Today we are teaming up with the dog-walking service, Rover.com to share our country walk etiquette tips. (Pop over to their site to learn more about them!)
We live in rural Quebec. About half the properties in our area are cottages, meaning May through October there are twice as many people around as through the rest of the year. Given our isolation and how early we get up, we rarely see people or dogs on our early morning walks. However, we know there are a lot of dogs around and want to share our tips.
Things to do to be a polite country dog:
|My handless poop bag system|
- Stay on leash – there is nothing more stressful than walking by a house with a dog, to find a stranger's dog is now following you down the road because it isn’t on leash. Also, being on leash prevents your dog from sneaking onto other’s yards to do his or her business. Further, it will also prevent your dog from chasing or possibly harming the wildlife. We have lots of wildlife around!
- Pick up your poop - The spring thaw has shown how much poop our neighbourhood dogs have left this winter. It is gross and unhealthy. It takes less than 10 seconds at most to pick it up. You can purchase a poop bag holder that clips to your leash (so you always have bags) and has a place to clip the filled bags (so you don’t even have to carry the poop). We can’t train the deer and other wildlife to pick up their poop, but we can clean up the dog poop!
- Pick up your litter – If you are going to take snacks, cigarettes, take out coffee etc. on your walk be prepared to carry the garbage home. There are no garbage cans on the country roads, so if you take it out, you must take it home.
- Walk on the side of the road, or move to the side of the road when cars are coming – We need to share the road, so be sure to be mindful of cars and move.
- Wear appropriate reflective clothing – half the year, there is a good chance you are walking in the dark. Be respectful of drivers who may not see you out all in black. The reflective vest is not stylish, but it may keep you alive!
- If we do meet and your dog isn’t friendly (or you don’t like dogs) say something – On the rare occasion we do meet another dog or person, my two go crazy! Last year we only encountered other people about 10 times (we walk nearly every day – only missing days we aren’t home or days below -20C). The dogs are going to be excited and as soon as they sniff you, they are going to completely lose interest. But if you don’t want this interaction, just let me know!
Those are our country dog etiquette tips. Follow them and you can be a polite country dog! Do you have any other tips to share?