Leaving your precious pooch at home every time you pop out is a thing of the past! There’s an astounding increase in the number of public places that now welcome dogs with open arms. However, as exciting as this prospect may sound to pet parents and their fur babies, it also brings with it some challenges and rules to be followed. To be socially acceptable, humans need to behave in a considerate and respectful manner towards others around them and the same concept applies to our dogs. If you feel your pup doesn’t fit the mould of expected ethics, we have compiled some tips that you can use to brush up on their manners, so any outing can be pleasurable, not only for you and your pup, but all others around you.

Perfecting your Pooch’s Public Etiquette

We cannot stress enough about the importance of training your canine to become good ambassadors for their kind. As instinctive creatures, dogs are curious to explore new sights, sounds and smells which they become exposed to when venturing into a new environment. Basic leash training is the fundamental first step towards perfecting your loyal companion’s manners. Setup a maze using chairs, tables and stools in your home and guide your dog through the area while they wear a leash. This training module will allow your canine to learn how to match with your pace, follow directions and avoid wandering off to other places. Avoid retractable leashes in public places as pups can dash into the road, towards other dogs or get the leash tangled in their legs and yours’.

The next element in your dog’s basic training includes obedience skills. Ensuring that your pooch complies with your instructions is especially important when taking them to crowded places. Once your pet masters the commands of ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘down’, you will be better prepared to take your friend along to public places.

Teaching Table Manners

Some public places such as restaurants can be tricky to navigate – even with basic obedience training. This calls for steadfast table manner training. Start out by setting out some mealtime rules in your home such as leashing your dog at a nearby location or placing them in another room so that they can develop a sense of the situation. Aggressive and territorial behaviours should be sternly reprimanded, while pleasing behaviour should be rewarded with positive appraisal. Some owners may even prefer to give a toy or bone to their doggy to keep them occupied while you chow down.

Taking Responsibility

To make a positive contribution to your dog friendly community, pick up after your pooch and correctly dispose of any waste. Refrain from using your phone whilst out in public places with your pooch. If you’re on a call or you have your eyes peeled to the screen, you will be less inclined to supervise your pet. Ensure your dog doesn’t damage any property and in an unlikely event where their behaviour does lead to any issues, be sure to apologise and compensate those who have incurred a loss.

Taking Hints

Demonstrate responsible pet ownership behaviours by being considerate of others and give people their space if they express any concern about being too close to your canine companion. Likewise, respect the fact that some dogs aren’t fond of attention from strangers, so in addition to asking permission from the owners before approaching, allow the pooch the choice to either approach you or withdraw. Be vigilant of their body cues: any stress-related behaviours like panting, licking, ears tight against the head or avoidance are all signs that a pooch is prickly about your advances.

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