Updated: May 30
Quite often when I'm out with the dogs I see other dog walkers on their phone or chatting to friends oblivious to their dog and what their dog is doing. I remember one little dog on an extending lead bouncing along and continually looking back at his owner who was totally ignoring him, concentrating deeply on her mobile phone. What a great little dog to constantly be trying to engage with his human even though she was ignoring him. There was almost a desperation in the little dog's desire to be acknowledged. This is something we should be noticing and encouraging - a little more work on this and she probably wouldn't have needed the extending lead!
I sometimes ask myself why people have a dog. Going for a walk with your dog can be such a fun activity - using the environment to play games and interact with each other. There's plenty of time to text friends or surf the net when you're at home. When you're out for a walk with your dog why not leave the phone at home and engage with your dog. You'd be amazed at how much better your relationship will become.
Imagine going out with friends and they totally ignore you and any comments you make - how would you feel? Would you want to go out with them again? I doubt it! So, ditch your phone when you walk your dog. Take a pocket full of treats and maybe a toy if your dog likes to play and spend the time engaging with your dog. If you've always ignored them on a walk you will probably have to work hard to get them to engage with you instead of the environment but making yourself fun to be with should eventually win them over.