I Shouldn’t Judge You By The Way You Walk Your Dog (but I will)

Yeah, I know that doesn’t sound good.

What right do I have to make snap judgements about someone innocently walking their dog through the neighborhood?  They’re just getting some exercise, or bonding with their pet, or making a potty run.  Whatever it is, it’s just a walk, right?

Except I already know…I’m gonna judge.

Is your dog four feet in front of you, pulling you down the street?  Your dog thinks he’s in charge. He’s the alpha – you’re just following his lead.  You might as well hand over the remote and resign yourself to a steady stream of Animal Planet.  You could be a couple of walks away from being kicked out of your own bed.

Is your dog on a five foot leash, meandering into the grass, sniffing at every mailbox and flower bed?  Your dog thinks he’s in charge.  He’s calling the shots, moving when he pleases, stopping when he feels like it.  You’re just the patsy picking up poop.

Is your dog on a short leash?  Walking beside you, head up and alert?  Your dog knows you’re the alpha.  He’s following your lead, wherever you go.  As far as he’s concerned you hung the moon.

Is your dog on a five foot leash but still walking right beside you?  A slack leash dangles as you walk down the road.  He stops when you tell him then loyally remains by your side on your journey.  You are an awesome alpha.

Is your dog walking off leash beside you?  Keeping pace with you, fully focused, immune to distractions like the scent of other dogs or distant barking?  You are the über alpha.  I bow down in homage to your pack leader skills and dream of a day when I might reach this level.

See?  Told you I judge based on the dog walk.

ps – I’ve seen an über alpha in action.  I call her the frisbee dog lady.  She walks a black lab, often off leash, who always stays right by her side.  She carries one of those floppy disc frisbees, and when the two of them reach an empty lot she’ll send it soaring into the air.  Her lab recognizes the cue and bounds after it, gleefully retrieving it for his owner.  Now that’s one happy dog.



7 thoughts on “I Shouldn’t Judge You By The Way You Walk Your Dog (but I will)

  1. Haha! My dog is on a short leash, at my side, but she’s also wearing a Halti. Indoors, I am the alpha. I’ve taught her so much, and she minds me like a dream. She’ll greet you at the door with her tummy up, then sit and shake. She’ll bring you one of three toys you can ask her for. She sits, stays, leaves it, lies down, rolls over, plays dead, can catch a biscuit from her head…on and on…she’s well-trained.
    Outside, she behaves well, is not motivated by food or toys, and doesn’t always need a leash, UNTIL SHE DOES, because squirrels are most interesting and ubiquitous here. I can’t hold a candle to a squirrel. lol I wouldn’t worry too much, but we live so near a busy street, I fear for her life.
    In the fallow field, she is the same, but I give her a much longer leash, (50 feet) so she can track. That’s her recess after a long walk, so to speak.
    Props to the lady who keeps her retriever so engaged! I’ll just have to envy her and deal with your judgement 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Whoa, you’ve really put work in on yours! I wish mine would do better greeting visitors at the door — they’re just awful, but to be fair I haven’t put enough time into training for that and they get so (!!) excited about new people.

      Your outdoors comment is kind of how I feel about Phoebe. I’ve experimented a little with taking her out off leash (to the driveway when the kids are shooting hoops or to get the mail) and she sticks with me, but I’m not quite sure what she’d do if someone with a dog appeared. Not many squirrels here, but we do occasionally have deer on the next lot…pretty sure that would make for a spectacular chase! Gracie’s no mystery at all; she’d bail on me in a heartbeat if she saw something interesting.

      I do love to watch the frisbee lady! She and her dog make a wonderful pair…

      Liked by 1 person

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