This Guest article was submitted by Aurora James
One of the activities dog owners often look forward to is going out for adventures with their furry friends. Following basic doggy etiquette will make outings more enjoyable for you both, as well as those around you. Whether you’re heading to the dog park or to the vet, keep these guidelines in mind to ensure a good time for all.
Use a leash. Even if your dog is an obedience champ, it’s important to keep your dog leashed when in public places. Not only could your pooch misbehave that one time, but it eases the minds of others. Is your dog uncomfortable with a leash? You can train him to be more comfortable. Redfin suggests to start by walking your dog on the leash in your home, keeping your dog next to you with slack in the leash and correcting if he attempts to pull you or veer away. As training progresses, gradually work your way outside and then into crowds.
No meet and greets. You shouldn’t allow your pooch to approach strangers unless invited. While you may love your dog and know he’s harmless, some people are uncomfortable around dogs, have allergies, or are downright terrified of them. If your dog is enamored with someone, ask if that person would enjoy meeting your dog, and be gracious if you are declined.
Minimize noise. Is your dog a barker? As the Animal Humane Society points out, if you know your dog barks at other people, dogs, or traffic, be aware and be prepared to redirect your furry friend’s attention. If you have a fenced-in yard, be alert and only allow your pup out when you’re home and can monitor his behavior so that barking isn’t allowed to become a nuisance.
Scoop poop. When you and your pooch are on outings, bring plenty of bags with you to clean up poop. If you happen to run out of bags, return as soon as you can to pick up your pet’s waste.
No begging. Don’t allow your dog to beg for food, even in the comfort of home. When you travel, whether to a restaurant with outdoor seating, picnic area, or friend’s home, if your dog knows human food is off-limits, he’ll remain respectful.
Stay alert. Does your dog get spooked by bicyclists, people in uniforms, or kids riding skateboards? Or maybe he has a thing about chasing squirrels or the neighbor’s cat? When you’re out for a stroll together, some experts suggest avoiding situations that trigger difficult or obnoxious behavior in your dog. If you see your pooch’s “arch enemy” coming your way, take appropriate steps to avoid a confrontation. Remain calm and simply change your route, since your dog will sense any anxiety or hurried behavior on your part.
Show respect. Is your dog outgoing and ready to say “Hi” to every other pooch that comes along? While you know your dog has the best of intentions, recognize that other dogs may not be so friendly, and their owners could misinterpret your dog’s gestures. And as Reader’s Digest notes, other people’s dogs may not be as friendly or predictable as yours.
Getaways. If you’re traveling with your dog to the homes of friends or family members, or to hotels, make sure you make grooming a top priority. Muddy paws and dog hair aren’t generally welcome, so some professionals recommend a thorough grooming before you go on your trip. Also pack appropriate items for keeping up with cleanliness, such as towels, brushes, and baby wipes.
Etiquette equals enjoyment. Following basic rules of etiquette helps keep you, your pooch, and those around you feel more comfortable. Teach your dog the basics, be alert to quirks and triggers, and be respectful of others. A little structure and manners will go a long way toward keeping everyone happy.