Stores, businesses, and outdoor venues are increasingly inviting friendly dogs to attend. This is a dog owner’s dream come true. All too often we experience just the opposite: NO DOGS ALLOWED. Seriously, who would go to a park and not want to take their dog?!
But should you take them? Some situations are not ideal for all dogs and some events may be ideal for none. Planning to evaluate the outing and your dog’s skill level can help to ensure you, your dog, and the general public all have a wonderful experience.
Evaluate the Outing
1. Ensure there will be cool areas off the hot pavement for your dog to walk. Concrete is always cooler than blacktop but on high heat index days it is probably best to leave them at home.
2. Crowd size? Big crowds or unruly gatherings are a danger to your dog. He or should could be stepped on and have every reason to bite when in pain—but you are responsible for keeping your dog safe from people and people safe from your dog.
Evaluate Your Dog
3. Taking your dog out in public is precisely how you socialize them to become great community canine citizens. Setting your dog up for success requires that this be done gradually. Your first outing should be to a pet friendly store or quiet outdoor restaurant during low traffic times. Expect the first year of outings to require your watchful eye.
4. Have a training plan such as walking in the heel, getting treats for investigating a scary person/thing, and a down stay. This requires obedience to be learned and practiced at home first. Keep it fun with treats and fade them as your dog transforms into a social butterfly!!
Katie Weibel, Master Dog Trainer. Providing training for companion, service and working dogs, sharing knowledge and expertise.