What Side Should Your Dog Walk On? (Explained!)

Although it doesn’t make much difference for dogs to walk right or left, you may have a preference as a dog owner.

Generally, show dogs are trained to walk from the left of their owner. The reason for this is that the judges and the audience can easily see the dogs during the performance. 

Apart from this, if you want your pet to have walking training, it doesn’t make any difference whether it walks on the right or the left.

Which Way Should Dogs Walk in Obedience Training?

In obedience training, dogs are trained to walk on the left. Although there is no clearly defined reason for this, especially guard dogs are expected to run on the left side of the trainer when overcoming various obstacles. 

There are also some disadvantages of walking on the left side in general. If you live in a right-hand traffic country such as the United States, walking your dog on the side of traffic may be dangerous.

While your dog is walking on the sidewalk, he is always walking openly against external stimuli, no matter which way he walks on.

However, walking your dog on the opposite side of traffic decreases the possibility of your dog jumping on the road at any time. That’s why some dog owners walk their dogs from the right instead of the left side.

Is it Okay to Walk My Dog On The Right?

Your dog can walk comfortably on both sides. In fact, it is important for your dog to walk on one side for both him and you to have a comfortable walk. 

Get Our #1 Easy, Homemade Dog Food Recipe (Vet-Approved), 100% Free!!! Click to get it NOW!

If you are right-handed, you may find it more comfortable for you to walk your dog on the right. 

But in some cases, walking your dog on the right side can cause minor problems. But either way, your dog may want to interact with other dogs, especially assuming other dogs are present on crowded sidewalks. 

In this instance, the length of the lead is more important than which side your dog is walking on. Shorter leads are ideal for crowded places and longer leads can be used in open spaces.

How Do You Train Your Dog to Walk Next to You?

Dogs naturally want to roam freely. This is their instinctive behavior. But since dogs are a part of human life and have to live in modern societies, they have to abide by some rules. 

Walking training is just one of these rules. The most important thing to do before you start walking training is to let your dog release all his energy. 

Because high-energy dogs can make training difficult if they are overexcited and full of energy, before gait training you should take your dog on a long walk and let him run around and burn off energy.

How To Train Your Dog To Walk Next to You

  1. After your dog has spent his energy, you should put your dog back on the leash and encourage him to come by your side.
  2. Choose a short one-word command you will use during training. This is very important for your dog’s communication and understanding. The word should be very short and clear. For example, if your dog is on your left, start walking with the “Walk” command. 
  3. At this stage, your dog will pull on the leash because he has not been trained. Every time your dog pulls on the leash, you need to stop and gently tug the leash back to give the “slow” command. 
  4. when your dog comes back next to your side, reward him. Rewarding your dog with a treat after each walk will make him more willing to participate in the training. 

It is important to be consistent and patient during this training process. Some dogs take longer than others to learn, but with positive reinforcement, your dog will begin to understand.

Since your dog is not used to this training, you may have some difficulties at first, but if you continue your training with determination, your dog will learn to walk next to you in a few days or weeks.

How Can I Train My Dog To Walk Without A Leash?

Off-leash gait training is a form of advanced obedience training, which is one step ahead of traditional obedience training. 

Get Our #1 Easy, Homemade Dog Food Recipe (Vet-Approved), 100% Free!!! Click to get it NOW!

Dogs that will receive this training will have received all their basic obedience training and are mentally ready for advanced obedience training. 

Dogs that will receive off-leash walking training must have received leash walking training. In off-leash walking training, the dog is kept waiting by using the “Sit” command, and walking is started with the “Walk” command. 

How To Train Your Dog To Walk Off-Leash

  1. Since your dog is free, it is vulnerable to all kinds of stimuli. therefore the key is to keep your dogs’ attention and focus. You can do this with treats and toys.
  2. When the walk starts, entice your dog back to your side with treats, whistles, and other stimuli. Reassure with positive reinforcements such as “Good boy” or “Good Girl” at short intervals. 
  3. If your dog lags behind or goes fast during the walk, you should indicate that he made a mistake with the “No” command. 
  4. When it comes back to the right position, you should reward your dog with positive reinforcement and treats. 

Keep off lead walking time very short at first. Only expect your dog to walk next to you without a leash for 5 minutes at first then increase the time from there.

In this way, your dog will walk by you without a leash after a few weeks of training. However, no matter how well your dog walks off-leash, it is important to always leash them when walking next to busy roads, in case of accidents.

What Are The Advantages Of Walking My Dog Next to Me?

Walking your dog next to you provides a comfortable walk for both you and your dog. When your dog goes outside, having them walk comfortably next to you is safer for everyone, as they will not be tugging, pulling, or trying to lunge at wild animals, other dogs, or people.

Also, walking your dogs can be an ordeal for people living in busy cities. Sometimes it can be very difficult to find a space for yourself and your dog on a crowded sidewalk, and having a dog running left and right makes this worse.

But if your dog knows how to walk in harmony with you, together you take up much less space and can with without any problems.