[nagdu] Dogs walking on the left side

Tamara Smith-Kinney tamara.8024 at comcast.net
Wed Apr 13 04:10:09 UTC 2011


Welcome!  Haven't seen you before.  It's an interesting question, though.

As I understand it, the dogs work on our left, not our right, to leave the
right hand free.  Most people are right-handed, so they can use their
dominant hand while the left hand is occupied with the harness and leash.

Being a left-handed owner-trainer, I trained my dog to work on my right.  I
know of a few others who have dogs specifically trained to work on the right
because of shoulder injuries that don't allow them to use the left hand for
the dog and things like that.

I've also heard that the original reason guide dogs were trained to work on
the left was to leave the right hand free to shake hands in greeting.  I've
never been able to verify that, but I haven't really tried.  It may have
something to do with it and certainly makes sense.  You have no idea how
awkward it is to find yourself trying to shake hands when your right hand is
all encumbered with handle and leash, and you have to get the leash
transferred to your left hand while you get the harness handle out of your
right hand at the same time so you can reach for the shake...  All in a
jiffy and while trying to appear to be cool and under control and
businesslike and such to the person you're attempting to shake hands with.
/lol/  I have yet to manage it without feeling absolutely ridiculous.  I'm
also a nervous giggler, so I always help myself out there.  Lucky for me,
the sorts of people I tend to have a need to shake hands with are
intelligent, courteous and of good wit and humor, so it seems to work out
somehow.  Whew!

Has anyone else heard the handshake thing?  For some reason, I would like to
think it's true, because I think it's kinda cool.

Tami Smith-Kinney

-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf
Of jamie crowell
Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 7:48 AM
To: nagdu at nfbnet.org
Subject: [nagdu] Dogs walking on the left side

Why are our dogs trained to walk on the left side and not the right? 

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