Dog Walking Tips: 7 Common Mistakes Dog Owners Make on Walks

Going for a stroll with your dog should be a walk in the park, right? And yet, these common mistakes can make it less fun for your dog, as well as other pups and their owners. Are you guilty of any of them? Discover what you should not do when walking a dog in this dog walking tips article. We’ll unleash seven of the most common mistakes dog owners make on walks to make sure you’re top dog when it comes to walking your canine companion.

What should you not do when walking a dog?

There are seven common mistakes that dog owners make when walking their dogs such as:

  • Not scooping your dog’s poop

  • Leaving poop bags lying around

  • Not letting your dog stop and sniff

  • Not taking the dog’s lead with them

  • Letting your dog jump up at others

  • Leaving gates open

  • Zoning out

Let’s look at each common mistake in turn and discover some of our favourite dog walking tips!

1. Not scooping your dog’s poop

Sadly, there’s no such thing as the poop fairy, so dog owners are 100% responsible for cleaning up after their dogs. 

Not only can dog poop make shoes mucky (we all know that frustration, and smell, don’t we?), but it can also be dangerous to people and other dogs due to harmful parasites and bacteria. 

Simply taking a minute to pick up after your dog can help keep outdoor spaces safe and clean. Lovely!

2. Leaving poop bags lying around

It goes without saying that if you’ve bagged it, you should bin it! 

Not only can poop bags take years to decompose, but they can be a choking hazard to animals if left lying around. 
Luckily, most dog parks are well-equipped with dog waste bins, but if you’re out in the sticks, then just keep hold of the bag until you pass a bin. Don’t worry, you’ll have no chance of the bag ripping with our eco-friendly, tear-free poop bags!

3. Not letting your dog stop and sniff

For your dog, a walk isn’t just a great chance for them to see the world, it’s the perfect opportunity for them to smell it too!

Dogs experience a huge part of their world through scent, so allowing them time to stop and smell the roses (or more likely, another dog’s wee!) will make their walk even more enjoyable.

It may seem simple, but your dog’s brain actually gets a workout when they sniff their surroundings, meaning they’ll get both a mental and physical workout on their walk. Snifftacular!

4. Not taking your dog’s lead with you

It’s generally good dog walking etiquette to attach the dog lead to your canine friend when you approach another dog (especially if they’re on a lead).

Even if you’re completely confident in your dog’s behaviour when it comes to socialising with others, you never know how another pup is feeling - they could be nervous, in season or feeling vulnerable. Attaching your dog to their lead means you can quickly steer them away from awkward interactions. 


If your dog is particularly nervous on walks and appreciates others being respectful of their space, this bandana is a lovely way to make other dog owners aware. 

dog lead, lead, personalised lead, nylon lead, paw print lead, trigger hook lead

Don’t fur-get your dog’s lead!

5. Letting your dog jump up on others (especially with muddy paws!)

They may mean well, but if your dog is excitable and likes to jump up on people to say hello, then they won’t care if their paws are muddy or not – however, your dog’s new muddy friend may think differently!

When you’re walking in a busy area, keep your pooch on their lead and encourage them not to jump up on strangers – you can practise this at home by training your dog to use a less tactile greeting.

6. Leaving gates open

Whether you’re at the dog park or on ramble through the countryside, remembering to close a gate behind you will help protect dogs from running off to areas they shouldn’t as well as keep livestock from escaping. Dog owners and farmers will all thank you for this simple action!

7. Zoning out

Going for a stroll with your dog may seem a great time to multi-task by making a phone call or daydreaming about how amazing our canine companions are… But there are many reasons to stay engaged when walking your pup.

The second you’re distracted, your dog may pick up something dangerous in their mouth (like chicken bones or the remains of a takeaway) or wee on something they shouldn’t!

Being aware of your dog and their surroundings will also help with unexpected moments, like if your pup spots a squirrel and quickly lunges close to the road.

Dog Walking Top Tip

Remember to practise recall!

Sadly, one of the main reasons that dogs get lost on walks is due to poor recall. As well as a safety issue, it can also lead to some awkward interactions if your dog bounds towards other people or dogs who might not want to say hello (hard to imagine, we know).

Looking for ways to practise your dog’s recall? The American Kennel Club have lots of handy tips for training your. And don’t forget to reward your dog’s good behaviour with praise, toys and treats!

Anything else you should not do when walking a dog?

Let us and the rest of the Yappy Pack know by tagging our handle @yappy_com or use our hashtag #Yappy!


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