Good Manners for All!

Good Manners

You are a good pet parent and you have taught your dog good manners, but what about you? Pet owners often do not realize that they should be thinking about their own code of conduct when they are out with their dogs, whether this is in public or visiting friends and family.

I asked a number of people what their pet peeves were when it came to other dog owners. Here were some of my findings!

Manners 101

Not surprisingly, the number one issue was people who do not pick up after their dog. I think we all know this is “Manners 101”, and there really is no excuse for this. If you forget to bring a poop bag, or forget to check your supply in your dispenser, always have a bag tied to your leash that you replace immediately if you use it.  Simple, right?

Public spaces

Many dog owners also often assume that everyone thinks their dog is as cute as they are. In a public place, from open spaces likes parks, or more closed in places like elevators, people often let their dogs go up to other people and allow them to start sniffing around that person. If someone is not showing interest in your dog, you should be keeping your dog close to you. In addition, remember not everyone wants your dog going up to his or her dog.

A good rule of thumb is to always ask “can my dog say hi?”

Off-leash or no off-leash?

Another complaint I heard was regarding owners who let their dog off leash in places that are not designated as off-leash. Some people in these areas may be fearful of dogs. Other dog owners may be choosing to stay away from dog parks because their dog does not interact well with other dogs. Children often do not know how to pet or play with a dog and if a dog is not under the control of his owner, then it is possible the child, dog or both may be harmed. You can checkout Bark ‘n Yapp to find off-leash parks wherever you are.

Being a good guest

Good manners should also apply when you go visiting with your dog. Remember to always ask your host if you can bring your dog before showing up on their doorstep with “Fido” in tow. Also make sure to clarify the rules of the house. Is your dog allowed on the furniture? Can they have the run of the house? Should they be kept away from any other pets in the house? Perhaps some other visitors are not dog lovers and would prefer you keep your dog away from them. And remember your Manners 101; if your dog goes out in their backyard, don’t forget to pick up after him.

Now, most of this is common sense! However, as pet parents we often think our dogs are perfect little beings, and forget that we need to take responsibility for their actions.  Oh, and my biggest pet peeve is when I say to people “please keep your dog away, my dog is not friendly”, and they say “it’s OK, mine is”.  Honestly, I don’t care how sweet and lovable your dog is, I’ve asked you nicely to please keep your dog away, so I’d appreciate if you would do just that!  Just sayin’ . . .

About Barby Wolfish 4 Articles
Barby Wolfish has lived in Toronto all her life, and spent the first 30 years of her work career in the travel industry until her passion for dogs got the best of her. Along with her husband David Murray, Barby opened Pet Pointe (, a pet supply store in South Etobicoke in 2011. She prides herself on keeping up to date on the latest in pet nutrition, so that she can give personal service to each and every one of her customers. Barby also has a keen interest in rescuing and fostering dogs and is a board member of Soi Dog Canada, an organization involved in rescuing and rehabilitating dogs from the horrific Asian Dog Meat Trade.

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