Friday, February 15, 2013

Canine Etiquette

Responsible Pet Owner month continues and this week is a look at canine etiquette, with a focus on space etiquette and proper greetings involving your dog and other dogs. Have you ever walked your dog around the neighborhood when you suddenly encounter another dog and were not quite sure what to do?

When encountering another dog on a walk or in public and your dog is excited, usually you want to let the dogs meet. It’s important to remember that just because you have a friendly dog, doesn’t mean that every dog that you encounter will be friendly and want to meet your dog. Part of being a responsible dog owner means handling situations where your dog encounters other dogs appropriately. The biggest chance you are taking by letting your dog meet another dog on leash is assuming that the other dog wants to meet your dog.

DINOS, Dogs in Need of Space, is aimed at teaching people that it is their responsibility to ask permission before their dog approaches another dog. They also stress that just because your dog or another dog may need space, doesn’t make them a bad dog, they just need a little room. There is also the Yellow Dog Project which is an organization trying to get all dog owners to put a yellow ribbon on your dog’s leash to let other people know you have a dog that needs space.

If you do have permission for your dog to meet another dog on a walk, it is important that you take the proper steps in order for the greeting to go smoothly.

1. When meeting on leash, you have to make sure that you have a dog that responds very well to their name, as well as a command like leave it.

2. It is also good to put a command on the action of your dog being allowed to meet another dog, such as “ go say hello,” so the dog knows it’s okay to meet the other dog.

3. It’s also very important to make sure that you only allow your dog to greet another when your dog is calm. An overexcited dog is more likely to react inappropriately to the situation.

When it comes to proper etiquette while walking your dog, not only is your dog’s interaction with other people and dogs important, but also being aware of leash etiquette. It is crucial that you obey local leash laws, if your dog is off leash in an area where leashes are required, it’s not only illegal, but you are also putting the safety of everyone else in jeopardy including your own dog.
It is important that you and your dog exhibit proper etiquette when in public, and as a dog owner it is your responsibility to show them how. Check back next week for another way to become a more responsible pet owner.


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