Helpful Dog Etiquette Tips

Dog ownership is ingrained in the American way of life for much of the population. Both the aging boomer generation and millennials heartily embrace owning dogs, and these comprise the largest numbers of the country’s population. While the number of dog owners continues to grow, there still remains a sizable portion of the population who don’t have a dog. An overwhelming majority of Americans – even those without dogs – express positive opinions about canines, but that doesn’t mean that they will abide a dog’s bad behavior.

Responsible dog ownership means that you handle your dog in a way that respects dog lovers and dog haters alike. The best way to achieve this is through obedience training, frequent exercise and minding dog owner etiquette. Here are some ways to make sure that you and your dog are well-behaved around others.

The importance of training

Before taking your dog in public, you should train him well in three main areas: walking, jumping and barking. A well-behaved dog does not pull when walked. He will remain at his owner’s side, and if he wanders away he will immediately return on command. When greeting humans and other dogs, an obedient animal refrains from jumping up in excitement. Finally, a trained dog does not bark at people or animals as they pass. You can read reviews on how to find the best leash for your dog at

Here is how to train a dog to walk correctly:

  • Keep your dog at your side at all times, instructing him to walk there rather than pulling you from ahead.
  • Teach him the “heel” command until he responds quickly and without hesitation. This can be reinforced at home with reward-based training.
  • Whenever you pass a potential distraction on a walk, call out the heel command and direct him to your side if he tries to pull toward the distraction.
  • When on a walk, only let your dog greet a stranger if the stranger asks first.
  • During your walk with your companion, you may carry treats and portable water bowls to keep your dog hydrated.

Dog-walking training is not only focused on the animal. The owner has a considerable amount of responsibility. In addition to training your dog, etiquette calls for you to:

  • Clean up after your dog. This is a basic component of decency in our society. Picking up after your keeps neighborhoods cleaner and reduces the risk of disease.
  • Only take your dog out in public when he is well. A sick dog can make other dogs sick, and you could worsen your dog’s condition.

Exercise makes a dog content

Much of what is perceived as bad behavior in a dog is a result of restlessness. When a dog is idle, he will be too excited during a walk, and during other interactions with people and dogs, and this excited will spill over into undesirable behavior. An easy way to avoid bad behavior is to keep your dog well-exercised and tired out. You may be wondering why would I exercise my dog before taking him for a walk? The reason is, taking your dog for a walk to areas where he will be exposed to public and other dogs is not just exercise, it is also a social situation. In addition, the general idea is to walk your dog often, incorporate other exercise daily, such as playing with a ball, and the cumulative effect will be a more content and well-behaved animal.

With a growing number of dogs and dog owners, it’s important for everyone to be reminded of simple dog and dog owner rules of etiquette. Enjoy your time with your four-legged friend, but remember to train your dog well, and clean up after him, and you’ll have a dog who nearly everyone will love.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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