Etiquette and Training Tips for the Responsible Dog Owner
There is more to being a responsible dog owner than meets the eye. While dogs are man’s best friend, they still require training and attention to live harmoniously among their human companions. We’ve all encountered a neighbor whose dog barks endlessly through the night, and you definitely don’t want to be that neighbor. Learn how to become a conscientious dog owner by training and teaching your dog the basics.
The Basic Commands
Dogs crave direction and discipline. They thrive under structure and rules and look to their human companions for guidance. Whether you obtain a puppy or an adult dog, taking the time to teach him a few basic commands can go a long way and save you headaches for years to come. According to dog trainer Cesar Millan, the most important commands to teach your dog include:
● Come. This command gives you more control of your dog and ensures he comes to you when necessary. This command can help him keep out of trouble or to stay away from a dangerous situation.
● Stay. This is another important command that can come in handy when your dog is tempted to run out and chase something or someone.
● Leave it.This is practical for when your dog puts something in his mouth he shouldn’t, like your shoe. This command will prompt him to drop it, and possibly avoid injury or destruction of property.
The Neighbor Policy
Having your dog in the backyard comes with responsibilities. Understanding how to train your dog will likely keep things friendly between you and your neighbors. If you find your dog barking constantly at neighbors or people passing by, the first step is to try to understand why your dog is barking. There are a few possibilities:
Playful bark : This could mean your dog just wants to play and maybe has too much energy.
Protective bark : Perhaps your dog feels that neighbors or passersby are stepping on his territory. Try installing a wooden fence to block their view and reduce the visible stimuli.
Fear bark: Your dog might be startled by noises around the neighborhood.
Excessive bark: This is a constant and incessant dog bark that is usually caused by boredom or a dog who is not receiving enough attention.
Once you identify the reason why your dog is barking, you can mitigate the issue. The Humane Society recommends you don’t yell at your dog to be quiet. This could encourage more barking. Many times excessive or playful barking can be reduced by providing more exercise or mental stimuli. A territorial bark can be handled by blocking the view or removing the motivation. If they can’t see what’s out there, they are less likely to bark at it.
If you’re like most dog lovers, taking your dog out for walks, going to parks, and enjoying other recreational activities are part of the fun. Taking your dog out in public, however, also comes with its unwritten (and sometimes written) rules.
Going for a walk . When taking your dog out in the neighborhood, it’s important that you follow local laws and ordinances. Most cities will require that you pick up after your pet and that he be on a leash. This is for the safety of others and your dog. When approaching another dog, ask the owner for permission before letting your dog get too close.
The dog park . If you live in a city, it’s likely that you have encountered an off-leash dog park. This is a fantastic way to get your dog to socialize and get much-needed exercise. There are a few key rules to follow: Always pick up after your dog, carry a water bowl, don’t bring food, and always stay near your dog in case he gets into a scuffle.
Out on the town . There are many dog-friendly areas today like stores, bars, and even some special events. During these occasions, you want people to admire how well-behaved your dog is. Always follow basic etiquette by cleaning up after your dog and having him leashed. Also, make sure you implement the commands so he is not jumping on others, nipping at things, or constantly trying to run away.
People are not often prepared for the commitment that comes with having dogs. Part of that commitment is training them and showing them how to behave in our world. This will ensure they stay happy and healthy. It begins with lots of love, and if you have that, your dog can learn just about anything.
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