Are sit stays, pep talks, and limited self awareness sucking the joy out of your morning walk?

As I close the door behind me, I'm faced by another sunny morning in LA. I leash up the first crew - 1 big, 1 small like I do every morning. I have to separate the dogs because some can only walk 10 minutes and others can walk 10 miles.

This morning is no different than any other. Poop bags in hand, I started my normal jaunt around the extremely tight single-lane streets of Mt Washington. The first walk is usually pretty uneventful. It's early and we stay close -- just enough to pretend like we did a marathon but far enough to empty both ends.

On the second walk, we travel longer and cover much more ground weaving in and out of passing cars and see many humans half-asleep, needing their morning coffee.

After today's walk, I was motivated to make a video about our experience passing our daily cast of dog and human characters.

Let's dig in:

First, we ran into a regular - a tall, older gentleman with two dogs who both must be part dinosaur because they can walk on their back legs from the presence of a dog like a tyrannosaurus rex. These guys must do pillates because their abs are strong. Every day, as we try to pass, the man freezes, does a double wrap death grip on his leashes while simultaneously telling his dogs this is what we did yesterday, and please stop barking because... well who knows why they should stop. He finishes with a guilt trip to the dogs "look at those guys they are walking so nice. See how good those dogs are. Somehow these pep talks day after day aren't working. Maybe those two dog-tyrannosaurus rexs don't want to be good boys :)

The second scenario we ran into was passing a lovely women who I just want to hug because I can feel her fear and anxiety. All she wants to do is walk her dogs but isn't aware why they act the way they do. Pinch collars, tight grips, and leashes inches short she does an about-turn like a well-drilled military cadette away from our direction.

Unfortunately, in my experience, this is not a good strategy to control a predator. I explain why in the video.

What the woman doesn't know is, I know her two shaggy dogs. My partner Teresa was watching them one day and we had walked together for 30 min or so. What she doesn't know is her dogs are well-behaved angels with a little dog knowledge.

Our third (and perhaps my favorite encounter of all) was a younger tall fit woman obviously dressed for yoga class walking her little brown fluffy golden doodle poodle puppy thing. Strolling along she caught sight of us and so did her puppy. As soon as they see us, the fluffy dog has the typical puppy response of "I wanna go over there." Instead of understanding her dog's curiosity and subsequently labeling it as bad behavior, she ordered the dog to sit and stay right away. The leash was tugged, she ordered him again, and his wiggly butt tried to do it but couldn't quite figure out what to do - nor did he have the desire to do it.

It wasn't what he was feeling. All these demands were made while repeating "Stay! Stay, Goober stay! No sit. Stay! I said stay!" If you ever walk around your neighborhood you know what I'm talking about and may have one of these folks in your neighborhood too.

In my short live video, I share from my experience 4 simple ideas that will bring clarity to your dog's side and why so many people are struggling (like these folks I see daily) to have an enjoyable walk with their dog. It can change!

I'd love to know your input after watching the video! Is there anything you have questions about? Hit reply and let me know.

Head rubs and belly scratches,


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