PET HEALTH & CARE
Public Manners: Steppin' Out for the First Time
with your Pup!
It's fun to take your dog with you to the local pet store or out to
lunch, but the first time you step out together in public can be nerve
racking for both you and your dog! To ensure that your outing is enjoyable
and stress-free follow these simple tips:
- Make sure that he or she responds to simple commands like sit and
stay and knows how to walk
on a leash. This will give you some tools to help control her during
- When you are out in public, introduce her to as many different types
of people as possible. Let her interact with kids, the elderly, homeless
people, police officers and people of other ethnicities. When she meets
these people allow her to be friendly but make sure she doesn't jump.
If she does, tell her no then use
a treat or the leash to make her sit before the person is allowed
to pet her again.
- Introduce her to as many different types of noises and things as
possible. Show her a balloon, a grocery cart or a garbage truck. This
will help teach your dog that although something may be loud it doesn't
mean she has to bark at it or be scared.
- Be aware of your own feelings. It's normal to feel nervous when
you first take the pup out or when you see another dog. However, you
have to put that feeling aside when you are training. Dogs are very,
very good at picking up on their owner's feelings. If they sense you
are nervous, apprehensive or scared, it will only verify for them that
other dogs/people are indeed a threatening situation where they need
to protect themselves. Be as happy and upbeat as possible. If your
dog can see that you are relaxed then she will relax as well.
- Practice her commands. Make sure your pup learns that she has to
listen to you in public as well. Set her up for success by asking her
to do a simple command like a sit or a down.
- If you are in a store, make sure that your dog walks next to you
or behind you. If she is out front, she is more likely to get into
trouble or startle a person.
- Have fun and be sure to bring
Last but not least, watch the pavement temperature. Remember that the
blacktop tends to be 15-20 degrees warmer then other pavement so check
to make sure it isn't too hot before you walk her across it!
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