The 7 habits of highly irritating dog walkers

Do you want to be an irritating dog walker? The kind that others see on the street and are immediately annoyed by? If so, today is your lucky day!

For one day only, I’m offering a free primer on how to be an annoying dog walker. By employing these seven simple tips, you too can be the bane of your neighborhood! (Keep in mind, to really be the most irritating person on the block, you should use all of these tips in combination with each other. One or two just won’t be effective enough.)

Before we start, I’d like to introduce you to today’s instructor:

Bella at the vet

Professor Judge E. Dog

Now, get out your pencils and start taking notes. Or don’t. Maybe you’ll turn out to be an annoying student too.

  1. First, do you have a smartphone? Any cell phone will do, but a smartphone will really help you up your game. When walking your dog, play games on your phone or check Facebook. Don’t pay attention to your dog. At all.
  2. Get a retractable leash. Although leashes are for losers (see tip #3), you may occasionally need one. Use a retractable one, but don’t worry about locking it. Combined with tip #1, you’ll be well on your way to Mayor of Irritation Town as your dog sprints into the street, gets tangled around other people/dogs, and generally creates chaos wherever he goes.
  3. Speaking of losers, let’s talk about leash laws. They should really call them leash suggestions, am I right? Seriously, those laws are for people who can’t control their dog – they weren’t meant to apply to you. Your dog is just fine.Β (Advanced students: combine with tip #1.)
  4. Repeat after me: “Don’t worry, he’s friendly!” You’ll want to master this phrase, so that you can shout it at your neighbor when your off-leash dog charges towards a child or other dog (maybe even a service dog). It’s not your fault that the child is scared of dogs or that the neighbor’s yappy little pooch is dog reactive. Your dog just wants to say hi. Just remember the magic words: my dog is friendly. You are now absolved of any responsibility.
  5. Don’t teach your dog a proper recall. This is especially important if you intend to let him off leash and will be playing with your phone. Safety, schmafety. Your dog will listen when you want him to, right?
  6. Let your dog poop in your neighbor’s yard. If he’s a male, let him mark every single mailbox in the neighborhood. If he’s off leash (see tip #3), go the extra mile and let him pee on your neighbor’s welcome mat. People love that.
  7. Speaking of poop, don’t clean it up. It’s organic matter, right? Picking it up would just be a waste of that quality manure. It’s the circle of life, and your neighbors are just being prudish. As they say, everybody poops! Some people might complain about stepping in it, but they should really just pay more attention. (Note – I’m aware that this tip might appear to be inconsistent with tip #1, but I’m confident that you can text while watching where you’re going.)

There you have it. If you follow these seven easy steps, you’ll be well on your way to losing friends and alienating people. If you’ve ever wanted to be the most annoying dog walker in the neighborhood, now is your time to shine.

Do you have any additional tips for my erstwhile students? If so, share them in the comments and then go check out the Monday Mischief Blog Hop!

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66 thoughts on “The 7 habits of highly irritating dog walkers

    • Yes or when you get two or three of them talking away with about 20 dogs all running riot on a secluded beauty spot, pooing everywhere, then about 5 of them come charging towards your poor pooch and stArt growling and barking, and then they say those theee words they are friendly, yeah right!!!!! They are in a pack, one turns they all turn!!!

  1. Oh My Dog! JG is laughing so hard she needs me to post her comment. WE live across the street from a highly used walking path and see hundreds of dogs walk by every day…and we have seen every single one of these tips in practice regularly…and yes, often in combination. Follow these and you too will be an award-winning irritating dog walker. Thanks for the belly laugh! *snoogles*
    Gizmo (@GizmoGeodog) recently posted..DOG 1 – DUCK 0

  2. Sadly, I think most bad dog owners have this list and probably a few more. I do believe you forgot the people that don’t even use a leash, but have some sort of rope (clothesline rope maybe) attached to their dog’s collar, and are constantly yelling “STOP PULLING, STOP PULLING, STOP PULLING” as their dog, um, pulls them along. They clearly have anger issues and should not be around any animal at any time. Or children. Or other people probably. And don’t forget the people that do actually leash their dog, but hold onto the leash so loosely that their dog quickly escapes and comes barreling towards my dog.

    Honestly – I have yet to find a park here that does NOT have a leash requirement – so I am quite shocked at the number of people that have their (unruly) dogs off leash.

    Maybe instead of using shock collars on dogs – we could start using them on dog owners that follow all of the above rules. πŸ™‚

  3. To add to #6 “let your male dog pee on every food garden you see”. Here in Seattle there are a lot of garden beds in the right of way (the grassy space between the sidewalk and road). It IS tempting for your dog to pee there but people grow food in them that they eat. If you want to be REAL disrespectful, let your dog pee on some cabbage.

    I admit that I used to be THAT retractable leash girl when Chester was a puppy and I didn’t know any better. Now I do and it bugs the heck out of me to see people letting their dogs run back and forth on a crowded path. People can’t see those thin leashes and I have seen people almost tripped and them almost cause bike crashes.
    Jessica @ YouDidWhatWithYourWeiner recently posted..Black and White Sunday #17

  4. The best one ever is demonstrated on a near-daily basis by my neighbor, when he stands in front of my gated yard with his two barking, lunging huskies, inciting my barking lunging dog to bark and lunge ever harder, and when we ask him to move, he says “oh, I’m trying to get my dogs to like other dogs.” Then, when they show no evidence of liking my dog any more despite standing there for minutes at a time, he kicks them in the head. True story!
    Kirsten recently posted..Happy groaning growling convulsions

  5. YES!! Somebody needed to post this!! I hate, hate, HATE when people walk their dogs like that… Riley is dog reactive sometimes and I hate when people let their dogs run up to her. Hey, if my dog bites your dog and my dog is on leash and yours isn’t, it’s not my fault…seriously, that’s what the law here says! Anywho….. πŸ˜‰
    Elyse and Riley recently posted..What She Does

  6. I have one more pet peeve ~ joggers with dogs running aggressively towards you on a narrow sidewalk where there is no escape. The poor dogs always look miserable and the humans look smug and self-satisfied. Makes me crazy!

  7. Great post and yes, I’ve seen this list multiple times. I especially like when people take their dogs to the park in our subdivision, which is NOT deemed an off leash park and unleash their dogs. Then, when Gimli and I walk through the park with him on a leash, there’s a mad scramble to locate their dog and yell out a command and hope the other dog actually listens.
    The best one is the person that took their dog for a walk around the block without a leash. Then when he saw us, he called his dog (repeatedly) over to him, picked it up and proceeded to carry it until we were far enough away. I just don’t get it, it’s called a leash, it’s what, less than $10, put it on your dog.
    Candy recently posted..Little Red Riding Hood – Alsfeld

  8. This list is hilarious!! My favorite one was the extra mile for the welcome mat :)) Genius, haha!

    I’m wondering if I was an annoying dog walker the other day, too… My dog and I politely stepped aside to let a bunch of joggers pass by (even though I consider THIS an irritating jogger habit, when they are in herds and think that they own the sidewalk).
    One of the runners said: “Aaaawkward!”

    I still don’t know what she meant.
    Audrey recently posted..Stay fit with your dog!

  9. Oddly enough I’ve had other dog walkers get huffy when I choose not to let my dog greet their dog. One person even passive-aggressively told me how “rude” I was being by talking to her dog in a really loud voice about how mean it was she couldn’t say hello to Shiva. Honestly, I don’t see why every dog needs to meet every other dog while on a leash. In my experience, it just leads to trouble.
    Kristine recently posted..Things People Said To Me While I Walked My Dog

    • That happened to my dad – we were in a park for our family reunion, and my dad brought his dog (on leash). A guy with another dog wanted to bring the dog over to say hello, and my dad kept warning him not to do so because Roscoe could be reactive. The guy was so rude – he started lecturing us about how it was our fault, that we weren’t letting the dog be a dog, and how “dogs like other dogs.” Then he proceeded to bring his dog over in spite of our protests, and Roscoe almost bit him.

      Why couldn’t the guy just leave well enough alone – didn’t my dad know his own dog better than some stranger?

  10. So so so agree with all of these. (I also used to not know better about the retractable leash though – had one w/ our beagle because she liked to sniff EVERYTHING.)
    I had another one happen yesterday that could be added: Chase down other dog walkers, even when it’s completely obvious they don’t want to be caught! When you catch up to them, say “Is your dog friendly? Mine is!” Then look disgusted when the person says, “No, my dog’s not always friendly on leash – that’s why we’ve been trying to keep ahead of you.”
    Oy. People!
    Jackie Bouchard recently posted..Monday Mischief: Pixie Sticks Her Nose Where She Shouldn’t

  11. This had me laughing and crying at the same time. To be honest, we just don’t walk Bella anywhere we might run into other dog walkers any more. “It’s okay, he’s friendly” is the bane of my existence. Yelling back “That’s nice, she’s NOT!” only seems to make them glare at US. Would you rather I not tell you?

    Even at the vet’s yesterday morning, there was a women who came in with her small dog in her arms (poor thing was trembling) and she tried to bring her over to “meet” Bella (who was also visibly trembling). I had to quickly blurt out “My dog is afraid of other dogs and may react badly.” She turned away in a huff.

    Thanks for making me laugh about an otherwise frustrating situation we face all too often.
    Leslie recently posted..What have we done?

    • We have a lot of the off-leash type in my neighborhood. They’re usually large, and Tavish does not take kindly when a dog several times his size comes charging up…

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  14. I’m glad Jodi showcased this in her blog hop love, because I missed in during NaNoWriMo. There is a woman that walks her dogs up in our field and she is always talking on her cell phone. It ticks me off.

    Now you know I walk my dogs off leash with terrible recalls, I admit it. Sampson is getting to be worse than Delilah. Yesterday I called her off a dog, but he didn’t listen, so he went back on leash. Truthfully the other dogs were off leash too but that’s not an excuse. I don’t walk them off leash other than in our woods where other people also walk their dogs off leash, but I digress.

    Here’s one for your list, put your mp3 player ear buds in and walk casually along with your two little dogs off leash not paying any attention to what they’re doing or who’s around you. They can poop and interact wherever they please regardless of who is around you.

    I admit to walking my dogs off leash but I also try to pay attention and leash them when I need to and I would never walk them in the neighborhood off leash.
    Jodi recently posted..WTF Wednesday

    • Oh, yes – the cell phone is definitely an annoying one. I like your addition of the mp3 player too!

      Most of my more recent experience has been in neighborhoods, which inspired this post. When I was a kid, our dogs were off-leash most of the time, but it was the middle of nowhere, so we didn’t even really have neighbors.

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  17. This is so true. I’m going to share it with my Twitter Fur-ends right now! I get so embarrassed walking my dog around our village when I see dog poo left on the pavement. I want to wave my poo bags in the air and shout out to anyone that will listen “It’s not my dog- I always pick it up!”

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