Etiquette for the social dog
July 19, 2010
Enjoy outdoor summer activities and protect canine privileges for yourself and others by following doggie good manners.
– Parties and barbecues: Don’t bring your pet to a barbecue or party without him or her being invited. Always check ahead with the party host. Many people are afraid of dogs, no matter how well behaved. If people and pets do mix, monitor your dog constantly. He or she will be tempted by strange smells and food.
– Stores, festivals and outdoor events: Make sure your dog has gone potty before entering a store, festival or event area. The number one reason dogs are prohibited is because they are allowed to relieve themselves where people sit or walk or even on a vendor’s booth (and owners do not clean up).
– Lodging: Call ahead to make sure dogs are allowed. Travel with a well-behaved dog that is friendly, especially to children. If your dog is not comfortable around strange dogs or people, enroll in a socializing class or hire a specialized trainer. Never leave your dog alone in the hotel room. Hotels ban dogs because, no matter how well-trained, left alone their stress can cause damage, continuous barking or fearful behavior which threatens staff housekeepers.
– Dog beaches and dog parks: Off-leash areas are designed for well-behaved dogs who are under immediate voice control. Watch your dog at all times to avoid unwelcome encounters with beach bathers or altercations with strange dogs. Clean up dog waste immediately, of course.
– On the trail: When hiking or backpacking, keep your dog on leash or under strict voice command. Step aside for other trail users, keeping your pet at your side. Simply calling out “He’s friendly!” is not respectful or responsible. When encountering a horse and rider, yield and calm your dog to avoid accident or injury.
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– Dog waste: Take doggy bags or poop bags with you at all times. At home or away, respect neighborhoods and fragile environments. Steer your pet from lawns and gardens. Pick up waste and dispose of it properly.
– Dog drool: If you have a dog who slobbers, keep a towel handy so that dog drool doesn’t get all over other pets and people. Then your pet is ready for any social interaction.
Provided by the Lake Tahoe Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to help “Keep Tahoe Kind.”
– Dawn Armstrong is the executive director of the Lake Tahoe Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.