Is your dog friendly with other pets? Or does he pick up a fight every time you get him close to another dog? Does he jump up on people or is he calm around them? Here are some basic rules for every dog owner. How many of them you are following already?
1. Keep The Greeting Short
When walking with your pet on a leash, if you meet another dog, before you let them get close to each other, make sure that both are showing a positive body language and are comfortable around each other. You can figure this out by looking at their tails and bodies, which will be relaxed and inviting.
Dogs can sense how we are feeling, which is why we need to stay calm and confident as well. And it’s better to let the dogs smell each other’s rear ends instead of meeting face to face. If either of the dogs looks stiff or has fixed eyes and a threatening body language, it’s best to keep walking and not introduce the two. Also, on-leash meetings are best kept short.
2. Always Have Your Dog On A Leash
Never walk your dog without a leash. Your dog may be very well-behaved, but him walking up to other unfamiliar dogs isn’t a good idea at all. The situation can get out of hand in no time. Also, you may know your dog well, but sometimes you can’t predict his behavior toward a sudden, unexpected event or situation. If something spooks him, he may run right into harm’s way.
3. Respect Other People And Animals
It’s very important to respect other pets and pet owners and not assume right away that everyone is going to love your dog. Your pooch may be the friendliest dog around, but other dogs may not be as friendly. It’s always best to ask other pet parents if it’s okay for your dog to say hello to theirs before you take your dog any closer. It’s good to remember that every dog is different and will react differently to situations and people, and we must respect that at all times.
4. Pick Up The Poop
Leaving your pet’s poop behind is a terrible idea. It’s not just messy, it is also a potential health hazard to other pets stepping on it or ingesting it. Dog poop carries bacteria and parasites which can easily get transmitted to other dogs and people. Always pick up your dog’s poop and drop it in a bin designated for this. Make sure you empty it frequently.
5. Allow Your Dog Some Barking
Dogs bark to communicate with other dogs and people. Some amount of barking is okay and almost essential for your dog to be able to communicate. It’s only when this barking goes over the top does it begin to bother everyone else around.
If you find that your dog barks excessively around other people or dogs, you may need to train him and curb that habit. You can do this with some positive reinforcement training. As a part of this training, the moment you see your dog barking excessively and inappropriately, call him to you. When he comes to you, praise him with a short “yes” and offer him a treat. Once the dog is used to this routine, you can replace the treats with just a “yes” as praise. This encourages your dog to listen to you instead of barking incessantly at some imaginary irritant.
6. Get Your Pet Neutered
If you are someone who doesn’t like the idea of going against nature and having your pet neutered, you may be putting your pet’s health at risk. Experts believe that having your pet neutered can add a few years to his life. It protects female dogs from getting urinary infections and breast cancer and protects male dogs from developing testicular or prostate cancer. Neutering your pets also keeps them from getting overly aggressive.
7. Take Responsibility For Your Pet’s Actions
Puppies love to chew things, and they don’t care if the item being destroyed is expensive or someone else’s property. At times when your pooch is caught red-pawed, destroying the neighbors’ flower patch or a guest’s expensive shoe, the best thing to do as a responsible pet parent, is to take complete responsibility for the damage, apologize profusely, and offer to pay for the damaged property.
8. Keep Your Pet In Sight
Before you take your pooch to the dog park, get him to burn off his energy with a long walk or with the help of some obedience training. This way, your dog will be a bit tired and better equipped to handle other high-energy or fearsome dogs at the park.
You will also need to ensure that he comes to you when you call his name if there is a situation that you want him out of immediately. Before entering the park with your pooch, make sure he sits at the gate for a while. When you are in the park, walk with your dog instead of standing far away and talking to other pet parents. In fact, you can encourage them to walk with you too.
Last but not the least, avoid taking toys or balls to the park as it may lead to fights if your dog decides to get possessive about his toys.
9. Be A Winning Team
As pet parents, we are entirely responsible for our pets’ health and well-being. We have the onus of providing them with not just good food and shelter but also our love, trust, and understanding. An obedience training class can go a long way in getting us to understand our dog’s perspective of things and his understanding of his environment. It can also help us know his fears and what triggers them.
And how well our dog behaves depends entirely on how well we’re able to establish rules and guide him to be able to exhibit good doggie manners.