I always tell my clients that it doesn't necessarily depend if they walk their dog on their left or their right unless they are going to be in dog shows. In a dog show, you walk your dog in a counter-clockwise circle around the judge. You have to keep the dog on the inside of the circle (on your left) so that the judge can easily view and grade your dog. If you don’t plan to be in dog shows, who cares…
With that piece of information, let me add some general tips about picking the right side for you and walking your dog.
- You pick the side you want to have your dog on when you walk. You can pick the left or right side, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is consistency in the walking process. When you finally pick your side, you will always walk your dog on that side. This allows your dog to establish a perspective of where he should be while walking with you and will make the entire experience far more enjoyable.
- If you have a big dog, walk him on your dominant side. If you need to correct him, it is important that you do it from your strong side. (i.e. Are your right handed or left handed?)
- Once you have picked a side for your dog during the walk, everyone will walk him on the same side. If you allow different friends and family members to walk him on different sides, it will add to his confusion and extend the time it will take him to “walk well”.
- He should always walk by your side. When he walks ahead of you, it is far harder to have him obey you when you encounter a distraction such as a duck or squirrel.
- (My pet complaint!) Use a regular six foot leash when walking. NO EXTENSION LEASHES!