Melissa Kite Melissa Kite

How not to walk a dog

I despair of the mutt owners who embrace natural dogmanship

You won’t earn the affection of your animal by not confronting it [Photo: alexei_tm]

Watching a woman driving a dog past my house like a carthorse is just another ‘new normal’ of lockdown. This moron had two long ropes attached to a harness around the body of her huge dog and was trying to steer it along the village green by long-reining it from behind as though it were a pony.

The poor dog looked utterly fed up. I don’t know, because I couldn’t face asking her, but I got the impression that like the rest of the idiot new dog owners out there, she thought this system was less cruel than putting a conventional collar around its neck attached to a conventional lead.

That, you see, would involve pulling on the dog. And the new owners won’t do that. They’ve watched something weird on YouTube, or gone for lessons with some snake-oil salesman pushing the latest fad in natural dogmanship, which tells you to allow your dog to choose the way it wants to walk around a public space, even when it is on the lead.

Of course, other dogs, people and wildlife are going to be regularly ripped to bits by wayward mutts who are losing their minds if this goes on. A lead or rope of eight metres is simply no good if the red mist descends.

I sleep with my two cocker spaniels tucked up in my bed, so don’t tell me I’m not a soppy owner. But I never underestimate them. When walking in public, I always make sure I can pull them close to me to keep them out of trouble.

What the hell are owners doing handing power of attorney to pets who are descended from wolves?

What the hell are owners doing handing power of attorney to pets who are descended from wolves? I suspect they let their dogs do as they please because their dog, like their child, must not be challenged or upset.

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