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Dog Etiquette

Dog owners that live in cities have much greater challenges in raising their dogs than those dwelling in the suburban and rural areas. One of the main reason is space crunch.
DogAppy Staff
Dog owners who do not own a yard large enough for the dog to exercise, the city dwelling dog owners have to take their pets for a walk three or even more times a day. Then the obstacles appear - joggers, strollers, skaters, bikers, and so on and so forth. Not to mention the sign "NO DOGS ALLOWED" that seems to appear most everywhere especially when you are in desperate search for a nice place for your dog to run and play in.
In most counties and cities there are laws for using a leash and picking up after your dog. These are meant to ensure the community's well-being and protection in general. When it is leashed, a dog is kept safe from the dangers of traffic and cannot fulfill its irresistible desire to chase children. As far as the leashes are concerned, it's inadvisable to use retractable leashes in public areas usually frequented by skaters, cyclists or joggers.
The four commands that a well-educated city dog must respond to are: "Heel", "Sit-Stay", "Leave It" and "Come." When waiting at the traffic lights, the dog's Sit-Stay position ensures the animal's safety. And although most of the time there's no problem to walk your dog on a loose leash, there are times when the dog needs to be in heel position, in order to be kept under control.
"Leave It" is used when commanding a dog to give up its gaze. The dog may either be tempted by some chicken bones, interested in interacting with a jogger or a small child. At any rate, the dog needs to break eye contact with the so-called "forbidden fruit" before causing any trouble. The command "Come" could even save the dog's life, if for instance he breaks/slips his collar. All these four simple commands are part of the basic obedience class that are usually taught at most dog shelters.
Another thing to be remembered is that sudden loud noises such as running children, skateboarders or motorcycles can be quite frightening for a dog. In such situations, one must have complete and firm control over one's dog, to prevent the animal from biting people or lunging. One more essential thing to be taken care of before leaving home to go shopping with your dog, is to think of all the places where dogs are allowed and those where they aren't. It's better to leave him home than take him to a place where this pet is not allowed to enter. If he is tied to a parking meter or a post, the dog may become an easy target for thieves or bullies.
It's sad but it's true: not everyone loves dogs. Because of that, city dog keepers need to have a well-trained, under control pet. Even when people act friendly towards your dog, it's best not to allow your dog to playfully jump on them. Also, if there are such rules within a building or establishment, it's good to hurry through halls or lobbies, to choose freight elevators or go out through back exits. It's essential to forbid your dog to soil in front of the entrance of a building. If you own a little puppy or a dog who is in training and hasn't yet learned to control himself, you should always carry with you odor neutralizers and paper towels.
Although most of the dogs love to play with each other, it's best to ask their dog keepers if it's allowed before letting your dog playfully jump on another newly met dog. This rule is also applicable for children. You should ask children if they are willing to play with your dog before allowing your dog to approach a child. The dog's happy greeting should not include grabbing at the child, jumping on him or bouncing off.
Keeping dogs in crowded city areas implies even more responsibilities. Because some of the dog keepers do not show enough consideration towards their neighbors, they may be deprived of the permission to go in certain urban areas with their dogs. Things may change if dog keepers put some effort into training their dogs, and if they acted more thoughtful towards those who do not own or like dogs.