Labs Love Walks
It's true! Labs love to go for walks. They love long walks where they can snoop and meander and sniff everything in sight. They're social creatures who want to meet everyone they meet and play with every dog they see.
Walking is not only a great way to exercise your dog it's also a good way to keep them mentally occupied.
While the do's and dont's that we highlight here may sound like common sense to most of us, some people either aren't aware or choose to ignore some of the common courtesies of walking your dog. When our labs are well behaved members of the community your neighbors will welcome them in the neighborhood. If they run amuk and leave the neighbood a poopy mess, your neighbors will complain.
Remember also that while your lab is a loving and friendly dog, not every dog in the neighborhood is as friendly.
Dog Walk DON'Ts
When you walk your dog DON'T:
- forget to take bags with you to pick up after your dog
- let your lab walk all over someone's front lawn and through their flower beds; keep your lab to the sidewalk and the strip between the sidewalk and the street
- dominate the sidewalk; if someone is out for a walk give them the right of way and move your lab out of the way. A great way of doing this is to move them aside and put them into a "sit" while the person passes. Treats make this much easier to do.
- assume that everyone loves dogs and is familiar with the friendly exuberance of most labs; let them ask to meet your lab, don't let your lab run up and jump on them
- let your lab run around the neighborhood off leash; almost every area in the US includes leash laws and they're there for a reason
Dog Walk DOs
When you walk your dog DO:
- always, always pick up after your dog
- always walk your dog on a leash; leashes keep your lab safe from running in front of cars, chasing wild animals that might be rabid or attack and it also keeps your lab close to you so that other, less friendly dogs don't have an opportunity to reach your lab
- share the neighborhood; move to the side when others approach
- assume that a dog you don't know has the potential to be mean; just keep away
Something To Consider
Not every dog in your neighborhood has good doggie manners and is as emotionally secure as your lab. It is easy for a fight to break out or for your lab to be hurt if you have a negative encounter with a strange dog. There are probably dogs in your neighborhood that you already know are not friendly; either with people or with other dogs. That's OK. Don't ask your dog to socialize with them and just keep your distance. In fact, if you don't know a dog that's approaching you, it's probably best to cross the street and pass at a distance.
When two dogs approach each other face to face it can be seen as confrontational to the other dog. Crossing the street helps alleviate that because the dogs are no longer coming at each other face to face.
If you are approaching a dog and it starts to bark or lunge in your direction you can defuse the situation by having your dog face you and put its back to the other dog. Just stay there until the other dogs have passed. Taking treats on a walk can help you encourage good behavior in your dog i.e. putting him into a sit and stay.