Every neighborhood has that one house with a dog that won’t stop barking. The one whose owners are apparently deaf to the sound and certainly deaf to the complaints and shouts of neighbors who are tired of having their sleep disrupted. The erosion of dog etiquette is surely an indication that common courtesy is not what it once was. Excessive barking, leaving a dog’s feces on a neighbor’s lawn, and failing to prevent a dog from inappropriately sniffing a visitor are some of the common etiquette transgressions that dog owners either ignore or assume that others won’t mind. One of the most distressing things about breaches of dog etiquette is that so much of it comes down to common courtesy. No one expects a dog to be perfectly behaved, but it’s certainly reasonable to expect that dog owners would intervene and correct their pet’s behavior when their furry friend gets too ornery.
Good (owner) behavior
The cardinal rule of dog etiquette in most situations is to keep your dog leashed. Owners who tend to think their pets are too well-behaved to worry about sometimes let their pets run free. It’s great for the dog and the owner enjoys it, but it’s no fun for someone who’s just walking by and who may not
be comfortable around dogs. If you have a large dog, things can get out of hand quickly if an individual, especially a young child, gets scared and runs away. This is a perfect example of why a dog should always be kept on a leash in public.
Most cities have an ordinance requiring that owners clean up waste when they’re walking their dog. It may be tempting to look the other way when your pooch leaves a calling card on the neighbor’s lawn, but it’s important to remember that failing to pick it up is against the law, not to mention an extremely rude neglect of your neighborly duty. One way to avoid such problems is to take along extra waste baggies when you go for a walk. You can also make sure that your pet doesn’t sneak into a neighbor’s lawn through a hole in your fence by installing a new one that’s strong and tall enough to contain even a big strong dog that can jump. The average price to install a new wood fence ranges from $1,897 to $3,673, and it takes from three to four days to put up.
Dog park courtesy
A visit to the dog park is a very popular activity among dog owners these days, a way of bonding with your pet and letting him spend some time socializing with other dogs. Don’t allow your dog to jump on a fellow dog owner, and be wary about allowing your dog to interact with new dogs too freely. You never know how some dogs will react. Once your dog is within a fenced-off area, it’s okay to take him off his leash. But keep an eye on his behavior. Don’t allow him to be too aggressive toward other dogs. And be sure not to wander off while your dog is playing.
If you’re planning on visiting a friend or family member with your dog in tow, make sure it’s okay to do so before you show up at the front door. Not everyone is as fond of dogs as you are, and it may be an imposition if you haven’t cleared it with your friend. Be careful about taking your dog along if you’ll be attending a party or some kind of gathering with lots of people there. Some dogs get pretty antsy when there’s a lot going on. And make sure you’re prepared if there are any accidents indoors.
Exercise common sense whenever your dog interacts with other people and other dogs. Remember that you can’t keep your pet under control if you’re not paying attention. So the next time your dog is barking late at night, put yourself in your neighbors’ shoes. By practicing good dog etiquette, you can be a great neighbor as well.
by Aurora James