveniently give them treats or clean up after them.
Does The Side Really Matter When Walking Your Dog?
If you’re just talking about taking your friendly Fido for a stroll around the block, then no, the side you walk on really doesn’t matter. As long as you and your dog are comfortable and having fun, that’s all!
However, if you’re training your dog for a specific reason, perhaps for a show or hunting, it’s important to get them used to walking on a specific side. For instance, police dogs are trained to heel on the left side so that their human can have their weapon drawn and ready if necessary. Or, if the policeman is right-handed, the dog is trained to walk on the left-hand side.
Similarly, when it comes to guide dogs, they’re always trained to walk on the left-hand side.
Basic Dog Walking Etiquettes
We understand every dog owner has a unique relationship with their pets. Likewise, you may have your own dog walking techniques that work well for both you and your pooch.
Having said that, there are certain basic dog walking etiquette that every pet owner should follow. Doing so can avoid any unnecessary confrontations or accidents while out on your walk.
Here are some general dog walking etiquette tips to keep in mind:
- Keep your dog on a leash at all times.
This is for the safety of both your dog and others around you. Dogs have a natural tendency to wander off and explore their surroundings. Keeping them on a leash can prevent them from running into busy streets or getting into fights with other animals.
- Clean up after your dog.
No one likes stepping in dog waste, so it’s important to be considerate and clean up after your pet. Carry a small bag with you to pick up any messes your dog makes while on the walk.
- Be aware of your dog’s body language.
Dogs communicate through their body language, so it’s important to be aware of what your dog is trying to tell you. If they’re pulling on the leash or appear uncomfortable, it’s a good idea to head back home.
- Be respectful of others.
Some people may not be comfortable around dogs, so it’s important to respect their space. If you see someone walking in the opposite direction, give them a wide berth.
- Have fun!
Walking your dog should be a fun and enjoyable experience for both of you. So, relax and enjoy some quality time with your furry friend.
How to Pick The Right Leash For Walking Your Dog?
The leash is the most important tool when it comes to walking your dog. It’s the only link between you and your dog and the primary mode of communication. So, you must pick the right kind.
Here are a few tips for choosing the right leash for your pet:
- Think about the size of your dog. The leash should be comfortable for both of you. A thicker leash will be easier to grip if your dog is large. For smaller dogs, a thinner leash may be more appropriate.
- Consider your dog’s temperament. A shorter leash may be a good choice if your dog is very active or excitable. This will give you more control. For calmer dogs, a longer leash may be better so they can have more freedom to explore.
- Pick a leash that is easy for you to use. If you have arthritis or other mobility issues, a standard clip-on leash may be a better option.
- Think about where you’ll be walking your dog. If you’ll be hiking or walking in rugged terrain, a sturdier leash is a good choice. For everyday walks around the neighborhood, a basic nylon leash will suffice.
A great leash that I can highly recommend is the Max and Neo reflective leash found on Amazon. (affiliate link)
How Long Should You Walk Your Dog?
How long you walk your dog depends on a few factors, such as age, size, and energy level. For puppies and young dogs, shorter walks are best as they can get tired easily and may not have the stamina for a long walk. Adult dogs can handle longer walks, but it’s still important to consider their energy level.
Generally, about 30 minutes a day is a good amount of time to walk your dog.
Some of My Favorite Products For Dog Owners
I hope this article has helped you just a bit in everyday life as a dog owner. Being a dog owner for more than 25 years myself, I’ve tried an abundance of different products with varying success, but these products below are some that I can highly recommend to every dog and their owner without hesitation!
These links are affiliate links, so if you do end up using the links, I will earn a commission. But it’s products that I use daily myself, and I have nothing but praise for.
Dog Food: Every dog needs to eat correctly, and finding the best food for your dog can be hard, as the market is absolutely flooded with products. But since 2015 when the company was founded, I’ve been using Ollie Petfood. With their product being tailor-made to suit every dog’s specific needs, and as my dogs absolutely love the product, I’m pretty sure I’ve found a product I will continue to use for many years more. If you use my link you can get 50% off your first order.
Dog Training: If you’ve ever owned a puppy, you know that they require a lot of training to grow into a well-behaved adult. Brain Training for Dogs has helped me immensely with the mental training part of raising a dog, and it’s something I strongly recommend you consider.
Grooming: If you have a dog in your home, you’re going to need a brush, and for this, I recommend a Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush. For that price, you simply can’t beat this brush for everyday grooming.
If you’re looking for the most up-to-date recommendations, check out my recommended products section that I’ve created to help every dog owner!