Things are going wrong with walking dogs

Most of my inspiration for writing comes from being out with my dogs. I frequent parks, beaches and open fields. Of course my favorite place to walk is somewhere quiet with my dogs off leash just running having fun but those places are becoming harder and harder to find; especially here. Although running off leash is wonderful; our dogs must learn how to walk nicely on leash, it's a fact of life. Yesterday when my husband and I had all three out having fun at the park a woman walked by with three little dogs on leash. She'd obviously been watching too much of a certain guy on television.

Our dogs were running everywhere; two were on leash (they have long leashes), Tilley was off leash doing her rehabilitation ball retrieving. The woman was far away but I could see her trying to get organized and then she proceeded. As she walked past us I watched; she bent down and gave one dog who was walking a bit out front a push to get back behind her. Okay so they looked happy enough; they were definitely cuties but were they having fun? Happy and fun are two different things.

We walk our dogs for our dogs; correct? Well; we actually walk them for us as well, a walk is always good for us but we mostly do it for our dogs. When I walk my dogs I like them to do what they enjoy; sniffing, lifting, wandering etc. I do not want my dogs dragging me down the street or across the park but I in no way want my dogs walking behind me like robots. If I head out on a power walk; meaning that I mean business and we are getting in some exercise, I allow sniffing for a good amount of time before we commence. Sniffing is what dogs do; they love it, so they get in a good amount of it before we start our non stop walking.

If you watch a pack of wolves move around in the wild; it is the Alpha who says where they are going. The top wolves decide which direction to go in but they don't have to be out front; that is a fallacy. The members of the pack watch the Alpha and go where he goes but the lower members are all about, even out in front. When I take my dogs for a walk in the woods and everyone is off leash they are following me; there is no doubt about it but they are like a pack of wolves, all around.

In my opinion having your dogs walk behind you is just not fun for me or my dogs. Now if they want to walk back there as my Tilley likes to; fine. But keeping them back there to show them who's boss defeats the purpose of why we are out for a walk.


  1. Oh, that makes nice reading! :) I agree with you, the dogs don't have to be behind me to show that they respect me. There's a difference between walking in front and pulling the leash aswell. And dogs know that difference. You can easily teach a dog that pulling isn't ok, without demanding it behind you :) A walk is always a good thing, it should be done with ease and happy thougts. And wagging tails.

  2. I agree, I have had a dog that was very aggressive with other dogs and those techniques helped me keep control around other dogs but alone, sniffing is what it's all about. I also could never come to agree that by allowing my dogs on the bed with me that they were dominating... they were there to be with me, the alpha. Or at least that's what I tell myself when we're all piled up and having a great cuddle.

  3. So agreed. We have 100's of acres of woods behind our home and we go for walks on the trails made for the 4 wheelers. I don't expect my dogs to walk behind me, they are off exploring on their own, but, always keeping an eye on me. When I turn to go home or in a different direction it is only a minute or two and everyone is with me once again. Life is fun with a pack of dogs (poodles are my choice) and we all live in harmony in our home and on our walks.

  4. Nice piece Sherri, My alpha poodle is always 6 ft ahead of me...she likes to lead the way and make sure all is safe. I use a leash as little a possible with it is so clear to see she just does not enjoy being tethered to anyone....I think that is because she doesn't need to be's almost insulting her intelligence I feel! Dogs are the world! : )

  5. Agreed regarding enjoying our dogs enjoying themselves on our walks, be it on a trail or just at a local park. I also walk other peoples dogs as a part time job and I allow them their freedom but I demand their attention in a positive way. If they aren't watching I'll change direction and they learn to watch me, the alpha. I was at an acquaintances house with an acre of fenced yard for the first time, when I had 9 SPoos, and he marveled at how they followed me and/or watched where I was the whole time even while they were across the yard playing. Being Alpha doesn't equal pushing them around but leading the way !


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