Dog Etiquette Tips

He’s furry and cute, and he runs around in feverish delight in the grass. He’s your dog. And while he’s adorable, he may also dig up your tulip beds, nip at other dogs, or mark his territory on the neighbor’s mailbox – that is, if he’s not versed in doggy etiquette.

Right now, upwards of 6 out of 10 Americans have a pet, and almost 44 percent of all Americans have a dog. Here is some helpful dog training advice to dog owners who enjoy bringing their pups to dog-friendly public places and businesses.

Photo by: Kim


Your dog will probably never behave well in public if you don’t start training it from the time it’s a puppy. When you first bring your dog home, be sure to set a routine. Put its water and food dishes in the same part of the kitchen. Keep its bed in a certain room, so that it knows it can always lie down and relax. Despite the demands of your schedule, try to get up and go to bed at the same time every day. Then, once you establish the basics, teach it to be gentle to other puppies, which means reprimanding it whenever it plays too roughly.

Public Etiquette

After you’ve instilled a sense of order in your home, train your dog to behave well in public. That’s going to involve teaching it commands, including sit, stay, and come, and how to walk on a leash. As you’re doing this, be consistent. For instance, tell your dog, “Sit!” opposed to, “Sit down now!” so as not to confuse it. Don’t repeat that command – say it once and firmly. Use doggy treats as a reward so that it connects good behavior with earning a treat. Also, even though you’re molding it into being gentle and dutiful, make sure it knows you’re the leader of the pack. That way, it respects you enough so that when you give it a command, it obeys it automatically, without pulling on its leash or barking back at you.

Photo by: Kim

Dog Walking Safety

One of the most frequent activities we do with our dogs is going for a walk. So, in the words of Cesar the Dog Whisperer, “Master the dog walk.” Here are some etiquette tips for you as you’re learning how to do this:

  • Walk in front of the dog. If the dog is ahead of you, then he’s the leader of the pack, and he’s walking you as opposed to the other way around.

  • Try timing your jaunt to fall in the range of 30 minutes to one hour.

  • Let the dog sniff around and mark his territory on a public space like a tree, within reason.

  • Use a four- to eight-foot leash, which allows you to have more control than a longer or retractable one. Attach the leash to the top of its collar to help you guide your pup onward. Not only will this reinforce the sense that you’re in charge, but you can also rein it back if it steps into the street as a car is zooming by, for instance.

Photo by: Renata

Pet Paraphernalia

On that note, consider investing in the best paraphernalia that you can get for your pet. This doesn’t have to be luxury stuff, but you do want pet products that will last. Websites like PupJobs allow you to browse through a variety of leashes, food and water bowls, and other products, and offer descriptions and a range of price points to help you determine which is best for your pet.

Photo by Renata


Dogs love to get out of the house and roam and romp, whether in a dog park, in a friend’s yard, or by accompanying you on a trip to see your spouse at work. Since our canines are also our constant companions, be sure to follow these etiquette tips to keep your dog safe, happy, and well-mannered on your next foray outdoors.


6 out of 10 Americans have a pet @

don’t start training it @

teaching it commands


in the words of Cesar the Dog Whisperer


eight-foot leash


food and water bowls


Photo by: Renata

About the Author

Cindy Aldridge is a freelance writer who started as a fun side project through which to share her thoughts and insights on being a responsible dog owner."I'm originally from Phoenix, Arizona but I travel a lot with my dog."

Cindy wrote this article specifically for We thank her for her generosity in sharing her knowledge with our readers. You can google Cindy Aldridge @ to read other article by her.

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