Monday, April 4, 2011

Dog Etiquette

          Sure, you love watching your doggie running free. Besides he or she really needs the exercise, right? Sorry, but if you live in the city, running free just in not an option. First, a dog off leash is a dog in danger. You may think you have perfect voice control of your dog but they will all respond in unexpected ways sooner or later. Few dogs can resist chasing a squirrel or other small running animal that crosses their path. Loud noises, such as a car backfiring, can trigger an otherwise calm pooch into bolting for cover, even the sound of waves breaking along the shore can prompt a water-loving dog to take a dip in what could prove to be treacherous water. The fact is no matter how well you know your dog you cannot predict his actions when startled. After all, they are an animal with animal instincts and not a robot that obeys every command. Unless your dog is on a leash, he could run into a dangerous situation in a fraction of a second.

          Some people are deathly afraid of dogs and seeing one with no leash literally makes their hearts race in fear. It doesn't matter how gentle your dog may be, they will still be terrified. Frankly, you can never make these people like your dog but keeping it under visible control with a leash will help them tolerate it's presence. (Be seen with your dog off leash and you can count on these types of people to circulate petitions and call police at your slightest missteps.)

          Though your dog may be friendly and run up to other dogs in eagerness to play, not all dogs are so inclined. Owners walking less sociable dogs on a leash can suddenly be put in a difficult position trying to protect your dog from theirs. If unsuccessful, your dog could suffer the consequences of an attack, a miserable situation for all people and dogs involved.

          Pick up that poop NOW!! We all share the sidewalks here and you shouldn't have to step in a nasty pile to learn why it's so critical to pick up after your dog. However, there is actually more at stake here then just keeping your shoes (and your neighbor's shoes) clean. Feces left on the ground can pass on diseases like hookworm and other parasites. Also, if poop is not picked up, this is how bans on where dogs are allowed to be get started.

          Cleaning up after a dog is not hard and it requires nothing more than keeping a plastic bag in your pocket at all times. Just open the bag and put your hand inside (wearing it like a mitten). Pick up the poop. Then turn the bag inside out over your hand. Voila! Carry extra bags with you and offer it to any other owner you may spot who needs one. In some areas, there may be laws that requires you to take care of your dog's feces when you are out walking with him. Even if there is no restriction, cleaning up after your dog is always the right thing to do.

          You've probably seen dogs tied to bicycle racks or parking meters, especially outside grocery stores. This is possibly the fastest way to lose your dog to a thief. Also, keep in mind that bike racks are intended for everyone's use. Few people, even dog lovers, feel uncomfortable approaching a unattended dog and with good reason. Tied up without you around, your dog may not let others approach. Even if your dog is being perfectly well behaved there are some sick people out there in the world that will injure animals for no reason. Leaving your dog tied up outside in public where you can not see them or reach them quickly leaves your dog vulnerable to the whims of those kinds of animal abusers.

          Constant dog barking is another no, no. Nothing is more annoying then a dog barking at 1:00am. Monitor your dog when they are loose in your yard and be prepared to stop your dog when it starts barking. Neighbors wont like being barked at in their own yard by dogs. Barking will not only annoy immediate neighbors but neighbors as far away as the sound will travel.

          Another good reason to monitor your dog in it's yard is that thieves may steal them. Dog thieves have ways of taking even aggressive dogs from behind locked gates. Then there are the neighborhood kids that like to harass dogs and open the gate to the yard to see the dog run away. Believe me I know as I have seen this happen with my own dogs.

         Keep your dog off other people's lawns and out of their flowerbeds! We all know your dog love to smell everything, but many people go to great lengths to keep their yard looking pretty, and do not appreciate your dog trampling through their flowers and pooping on their lawn. If you want him to sniff and smell green grass take him to a dog friendly park.

          When riding in an elevator, sit your dog in the far corner to avoid "door dashing" each time the elevator makes a stop. Do not allow your dog to jump up on other riders, even when the greeting is friendly. Hurry through lobbies or take freight elevators and back exits if the building rules mandate it. Never allow your dog to soil in front of the building's entrance. If you have a young pup that cannot control himself, make sure to carry him though the building. Make sure to bring paper towels and odor neutralizer with you just in case of an accident.

         If your dog is in heat, do not take her out in public. This only makes other dogs behave poorly and disturbs the enjoyment of you and others.

         Sharing your life with a dog is a wonderfully rewarding experience. But you must practice proper etiquette if you want to live peaceably with your pet and neighbors. Please keep non-dog lovers in mind at all times. You and your dog's actions reflect on other dogs' and their owners. They can also determine if bans on dogs occur.

Show the world you care.

No comments:

Post a Comment