Listen up, inconsiderate dog owners

Like the competition between parents who have two-legged kids, there is also a battle between parents of the four-legged children. Whether it be for sidewalk space during a walk or just being a decent neighbour with a canine, there are many ways people are inconsiderate and it really needs to stop.

Summer is here and that means people are walking their dogs late into the night. They’re spending more time out for a stroll and for some dog parents, it’s maddening when crossing paths with another person and their pooch.

First of all, there’s the sidewalk etiquette. I figured this would be an unspoken thing but apparently it’s not so let me draw the line.

If I’m already halfway down the sidewalk when you just turn onto the block, I have the right of way. You should notice us and if you know your yappy little dog is going to try be a tough guy to my big golden retrievers, then you should cross the street or move well onto the boulevard to avoid creating a scene. My dogs walk just fine. I know they aren’t going to go nuts at the sight of another canine passing us.

I applaud those dog owners who do stop walking, crouch down and hold their dog as we power walk by. It shows you know that you can’t trust your dog with others and it shows you don’t want to inconvenience me as a fellow walker.

I’ve also experienced someone walking on the other side of the street and crossing midway to be on the same sidewalk, coming towards us. What is the point of that?! Your dog is already pulling you and getting rambunctious. That doesn’t make me feel comfortable about having you get closer to us. Stay on your side until others have passed.

Those of you with retractable leashes, you should learn how to keep a better handle on your dog because that gets all kind of messy when the leash is fully out and you can’t reel your dog back in. At the same time, it clearly lets the dog know that it is in control and decides how the walk plays out.

Then there are the dog owners who have their dogs out on the front lawn. It’s one thing for you to be out in the garden or working on the grass, but remember that your dog is calm and relaxed when it’s just you guys there. Think about how they react when they see other dogs coming down the sidewalk. Now you’re breaking the law when your dog is off leash and leaves your property and attacks my dogs or me on the public sidewalk.

Maybe I have more consideration for others. And quite honestly, that’s surprising since I’m usually a dick.

I’m the first person to shoosh my dogs in the yard if they start barking so as not to annoy my neighbours. If the dogs continually do it and won’t settle down, I put them in the house. Even if I don’t see anybody else outside, I know that I don’t want to hear a barking dog when my windows are open so I offer the same courtesy to people in the community.

Remember that each of us walking our dog is judging other pet parents. We notice how well behaved your dog is. We take note how well your dog walks and respects you. We also notice when you look around and hope nobody sees your animal taking a dump that you won’t pick up.

Be a respectful and responsible dog owner. You wouldn’t want your human kids running around like maniacs in public, would you? Or maybe you’re that kind of parent, too.

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