Author: Jessica Brody
More and more businesses and public spaces are becoming open to dogs. This is fantastic for active owners, who want their dogs to share in the experience of the world outside the home. However, without proper training, a dog may become a nuisance to others. Take a look at the tips below to make sure your dog is well-behaved when you’re in public.
Prepare for overstimulation
One of the hazards of spending a good deal of time outside with your dog is that your pet may become overstimulated. Begin acclimating your dog to more stimulation at home. Practice your training with music or the TV on and have your friends come into the room mid training session. Have them hold conversations or laugh at random intervals, anything to make noise. Once your pup does a good job of keeping focused, raise the stakes by having your friends bring in food. All of these distractions will help your dog prepare for when you take him out to a dog-friendly café or restaurant.
Stop begging before it starts
Even the best-mannered dogs can forget their training when they get a whiff of food. Like with stimulation, this training begins at home. Get your dog used to people eating around him without begging by having meals with your dog leashed. Do not engage with your dog while the family is eating, as any attention may encourage your pet to seek more. Even by looking at your dog, you may give him the impression he will be getting something. Your dog should never be fed scraps as this leads to expectations of eating more food from the table in the future. Instead, feed him only from his bowl, so he knows that is his only source of food. Practice the commands “stay” and “down” when eating. If your dog breaks these commands, repeat the position until he has it mastered. Be consistent always. If possible, feed your dog before you go out to curb appetite and help reduce begging behaviours.
Have the right equipment
You will need more than a leash when you take your dog into the public sphere. You may want to invest in a good harness or even a dog stroller when going out for an extended period. Bring a few toys as well to keep your dog occupied. A bored dog may act up for attention, the way a small child might. If you are going to a café to meet up with friends, make sure you bring a collapsible to ensure your dog stays happy and hydrated during your outing. If you plan on giving your dog a meal while out, bring a collapsible food bowl as, again, your dog should only ever eat out of their bowl.
Socialize your dog
Chances are, if you are going to a dog-friendly place, you and your dog may meet another canine. If your dog is not socialized, this may lead to tension or even a confrontation. That is why it is important to make sure your pup behaves well with other dogs. If possible, begin your socialization when your dog is young. The first step is to adjust your dog to being outside. Take him for frequent outings so he becomes used to the outdoors and all the sounds and smells associated with being outside. Take your pup to a dog park where he can meet others and get used to being in a relatively chaotic environment.
Remember to take things slowly. A scared dog is one who may lash out. However, with the proper training and ample patience, you and your dog are well on your way to enjoying the outdoors. It’s a big world out there, after all. Your dog deserves to enjoy it just as much as you do.
Image Courtesy of Pixabay