Doggie Dos & Don'ts
08/01/2010 04:54PM ● Published by Style
Sometimes pets portray their excitement by jumping and cuddling with the person who absolutely despises animals.
How are our pets supposed to know the attention they receive is really a plea to be left alone? To them, attention is attention, but we still need to manage their behavior and prevent further issues. So how exactly can we be responsible for their actions? We asked local professionals to give us their input on pet etiquette.
How should I deal with guests who are not “dog people”?
The Local Bark: As a polite host, it is your
responsibility to keep your dog out of this person’s
“space.” Keep your dog in a down-stay position on his bed away from
the people-gathering area and let your guest know to simply ignore him. If you know your dog can’t pull this off, put him in his run, crate, or in another room. Make sure he has something to chew on or play with so he doesn’t provide background “music” of a barking or howling variety.
Jason the Dog Guy: It is best to teach your dog how to go to a “place” (dog bed, mat, or a designated area in the house) and stay there when you have guests. If your dog does not know how to stay in a “place,” then keep him on a leash next to you while your guests are visiting. Remember to be respectful of your guests and consider keeping your dog in a safe area (i.e. crate, dog run, back yard) where he will not be distracting.
When bringing my dog to a friend’s home, what are the dos and don’ts?
Jason the Dog Guy: Always ask if it is okay to bring your dog first. Beforehand, however, teach your dog how to lie down and stay on a dog bed (be sure to bring it with you). Condition your dog to be comfortable in a crate or exercise pen so that if you need to leave your dog unsupervised, he can be in a safe area. You can also leave him on a leash in order to easily control him if needed.
What should you master to be a good dog owner?
Jason the Dog Guy: Showing “LEADERSHIP” to your dog on a daily basis is the foundation every dog owner needs first in order to have control of many situations in a variety of environments. Teach your dog order, structure, and remain disciplined (always follow through) as a dog owner every day. It is all about creating a great bond and relationship with your furry friend. Love (praise, affection, encouragement) and leadership (rules, order, structure) are necessary to keep a balanced relationship with your pet.
When walking my dog and we are approached by another dog and owner, is it okay to allow the dogs to meet?
Jason the Dog Guy: It is best to teach your dog that when another dog and owner approaches, it does not mean that they “always” get to meet. Teach your dog to stay focused on you and not on other distractions, such as other dogs or people. Do not create a habit where it means social time every instance you see another person or dog. It is also important to never allow dogs to meet nose to nose, especially while pulling on the leash – this may cause a fight. Allow dogs to smell each other from a distance first then allow them to smell their rear ends and breathe. Always follow your intuition – if it does not feel right (the dog’s body language is negative) then do not allow a greeting.
The Local Bark: Successful on-leash meetings are difficult to manage, so unless both dogs are calm and under their owners’ complete control, skip the meeting. An overly excited dog can elicit an unwanted “correction” response from another dog, which can result in a fight. Remember: Dogs on leash are likely to kick into fight-or-flight mode if they’re feeling threatened or overwhelmed. Some dogs can perceive a face-to-face greeting as a challenge, particularly if leashes are pulled tight. If you do decide to meet, make sure the dogs can sniff each other’s rears while you and the other owner walk in a circle, keeping leashes relaxed.
How do I get my dog to stop jumping up?
Unleashed Dog: Dogs jump up because they are excited to see you and they are trying to get attention. The most important thing to remember is that jumping up is an attention seeking behavior. First and foremost, remember to give your attention when he is not jumping. Praise him for staying “off” even when he’s not trying to jump. Many owners inadvertently reinforce jumping up by yelling at the dog or pushing them off. When the dog jumps, fold your arms, walk right into them, and then praise them when they are off.
When my dog is at the dog park, what should I NOT allow him to do when he plays?
The Local Bark: Keep dog park outings safe and fun by observing a few pack management rules. Don’t allow your dog to enter the dog park gates at the height of his excitement. Walk him around first to allow him to calm down. Don’t allow him to hump other dogs, bark excessively, chase dogs that don’t want to be chased, or jump on people. If your dog gets too excited, put him on leash until he calms down. Your job is to keep moving and to stay alert so you can intervene if necessary. If your dog is scared, put him on leash and allow him to watch the dogs from outside the fence. A frightened, overly excited or extremely dominant dog is a natural target for other dogs.
How can I make sure my dog has good manners around children?
The Local Bark: Socialization with children should start in puppy-hood. Invite children to pet your dog by approaching him calmly, holding their hands low, allowing the dog to smell them first, and then petting him under the chin or on the chest. Watch your dog’s body language – if he appears nervous or overly excited, position yourself between the dog and the child and talk to the child in a quiet voice, ignoring the dog. The key is to allow the dog to use his nose to gather information about the situation. Remember: A child’s natural energy level can quickly launch a dog into an all-out, no-holds-barred play (or fear if he’s not familiar with children), and children can get overwhelmed, scared or knocked over. Instruct children to be calm when interacting with your dog, and vice versa.
Jason the Dog Guy: Teaching children how to act appropriately around dogs
is more important. We have a lot of children in our country who get severely
bitten by dogs. Teach your child the following lessons:
- Always let the dog come to you.
- Never look a dog in the eyes.
- No yelling around or at a dog.
- No running around any dog.
- Never hit a dog.
- Never pull any dog’s tail.
- Never hug any dog.
- Know how to give your dog a treat.
- Know when to leave any dog alone, such as when they are eating in their crate, chewing on their toys, or sleeping.
- If approached by a stray dog, stand like you are frozen.