Knowing how to cross a road correctly with your dog is vital for everyone’s safety. He should cross with you, not be dragged across by you, or you by him. There is obvious danger in an owner struggling across a road with a dog that is out of control. In order to be able to cross a road safely, your dog must obey the ‘heel’ and ‘sit’ commands. Only when your dog is sitting calmly and quietly by your side can you concentrate fully on the traffic to make sure the road is absolutely clear before you cross.
If your dog is not used to traffic, accustom him to the sights and sounds by taking him to a spot where you can safely sit and watch traffic go by. Distract him by offering small pieces of food or a desirable toy. Do not fuss over him too much or cling on to him as you will make him feel there is something to be afraid of. Speak to him in a normal tone.
Once your dog appears to be unbothered by traffic, walk him quietly along the pavement, again distracting him as vehicles approach. Reward him once they have passed.
Soon he will look to you for a reward and take no notice of the moving traffic.
When crossing the road, stop at a point where you have a good view in both directions. Avoid crossing at corners and junctions, unless there is a pedestrian crossing. Command your dog to sit at the heel position while you check out whether the road is safe to cross. Continue to remind the dog to stay, keeping his attention on you with a treat, toy or verbal encouragement until you cross.
Cross only when the road is dear in both directions. Keep checking for approaching vehicles and keep your dog’s attention on you by having a treat in the hand closest to him.