Bad Pet Owner Behavior: Humans Who Could Stand to Take An Obedience Class — Petiquette
You know when you adopt a new dog that training them is super important. But the truth is, it’s not always just the pups who need obedience school—some pet owners are totally oblivious to their behavior, which can at best be just a little rude, and at worst can put their dogs (and other people and their pets) in risky positions.
Whether you’re a seasoned pet parent or new to being a dog owner, definitely check yourself for these behaviors to make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your four-legged friend safe while also being polite to other people (and if you’ve already got all your pet priorities straight, at least you can vent along with us!).
The person who lets their dog jump on strangers.
Don’t take this the wrong way, because I say this with the utmost love and understanding and as someone who firmly believes that all dogs are good dogs: I will happily give your pup some affection (after asking for permission from you, of course—but more on that later) but that doesn’t mean I want your four-legged BFF to jump all over me when I’m waiting at the crosswalk. Things happen, dogs get excited, and it’s totally understandable—and I don’t think a single dog lover would be upset about it, but you should be making an effort to ensure that it doesn’t happen all the time. Partly because not everyone likes dogs (or maybe they’re allergic) but also because not making that effort might put your pup in the position to get hurt or accidentally hurt someone, and you love your furry friend too much to let that happen.
The person who assumes all other dogs are friendly.
Back to the whole “asking for permission” thing—you should really never, ever touch a stranger’s dog without asking first. This also goes for letting your dog play with strangers dogs as you pass by. Not all dogs are as friendly as you hope they will be—they may have been abused or are still learning to socialize with people and other pups, and again, in all of these instances, not acknowledging this can lead to someone getting hurt. Be thoughtful and cautious around other dogs, and always ask the owner before you reach out to pet them or let your dog get close to them.
The person who brings their dog everywhere, uninvited.
Again, I’m saying this as someone who is always happy to see a dog—there are just some places and moments where bringing your pup along with you just isn’t appropriate. A good rule of thumb: Ask your friends—or whomever you’re meeting up with—if they mind if your pup tags along. Don’t just assume that it’s OK and show up leash-in-hand, because your friend might have allergies or wanted to go somewhere that’s not dog friendly. Make sure that any public places you’re planning to go to allow dogs before you make the trip, and definitely don’t show up to someone else’s home with your pets without express permission first.
The person who doesn’t pick up after their dog.
Honestly, this is just rude—and gross. When you’re walking your dog in the park or on a public sidewalk or anywhere else where their waste might get in the way or otherwise affect people, please pick up after them. Make sure you have baggies or your preferred method of poop scooping with you every time you take your four-legged BFF out for a walk, and make sure you dispose of it properly. Leaving it on the street for someone else to step in just isn’t cool—and I’d be willing to bet you’d hate it if it happened to you, so don’t let yourself be the reason it happens to someone else. It’s the considerate and responsible thing to do as a pet owner.
The person who doesn’t mind the gates at the dog park.
Whenever you go to the dog park, you should absolutely be sure to mind all the rules, like keeping your pup on a leash or out of specific areas, for example. But if you only follow one piece of petiquette, definitely make it remembering to be mindful of the gates at the dog park. You do not want to be the reason your dog—or someone else’s—escapes and gets lost or hurt, so if you’re not already paying attention every time you go to the park, make it a point to start. Be sure any gates that are supposed to be closed stay closed, and that you’re careful not to let any other dogs out when you enter or leave.