The 5 biggest mistakes people make when walking their dog

In honor of National Dog Day on Aug. 26 (and in lieu of the traditional Dog Day card), I offer the five biggest mistakes people make when walking their dogs.

My pet peeves, so to speak:

  1. Refusing to pick up after your dog.

    The second your pup goes into the familiar crouch, it’s as if she disappears from view. Can’t pick up what you don’t see, right? The world thinks you’re a jerk, by the way.

  2. Using a retractable leash.

    You hate to infringe on your dog’s desire to roam, and you believe you can control him from 25 feet away. Then he spots a cat across the street. Now you’re trying to reel him in like a marlin. Good luck with that. (Side note: Leash laws typically mandate a tether no longer than 6 feet, not that you care.)

  3. Not using a leash at all.

    “My dog is as friendly as he is obedient,” you insist. Which is only true until it isn’t. There’s also a good chance your dog may encounter other canines not so obedient and friendly. Guess who will be at fault?

  4. Allowing your dog to approach another without asking permission from the owner.

    What’s the harm, right? Your dog is so friendly. The other canine, however, may not be up to hosting visitors, reacting aggressively to an invasion of personal space.

  5. Assuming your dog is invincible.

    I’ve seen people “walk” their dogs as they ride bikes. Then there are the owners who think nothing of a midday, pavement-based outing in triple-digit heat. Kick off your shoes and see how you like it.

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