So, I have a dog, right? His name is Eli. He's a Malamute mix. He's a good boy most of the time. Up until now, I haven't walked him regularly because 1) he is a sled dog and pulls like a m-fer, and 2) we have a sizeable backyard that borders two other backyards with full-time outdoor dogs in them, and they run up and down the fences whenever he's outside anyway. Recently, in an attempt to spend more time engaged with him and also to try to be less of a fatty myself, I've been walking him. This presents some other challenges. I'd love to get the input of other dog owners and neighbors of dog owners.
What do you do with the poop? I've just been carrying a grocery bag and a piece of cardboard or something with me. Is that good enough? I mean, there is probably poop residue left after I pick it up. And do you let them pee whenever they feel like it? It just seems gross, even if I'm picking up the poop, but I don't really know how to stop him.
What do you do when kids want to pet your dog? Eli's a good boy, but pretty big (85 lbs) and we rescued him as an adult. He has been known to get nervous around new people once in awhile. So I am very, very careful about having him around others, especially children. Even my own, to a somewhat lesser extent. Yesterday I encountered a woman who was walking with her 3 kids, and the middle one who looked about 4 went "Look at that wolfy, mommy!" and walked right up and started petting my dog. Mom said "Don't bother the doggy," but only after he had started putting his hands in Eli's face and there could already have been an issue, and then she didn't pull him away or anything. I had to ask him to back up and told him my wolfy was a little shy. Eli was fine, he just sniffed, but I'm very aware that if he ever snapped at anyone it be bad for him (and obviously I don't want anyone to get hurt if I can prevent it). How do you handle that?
And finally, what do I do about the aforementioned pulling? Eli has been very trainable in most ways, but one thing we have never been able to cure him of is pulling at the leash. He's just so eager to get going, plus he has that sled dog heritage which I've read makes for a rough go at leash training. Heaven help you if you try to walk this dog after an ice storm, which Noah once did to comic effect. Any tricks or tips from seasoned dog owners?