As a dog who has recently migrated from the country to the big city, I know a thing or two about changes in lifestyle and what it means to become a city dog. you
A dog living in the city needs to be given the time to head out for a stroll with its master, or a dog walker. While a dog and its owner may have that right, there are responsibilities that come with walking your dog in the city. There are not only laws that have been set by the city you are in which may dictate what your dog is allowed to do or even go, but there are also many “unwritten rules” of dog etiquette that you should follow all the time. Abiding by these rules not only makes life more fun for us dogs, but also makes sure that we continue to be allowed everywhere and are well received by random people on the street.
Here are some things to keep in mind whether you’re just visiting the city or living there. Although we all have to learn, you may want to refrain from learning the hard way, which usually means getting schooled by another dog owner or a dog hater, and that rarely ends up being a friendly experience.
Dog Etiquette In the City (and Beyond)
- The moment you head out the door, make sure that your dog is on a leash. Some areas have a requirement on the length of the leash but most require a leash. To make sure that you abide by that requirement, check what the “legal” length for the leash is. In Berlin, there’s a fine of €35 if they catch your dog off leash. Obeying by the rules not only allows for everyone to keep having dogs there, but can give your dog more confidence as well. If your dog is terrified of other dogs, both of you should feel safer with your pet on a leash.
- You can’t stop your dog from dropping a bomb. When nature calls, there’s no telling them off. Always pick up after you dog and dispose of it properly, either in the nearest approved trashcan or at home. Leaving the bag on the street isn’t proper disposal. And just because your dog is tiny and drops tiny, rabbit-sized droppings, doesn’t mean you can just leave it there. Don’t let your dog pee on planters or walls right in front of the door of a business. It’s just bad form and it starts to smell after a while. None of the workers there like it…trust me, I’ve seen their scowls.
- You meet a lot of friendly dog owners with their dogs while you walk. When you get approached, shorten the leash and keep your dog close to you. If you want your dog to make friends, you have to check with the other person to make sure it’s okay with him or her. Remember to keep watch and be cautious until the dogs are comfortable with one another.
- Try not to overact when you see a dog larger than your own on the street. As a big, black Newfie, I get a bad wrap from other dog owners who seem to think I want to eat their dogs, when I really only want to sniff them. But when the human starts to get crazy and excited, it tends to make me feel the same.
- Always be in control of your dog.
- You may be in an area where a lot of other people walk their dogs but it doesn’t necessarily mean that everybody is a dog lover. Be careful to not allow your dog to run up to strangers without their permission.
- If you want to bring your dog inside a place of business but aren’t quite sure if they’re allowed, ask first, don’t just assume it will be ok. You’ll make the owner happy as well as other patrons.
- If you bring your dog somewhere and plan to hang for a while, do a quick scan of the area to see if there are other dogs around and try to sit elsewhere when possible to keep the dogs from causing trouble in the restaurant. If it’s not possible to sit far enough away to not disturb them, make sure it’s ok with the other dog and owner if you sit near them…and if not, head elsewhere. They were there first and it’s just rude to try to force them to leave.
- Each of us has to practice good manners especially in public places and there is no exception even while you are at a dog park.
- Dog parks usually establish a set of rules and regulations. You should be keen on abiding them if you do not want to be kicked out with your dog. Some parks have areas where you are free to unleash your dogs. Until you get to that area, do not let go of your dog. If and when your dog displays aggressive behavior, put his/her leash back on and leave the park as soon as possible.
- There are dogs who are quite possessive with their toys. If your dog is one of them, it might be a better idea to just leave their toys at home to avoid them from being aggressive to other dogs who come out to play.
- If your dog has a history of biting or one that has a fear for strangers or kids, leave the dog at home instead of bringing it out to big social events. The last place a “fear biter” belongs is in a crowded room. It’s not only dangerous for the humans, but stressful for the dog as well.
- Like mentioned earlier, clean up after your dog. ALWAYS.
Do you have fun when you visit cities and are around lots of people?
Sloppy cold Newfie kisses!