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Pet Etiquette

Today I am featuring a wonderful article by Aurora James: It is loaded with excellent information.

Put Your Best Paw Forward: Dog Etiquette and Training

"Are you and your dog the life of the party and welcomed wherever you go, or do people shy away when you enter the room? With more and more places becoming pet-friendly, dogs and and their owners are everywhere these days. As such, your dog should possess manners and training that will serve him from the dog park all the way to Park Place.  Here are some tips and tricks on making sure you’re both on your best behavior.
As dog lovers, we sometimes forget that not everyone loves our dogs. So the polite thing to do is to make sure they’re invited before we bring them along to an event or activity. Check with your host/hostess or business proprietor to ensure you’re complying with their pet policy. Know your local zoning and leash laws so you don’t run afoul of them. Always keep your dog collared, tagged, and leashed and his shots up to date. Also, check out Pet Life Today for reviews of all the best equipment. When you go out in public, make sure to properly dispose of any waste. It’s a good idea to carry glove, wipes, sanitizer and bags at all times. If he steps in some mud, clean him up immediately. No one likes a muddy dog who flings dirt on their ankles. Ensure he’s always clean and well-groomed so he can make the proper first impression.
Good Training Makes Good Dogs
Dogs jump, bark, get distracted, and try to give chase. Yours must be trained to act against his natural instincts. Dog training takes a lifetime, but priority attention goes to the basics of house training and obedience. At a minimum, your dog should respond to “Come,” “Sit,” “Drop It,”  and “Stay.” He should be taught to walk beside you politely on a leash. You can enlist the services of a professional, but you can also teach your dog yourself with the aid of online videos and how-to articles. Dogs are constantly watching and learning from us, so every second is potentially a teachable moment. Be consistent and provide copious positive reinforcement in your training.
Cultivate a Sense of Humor
Even the most well-behaved dog will make mistakes, and accidents do happen. Learn to laugh at him and yourself; this can defuse some of the tension when he embarrasses you in public. Practicing saying, “I’m so sorry!” because you’ll need it eventually. Dogs are not people, and they don’t share our vanities. Inevitably, he’s going to put his nose into a trash can, break wind at a picnic, or do some other potentially embarrassing thing. What they lack in decorum they make up for in loyalty, and we humans love them for that.

As a pet owner, you’re responsible for the health and safety of your pet and also for how he behaves in the company of others. If he tears something up, you’re on the hook to replace or repair it. If he acts up by jumping on people or begging for food, it reflects badly on you. However, these are simple matters of training and preparation. A well-fed dog can be trained not to beg or bark excessively. He can be taught not to jump on other people. If he does these things, the fault lies with his human, not with the animal himself. Remember, you’re a goodwill ambassador for all of us when you’re out there, so do us proud. A courteous dog owner and a well-behaved dog will encourage pet ownership as a whole. However, an ill-trained dog and a boor of a pet owner will make the entire community look bad."

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