Lessons in Etiquette
Helping Your Dog Mind Their Manners
When it comes to our dogs, it’s easy to assume that everyone loves them as much as we do. But, unfortunately, that isn’t always the case – especially if your dog doesn’t have the best manners.
To help your dog put their best paw forward when they interact with others, spend a little time thinking about their behavior and what rules of etiquette might apply to them.
- Just say no to jumping. A dog’s natural reaction is to jump when they’re excited. But even if your dog is small or friendly, allowing jumping is never a good idea. This kind of behavior can also be dangerous if your dog is interacting with a senior, small child, or another dog who could respond aggressively to this type of behavior.
- Ditch the retractable leash. While it’s fun to let your dog run free, it’s hard to maintain control on a walk when your dog is up to 26 feet away from you. Not only do retractable leashes give your dog freedom to roam wherever they want, they can also allow them to end up in situations that can quickly turn dangerous.
- Don’t force it. When introducing your dog to a new person or environment, pay attention to their body language and the signals they’re trying to send you. If they seem uncomfortable, help them feel safe by reassuring them with a confident voice, and don’t insist that they do something they don’t want to do.
- Ask before letting your dog say hi. Not every person or dog enjoys interacting with another dog, especially if you have a very high energy dog or puppy. Before allowing your dog to approach strangers, ask if they want to engage and then prepare your dog for a polite greeting by putting them in a sit and preventing them from jumping.
- Don’t ignore bad behavior. If you don’t approve of the way the interactions are going between your dog and another person or dog, be prepared to calmly intervene and remove your dog from the situation.
To set a positive foundation for teaching good doggy manners, visit our Doggie Obedience Basics post. For classes at Wagging Tails designed for every age and skill level, contact our Obedience Academy.