Here are a couple of suggestions to help your dog be more welcome outside your home and in social gatherings.
1. Recognize not everyone will love your dog, nor are a number of people comfortable in the presence of them. Make sure your dog is respectful of the personal space of an individual. DO NOT let them go up and greet anyone without their approval. How comfortable are you when someone invades your personal space? This goes for their dog too. While your dog may enjoy meeting others, their dog may not. It is your responsibility to have your dog under control and to be considerate of others.
2. When entering public spaces, a store, someone’s home, walk them BEFORE entering to allow them to relieve themselves. Yes, this takes time and you might be in a hurry, but this is a common cause for accidents.
3. If your dog does mark or have an accident, PLEASE take responsibility. Don’t walk away thinking it will go unnoticed or expect someone else to clean up after your animal. A respectful pet owner asks for cleaning supplies and offers to clean up. How would you feel about someone using your bathroom and left without flushing?
4. Most public spaces and stores require your pet to be on a leash—preferably a non-retractable (since owners don’t understand you can lock them down to prevent wrapping the leash around a legs or equipment). Even if this is a place you frequent, DO NOT drop the leash when entering. You do not know if there are other animals or people who are uncomfortable around dogs.
5. Whether you are walking your dog, shopping with them or enjoying their company at a café, PAY ATTENTION. Too often we hear, “I just turned away for a moment,” and a confrontation or accident happens. It’s also important when shopping to understand store and business personnel are not pet sitters. By asking them to just hold your dog for a moment, you are asking them to take on the responsibility of your pet and their actions.
We love having canine (even a few feline) visitors at our store. But for us to enjoy their company, we like to see shining examples of good manners.
Please and thank you!