As recounted in an earlier InMenlo post, on her way to becoming a sports writer, Menlo Park resident — and M-A grad — Colt Rosensweig stumbled into a career as a dog walker, which she loves. In another attempt to get the year started off right, we asked her to give us five do’s and dont’s for people when they meet new dogs:
– Do ask before touching any dog you don’t know. Dogs may be in training for a job, shy, blind, deaf, or any number of things that could make random petting inconvenient/rude at best, dangerous at worst.
– Do respect the owner if she/he asks you to wait for the dog to be seated and calm before petting, and if she/he asks you to address yourself to the dog in a certain way.
– Do ask before allowing your dog to meet the other dog(s), and respect the choice of the other owner.
– Do pass the dog(s) and owner on the owner’s side if possible, rather than the dog’s side, especially if you also have a dog.
– Teach your child(ren) the proper way to meet and greet new dogs in a safe and respectful manner.
– Don’t call to someone else’s dog(s), babytalk them without talking to the owner first, or snap your fingers in their face(s) to get their attention.
– Don’t pet an unfamiliar dog over the top of his/her head as this can be threatening, especially to shy dogs. Instead, stand to the dog’s side and allow him/her to sniff your hand, and then either rub his/her chest or under the chin.
– Don’t allow your dog to run off-leash in areas that are marked as on-leash. Again, at the least, this will make the situation extremely uncomfortable for anyone obeying the rules, especially if their dog is shy, reactive, or in training. At worst, this will lead to a dog fight and could cause serious physical and/or mental problems for one or both dogs.
– Don’t allow your dog to rush up into the face/rear of an unfamiliar dog. This can easily lead to a fight.
– Don’t attempt to give commands to someone else’s dog(s).
If you’re interested in dog walking or training services, you can reach Colt at MichiganColt@gmail.com.
Photo of Colt with dogs Juno, Maya (yellow Lab), Wilson (poodle mix), Lupo (a Lagotto Romagnolo who is obscured behind Wilson’s head) and Kaline (Doberman) by Irene Searles