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Get Social with Your Dog

Mutts With Manners were recently approached by Advantage Petcare to contribute to their blog article on how to ‘Socialise Safely with Other Pets and Pet Lovers'. This is a question that regularly comes up in the field of dog training, so we were delighted to take part.

Humans and dogs are both social species that thrive on companionship. We both need to meet other humans and dogs on a regular basis. Socialising with your dog, therefore, enables both humans and dogs to engage with other humans and dogs. You can enjoy conversations with other dog’s guardians while dogs also make friends from both species. If you stroll at the same time you get the benefit of social engagement as well as the physical exercise of a walk – just what the vet ordered!

We’re lucky here in Sydney that there are so many dog-friendly walking areas. Two of our favourites here at Mutts With Manners are:

• The Glebe Foreshore: This lovely stroll starts in Annandale and follows the foreshore to finish at Bridge St in Glebe. The walkway is well maintained and has a great variety of little beaches, grass clearings and bushy areas for dogs to romp and play. There is a short stretch that is on-leash only, however, most is off-leash and a socialising mecca both for dogs and humans.

• Centennial Park: Although much of the perimeter is off-leash, the best dog and human fun here is Pinecone Ridge on Carrington Drive – a woodland area where both species can wander and socialise and be immersed in nature.

While young dogs need to run and play, you should never let them off-leash before they’re appropriately trained – it’s a disaster waiting to happen. A retractable leash can be a valuable tool for making the transition, as long as you keep the leash shorter than the nearest object or person. It can really inhibit the human socialisation aspect if your dog is tripping up half the people in the park!

When you do finally let your dog off-leash, you must be mindful of where they are at all times. There is nothing more distressing for a dog than to look up from that engrossing sniff to find that their human has kept walking, jogging or cycling, completely unaware that their dog now has no idea where they are.

Train your dogs, stay vigilant, and you’ll be set to enjoy some sociable walks in our beautiful city.

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