As dog parents we need to manage our dog’s behavior when out and about in the world just as parents of children must. We want our canine companions to be little treasures when they get out to socialize. Etiquette is the rules for proper social behavior. Our pets must learn how to interact appropriately when out in public. There is a term for that “petiquette”.
Appropriate socialization will help your dog be respectful of people, other dogs, and objects. Getting your puppy out and about around new stimulation and lots of different environments makes them comfortable with what you expect and how to behave in all kinds of social settings. If you neglect this in puppyhood, it will be harder to train appropriate behavior as they age.
Let’s explore some social situations and what are responsibility is for our pets and as owners.
Courteous Canine Rules For Public Behavior
Greeting Guests & Strangers
Only allow your dog to greet guests if the guests feel comfortable around your dog. It is in appropriate for your dog to jump all over a guest who comes to your door. As an owner your may need to crate your dog or put her in a “sit and stay” posture until your guest has entered. Another option is allowing your dog to go to the door with them on the leash so that you can easily control their behavior.
Not everyone feels comfortable around dogs. Make sure that strangers are comfortable before allowing your dog to greet them.
Unwelcome Gifts – Property
If your dog does business in someone else’s yard it is important for you to clean it up. Scoop your poop! Be respectful of other peoples property.
This should also include walking your dog through other peoples yards. Don’t do it. Respect other people’s property. Not everyone loves dogs. Stay on sidewalks and common ground areas.
Your neighbors will also appreciate your cleaning efforts in parks and during walks.
Keep Your Dog Leashed
It can very uncomfortable when an unleashed dog heads straight for you. I have been out to my mailbox and had large dogs that I do not know rushing at me. Frightening. You must be mindful of your neighbors. If your dog will not stay on property if it is in your front yard it is best to leash your dog.
If you are out and about shopping in town, keep your dog leashed. This will help avoid any unwelcome confrontations with people and friends.
You should always leash your dog on walks. If you meet up with other friendly dogs be mindful that playing while leashed can cause injury if they become entangled.
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Be Attentive at Dog Parks
Dog parks are a great place for your dog to socialize and to be off leash for some play. But you do need to watch out for dogs disputes. Do not allow your dog to bully other dogs. You still have to clean up after your dog at the dog park.
Traveling With Your Dog
Do not take your dog uninvited to someone else’s house. It is best to wait for an invitation. If you MUST take your dog do not keep it a surprise. Let them know you are traveling with your dog and ask what would make the hosts comfortable. Do you need to bring a crate? Will your dog need to remain outside. If they require you to keep your pet outdoors is there a safe way to keep them contained?
If you will be stopping at hotels inquire about any rules they have for pet stays. Some breeds will not be accepted at hotels and some hotels have size and weight requirements.
Your dog can be overwhelmed when staying in an unfamiliar place with lost of new noises and smells. If your dog is a barker, be aware that this behavior can be very disruptive for other guests. A new chew or interactive toy may help your dog to quiet down and stop barking.
A good pet owner keeps their dog safe and healthy and teaches them how to behave in public. People aren’t perfect so your dog will not always be perfect either. If your dog does something to upset someone else, an apology is in order. Kindness and consideration will make you and your pet welcome wherever you go!