What Side Should Dog Walk On?

What Side Should Dog Walk On?

If you’re a dog owner, one of the most important decisions you make is where your pup should walk. Should he be on the left side or right side of you? It may seem like an insignificant choice, but it can actually have a big impact on your pet’s safety and wellbeing. In this article, we will discuss why it is best for dogs to walk on their owners’ left-hand side and how to train them to do so. We will also look at what happens when they don’t follow that rule and some tips for keeping them safe while out walking with you.

What Side Should A Dog Walk On – The Right Or Left Side?

It is recommended that dogs should walk on their owners’ left-hand side. This is because the right hand side puts them in jeopardy of being stepped on, bumped into, or run over by traffic. It also offers more protection to pedestrians and other people they may encounter while out walking with you. Additionally, keeping Fido close to your left side helps him to stay better attuned to you and your body language. [1]

Does The Side Really Matter When Walking Your Dog?

When walking your dog, it’s important to consider the side you walk them on. While this may sound like a simple decision, there are factors that should be taken into account when deciding which side is best for your pooch.

The main factor in determining which side to walk your pup on is safety. When walking with a leash, it’s important to keep your dog as far away from traffic as possible. If you and your pup are walking on the left side of the street, then your pup will be further away from passing cars. This protects them in case a driver veers too close or unexpectedly passes by.

Another factor to consider is convenience. Walking your pup on the same side of the street every time makes it easier to keep a consistent pace and helps with traffic flow. It’s also important to remember that some jurisdictions have laws that dictate which side animals should walk on.

Does The Side Really Matter When Walking Your Dog

Basic Dog Walking Etiquettes

When walking with your dog, it is important to follow basic safety rules and etiquette. Here are a few tips:

  • Determine which side of the sidewalk you should walk on. Generally, dogs should be walked on the left side of the sidewalk. This allows for proper spacing between both people and animals, making it easier for everyone to pass each other without incident.
  • Keep your dog on a leash at all times and keep the leash short enough to maintain control of your dog. This will help to prevent any unexpected encounters with animals or people.
  • It is important to be aware of your surroundings and respect other pedestrians’ right-of-way. If you see someone approaching, move to the side or stop and allow them to pass.
  • Don’t forget to clean up after your dog if they make a mess. This will help keep sidewalks and parks clean for everyone. [2]


Tradition has it that a dog should walk on the left side of their owner. This is because traditionally, individuals have worn swords and other weapons on their left hip for convenience of the right hand which was used mostly for fighting. Therefore, if your pup is walking to the right side, it would need to go around you or through any obstacles in its way. This style of walking has been passed down through generations, and is still the most common practice today.

Police Dogs

When it comes to police dogs, there are certain safety protocols that need to be followed. These highly trained dogs must always be on the left side of their human partner in order to ensure maximum visibility and protection. This is so that the officer can keep an eye out for any potential threats and take quick action if necessary. The dog will also be less likely to get in the way of their partner’s movements while they are on patrol. Additionally, walking a police dog on the left side will ensure that their handler has optimal control over their canine companion. This is important for ensuring that the officer can maintain order and keep the public safe during potentially dangerous situations. With all these considerations in mind, it is clear that police dogs should always be walked on the left side.

Guide Dogs

Guide dogs are specially trained animals that provide assistance to those who are vision impaired. Guide dogs can be a huge help for their owners, helping them navigate busy streets and public transit systems with ease. It is important that guide dogs are well-trained and know exactly which side of the street (and human) they should walk on. This helps to ensure that the human is safe and in control of their environment at all times.

Competition Dogs

Competitive dogs often need to be kept on a certain side of the handler while walking. This is especially important when competing in conformation or obedience events, where proper presentation and control are paramount. Generally, competition dogs should be walked on the left side of their handler. This allows them to keep eye contact with their handler better and keeps them better in line with the handler’s movements. Depending on the type of competition, other rules and regulations may come into play as to which side a dog should be kept on during a walk. Always consult with your veterinarian or trainer for advice about what is best for your specific breed or competition venue. [3]

Competition Dogs

Why Do We Call Walking On The Left Side Healing?

In many cultures, it is believed that walking on the left side of your dog has a healing effect. Walking on the left side of your pet often symbolizes connection and harmony between people and animals. It’s believed this harmonious energy helps both the human and canine to relax and build trust together. Additionally, dogs are natural pack animals, so walking on their left side also helps to keep them in check, since the handler is considered the pack leader. Following this type of structure can make it easier for your pet to stay focused and mind their manners while out on a walk.

Can You Walk Your Dog On Either Side?

The answer to this question is yes, you can walk your dog on either side. However, it is typically recommended that dogs are walked on the left-hand side of their human companion for safety reasons. This allows them to be close to the curb and away from traffic, and also gives the handler more control of their pup if they start to wander off. Additionally, it is also easier for the handler to adjust their dog’s leash and make corrections as needed if walking on the left side. [4]


Why does my dog walk on the right side?

Dogs tend to naturally walk on the right side as it is more comfortable and provides more security. This is because walking on the right side allows them to better see potential threats or obstacles ahead of them. Additionally, being closer to their owners also helps provide a sense of safety and protection for dogs.

Why does my dog walk on the right side

Why are dogs trained to heel on the left side?

The traditional method of teaching a dog to heel on the left side is rooted in history and tradition. Heeling is seen as a sign that the dog is under control, obedient, and attentive to their handler/owner’s direction. For this reason, it has been thought of as an important part of responsible pet ownership.

Should your dog walk beside you or in front?

The great debate of what side your dog should walk on is a common question among pet owners. While there is no definitive answer, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of both methods when deciding which works best for you and your pup. Walking beside you gives a sense of companionship between the two of you.

Do dogs prefer the person who walks them?

The answer to this question is not as straightforward as you might think. There’s no definitive answer that applies to all dogs, but there are some basic guidelines to consider in order to determine which side your pup should walk on. Generally, dog owners should try and keep their pet in the same spot throughout the duration of the walk.

How do you train a dog to not leave your side?

To train a dog to not leave your side, the most important thing is consistency. Start by teaching the command “heel” and rewarding your pup for staying in the desired position. Use treats or praise to reward good behavior. Start off with short distances and gradually increase as your pup gets better at following commands. Once you have mastered basic heeling, you can begin to work on more advanced skills such as walking on the left side or in a specific pattern.

Why does my dog always have to be right beside me?

This is a common question asked by many dog owners who find themselves walking down the street with their furry companion plastered to their side. So, why does your pup always want to be right next to you? Well, the answer lies in a dogs’ instinctual need for security and protection. As pack animals, they have an innate desire to be close to their pack leader, which is you.

How do I know if my dog has hip problems?

If you suspect that your dog has hip problems, it is important to contact a veterinarian. Signs of hip pain in dogs can include limping, difficulty climbing stairs or getting up from a lying position, an abnormal gait, difficulty running or jumping, and vocalizing when touched. Other signs may include decreased range of motion in the leg, or an unwillingness to move. X-rays may be needed to confirm a diagnosis of hip dysplasia.

How do I know if my dog has hip problems

What is the correct side for a dog to heel?

For decades, the accepted rule when dog walking was for the pup to walk on the left-hand side of their handler. While this is still commonly practiced today, it’s no longer considered a strict standard that must be followed. At one point in time, people would keep their swords on their left hip, which is why it was important for the dog to stay on the left side. However, in recent years, more people have taken to allowing their pooch to walk alongside them on whichever side is most comfortable—either left or right. This can be beneficial when walking a pup with multiple handlers since it provides an opportunity for everyone involved to easily interact with their pet.

Do dogs have a preferred side?

The answer to this question is yes and no. Dogs can be trained to walk next to their owners on either the left or right side, but a dog’s preference may depend more on individual personality than any specific rule. For example, some dogs naturally prefer to stay close to their owner’s side and will automatically choose whichever side is closer.

Is it OK to let your dog walk in front of you?

The answer to this question depends on the type of dog you have, its size and how well-trained it is. Generally speaking, it is better for small dogs or puppies to walk in front of their owners since they are easier to control and manage in crowded areas or around other animals. However, large dogs should always be kept behind their owners, so they do not pull on the leash or bark at other animals.

Useful Video: Why You Should Walk on One Side – Leash Training a Dog


In conclusion, determining which side a dog should walk on depends on the individual preferences of both the owner and the dog. If an owner is a lefty, then the dog should walk on the left-hand side. If an owner is a righty, then the dog should walk on the right-hand side. No matter which side the dog is walking on, it is important to keep safety in mind. Make sure that the dog is properly trained and is well aware of his surroundings. Additionally, always keep the leash short to ensure that you are in control of the situation. With some patience, practice and consistency, you can teach your dog to walk on the correct side with ease.


  1. https://labradoodlehome.com/what-side-should-a-dog-walk-on/
  2. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/heeling-teach-dog-walk/
  3. https://pets.thenest.com/matter-side-dog-walking-12234.html
  4. https://dogcare.dailypuppy.com/location-dogs-body-vaccinations-given-7981.html