Tips to be a Conscientious Dog Owner

Tips to be a Conscientious Dog Owner

Tips to be a Conscientious Dog Owner

As Peanuts creator Charles Schultz once said, “Happiness is a warm puppy.” Who can resist a smile–even after a long, tiring day—when greeted by a bouncing dog who’s thrilled that you’re home? A pup that cuddles up against you when you’re relaxing on the couch beats a massage any day.

But wonderful as they are, not everyone will share your enthusiasm if your dog lacks manners. Win brownie points from friends, family, and neighbors. Train your pooch (and yes, even old dogs can learn new tricks) so Fido’s joyful enthusiasm doesn’t translate into a flying leap that knocks over your neighbor’s daughter.

If your dog has a habit of wandering out of your yard to visit the neighbors next door or even down the block, consider installing a fence. HomeAdvisor says that it costs about $1,643 to $3,857 to install a good, solid fence.


Etiquette for dogs and their owners

Earn appreciation from your neighbors for being a courteous dog-owning community member.

  • Whether you’ve just brought a new puppy home or adopted an older dog, enrolling in a training class will provide you and your furry critter some basic commands (or a refresher). Trainers can identify behavior quirks and make recommendations. Obedience classes also provide an opportunity for your dog (and you!) to socialize.
  • The ASPCA says that well-trained dogs should respond to at least these four basic commands: “sit-stay,” “heel,” “leave it (or drop it),” and “come.” Train your dogs to use these commands, and practice them daily.
  • Scoop up poop. Bring plenty of supplies on your walk. Don’t leave a steaming pile unattended, especially since feces can transmit diseases and parasites including  hookworm and roundworms.
  • Learn to curb your dog—which means training her to do her business near the curb at the edge of the sidewalk without actually stepping into the street. As soon as your pup shows she’s ready to “go,” guide her gently to the curb. It won’t take long before it’s routine—and it’s much more polite than allowing her to use the neighbor’s flower bed as her toilet.
  • Leash your dog. Most communities require that owners leash their dogs—for the dogs’ safety as well as everyone else’s. A leashed dog is also much easier to redirect and control. Learn more about the dos and don’ts of dog walking etiquette.
  • Don’t allow your dog to go up to another leashed dog without first asking its owner for permission. If you meet a dog on a walk, and the owner says it’s fine, let the dogs get a good sniff, and then keep going.  
  • You can learn how to read other dog walkers by observing how other people interact with their dogs. Do they appear in control of their pups? Are the dogs walking next to them or pulling ahead? For tips on how to handle your dog’s behavior and avoid issues with other dogs while you’re out for a stroll, check out Caesar’s Way.
  • If you walk your pup after dark, invest in some reflective clothing or LED lights for yourself and your dog so that people can see you more clearly, especially if you’re walking in neighborhoods that lack sidewalks.
  • Train your dog not to bark excessively. Don’t keep your dog outside if he’s barking constantly. Incessant barking annoys everyone. Since dogs bark for a variety of reasons, with time and patience, you may figure out what triggers your dog’s bark box and then you can take steps to train him to stop.

Follow the rules at the dog park, a perk of many more towns throughout the country. And since more than one third of U.S. households include at least one pooch, public dog parks provide a great meeting place for other pup parents and give dogs an opportunity to play with each other safely off leash, in an enclosed place.

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