We’ve all heard the common adage that dogs resemble their owners. If your dog’s behavior says something about you, then teaching your dog basic etiquette is in everyone’s best interest. Becoming a responsible dog owner will not only make your life easier, but it will make your dog happier and better prepared to interact with the world.

Part of the fun of owning a dog is being able to take him around with you. This might be to the park, on a road trip, or even to a coffee shop. However, this is not a great experience if your dog is constantly barking, pulling, and unable to behave himself in public.

The neighborhood walk. When taking your dog out around the block, always carry bags to clean up doggy messes, and ensure your dog is on a good-sized leash. Try to keep him close when other dogs or people approach. According to expert dog trainers, it’s important to know your dog and what his triggers are. This way you’ll understand how to handle or avoid distressing situations. Teach your dog not to pull or yank on the leash. Make sure he doesn’t jump on people passing by or get too close to other dogs without the owner’s permission.

The dog park. If you live in a city, chances are you’ve come across the wonderful inventions that are dog parks. These are usually large areas that allow dogs to socialize and interact without the restriction of leashes. It’s a fantastic opportunity for your dog to learn important social interaction. Part of park etiquette includes staying close to your dog in case anything happens and cleaning up after him.

Out in public. If you take your dog to other dog-friendly places like stores or coffee shops, having a well-mannered dog is essential. As always, be prepared to clean up after your dog. Make sure that he’s leashed at all times and that he doesn’t jump on other people or bark incessantly. Remember that not every person loves dogs, and respecting that is key.

The Basic Commands

In order to make trips with your dog safer and fun, it’s a good idea to teach him some basic commands. Training your dog to listen to you will improve his behavior and demonstrate good public etiquette. According to The Spruce, some of the must-teach commands include:

Come. This teaches your dog to come toward you under any circumstance and really comes in handy in an emergency.
Sit. This is a way to control your dog, give him a chance to calm down, or to stop him from jumping on strangers.
Stay. This is another handy command that instructs your dog to stay put and can save him from jumping into a dangerous situation or running out into the street.
Leave it/drop it. This command tells your dog to drop what’s in his mouth. This is especially useful for dogs that are avid chewers.

The Dog Neighbor Rules

Leaving your dog alone all day in the backyard is not a good way to care for him. If you find your dog to be barking endlessly, it’s time to investigate what might be causing the behavior. Consider whether it is any of the following:

• Territorial barking
• Alarm barking
• Compulsive barking
• Attention-seeking barking

Once you identify the problem, it’ll be easier to correct the behavior. You might solve the problem by installing a sight barrier or different type of fence. Sometimes all it takes is doubling up on his exercise or getting your dog to a park where he can socialize and interact with others.

We love our dogs, but teaching them manners and etiquette is part of becoming a responsible dog owner. Our canine companions look to their humans for guidance and structure. They thrive with discipline and love and give us so much more in return.

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