This is a great age to own a dog in. More and more people are becoming dog owners than ever before and there are more products and services available to meet this growth. What's missing however is some infomation on dog owner etiquette. As dog professionals we have to help new dog owners learn not only how to train their dogs but how to act with them in public. Here are some things that we need to teach folks who are just learning the mores of dog culture .
Dogs in Public
- always pick up after your dog no matter where you are
- keep your dog on leash or be prepared to re-leash your dog when you approach another owner/dog on a walk, especially if that dog is on leash.
- not all dogs are friendly and most do not want to be greeted by having your dog bounce off of them
- teach your dog to sit/stay in the presence of other dogs and only allow him off leash to play if he is under control and calm
- allowing an overstimulated dog to go "play" often leads to on leash aggression problems as the dog matures
- even if your dog is friendly, consider that the other dog and owner may not appreciate your dog's advances and may find it offensive that your dog is out of control
- play in dogs is healthy when intense wrestling and chasing is broken up with sniffing the ground and wandering around
- prolonged heated interactions that include a lot of vocalization, wrestling and pinning should be redirected after a few minutes and not be permitted to go on and on.
- teach your dog a rock solid verbal "leave it" so that you can break up and re-direct overstimulated play without having to physically pull your dog away.
At Canine University we have begun to really listen to our clients and implement these behaviors into our training curriculum as part of the core behaviors we include in our beginner classes. The more real the curriculum the more valuable training is to the average person.