It’s a rare person who hasn’t had a bad experience with an irresponsible dog owner – from fouled pavements to aggressive animals. If you’re planning on getting your own dog, you should be inspired by the example of bad dog owners, and make sure you’re motivated not to become one!
Today we’re taking a look at some of the steps you can take to make sure you and your pet bring only joy to the world and the people around you.
The most important thing you can do is make sure your dog is not only healthy, but also not a vector of disease for other dogs. A quick search for ‘vets near me’ can make sure you know where to register to make sure your dog is up to date with inoculations and where to go if you have concerns for your dog’s health. Behavioural issues can come down to simple health problems in some cases, and knowing where your vet is could mean discovering you don’t have an aggressive dog, merely one that was in pain!
Aiming at Good Behaviour
Training a puppy is a difficult task: different breeds have different temperaments and respond better to different methods, and house training requires a very different set of skills to obedience training.
There are several things you can do to make sure your dog is well behaved, and isn’t a source of worry for other dogs, or people while you’re walking it. Finding an obedience class is an important step: it’s not just the class itself, though you will hopefully leave with a better behaved dog. Following an obedience course will give you the tools to help develop your dogs behaviour long after the actual teaching has stopped – it’s as much about your learning as the dog’s!
Another important step that helps your dog behave well is socialisation: if they’re used to being around other dogs, they’re less likely to react badly when they encounter a stranger’s dog while walking. If you have friends who are successful dog owners with a well behaved dog, try to meet up – give the dogs a chance to get to know each other. Your younger dog will take behavioural cues from the older one. This can be especially helpful for teaching your dog how to behave around others, and for reinforcing how to return when called.
Finally, the most important thing you can do is maintain the all important dog owner’s etiquette – clean up after your dog! No one likes stepping in dog mess, and as well as making you unpopular it could result in a fine for you if you don’t pick up after your dog.
Other basic steps you can take to be well mannered, pleasant dog owner are to move your dog on from someone quickly if you can see it makes them anxious – if you don’t like dogs the often heard phrase “he’s only playing” is cold comfort” – and keep your dog on a lead around children and wildlife. Even the best behaved dog can get overexcited, and the results can be dramatic!