Dog Owner Etiquette
As dogs are becoming more popular family pets, fewer parks and recreational areas are allowing people access with a dog in tow. Many parks ban dogs entirely leash or no leash. Much of the reason for this is our own fault. As dog owners we need to police ourselves and be responsible for our dogs behavior and considerate of others. The longer you have owned dogs, the more you can appreciate how hard it is to find a park or other open space to exercise them. There are a lot of things we as dog owners can do to give dogs a better image to the non-dog owning public. I call this " Dog Owner Etiquette". Below is a list of things you can do to not only be a responsible dog owner but an asset to the community.
- Don't leave your dog outside all day while you are at work. Even the quietest dogs will bark and become a neighborhood nuisance.
- Wherever you walk your dog ALWAYS pick up his poop. There is nothing more disgusting than a sidewalk covered in dog poop. Bring along a ziploc bag, put your hand inside, pick up the poop and turn it right side out. Bring an extra bag along just in case your dog goes a second time.
- Always keep your dog on leash on public streets for his own safety as well as the safety of other people, especially children.
- Don't allow your dog to urinate on other peoples property, shrubs, decorations, and trees. To responsible dog owners and the non-dog owning public this is rude ( it's almost like you urinated there yourself).
- Keep your dog close to you when walking where other dogs are also on leash. Letting your dog run right up to other dogs is rude and can cause both dogs to react aggressively.
- Never allow your off-leash dog to run up to dogs on leash. Not only is this irresponsible on your part, other people may not have a dog that gets along with other dogs and the leashed dog may attack your dog.
- Always carry pick up bags with you even when walking on wooded trails.
- Don't take your dog to public places if he's dog or people aggressive. You can't always prevent a child or another dog running up to your dog.
- Respect other people's space don't allow your dog off-leash if you don't have voice control, meaning you call him and he comes right back.
- Don't leave your dog outside unattended if he barks or acts aggressively to people or children walking by. Not only is this dangerous for the passersby but it reinforces a dangerous and undesirable behavior that is difficult to change.
These top ten tips for good dog owners are common sense and may seems over simplified to the average responsible dog owner. However, there are too many folks who are not managing their dogs responsibly as is evidenced by the very strict leash laws and no dogs in parks rule that Malden has adopted. We can only change the attitudes of the non- dog owning public by showing how responsible dog owners are an asset to the community not the nuisance they are presumed to be. So go out on the town with your pooch and set an example others will be proud to follow.