Outdoor Adventures

by Rebecca Braglio

This chapter is a free excerpt from Philly Dog: Why Dogs are Better Than Cats.

I’m no trainer, but I think that there is one thing that every one can agree on – the way your pet behaves in public is a reflection on you.

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I’m no trainer, but I think that there is one thing that every one can agree on – the way your pet behaves in public is a reflection on you.

I’ve had the opportunity to see people with their dogs in a lot of unique situations – like at pet expos and fairs – and in the everyday world of walking their dogs. It always amazes me how some people are completely clueless as to what their dogs are doing and have simply no control over their pets. Let’s take a look at some of the most notorious offenders.

The Oblivious Retractable Leash User

Now, I own a retractable leash and I use it on Dash when I’m in the suburbs and we walk around our development. But for use in the city, I’m not a fan. There is simply too much traffic and pedestrian traffic around. There are some people who use these leashes on their 100+ pound dogs and have absolutely no control over them.

Either their dogs pull when they walk (which the retractable leash actually encourages them to do) or the dog is just running around all haywire and all over the place. Or perhaps the dog on the retractable leash spots your dog, and decides to run over and the owner doesn’t put on the brake.

Either way, it makes for a poor way to control your dog IF you don’t already have control over your dog. Teach your dog how to walk properly on a regular leash first. Make sure you can control your dog.

The Dog Jumper

Not everyone likes to be jumped on by dogs. I know, surprising, right? I was shocked while at the Super Pet Expo the number of people I saw letting their dogs jump up on the tables and jump up on other people. Make no mistake about it, it’s just plain rude.

The Distracted Walker

These are the people who are on their cell phones texting or yapping away while walking their dogs. They are paying absolutely no attention to what their dogs are doing. The other day I was walking through Washington Square Park, where there is an area of flower beds with a “No Dogs Allowed Sign” and I saw a guy on a phone who was letting his dog (who happened to be on a retractable leash) trample through the plants and pee all over them. I mean, really?

The I-don’t-pick-up-after-my-dog walker  

Do I really need to say more?

The “Be Nice” Walker 

These are the people who know that they have dog-aggressive dogs yet still insist on having them meet your dog. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had Dash approach a dog and that owner has said, “Now, (insert dog name here) be nice!” If you know your dog isn’t dog-friendly, just tell me. Why risk a dog fight?

The Socializing Dog Park Attendee 

Dash isn’t a fan of dog parks, so we don’t go anymore. But I’ve been to enough to have seen the dog park attendee who is more into socializing than watching their dog. They’re either busy yapping away with other dog owners or on the phone.

I even saw a person bring in their dinner into the dog park (a pizza) and they couldn’t understand why the dogs went nuts. I also saw a person bring their dog, who was in heat, into the dog park. What drives you crazy?

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