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Don’t Worry, My Dog is Friendly!

It’s a beautiful morning, you’re out taking a stroll with your pooch, when all of a sudden you hear the dreaded “DON’T WORRY – MY DOG IS FRIENDLY”. Panic starts to set in as you scan your surroundings looking for the off-leash dog. Anyone familiar with this scenario? Don’t worry, you are not alone.

Our neighborhood is littered with pet owners who allow their “It’s ok he’s friendly” dog meet and greet just about everyone. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a huge advocate of off-leash training – but in the sense that your dog is trained to OBEY commands while off-leash.

If you’re like me, and you have a reactive dog, you most likely have your walks plotted in hopes of avoiding any off leash dogs. We know what times are safe, what houses to avoid and what streets are generally free of off-leash dogs. Even though we have, everything mapped out, we still have the occasional run-ins where owners are shouting, “It’s ok! he’s friendly” or “Don’t worry! She just wants to say Hi!”.

In my opinion – this type of behavior is not OK and I don’t care if Fluffy just wants to say Hello. I don’t like it and neither does my dog. It’s very frustrating to say the least.

C’mon people start being more responsible and please follow the rules. Most cities have leash laws in place. That means your dog MUST remain on leash unless they are in a designated OFF-leash area. If you want your dog to be off-leash consider taking them to a DESIGNATED off-leash park, where they can run free. I wouldn’t take my reactive dog to an off-leash dog park to cause havoc, so why should you be permitted to do so on the street? Or on a designated ON-leash trail? Or in a park?

Now if you’re reading this and thinking wow that sure sounds like my Fluffy – the friendly neighborhood dog who loves to visit passersby, especially those who have dogs. Please, think this over – NOT EVERYONE LIKES TO BE GREETED BY A STRANGE DOG! Even if he is friendly. Now if you’re someone who obeys the leash rules – I can’t THANK YOU ENOUGH! You make our walks so much less stressful! Kudos to you!

I’d love to hear some of your off-leash dog encounters. How do you handle it? Let us know in the comments!

Oscar Sutton @o5ky

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