Dog Owner Etiquette 101: Are You as Well-Trained as Your Pup?

Not all families are dog families… and some dogs are not as friendly or well-trained as our own! We, as dog owners, can do our part to maintain good furry friend etiquette around town. Here are a few pointers to live by.

When you’re walking the dog…

  • Dogs should do their business only on the parkway. When taking your furry friends on walks, direct them to relieve themselves only in public areas on parkways and clean up thoroughly after them. If you let your dog venture into front yards or landscaping, others will follow for the good scents. Be a good neighbor and keep them away.
  • If you see someone with multiple dogs approaching you on the sidewalk, consider crossing the street. Avoid a leash tie up!
  • If you find yourself near another social dog, talk with the owner to find out if it’s okay for your dogs to meet and mingle — there might be special circumstances or approaches you and your dog should take when meeting a new pup.
  • Never let dogs play on a leash since it could hurt the dogs (and you!), instead permit them to sniff one another and then move on.
  • If a child approaches you and wants to pet your dog, always look for a parent or guardian to verify that it’s okay with them.
  • Approach other dogs slowly and calmly — inquire with the owner whether you can touch their dog, then offer a hand for the pup to sniff before going in for a pet. You never know how a dog will react to a sudden advance, even if it’s intended to be a friendly one!

When you’re at a dog park together…

  • Make your dog sit and survey the whole situation before taking him or her off leash. There are so many dog parks in the Chicago suburbs, and you want your dog’s first few visits to be positive ones!
  • Supervise your dog the entire time. This way, if there is any dispute or rough play, you can step in and appropriately address it right away before any person or pup is hurt.

In any situation…

  • Prevent your dog from barking excessively. Learn what works for your dog: is it distracting him? Acknowledging her bark?
  • Be aware of how to calm your dog. Learn what your dog responds to in times of stress or excitement. This will come in handy when guests visit your home, if your dog is traveling with you, or even if your dog accompanies you to a dog-friendly restaurant or outing.

We hope these tips help as you navigate the world with your canine companion!

The Furry Friends Guide is your local resource for dog owners, brought to you by Robert Hutchison! Check back regularly for more tips and tricks.

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