How to be a conscientious dog owner

 

Owning a pooch is a full-time job that includes making sure you can control how your furry friend interacts with other dogs and people. As hard as it may be for a pet lover to believe, It’s important to remember that not everyone likes animals, so you have to be prepared to correct any behavioral issues before they become problematic. Keep the peace with your neighbors by making sure you’re a conscientious dog owner.

 

Teach Your Dog Public Etiquette Skills

Canine etiquette benefits you, your dog and any other people and pets you may encounter. A properly socialized, well-behaved pooch is less intimidating to people and pets in public places and is more apt to be welcome at home gatherings.

 

  • Be positive: Whether it’s words (Good dog!) or actions such as a good pet, positive reinforcement can go a long way.
  • Wait to approach: Don’t approach other dogs or people without asking for permission first. You never know how your dog will react to another dog (or vice versa) or person. Keep a tight leash when interacting with others, but resist the urge to yank the leash as the action can put your dog on alert and make him/her think something’s wrong. If this happens regularly, it could make your pooch aggressive towards others.
  • Encourage sitting when necessary: If your pal becomes anxious when seeing another animal (wild or domestic) or a specific person, encourage your dog to sit while you pet him/her — this helps to calm an agitated pet.
  • Give your dog a personal place: Whether it’s a cozy corner on a bed, or a favorite spot on the couch, designate an area for your dog. This way, you can command that your pooch go to this spot and remain there if need be — perhaps you have a guest over, you’re bringing groceries in, etc. While this takes practice, positive reinforcement in the form of praise and treats can help your dog follow instructions.
  • Try to keep barking to a minimum: Excessive barking isn’t going to win the friendship of your neighbors, so try to determine the root of the cause. Maybe your pooch has pent-up energy and needs more walks or playtime, or perhaps you need to consider agility training or obedience games. Whatever you do, stay calm and don’t yell, as your aggressive behavior is only apt to make the problem worse.

 

Keep A Close Eye On Your Dog At All Times

Most states have a leash law that requires you keep your dog leashed at all times. Even if you live in a legal state or you’re at an off-leash dog park, make sure you supervise your pooch. It’s not uncommon for a dog to show aggression to another — even if it’s just considered play — when immersed in an environment with many other dogs. It could be that your dog is intimidated or has anxiety, so be sure to watch for telltale cues and exercise the public etiquette skills you taught your dog. Keep in mind that you’re fully responsible if your dog’s misbehavior leads to an injury.

 

Pick Up After Your Dog

Make sure you bring poop bags with you on all walks and don’t let your dog go to the bathroom on a neighbor’s lawn or personal property like a fence, mailbox, or lamppost. Keep your own yard clean, too, to avoid odors and for the sake of disease control.

 

Being a conscientious dog owner will create more harmony within your home and the neighborhood you live in. Just remember that before getting a dog — or considering another one — make sure you’re ready to take on the responsibility of taking care of it. A neglected dog is an unhappy dog that can potentially develop long-term behavioral issues that can be difficult to correct.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

 

This was a guest article written by Aurora James. Please check out her website dogetiquette.info

We thank her for taking the time to write this article as well as well as the information shared.