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  #1  
Old 23rd June 2011, 12:43 PM
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Walking on left side - why?

I have been walking Lacy on my left because that is how the trainer taught me in her puppy class when she was younger. The other day while walking our dogs with my neighbors my friend's husband said no you need to train her to walk on right side. She should be able to walk on left or right and that is how he trained his lab. I really don't know if it makes a difference my husband kinda hinted the same thing but since I'm the one who walks her I've always put her to my left. Does any one know why that is done in training and the reason for it. Also, do you think it would be better for Lacy to learn both ways. I have no idea.
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  #2  
Old 23rd June 2011, 02:01 PM
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I don't know why this is personally, I can't wait to hear some of the replys, but Nala walks on my right and Reo on my left when it is just me walking them. Nala learned to walk on my left as she grew up but she could also walk on my right when needed. And when we got Reo it was easier to have one on each side so she got the right side. For some reason I can control them better this way
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  #3  
Old 23rd June 2011, 02:02 PM
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In obedience competition and show rings dog will normally always walk on the left side. Outside of obedience and show rings, the only reason I've heard for walking on the left side has to do with traffic when walking on a street with no sidewalk.

When walking on a street your suppose to walk against traffic (cars coming at you), by your dog walking on your left side, the dog is against the curb and you are a barrier between your dog and the cars.

If your not doing obediece or showing your dog, I don't think it specifically matters which side. I know some people train their dogs to walk on both sides of them, and this is also helpful for people with two dogs because they can have a dog walk on each side of them.

I've always been taught the left side as welll because of obedience, and I also live in an area that doesn't always have sidewalks so it is nice to have the dog against the curb in these situations.

Maybe some other people on here have some better reasoning
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  #4  
Old 23rd June 2011, 06:42 PM
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I walk my dogs on my left side to keep them on the curb side. We have no sidewalks where I live.
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  #5  
Old 23rd June 2011, 07:09 PM
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Do whatever is comfortable. Left side is used for competition obedience, so that is more "traditional." But it really doesn't matter where you walk your dog. I walk Juno on my left side, because that is most comfortable for me... but occasionally I want her on my right, and she doesn't have any difficulty making that transition even though she's not accustomed to it.

I like dabbling in agility though, and so in that case it's important that the dog is used to working on both sides of the handler. But, again... for a stroll around the block, you can do whatever you want!
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  #6  
Old 23rd June 2011, 07:16 PM
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Dog obedience training has its roots in the training of military dogs. It's my understanding that in the military, your right side is your weapon side, so the leash was held in the left hand with the dog on the left.

Besides the traffic scenario described by an earlier poster, there is no real reason for you to walk your dog on one side over the other. As long as you are consistent with your training and your cues, you can walk your dog on whichever side works best for you. If more than one person walks the dog and uses a different side, then you should consider using a different verbal cue for each side so as not to confuse the dog. One of my dogs knows "heel" as a left side orientation and "side" as the right side orientation.
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  #7  
Old 30th June 2011, 08:53 AM
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I think its a matter of personal preference. I know you aren't supposed to let them walk ahead of you but that's how mine walk. They seem to be creatures of habit though. When we walk both of our Boxers, they walk side by side. The male is always on the left and the female on the right. If they get switched up, they immediately try to get back to their designated sides.

 
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Old 2nd July 2011, 01:32 PM
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In some of the online train manuals it teaches to start off on your left foot if you want your dog to follow (for example taking a walk.) If you do not want your dog to follow you start out on your right foot (for example when using the command stay.) All of the literature that i have read stress this in training.
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  #9  
Old 3rd July 2011, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjwelborn View Post
In some of the online train manuals it teaches to start off on your left foot if you want your dog to follow (for example taking a walk.) If you do not want your dog to follow you start out on your right foot (for example when using the command stay.) All of the literature that i have read stress this in training.
This is a carry over from the obedience ring. The motto is "left means go, right means no". In the obedience ring you can't double cue your dog so by consistently using different feet for the two cues of "heel" and "stay" you could sneak an extra cue in there with body language and increase the odds of your dog getting it right in the ring.

There is nothing about using one foot or the other that would make a dog naturally heel or not. It is still about training the behaviors. Frankly, average pet owners are never going to remember to always use one foot or the other so it doesn't make sense to try and train it as an additional cue. Plus, what happens when someone else walks your dog for you, or a child, or someone with a limp? For most people, a verbal cue and a motivating pat on your leg will work just fine.
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  #10  
Old 4th July 2011, 03:21 AM
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My trainer said I could do left or right, whatever I was more comfortable with, but that it would be better for class to do it on the left, since "heel" is generally taught on the left.
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  #11  
Old 4th July 2011, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephdub View Post
I think its a matter of personal preference. I know you aren't supposed to let them walk ahead of you but that's how mine walk. They seem to be creatures of habit though. When we walk both of our Boxers, they walk side by side. The male is always on the left and the female on the right. If they get switched up, they immediately try to get back to their designated sides.
My two do this also. Harley is always on the right side and Titan on the left. I think it started this way because Harley doesn't like to walk on the grass but Titan did. And now they jsut prefer it that way. But it's cute to watch them get back on their normal sides.

Harley used to walk next to me, but when we got Titan she always tried to stay next to him, and of course since he was young he wanted to run and play and eat everything! So now they walk in front of me, which I really need to change because now I am always tripping over them!

But I will not let them walk one on each side of me, I prefer them both on the same side. I hate having a leash in each hand. I don't know why.

 
  #12  
Old 4th July 2011, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoDogs View Post
Dog obedience training has its roots in the training of military dogs. It's my understanding that in the military, your right side is your weapon side, so the leash was held in the left hand with the dog on the left.

Besides the traffic scenario described by an earlier poster, there is no real reason for you to walk your dog on one side over the other. As long as you are consistent with your training and your cues, you can walk your dog on whichever side works best for you. If more than one person walks the dog and uses a different side, then you should consider using a different verbal cue for each side so as not to confuse the dog. One of my dogs knows "heel" as a left side orientation and "side" as the right side orientation.

It is preference but it does have military roots. I've been told its so that you can fight with your right hand, or catch your balance easier as well. I suppose left handed people might only see the advantages if they walk their dogs on the right :-)