Just like with people, there are etiquette rules for dogs and their owners so that you have a dog that you not only enjoy, but your guests can enjoy as well. It’s called “petiquette”. Dog etiquette starts with dog owners. Here’s some tips so you and your dog don’t commit a social faux pas.
- Train your dog to be obedient or he never will be. Although this sounds simple, it’s important that you dog know basic commands such as “Sit”, “Come”, Stay” or you are looking at a lifetime of headaches! It’s important that your dog learns to be comfortable with other dogs and people.
- Do not let your dog get away with excessive barking. Dogs bark for a reason and it’s important to know why your dog is barking. If your dog is a nuisance barker, keep him inside if you are away from your home or his barking may alienate the neighbors. You’ll need to control your dog with your voice and body language so that he learns to bark only when appropriate.
- Keep your dog on a leash or under your voice control. Unless you are at an off leash dog park, you should keep your dog on a leash at all times when outside. This way when he approaches another dog or another person, he will not get into a fight or jump all over. Allowing your dog to roam free could result in your dog getting hurt or developing a bad reputation in your neighborhood.
- Clean up after your dog. When you take your dog for a walk, always carry poop bags and clean up after your dog. No one else should have to clean up after your dog. Also, if your dog is a drooler, carry a small towel to clean up his slobber. If he has an upset stomach and diarrhea, carry a water bottle so you can rinse away the mess.
- Wait for a dog invitation. Although most of us dog owners cannot believe that EVERYONE doesn’t love dogs, just like with children, there is a time and a place for pets. Don’t assume because you are visiting a friend for a day, that he/she wants your dog there too. Never assume your dog is invited – ask in advance. Some people dislike dogs, others are frightened of them, while still others may simply prefer well-mannered dogs! Keep a little pet stain remover in your purse in case of an accident.
- Teach your dog boundaries. It is inappropriate for your dog to beg for food at the dinner table, jump on countertops where food is being prepared or jump all over your new couch. Dogs need boundaries and rules and need to be very clear on who is in charge.
- Teach your children to be wary of other dogs. If your dog tolerates his tail being pulled by your toddler, don’t expect the neighbor’s dog to be this tolerant. Children are susceptible to dog bites, so it’s important they not approach dogs they don’t know.
If you don’t have control of your dog indoors, it’s going to get worse in public! If you need help overcoming destructive or annoying dog behaviors, Greg Knows Dogs can help. We’ll teach you how to communicate with your dog and have a well behaved dog that even Miss Manners would love.