Want to be a super-responsible dog owner? These guidelines will protect your pup and your neighborhood reputation.
They sell leashes for a reason.
Retirement is a great time to get a dog. You have more time for you—and more time to spend with a sweet, furry friend. Sharp's Run, a community of new homes in Burlington County, is a low-priced, new-construction 55+ community. Look into it for you, or for someone in your family.
Do you swoon watching Mr. Bow Wow run free? Sadly, your neighbors might not feel the same way. That's why we should all keep our dogs on a leash when walking through the neighborhood. According to ASPCA, keep leashes six feet or less on public sidewalks. And, if you're walking in areas where there are joggers, skaters or cyclists, don't use a retractable leash. Those active types might not see the line and trip over it.
Know thy dog.
Does a man in uniform turn your dog into Cujo? Does he growl or bark at other pups? Needless to say, if your dog has control issues, do your best to train out their bad habits. But in the meantime, get ahead of upcoming situations. Keep your dog on a tight leash, avoid playgrounds and cross the street if you see the UPS man walking toward you.
Fido, meet Rover.
Keep things mellow when you meet another dog on your daily walk. According to the Animal Humane Society, it's not appropriate for dogs to “play” when on the leash—there's a time for play and a time for self-control. If both dogs are well behaved, a quick hello and five-second sniff is great—but never allow your dog to jump all over another dog. Many dogs (and owners) will not vibe on this kind of interaction.
Barking can be bad.
All dogs bark—it's part of being a canine. But incessant barking is a giant no-no and can make an owner a neighborhood exile. Most dogs bark because they want to come in the house or they need exercise and attention. Rule of thumb: If your dog is out in the yard, their barking should last no more than one minute. If your dog won't stop barking, contact a professional dog trainer who can help you figure out what the problem might be.
Children are not dog toys.
Not all parents and children feel comfortable around animals. According to the ASPCA, if you see a kid coming your way, ask her or her parent “Is it okay if my dog says hi you?” before allowing physical contact. Greetings shouldn't ever include jumping on a child. The ASPCA adds that if your dog is physically challenging, consider using a head halter for better control.
Pick up their poop.
Yes, it's gross. And yes, if it's dark you can pretend you didn't see your dog do the deed. But that is so not cool—and you're so much more than that.
Ryan Homes Question: What's one thing that makes your dog go bananas (that you try to control)?