I LOVE writing about dog walking. A good walk for both dog and human enriches life, lessens stress, and can be a major contributor to a good relationship. Pulling over to the side is an essential tool that many people don't think about.
Reason 1: Give People More Space
I always pull over for people who might benefit from having more space: children, people with strollers, people with mobility impairment, people on skateboards/scooters. For me, this is both efficient and good etiquette. We dog lovers sometimes forget that not everyone wants to interact with dogs.
Reason 2: Give Dogs More Space
There are plenty of dogs who don't like to interact with other dogs. If you see a dog who is barking, lunging, or growling, pull over to the side to give them more space. If you see a dog who looks fearful or notice a person trying to reassure their dog, giving more space is a kindness.
Reason 3: Explore Something Interesting
Dogs love to explore and sniff. Spending 5 more minutes sniffing is way more satisfying than 5 more minutes of walking. Let your dog decide what's interesting.
Reason 4: Work on Training
Build an easy habit of working on training skills while on walks. Pull over in a quiet area and work on skills (don't forget to bring those treats!). Great skills to work on for walks are Focus, Name Recognition, Hand Target, and Sit. Gradually start working on skills in more distracting areas.
What does your dog like to explore on walks? What do you pull over for?