Teach your pooch home and public ‘petiquette’

While your fur baby may be your top priority and best friend, it’s important to also do right by your two-legged neighbors. Be a conscientious dog owner by following this guide to proper “petiquette” at home and in public. Orderly environment = happy neighbors

Consider installing a backyard fence. Even if your neighbors love your dog, they won’t be pleased if he constantly wanders into their space or relieves himself on their property. Not only will the fence keep your dog from disturbing the homes of others, but it will also keep him from wandering into traffic or running away.

Chain link fences are reasonable options, but they cannot guarantee your dog’s inability to dig under them, as they cannot be installed deep enough into the ground. Wooden fences are more popular because they can reach high enough to prevent your dog’s jumping over. These fences do not have gaps, which adds privacy to your space and sink deep enough to be sturdy.

Scoop poop habitually. Dog waste makes your yard and nearby surrounding yards smelly and uninviting. Dog waste is not considered a natural fertilizer and should not be kept for the purpose of composting. The best practice is to scoop it into a trash bag and double-wrap it before disposing of it in the garbage can. If on a walk, keep your dog close to the curb and encourage him to relieve himself there. If he gets sniffy around personal property, such as a chained bike or child’s toys, pull him away gently but firmly. When his tummy is troubled, carry along a water bottle in order to wash away the mess.

The rules of pet cleanliness are equally, if not more, important when travelling. Arrive at hotels or rented properties with a clean, well-groomed dog and be sure to pack enough supplies to keep him as such. Baby wipes are key after an especially muddy or rainy walk, and a spare towel should be kept handy for a wipe-down at the end of the day.

Well trained = well mannered

In consideration for your neighbors who may work from home and those you pass while on walks, train your dog not to bark. When giving these commands, remember to hush your furry friend calmly and positively, as yelling will also sound like barking to your dog.

For consistency, each member of your family should practice your established training methods every time your dog barks inappropriately. If complaints are made about daytime noise, address the issue calmly and promise to investigate solutions to the problem.

One such possibility is a citronella collar, a type of spray dog collar. It is bark-activated and works by spraying a discomforting but humane substance called citronella in your dog’s face when he barks.

By that same token, note that regularly exercised dogs have no need to release pent-up energy by barking, or through other annoying outlets such as chewing or digging. Strive to establish a schedule for multiple daily walks in order that your dog might become familiar with the routine and maintain a settled demeanor in anticipation of his walk.

If your work or travel schedule is too demanding to provide for your dog’s exercise needs, employ a trained and evaluated walker or sitter.  When taking those daily walks, or including your dog in any other public activities, practice proper techniques for achieving polite dog behavior. Only use a flex lead in areas that guarantee space for wandering and few people to overwhelm.

In large crowds, keep your dog close. Maintain the ‘heel’ command when approaching people or other dogs, keeping yours at your side. Most importantly, be aware of your surroundings. Project calm, assertive energy, ensuring others of your diligence as a dog owner and be vigilant of situations that may spook or distract your dog.

By following these rules of proper “petiquette,” you will ensure yourself as a courteous and neighborly dog owner.


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