How to Walk a Dog in Thailand

Yoda the lovable French Bulldog in Thailand. With his beloved ratty tennis ball.


As Kelli and I are enjoying village life in Thailand I want to share a few day to day tips to help you as an expat or long term traveler.


We are watching an adorable French Bulldog named Yoda, in addition to a cuddly cat named Lentil.


I walked Yoda a few minutes ago with wifey.


Light bulb.


Blog post idea.


Or travel page idea.


Why Write the Post?


Seems like Captain Obvious, right? Or not necessary to publish such a post.


Grab leash, latch onto collar, walk, right?




How to Start a Successful Blog


Walking a dog in Thailand poses you with some challenges.


This ain’t like walking a dog in the States my friends.


Dog Walking Challenges


Be aware of:


  • soi dogs (virtually everywhere in Thailand)
  • motorbikes
  • heat/humidity factors


Ready for your dog walking lesson?


Let’s dive in.


Note; some folks prefer to allow their dogs to wander like street dogs. No worries. Others simply keep their dogs in their backyard.


1: Use a Harness with Sturdy Leash


If your dog is an alpha male like Yoda, he will want fight and kill soi dogs that challenge him.


We gear him up – or the homeowners geared him up – with a secure, strong harness to prevent leash breakage and dog fights.


5 minutes ago he pulled aggressively toward a small pack of soi dogs ready and raring to greet him aka fight him. Happy to have a strong lead in my arsenal.


Always walk your dog on a lead. Calm turns into chaos the split second 2 non resonant, off leash dogs clash. The soi dog ain’t wearing a leash so it’s on you to leash your dog.


2: Carry a Stick or Appropriate Threatening Tool


I would never, ever, ever hit a soi dog.


Truth is; you don’t have to.


Simply raising your hand or mimicking throwing something sends virtually 100% of soi dogs scattering.


This morning I carried a large palm frond for my threatening tool. This is not a weapon for use but a prop for sending dogs on their way.


Some soi dogs are chill characters. Other street dogs are aggressive, highly territorial guys.


If a territorial alpha male rushes you and your doggy during walks simply rear back and wave your stick/palm frond/whatever around aggressively and the dog bolts. Literally, this has worked 100% of the time for me over months of walking Yoda.


No need to hit these guys; they get the message.


3: Aim for an Early Morning Window


Cooler temps make for a cooler dog.


Morning temps are chilly here in Chiang Mai. But even in Phuket, while the humidity never really pulls back you’ve a window for a cool walk for you and your pet.


Street dogs seem less active during early morning hours too. Make sure daylight appears though; soi dogs are denizens of the dark, being more territorial and confrontational during night hours.


4: Few Street Dogs Are Aggressive


Most street dogs are fairly chill. Although these guys may see you off with a bark or 10 the majority are either friendly or just following the pack mentality. A few may even befriend your doggy.


Attacks and genuine dog fights are rare. Dogs know their role, or pecking order. But carrying something to scatter street dogs is a must unless you and your dog have Zen-Like calm, poise and balance.


I don’t want to scare you from walking your dog in Thailand. Just be aware of protocol to make for a safe, enjoyable walk.


5: Motorbikes


Motorbikes are ample here in Thailand.


Drivers are adept at avoiding soi dogs and your dog but keep your head on a swivel to protect your dog from swerving bikes. Most villages do not have sidewalks. Just a street and front lawns. You have a few feet of free space to work with on the shoulder. Keep your dog leashed at all times and be aware of traffic.