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What Side Should You Walk Your Dog On?

The other night my husband accompanied Leroy and I on our walk.

It’s been at least 2 years since he’s come on a walk with us and I was happy to have him join us.

Honestly, I was happy that he joined us and I happily bit my tongue when he clipped the leash on Leroy’s collar and walked out the door with Leroy on the right side of him instead of the left side.

I gave him adequate time to make the adjustment and when he didn’t, I still kept my lips zipped.

Eventually Leroy made the adjustment himself and I breathed a sigh of relief for a few minutes until he zig zagged and made his way back to the right side.

I almost started twitching watching the chaos unfold right before my eyes, but still, I didn’t say anything.

I posted it in my Instagram stories, but I never said a word out loud.

So what’s the big deal? Is a dog suppose to walk on a certain side?

Well…….I couldn’t find any evidence that says that it’s better for a dog to walk on one side over another. The most important thing is that a dog is walking with its person and not dragging them behind and a well-trained dog should also be able to heal on both sides.

So why do I walk my dogs on the left?

First of all it creates control. Walking a 150 pound dog takes control, even if they are well-behaved.  If he’s zigging and zagging while he’s walking, that’s an accident waiting to happen. You’re going to trip, he’s going to trip. Someone is eventually going to go down. Not to mention that most Newfies shuffle when they walk so half the time their paws don’t leave the ground and if your feet aren’t in sync with the shuffle, you’re gonna get caught. Been there.

Second, show dogs walk on the left.  When you’re showing in confirmation a dog is shown on the left side of the handler, therefore we taught the dogs to walk on our left to prevent confusion when they got in the ring. I believe that the same goes for draft work. The dog should be on the left of the handler.


Even though we don’t compete in dog sports anymore I still stick with the left because dogs are creatures of habit.

When we start walking we walk south and Leroy gets all the smells on the left. When we turn around and head back north, Leroy gets the smells on the other side. When you start walking south but Leroy’s smelling on the right, he’s all messed up. Those smells are for the way home so he doesn’t know if he’s coming or going, right?


Now he’s confused and we try our best to not confuse Leroy because it hurts his massive head and sets off my OCD.

He walks on the left. Always.

Is it just me? Am I the only one who has to walk my dogs on a certain side?

p.s. Don’t tell my husband I wrote this. He won’t be walking with us for another 2 years.





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