Zen and the Art of Dog

True or False: It Is Okay to Let a Dog You Are Unfamiliar With Meet the Dog You Are Walking.

I’ve volunteered for many animal shelters over the years as a dog walker. My wife made me stop because I kept bringing them home with me (that’s how we ended up with 3 dogs).

Volunteering gave me a strong understanding of shelter dogs, their psychology and just how hard their lives are.

The best shelter had an army of volunteers. This organization had 15-20 people coming throughout the week to walk approximately 25 dogs. This many volunteers still wasn’t enough to adequately care for so many animals.

The worst shelter had one volunteer, me, walking 8-10 dogs. I usually couldn’t walk them everyday. It was a real shame.

I want to share my experience as part of my explanation why the statement above is false. I have too many stories about running into other shelter dogs on leash, running into strange dogs on the street, or off-leash dogs running up to the dog I was walking.

Once, two volunteers let some little dogs meet. Their leashes got tangled and they had a row. It was very upsetting for everyone involved.

This is especially the case with teenage dogs who are learning how to navigate the world with their bigger size.

Too Many Unknowns

My point is that there are too many unknowns when you come across a strange dog. You don’t know its history. You don’t know how comfortable it is with other dogs. And, you don’t know anything about the owner and how comfortable the dog is with the owner.

Just Avoid Strange Dogs!

It’s just better to avoid strange dogs as much as possible. Give a wide berth. If you get to know the owner and the dog then you can have your dogs meet.

Otherwise it’s just not worth the risk.

Here’s a really good video from The Good Dog about this topic:

That’s why this statement: It Is Okay to Let a Dog You Are Unfamiliar With Meet the Dog You Are Walking. is false!

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