While the exact time period for the domestication of today’s dog is still under contention in the scientific community, there is one thing that is indisputable: Dogs are a Man’s Best Friend.
Around 30,000 to 15,000 years ago this intelligent, loyal and spirited animal came to the aid of humanity to work towards a common goal – to survive among nature’s triumphant. Since the beginning of our mutual history, which predates agriculture or the domestication of any other animal, our beloved Canis canis has aided us with their adaptability, agility, and endurance. To be honest, I don’t think Homo sapiens sapiens would be where they are without the help of the Dog.
Dogs are a Man’s Best Friend
With our close knit evolution, it is disappointing to know that in many ways we have failed the Dog. Each day, about 1,000 U.S. citizens require emergency care for a dog bite injury. These incidents can rarely be attributed to nature verses nurture and as such, the fault often lies with the ‘owner’.
While this national dog bite statistic is astounding, there are many other behaviors that dogs partake in which turn many potential pet parents away from dog ownership.
While this may seem like a minor problem, the ASPCA has estimated that 3.9 million dogs are taken to the animal shelter every year. So while you may fool yourself into thinking that your pup’s bad behavior is only your burden (or that of your next house guest), there are millions of fur babies out there who just lost a potential home because you, yes you, could not follow the 101s of Doggie Etiquette.
With our close knit evolution, it is disappointing to know that in many ways we have failed the Dog.
With the reputation of Man’s Best Friend on the line, you as a doggy owner owe it to our steadfast companion to set an example and show dog hesitant society that we did not just spend 30,000 years evolving a mouth breathing, shoe destroying, side walk shitting, jumping, biting machine.
Keep your dog healthy
According to the ASPCA, dogs that are sick, injured, or are in pain are far more likely to act out aggressively. Take your fur baby to the vet regularly to ensure that any potential illnesses or injuries won’t cause your dog to act aggressively towards you, other animals or people.
A healthy dog makes a much more manageable dog.
Instill a strong recall response in your dog
With 61,900,000 Google results for the phrase ‘dog recall’, it is obvious that the ability to recall your dog is an absolute skill that you and your dog must share. It goes without saying that no matter how hard you try, your dog will eventually escape from its leash, enclosure, or yard. Therefore, having the ability to have your dog return to you, regardless of other stimuli, is vital.
Dog Star Daily makes some excellent observations regarding dog recall. Specifically, the safety of your dog is often reliant on your ability to keep them away from dangerous situations (this includes roads, other dogs, environmental hazards, and wildlife). Furthermore, you can never have your dog off leash with out this necessary skill.
Leash train your dog and keep them on leash where it is required
If you love dogs, then you love Cesar Millan and if you love Cesar Millan then you know you gotta Master the Walk.
Leash training is not just about staying in the bounds of the law, but also about teaching your dog obedience. The ability to walk your dog on a leash is complimentary to any other skill you and your dog will share: Sitting, Staying, Retrieval, Recall
Leashes are the curse of modernity for the dog. While the occasional car ride more than makes up for this slight inconvenience the leash is now a requirement in any urban to semi-urban environment.
Don’t bother Service Animals
When you or you and your pup are out, leave Service Animals alone. They are pretty busy working and just being total bad asses. It should go without saying but asking someone about their Service Animal or why they have one is inappropriate. If you happen to need further information about Service Animals, check out this link, and don’t bother people who have things to do.
Don’t let your dog jump on or run up to people
Your dog may be the friendliest dog in the world but for the nearly 800,000 people per year that have been bitten by a dog, your assurance that your dog is friendly is simply not good enough. Recovering from dog trauma is best accomplished by being exposed to well behaved and socialized dogs.
Don’t let your dog(s) out of your sight on walks or around children
Most dog bites happen to children between the ages of five to nine. While I will not say if the child or the dog is responsible for these attacks, I will say that many of these attacks could have been avoided if the dog and child had been supervised. Furthermore, allowing your fur baby to wonder could endanger its life as well as the lives of other people’s fur babies.
Keep your baby close and your doggie poo bags closer!
Now that you have the basics of Doggie Etiquette, go forth, and be the envy of your friends and legendary among your peers – level up by training your dog to do this:
For more fur baby worship, check out my Pinterest board below: