City Dogs: Challenges & Recommendations
Dog etiquette is important no matter where you live, but in bigger cities it’s even more important. City dogs face a lot of challenges when they are out for a walk, other dogs, other people, garbage, traffic and noise at all times. These challenges require good behaviour, a keen sense of the surroundings, and good team work between dog and owner. Here are a few tips that will make life in the city with dogs a little easier and more comfortable – for everybody!
Teach your dog to walk on a leash
All dogs, regardless of size, age, or lifestyle, should be taught to walk nicely on leash. They are not born knowing that they shouldn’t pull ahead or lag behind so it’s our job to teach them good leash manners, especially when you live in a city. Teaching a dog to walk nicely on leash will require some time and effort. But the payoff is a dog who is a pleasure to walk with, even with challenges along the way.
All dogs, regardless of size, age, or lifestyle, should be taught to walk nicely on leash.
Keep your dog in front
While many trainers teach dogs to walk on the side of their owner, city dog parents should keep their dogs a bit in front of them so that they can see if their dog is nibbling something from off of the street. City dogs quickly learn that there are lots of goodies on the sidewalk — chicken bones, rat poison, ice melting products, wrappers and more “tasty treats” that you don’t want your dog to have.
Teach your dog basic commands
Just like we teach our children important, basic commands to keep them safe and stop them from running out in front of a car or putting something dangerous in their mouth, dogs should also be taught certain commands. To ensure your dog is a good citizen and to keep him out of dangerous situations, there are minimum commands your dog should know. Whether you take your dog to the park, to the vet or for a simple walk, dangers can occur. And, no dog is smart enough to realize every single danger he can get himself into. “Sit-Stay,” “Heel,” “Leave it” and “Come” are some of the most important commands that all city dogs should know.
Always scoop the poop
It is quite rude to leave your dog’s poop on the sidewalk because let’s face it, nobody wants to step in a mess like that! Plus, certain parasites and diseases can be transmittable through feces. It’s a good idea, and good behaviour, to encourage your dog to do his important business at the very edge of the sidewalk. Simply make sure that every time your dog has to ‘go,’ you pull him to the curb. Your dog will quickly learn what to do.
Don’t forget to scoop the poop! Nobody wants to step in a mess like that!
Not all dogs want to socialize
As a dog owner it is important to understand that not all dogs you meet are friendly. Some a rather anti-social and maybe even scared of other dogs and humans. Dogs frightened by encounters with other dogs in public often become aggressive. To avoid unpleasant situations, you should always ask the owner before allowing your dog to “say hi” to another dog.
Dogs in public spaces
- It is the pet owner’s responsibility to control their pet at all times.
- Provide training and socialization for your pets.
- Walk your dog often and on a leash, no longer than two metres.
- Don’t let your dog run loose on the street. Take your dog to one of the city’s off-leash parks.
- If your dog is nervous or uncomfortable around people or other animals, be honest and take precautions.
- Some people fear dogs – respect their feelings and concerns.
- Pick up after your pet.
- Put a GPS tracker on your dog’s collar and give yourself peace of mind.