Etiquette for dog owners

Black shelter dog outside in the playyard

Dog owners have a responsibility to manage their pets' behavior and follow certain rules of etiquette. Follow these guidelines to ensure that you and your dog are being courteous community members.

  • Scoop your poop. Bring several bags on your walks to be sure you have enough. If you run out, either come back and clean it up later, or ask another walker if they have a bag to spare.
  • Prevent barking. Practice getting your dog’s attention to easily redirect him if he barks at people or other dogs. If you know your dog acts this way, only allow him in the yard when supervised.
  • Only let your dog greet a stranger if they ask. The same rule applies if you see another dog and owner approaching. Ask first and respect the other’s response.
  • Always leash your dog on walks. Not everyone is comfortable around dogs. Keep your dog close to you and stay alert to others. Your leash should be short enough to prevent your dog from contacting or jumping on passersby.
  • Don't play while on leash. If you meet another dog on a walk (and it's alright with their owner) let the dogs sniff each other for five seconds and move on. Letting your dog play with another dog while on leash can result in injury and teach your dog that all dogs enjoy this kind of interaction, although many don’t.
  • Be aware of other people's feelings. If your dog does something to upset someone (jumping up, barking) apologize to them and take measures to prevent the situation from reoccurring.

For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

Contact the Pet Helpline