To be more specific I do of course mean tennis balls! Tennis balls are great. Why are they great I hear you ask? Well a lot of the dogs that I've walked over the years are simply obsessed with them and you can use that to your advantage.
As well as being a great deal of fun for a spot of human/dog interaction I often use a tennis ball as a distraction tool when I really need to keep a dog focused on me.
I walk 2 or 3 dogs who are really lovely with dogs they know but not overly keen on the ones they don't and they have a tendency to bark and/or lunge towards random dogs that we'll inevitably cross paths with.
When we're approaching someone walking their dog I whip out the tennis ball and immediately the dog's focus is on me or rather it's on the tennis ball which I happen to have control of. This generally allows up safe passage past the dog we're walking towards without any of the kerfuffle that would have occurred had I been without my trusty tennis ball.
This has been a revelation for me and is a top tip that you should try if you have a dog who doesn't mix well with others. If sticks or treats are your dogs favourite thing then they might just be the answer for your looking for. It's a good idea give your dog a reward once you're safely past the other hound to praise and reinforce their good behaviour.
Living very near to the beach as you may think i'd never be away from the place so it may surprise you to find out that I deliberately avoid it when I'm out dog walking. At first glance that statement appears to be a bit odd; after all the dogs love the beach and I'm a dog walker so why would I deliberately avoid it? Allow me to explain:
My number one priority for all of the dogs I walk is their safety and the thing with the local beaches is there are lots of other peoples dogs running around off lead and I don't know for certain that all of those dogs are safe. Indeed some of the dogs I walk can be reactive so I figure I'm asking for trouble if I put them in a situation where I know they'll encounter dogs off their leads.
Also I think my job as a dog walker is to actively walk your dog. You're not paying me to sit on the beach, cup of coffee in hand whilst your dog has a nice run around. Somehow that doesn't seem like what a dog walker should be doing in my opinion.
I'll leave the beach walks to the dogs owners as there are plenty of other options whether we're dog walking in Tynemouth, Cullercoats or Whitley Bay. We're always discovering new routes as new dogs come on board so even without the beach on our chosen routes we really are spoiled for choice.
Coastal Dog Walkers
Welcome to the occasional ramblings of a North Shields dog walker.