Birds chirping, dewy leaves, crisp air, faint rays of the sun breaking through..oh, on many days, it feels just right to take a walk with our best furry friends! With a spring in our step, we walk out expecting fun things to sniff and see over the walk. However, all that gaiety is lost when we get lost in our smartphones and we fail to notice the approaching streeties until we are taken aback when a low bark rises into a crescendo and a litany of barks follow!
What happens next is generally a blur. We yell virtuous words at the dogs, (unsuccessfully) trying to shoo them away, tugging our dogs to run with us, waving a stick or throwing stones at the streeties, but to no avail. The streeties have their tails and bristles up, teeth showing, eyes boring into ours, whilst our tails and chips are most certainly down, until a few good passers-by who hear the commotion rush to our side and help drive the pack back while we quickly retreat.
What should have happened was this:
We should have left the phone in our pocket and focused on the walk.
We should have held the dog on a loose leash (but ensuring our pupper stayed NO more than 2 feet away from us).
We should have kept our eyes out for nursing mama dogs (who would never want strangers around her little ones), other street dogs having their meals or packs that are generally wary of strangers.
Learning calming signals in dogs to avoid altercations with streeties such as avoiding making eye contact with them, yawning, licking our lips and not walking into them generally help avert fights. Remember on most occasions tightening our pup’s leash may cause further anxiety. By walking slowly yet calmly, we can indicate to the streeties that we infact intend no harm.
We are generally not fans of being treat dispensers to the strays as we believe it only endangers another unknowing passersby or a dog walker by feeding the stray dog’s aggression as a positive reinforcement. However, if that floats your boat, be merry, but carefully. Walking dogs on Indian roads is fun for me as long as we are more aware of our surroundings and by controlling our energy better which in turn causes our pup to reflect the same confidence and energy in his/her walk.
Go forth and conquer…and remember you are not alone…you will always have company with the streeties!