• Respect The Lead - The Friendly Pet Nurse - Zoe Blake
    I'm on a lead because...
    I'm not confident around other dogs
  • Respect The Lead Campaign - Puppy On A Lead Enjoying A Walk
    I'm on a lead because...
    I'm learning about the world
  • Respect The Lead Campaign - Beagle On A Lead
    I'm on a lead because...
    I don't play well with others
  • Respect The Lead Campaign Border Collie On A Lead
    I'm on a lead because...
    I'm recovering from surgery
  • White Dog On A Lead - How To Control Your Dog On A Lead
    I'm on a lead because...
    Age has caught up with me

Respect The Lead Campaign

The aim of the Respect The Lead campaign to spread the word about how to let your dog interact with others in a happy and safe way, and help raise awareness that dogs are often kept on a lead for good reason.

When a dog is being kept on a lead, being approached by a confident or excited dog can make it feel trapped and cause it to lash out. This can be dangerous for both dogs and owners, and can result in serious injury.

Whilst it’s common to see a dog being walked on a lead for obvious reasons, such as a road being nearby, there are many reasons which are sometimes not so obvious. This can include a dog which is –

  • Reactive to other dogs, animals, or people
  • Undergoing training
  • A New rescue dog, gaining confidence
  • Recovering from injury or surgery
  • A Young puppy, learning about the world
  • Elderly or frail

When a dog is being kept on a lead, being approached by a confident or active dog can make them feel trapped and cause them to lash out. This can be dangerous for both dogs and owners alike and can result in serious injury.

For some dogs, meeting lead to lead can also put dogs and owners in a vulnerable situation.

Your dog may be happy to interact with others but remember that this is not the case for everyone. If you see another dog on a lead, then respect that they may need some space.

Best Practices - How to Respect The Lead

There are a few key points which all dog walkers should keep in mind when they are out and about –


  • Don't let your dog run over to a dog which is being kept on a lead, they may be on a lead for a reason.
  • Don't let your dog off the lead if you cannot easily recall them.
  • Don't ignore warnings from other owners about their dog.


  • Do check with other owners before letting your dog interact.
  • Do remember that a seemingly friendly dog may lash out if approached whilst on a lead.
  • Do follow the three second rule, see below for more details.

The Three Second Rule

If you are walking a dog on a lead and meet another dog on a lead, ask the owner if it is ok for them to acknowledge each other. Once you have been given the ok follow ‘the three second rule’, they can sniff and introduce themselves but after three seconds pull away. It is best to keep the meeting brief.

Taking your dog for a walk should be an enjoyable experience for both owner and dog alike, and by remembering to Respect The Lead we can ensure a safe and happy environment for everyone.


We have put together a selection of media, including multiple posters and a campaign video, all of which are ideal for sharing with your friends to help get the word out about the campaign.


These posters are ideal for either printing or sharing online. Each has an example of why a dog may be kept on a lead, as well as some key tips on how to Respect The Lead. Select an image below to open the full size poster.

Campaign Video

This YouTube video has a complete overview of the campaign and is perfect for sharing via your website, blog, or on social media.

Other Resources

You are also free to use the following to help promote the campaign.

In The Press

The Respect The Lead Campaign has been featured on The Kaye Adams Programme on BBC Radio Scotland (see video below) and been written about on the Vet Times and VN Online websites.

Campaign founder Zoe Blake has also been interviewed for the Finchley Dog Walker website, and a piece about the campaign was featured in the print edition of the West Sussex County Times.


Campaign Founder - Zoe Blake, The Friendly Pet Nurse

Zoe Blake The Friendly Pet Nurse - Respect The Lead Campaign Founder - Horsham West Sussex

Zoe Blake has over 25 years of experience working with animals, both in veterinary surgeries and dealing directly with clients.

Zoe is a professional mobile pet nurse offering pet care services in and around the Horsham area of West Sussex, and is an associate member of The Canine & Feline Behaviour Association (CFBA).

You can find out more about Zoe and her services on her website at thefriendlypetnurse.co.uk, or follow her and the campaign on her Facebook page.