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Dogs are everywhere today. From corner coffee shops, to dog biscuits at your local bank branch, to specialized dog parks to Sunday services designated as “pet friendly,” our furry best friends are becoming a regular feature of daily life in the city as well as in the country. But is your dog a welcome guest, or do his manners put people off? Are people glad to see you both, when you arrive? New York Dog Nanny shares some helpful tips on putting your best paws forward in society. 

Are You the Problem?

In many cases, what makes people standoffish about our pets isn’t really their fault. So start by examining your own behavior as a pet owner. Are you conscientious? Do you ask, before introducing your dog to strangers? Do you check with proprietors before bringing your dog into a store? Remember, many people have allergies to dogs, or phobias about them. Respect that, and always get permission before bringing your dog along to an event or a public setting. Mind the local regulations, and ensure your pet is properly vaccinated, well-groomed and attractive. 

Also, no one wants to pet a grubby, unbrushed animal or be jumped unexepectedly or lunged at unprovoked. And you should always bring along bags and gloves for disposing of your pet’s waste. It’s also a good idea to bring wipes, in case your fur baby steps in something icky. No one welcomes a dog that tracks city grime and dirt onto their floors. 

Social Skills

Dogs bark, jump, get distracted and try to chase. A good pet owner must ensure that their dog is trained to act against these natural instincts. If you’re unable to help your dog mind their manners, your next best bet is to work with New York Dog Nanny, which offers a holistic approach to dog training and can help your pup shine in public. 

When managing training on your own, work on positive reinforcement training, and teach your furry friend to walk beside you on a leash, not tug at the lead; this will help prevent accidental escapes to chase down a passing poodle or squirrel. Learn to recognize signs of trouble by reading your dog’s body language. Ears laid back indicate an animal in turmoil, bristled tail means your dog is aggressive, a tucked tail indicates your dog is fearful- all of these are signs that you need to move your pet from the situation immediately. Always ensure your dog is adequately supervised around people and other animals. 

When you’re going to be eating out, bring snacks for your dog as well. Work with your pup at home so that he learns never to beg; nothing puts people off faster. You’ll need to be prepared for the outing with a carrier for a smaller dog, portable food and water dishes that will let him enjoy the day out with you, and an easy-to-carry cooling mat for hot summer days. 

Expect The Unexpected

Dogs are masters of creating chaos, so plan ahead to prevent mishaps. It’s a good idea to carry a towel in case of slobbering, sickness or toileting accidents. And work on your patience. Inevitably, at some point, your dog will do something embarrassing. Good training will not eradicate his, and dogs simply don’t have the same vanities that humans do. They pass gas in public, stick their noses into a pile of rotting trash, or shake mud and rainwater all over their surroundings. What they lack in grace they make up for in loyalty, and we humans love them for it. 

Proper dog training, good preparation and a little planning ahead go a long way toward making a good public impression. As a dog owner, you’re responsible for the health and safety of your pet, but also for his socialization. If your pup is not well brought up, it reflects badly on you.  A friendly, but courteous dog will be well-liked – and his owner respected – ensuring you’re both welcome guests around town. 

photo credit: Image Courtesy Pexels

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