Walking your Dog
Clean up after they mess – dog etiquette requires that you always carry plastic bags with you for this purpose.
Keep them under control at all times. Use a lead near people but particularly around children, elderly people, other dogs and animals - but especially, if they are not properly socialised.
Use common sense. We have seen a small kid walking a large dog on a leash. That dog is not under control.
We have also seen a slightly built woman with two large dogs on leashes. Ditto!
Off a lead they soon get beyond your verbal control. Large dogs can pose a threat to others however well behaved you may believe your pet to be.
Small ones can provoke a dog-fight to their own detriment.
There are strong laws against dog attacks to the point of having the offending animal destroyed.
Dog etiquette also extends to how you treat your dog when exercising it!
Seriously consider your dog's ability to walk or run.
You may need some professional advice from your vet to determine
whether it is too old and arthritic for long walks?
Always observe how your dog is coping with the walk or run. Use common sense.
Is it struggling to keep up?
Is it limping?
Is it too hot to be out walking or running?
Is the road or footpath too hot or rough for its paws?
Watch out for broken glass, sharp stones or objects that may injure its paws and skirt around them
Always take a bottle of water and collapsible container for the dog to drink from.
If you intend to jog, rollerblade or cycle with your dog, do not force the pace. Do not exceed the dog's capacity to keep up.
Stop for it to rest and have a drink, frequently, if necessary.
Dogs begging at the dinner table is bad dog etiquette. It reflects badly on the owner and can be an embarrassment or an annoyance to your guests.
We love our dogs and sometimes find their pleading expression sooooo cute or irresistible, but this view is not necessarily shared by your visitors even if they smile indulgently. Do not be fooled.
If you have created a food beggar, your dog will consistently be a beggar.
It will not suddenly improve its manners because guests are present.
It will require patience and persistence on your part to turn this habit around but when you do, your pet will be happier for it and less stressed at your mealtimes.
Teach it to stay on its own mat in sight of, but away from your dining table so that it is not underfoot.
Your guests will be impressed, but, do not let them undo your good dog etiquette training by offering tit-bits to your animal from their plates or elsewhere.
Training your Dog
Teach basic manners to your dog – sit, stay, heel, down, bed & quiet.
This will make it a pleasure to be with and easier to practice good dog etiquette.
Don't know how to train your dog? There is lots of help right at your fingertips. Check it out.
If you cannot find help from the sponsors listed at the top or right side of this page, you are sure to find something suitable at the library or your nearest bookstore.
Remember, don't shout at or hit your dog. Ever.
Shouting and hitting only intimidates your dog and shows up your own shortcomings - that you do not have patience and are using the wrong method to train your dog.
Dogs want desperately to please their owners.
Dogs have good memories - even the 'scatty' ones.
They watch your every move, closely.
Dogs are easily distracted.
Dogs respond well to rewards.
Dogs have feelings and will always forgive your faults.
They are 'pack animals' and want to stay close to you.
Good dog trainers use these attributes to advantage and consequently get remarkable results.
What Size of Dog should you have?
This depends on how big your home is and how big your yard is.
Is it well fenced?
Are there other animals to consider?
Is it being kept for your protection or simply to raise the alarm of an intruder?
Use common sense to determine size.
It must never be kept as a status symbol.
Macho men like to keep big, aggressive dogs to show their manliness.
This actually conveys the opposite impression.
Helpless people need big dogs for security, but may lack the strength to control them.
Self-assured men can show their self-confidence by owning a dog of a size more suited to its living environment.
Bigger dogs generally need more room to romp and exercise in.
Learn about their exercise requirements before you get a particular breed.
What Breed of Dog is the Best?
Definitely not a pedigree. Pedigrees not only cost a lot of money but their ongoing veterinary fees can be prohibitive.
Pedigrees are prone to a host of inbred deformities and health problems. And who knowingly wants their loving pet to suffer?
This has nothing to do with dog etiquette, but rather the health of the animal. The sooner we get away from demanding a pedigree the sooner uncaring breeders will stop incestious inbreeding of dogs against nature and the dog's welfare.
A cross breed or a common mongrel will return your loving care with as much love, devotion and loyalty that anyone could ever ask for. They are healthier too, by far.
Dogs Need (Crave) Company
Dogs are pack animals and crave company. It's in their instinct.
It is cruel to keep a dog in isolation.
It causes all sorts of anti-social problems from anxiety to aggressiveness. This makes dog etiquette difficult to achieve.
A dog is not an object to be acquired and discarded on a whim.
It is a valuable loving member of your family to be cared for for its entire life through sickness and in health.
If you are unwilling or unable to commit your time, affection and money to them (yes, they can be costly), then a dog is not for you.
Buy yourself an ornament instead!
Adults are Ultimately Responsible for the Dog
Teach your kids to be responsible for their dog by all means, BUT, the ultimate responsibility for the animal must devolve on a responsible adult.
Please teach them that
a puppy is NOT a Toy.
It is just not good enough to delegate the job of feeding, cleaning and walking the dog to a child.
An adult has to ensure that all matters pertaining to the welfare of the dog and to the public at large are adequately supervised and properly carried out at all times and not just spasmodically.
If you Love Dogs (Animals)
If you are in a position to implement strong laws to impose very harsh penalties against those who ill-treat or neglect animals, then I believe that you have a moral obligation to do so as soon as possible.
This is the ultimate act of dog etiquette.
If you do not have needy relatives to will your estate to, then I urge you to seriously consider leaving some or all of your money to the
or similar organisation that needs funding to procure the resources to Prevent Cruelty to Animals.
Why wait? Donate right away and also bequeath something in your will (smile).
Found an Abandoned Dog?
Dog etiquette also encompasses responsibility for the welfare of the animal.
It is so easy to obtain a dog that many are acquired on impulse (often to pacify a pleading, whining child) and later abandoned when the novelty wears off.
This is too terrible for the poor animal which can be traumatised if abandoned once too often. Definitely not good dog etiquette!
These animals depend on us for love and affection as well as food and shelter.
Sadly, they lose the lot ... everything, when they are abandoned.
There is a simple remedy to force dog etiquette on to irresponsible dog owners...
Help us bring enough pressure to bear on the powers-that-be to change animal welfare laws as follows:
Lots of local authorities require that all dogs be registered with them for a small annual fee.
We propose no change to that fee unless the owner choses NOT to sterilise their dog, in which case a hefty US$3,000 fee should be applied annually.
If the owner also choses NOT to microchip the animal a further US$3,000 fee might make them change their minds.
Of course, adequate controls (and hefty fines) for defaulters would need to be in place or the system would not work.
The immediate effect of this will be fewer abandoned dogs.
Lost or abandoned dogs would be easily reunited with their owners (thanks to the microchip) and would not sow their wild oats while on the loose (thanks to the sterilisation).
The hefty fees should be donated to animal welfare groups to help stamp out cruelty to all animals.
If you feel for homeless dogs, we urge you to act now to bring about change to help these poor creatures.
Forward a link to this web page or copy the above into an email and bombard the authorities with your demands until they act responsibly to protect 'man's best friend' (smile).
Alternatively, use our
to share your concerns.
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