I Walk My Dog On the Right

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#1
I live in an apartment complex. That's a lot of people in a confined space. I keep my dog on the right so that I can follow "keep to the right" rule, same as car traffic. It's like I have to plan strategy in two-way traffic on a single pedestrian path. This means I can't join agility classes. It's not a real problem for me. Isn't the reason we are trained to keep dogs on the left because of the way the U.K. Rules of the Road works?

It's just that keeping our dogs on our left means that the dogs meet and greet and we humans aren't in control. I've stopped walking my dog because of all this hassle.
 

Romy

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#2
You can train him to walk on both sides. My dog is trained on the commands "walk left" and "walk right", which means to switch the side he is walking on. It's important for me because he is a service animal and I use him to brace sometimes.

Not to be confused with "go left" and "go right" which means to turn those directions.
 

corgipower

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#3
This means I can't join agility classes. It's not a real problem for me.
It doesn't at all mean that. For agility, he needs to be able to work on both sides of you. I started out teaching my dog to walk on the left and he had no difficulty learning to be on my right side as needed for agility.

As for why dogs are taught to walk on our left? There are a lot of theories floating around, but I think my current favorite is that it's because hunters were often right handed and carried their gun in their right hand, so the dog was on the other side. My second favorite is that it's because horses are walked on out right and that way the horse and dog didn't interfere with each other. Have fun with it and choose your favorite. :D

When I walk, I don't find that the rules of the road apply to pedestrians. People on the sidewalk don't generally keep to the right. When I have my dog with me, I simply pass people so that my dog is on the outside of the passing, regardless of which side of the person I'm on.
 

Zoom

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#4
You can teach your dog to "switch", like I did with mine. When I was fostering, my Aussie would walk on the left and my Lab would walk on the right. The reason for that being that I'm right hand dominant and the Lab was a bit more of a hassle to walk than the Aussie and I wanted to be in full control, hence she was on my right.

When I am walking my Aussie alone, I use "heel" for the classic heel position, 'switch" to get have him move to the other side and "side" when I want him to heel on the right side. This also comes in handy for when I'm walking him and don't want him greeting face to face with a strange dog. I just have him switch and keep on walking.
 

BostonBanker

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#5
My dog walks on my right and we do agility - not sure why that would matter? As someone pointed out, agility dogs actually need to work equally well on BOTH sides of you. I'm just used to handling horses and automatically put her on my right. I has yet to cause and issue for us.
 

lizzybeth727

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#6
I've stopped walking my dog because of all this hassle.
I guess I don't really understand what the problem is. If it makes more sense for YOU to walk YOUR dog on the right side, who cares? Walk him on the right! The only reason to teach your dog to walk on the left is for obedience trials where they're required to be on the left, besides that it's YOUR dog, do what YOU want.

I train service and hearing dogs, and many people with physical disabilities who get the service dogs can only handle the dog on one particular side because of their disability. Often they have to have the dog on the right, it's never been a problem; we just teach the dog to walk on the right. I've taught several dogs to walk on both sides because that's what their recipient needs, it worked out fine. Our hearing dogs typically walk on the left side, but we're actually thinking about switching to the right side because of passing people on the left like you said; it is especially difficult in crowded stores.

I also agree that dogs should be used to being on both sides of you for agility. I had never taught my dog to walk on my right side when I started agility, and I think she did have a more difficult time with it when we first started. But after the first 8-week class, she was fine; so I really don't think it's that big of a deal.
 

Doberluv

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#7
I always teach my dogs to walk comfortably on either side. I used "heel right" for Lyric when I wanted him to switch sides. And "heel" for going on my left. I practiced switching as we'd walk along.

Also, as a pedestrian, it is the left side of the road you should be walking, not the right. You should always face traffic as you walk. You want to be able to see the oncoming traffic in case someone looks like they might swerve into you so you can leap off to the side of the road. If you have your back to the traffic as it's coming along behind you, you can't see what they're doing.

It's just that keeping our dogs on our left means that the dogs meet and greet and we humans aren't in control. I've stopped walking my dog because of all this hassle.
I don't get this at all. ? You don't have to let your dog meet and greet every dog and if you want them to meet but be in control, you teach them how you want to do it. I wouldn't dream of not walking at all because of this. :confused:

I sometimes walk all three of mine together. I have my two Chihuahuas on my right and one big girl on my left if we're doing a leash walk.
 

smkie

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#8
I had always heard the hunter thing. Mine will walk both with no trouble. Often we switch due to traffic.
 

CaliTerp07

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#9
My dog walks wherever the heck I want her to walk (or where she wants to walk, when we are away from traffic). Our leash walking practices have nothing to do with how we do agility! (Especially since in agility, she's rarely in a heel position anyway)
 
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#10
I walk one of dogs on the left and one on the right because I like them separated... it doesnt really matter where your dog walks as long as they are behaving... why would you stop walking your dog because of this?
 

Laurelin

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#11
Mine walk on whichever side I want them to. They have no problem switching and do frequently. Mia always walks slightly ahead of me and Summer always walks slightly behind me.

Basically do what works. *shrug*
 

MafiaPrincess

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#12
I really don't get your issue or why you wouldn't walk you dogs. I walk mine on whatever side I please. I also jog or rollerblade with them on whatever side I feel like that day, and switch while we are out if the situation warrants it.

People with a hardcore obedience background which entails their dogs being rewarded solely for behaviours on the left also need help for being balanced in agility as you need everything equally on both sides.

I have no idea why it is you think you couldn't do agility because you choose to walk your dog on one side.
 

Saeleofu

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#14
In addition to training the dog to walk on either side (my dog does as well), you can train them to not greet other dogs when you pass them, but to simply ignore them. Another service dog skill that I wish more pet owners would teach their animals.
 

Dekka

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#15
People with a hardcore obedience background which entails their dogs being rewarded solely for behaviours on the left also need help for being balanced in agility as you need everything equally on both sides.

I have no idea why it is you think you couldn't do agility because you choose to walk your dog on one side.
Dekka and Kaiden are competitive obedience trained. They walk only on my left. But they can both rock the agility ring. It makes NO difference as has been pointed out which side your dog walks on.
 

Doberluv

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#16
Lyric was quite advanced in obedience and when we heeled, as is tradition, he heeled on the left. But I still walked him on my right and switched back and forth on a casual walk. Like it was said, in agility, that really didn't come up. He was usually ahead of me anyhow. LOL. He just had to know the names of the obstacles and his left and right. Jump left, I'd holler from miles behind. Go weave after you jump, then go tunnel. LOL.
 

JessLough

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#17
I do not get why you would stop walking your dog because you walk him on the right side of you. My dog walks on either side she is most comfortable with that day, it changes during the walk too, as she chooses the side that people are not on.
 
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#18
The reason I started this post is because I've never been able to discuss this with any one. So I'm relieved. However, the real problem is the human kind. I do believe strongly that people should obey the rules of the road on the sidewalk. It only takes a few thugs to make walking very dangerous. They dare you to do anything about it as they take over the sidewalk. Besides you have to have eyes in back of your head. It's not worth it. Keep to the right is also a great way to practice "rules of the road" before you are old enough to drive. But this is about dogs and you've taken care of that portion
of my walking problem for me. Now I can't blame dog training. It's settled once and for all. I'm going to use "heel right" from now on whenever I walk him.
 
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#19
I'm still confused. LOL!

My dogs heel on the left for OB training. Teeny also has a right side heel that we learned in agility classes. I use "au pied" for heel left and "heel" for heel right. BUT when I'm walking my dogs they don't heel. They walk, they sniff, they mark. As long as they're not tying each other up, or tying me up, I could care less which side of me they're on when we're walking. And when it comes to meeting people and other dogs on the sidewalk? Well, I usually step off the sidewalk and put my dogs into a sit until the humans pass, or I cross the street if there is a dog coming towards us. So again, I'm still confused as to why the side your dog heels on is restricting your recreational fun?
 
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#20
Which Side Should Your Dog Walk On?

In my opinion, I believe it is the owner's preference. I have (2) dogs, and (1) is trained to walk on the left and right on command. The other will be trained to do the same.

The most frequent heeling background story I hear is the 'hunting one' too. Teaching a dog to heel on the other side is not that difficult either. You should apply the same principles as you did with the original heel work you did, and pair it with an operative such as 'switch', 'right side', etc...

I would not lose any sleep over a dog that heels on the right or left sides.
 

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