We were on vacation one year and enjoying dinner on the deck of this beautiful restaurant when a couple came to sit next to us with 5 very large dogs in tow. As much as my husband and I love dogs, we couldn’t help but feel that maybe 5 large dogs was a little excessive and perhaps took advantage of the restaurant’s “pet-friendly” policy. We were pleasantly surprised when the 5 dogs walked quietly and gently through the maze of tables, and then immediately planted themselves at their owner’s feet. That was the end of that. No noise, no whining, no begging, no barking, no tugging of the leashes, no sniffing the neighbors. Just 5 clean, calm, very well behaved dogs, enjoying an outing with their humans. When others approached the table to greet the dogs, they were friendly and well-mannered. It was refreshing.
Dogs are becoming more widely accepted in public venues, especially in our area. Training has been increasingly in demand as people realize the importance of having a well-behaved and well-socialized dog. The result has been more and more positive interactions with our 4-legged friends in public. But all it takes is one bad apple to spoil the bunch. We know you don’t want your dog to be the one bad apple. If you plan on your dog accompanying you to public, outdoor events this summer, there are a few safety and dog training tips you need to keep in mind.
16 Dog Safety & Training Tips for Outdoor Events
- Basic obedience is a MUST. Sit, stay, and down are 3 commands that should be second nature to your dog before you ever take him out in public.
- Just as important is that your dog must be able to walk properly on a leash. Avoid using a retractable leash as control is imperative.
- Realize that some people are afraid of dogs, so never allow your dog to approach another person uninvited.
- Likewise, never let your dog approach another dog without asking the owner. It’s dangerous to assume that every dog is friendly and social.
- No jumping…. on people, on other dogs, or on tables.
- Know your dog. Do crowds stress him out? Is he unpredictable around other dogs? As much as we would love to have them with us, some dogs are just not cut-out for public socializing.
- Out of consideration for those around you, make sure your dog is clean and odor-free.
- Carry poop bags…and use them.
- Keep your dog cool. Always have fresh, cool water on hand, and if he has to wait (like during an outdoor concert), make sure he has a shady, comfortable spot to lie down.
- Make sure your dog has proper id on his collar and perhaps even microchipped… Just in case he gets away from you.
- When walking, allow others to pass on the side furthest from your dog. It’s just good manners, even if your dog is friendly.
- Take your dog away from people and, if possible, away from manicured lawns to do his business.
- It would be a good idea to bring along a filled kong or chew toy of some kind to entertain your dog when you are seated for any period of time.
- If you have a tiny dog, it may be best to carry them in crowded areas. People are just not aware of little ones beneath their feet and they may get stepped on.
- If your dog meets up with his best friend from Camp, it’s not a good idea to let them romp, no matter how cute they are. They could run into other people, get their leashes tangled up, etc…
- Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date. We can’t count on strange dogs being disease-free, but at least we will know our dog is protected.
If you have read through this list and you fear your dog just doesn’t cut it for social activity, don’t give up. Give our Holiday Barn Pet Resorts‘ dog trainers in Richmond, VA a call. They can help you in so many ways… from basic obedience to proper leash walking, with jumping, even social anxiety.
We so want to enjoy the privilege of having our dogs with us wherever we go. To do that, we need to be responsible dog owners. Having a well-mannered pet goes a long way to making sure that we don’t have that privilege taken away. As we become better dog owners, we can become ambassadors for our dogs being allowed in public places.