What Dog Owners Need To Know Before Taking Their Pooch In Public

What Dog Owners Need To Know Before Taking Their Pooch In Public

You know I love dogs. And I can’t imagine anyone getting a dog with the intention of keeping it indoors most of the time. In fact, along with parks — both regular and dog — many hotels, cafes and even retail establishments welcome pooches with open arms. I take at least one of my three with me just about everywhere I go!

But one of my biggest pet peeves is an unruly dog in public. It’s rarely the pup’s fault, of course. Us humans have to remember, just because we’re enthusiastic about the notion of having Sunday brunch with our pet doesn’t mean everyone else is. We need to make sure we have a handle on social situations so everyone — canines included — can safely enjoy themselves.

Obedience 101

While the best time to socialize your dog with humans and other dogs is at the puppy stage, sometimes that’s not an option. Not to worry. It’s never too late to teach your pet how to behave itself in public settings.

  • Dog To Human: Regular walks can help your pooch get used to humans, noises and moving objects including cars and bicycles, but take different routes so your dog can become acquainted with a variety of people, places and things. Don’t encourage jumpy or fearful behavior with praise or rewards such as treats. On the flipside, try to avoid letting people run up and pet your dog without asking you first. It can be extremely helpful to teach your pooch basic commands such as sit, stay, leave it, come and down. If you aren’t making any progress on your own, consider enrolling your pet in an obedience school. A confident dog and owner will ensure that you’ll make others more comfortable in public.
  • Dog To Dog: Keep treats on-hand to reward your dog for successfully (not jumping or nipping) interacting with one of its peers. It’s important to pay attention to your dog in order to look for signs of aggression or fear so you can prevent a problem before it starts — especially in a dog park.

Have The Right Equipment

When taking your dog in public, you’re going to want to make sure you have the best equipment and supplies to ensure comfort and safety for both of you. Even if you’re the type to push your dog around in a stroller, a quality leash is something no owner can do without. However, if your furry friend tends to pull on it, a harness can be a better option because it takes the strain off of the neck area, thus preventing injuries to your dog’s trachea.

While you may feel cruel putting a muzzle on your dog, experts agree that it can help keep you, your dog and other people safe. Whatever you do, don’t use a muzzle to correct issues like barking or chewing.The apparatus is only designed to be on for short periods of time — it’s not meant to replace behavioral training. And just like you require a bottle of water when you workout, make sure you bring along portable food and water bowls so your pooch stays hydrated and satiated on the go.

It goes without saying, but immediately picking up waste, keeping your dog leashed in public places and not letting it bark excessively are all basic etiquette rules that should be followed no matter where you are. Should there be a precarious situation, immediately remove your pooch before evaluating the root of the problem. The more you take your dog out in social situations, the easier it will become for them to adapt.

Photo Credit:Pixabay

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