Every dog has been known to misbehave: provoking trouble at the dog park, barking at every passerby from the yard, as well as ruining our dinner parties with sad, hungry eyes watching your every bite. If you’ve seen a dog with poor manners, it makes you wonder how your dog will act in public.
The way your dog will behave in public will not only be a reflection on you but will also give a perception from observers on dog owners in general. That’s why if you feel guilty about leaving your pooch at home or you want your canine pal to tag along with you outdoors, it’s crucial to be aware of “petiquette”.
Petiquette is the cute modern name for the pet etiquette rules that should be followed by every pet owner when taking your dog out in public. If you want to ensure you’ll have a ‘pawsitive’ experience with your furry little canine friend, and other people and pets you meet along the way, you have to take note of the following when taking your dog to public places.
What Are The Things To Take Note Of?
Socialize Your Dog Beforehand
As a responsible pet-owner, the manner of how your dog will behave in a public setting should start with how you prepare him beforehand. It will be unfair for him to go to a new environment and expect him to know how to behave. As Phifer puts it, “…his behavior is due to a lack of preparation.”
Before your pooch heads out into someplace new, do some trial runs at your home. Get him exposed to a variety of people, new smells, new sights, and new environments. Give your dog rewards when he shows positive behavior like calmness. As you try public socializing, don’t assume that your dog wants attention all the time.
Don’t force his interactions with passersby or other dogs as it can be overstimulating for him. Watch out for signs of stress like licking, panting, avoidance, or ears tight against the head–all indicators that your precious dog is uncomfortable. In this situation, it might be best to decline a stranger’s request to pet him for your dog to feel safe as well. When he seems “over it,” call it a day, head home, and recognize it as a success.
Train Your Dog
Apart from preparing your dog for the outside world, you also need to ensure that your furry canine companion is well-trained. When Brad Phifer, a dog trainer and behavior consultant, was asked about what makes a well-behaved dog. He answered that a well-behaved dog is the one that is not fearful or phobic, has a good temperament, is confident, and outgoing, and trusting. He also agreed with the saying that a trained dog is a free dog.
To act accordingly in public means having the dog under control at all times, both on and off his leash. This ability doesn’t happen by magic but by putting effort and time into regular obedience training. Practice basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” along with walking to heel, equip your dog with a special grounding so that he can meet and greet people without showing you up.
Remember that training both a pup and an adult dog requires persistence, time, and patience. Be sure to utilize reward-based method training properly and never intimidate or punish your dog for not obeying. If you want to know more about this, check out this dog guide by Well Pet Coach for more information.
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
As a good pet parent, you have to be conscious of the fact that not every place likes dogs. Ask in advance if your dog is truly welcomed in the place. But if it is, see to it that your dog acts as a good ambassador for all canine breeds through his good behavior. The delicious smell from a dog-friendly restaurant might get your dog to go frenzy and whining for his treats. Thus, you should take note of the rules and regulations in the place. Otherwise, it can result in hefty fines in some cities and unpleasant situations like asking you to leave the event.
Keep your pooch on a leash unless you are in a dog park or a ‘no-leash area.’ Monitor your dog in public, especially around the elderly, children, or other pets since he can potentially injure or scare them. Canines can be unpredictable when in new environments or startled. If you ever asked yourself, “how long can a dog go without peeing?”
Usually, a dog often goes without urinating for 8 to 10 hours. However, this does not mean you’ll just let your dog roam around and tinkle in a private area every time he has to go. It’s still important to teach your dog to relieve himself in a designated potted area. In some public venues, only service dogs that are trained to perform specific tasks are allowed. When you see that your pooch is not doing well, you should decide whether you’ll be able to leave the place early too.
Bring Essential Supplies
Bring along a bag of doggie supplies such as the most essential ones like water and food and a travel bowl. Be a responsible dog owner by picking up your dog’s waste, dispose of them properly, and see to it that your dog isn’t making a mess by digging or destroying property in the area. You can bring training treats with you and use them as an opportunity outside to teach your dog polite greetings. Your dog will smell it right away, and his good behavior will stay in his mind during your travel.
Remember to assure your pet’s collar has a name and information in case of unexpected separation. Towel or blanket can also be a good idea to wipe the hard floors if they want to sleep or clean their slobbery mouths. Also, check if your leash and/or harness are working properly. It’s also wise to check the weather. If you think it’s not a good idea to go out because of bad weather, then it would be better to just stay home.
Ask Permission And Offer An Invitation
Not all people or dogs are comfortable with other canine pets. Some dogs may have personal space issues. If you see your dog interacting with another furry pooch, ask the owner’s permission and ask your pet to come to you. If your dog has a bite history or feels overwhelmed around strangers, then do not bring him to loud or crowded events.
It’s also best to train your pet positively by wearing a muzzle. Other things to keep in mind is controlling and not allowing your dog to jump on people. Even if you find him friendly, it’s not polite behavior for strangers. If your dog is acting unruly in the area, remove him from the situation or leave him at home.
All in All
It should be our top priority to ensure everyone’s comfort and safety. As a dog owner, you are accountable for your dog’s behavior in public places. If you’re unsure, it’s best to leave him at home. If you are, it’s important to follow the 21st-century ‘petiquette.’