A dog is one of the most rewarding additions to a family. However, it does come with a lot of responsibility. Dog owners should take the time to train and care for their dogs. They should also be respectful of the people and other pets around them. Here is what you need to know about dog owner etiquette before you bring home your furry friend.
Scoop up poop
Have you ever stepped in a pile of fresh dog poop? It is by far one of the smelliest things almost everyone experiences. That is why it is so important that dog owners clean up after their dogs. Leaving their pet's waste in public places for others to step in is one of the rudest things any pet owner can do. Anytime you know you will be leaving the house with your dog, be sure to grab a few bags to clean up after them. It is never a bad idea to keep them attached to the leash or even keep them in your bag and car.
Keep dogs on a leash
Dogs are some of the friendliest animals out there. Sometimes, however, they can be a little too friendly. While many people are happy to be greeted by a dog, it is not the case for everyone. Some people may be allergic to dogs or even have a strong fear of them. While most dogs are friendly, many are not. When a dog is coming towards someone or their dog, they never know if they are going to be friendly or aggressive. To protect others and your dog, always keep them on a leash in public places.
Barking is an instinct that dogs have. This is their way of reacting to danger, asking for attention, or a way to entertain themselves. However, excessive barking can become quite a nuisance to both yourself and those around you. While some dogs are more likely to bark than others, dogs can be trained to not bark so much. Some ways to limit barking include:
Exercise – If a dog is barking because they are bored, they may need more exercise. Not only will this help keep your dog in shape, but it will expend energy that they may normally use barking for no reason. Taking your dog on walks, hikes, or to a dog park are great ways to get your dog moving.
More socializing – If your dog barks at people and other dogs, they may need to be socialized better. Introducing your dog to other dogs and people is a great place to start. Plan play dates with other dogs. Allow them to also meet neighbors and the mailman. Be careful and keep them on a leash when you do so, and make sure the other person or pet is comfortable with it.
Distractions – Another way to prevent boredom is to find distractions for your dog. This includes safe bones for them to chew on, toys, or even puzzles with treats trapped inside. When leaving, you can also keep blinds and curtains closed and leave the T.V. or radio on. Using a calming supplement can also help ease nerves to prevent barking.
Train them – According to professionals, owners should also take the time to train their dogs to stop barking on command. This should not include yelling at the dog but should be a simple and calm command. Be sure to follow through with your command until they have both stopped barking and calmed down. Only reward them when they have calmed down and have either laid down or moved onto another activity. For more information, read our article, "Dog Training 101".
Another important thing all dog owners should prevent their dog from doing is jumping on others. This is especially important dog owner etiquette if you are bringing your dog to another home or public activity. Training your dog to sit when both you and your guests enter your home is a great place to start. Reward your dog immediately when they obey and make sure you do not reward them when they do not.