Dog Etiquette and Manners


I often wonder what has happened to common courtesy towards others and the disappearance of manners in our culture.  I sometimes think it’s because we are all so busy trying to fit everything into one day that we forget to say please and thank you anymore or think about how our actions affect other people. The sad thing about this is it seems to have carried over to our pets too.

I think it is very important for dog owners to be responsible and courteous with other dogs and their owners. A dog owner should always ask you if your dog is friendly before allowing their pet to go over to your dog.    I think to not ask the owner is not only very poor dog etiquette, but can also be very dangerous. There have been many times when I was walking a dog and the other dog owner would allow their pet to walk towards my dog and say “Oh it’s ok,  she/he is friendly” but never asked if my dog was friendly or if I wanted the interaction with their pet.  What if my dog is not friendly with other dogs? What would happen if that dog got within biting range of an unfriendly dog?  Some dogs are not comfortable when another animal runs over to them or are shy by nature.   A shy dog might feel they need to protect themselves from something they see as an aggressive act. There is also the fact that some breeds of dogs are naturally reticent and are wary of strangers whether the human or dog kind.

I wonder how you would react to another person running over and very excitedly saying hello.  Wouldn’t you back up and say to yourself “whoa, who the heck is this”?   When you first meet someone would you like it if they stand extremely close to you, practically nose to nose?  I think its human nature to step back and put more space between you and the other person.  Well, why should it be any different for your dog?

The only difference is that dogs cannot verbalize their feelings like humans can.  If they are feeling threatened, shy, or uncomfortable they will react accordingly.  I think it is the responsibility of the dog owner to protect their dogs from being put in an awkward or dangerous situation. Your dog depends on you!!

I think we should remember our “dog etiquette and common courtesy” whenever we meet other dogs and their owners.

Please be respectful of other dog’s personal space and always ask if it is ok with the owner before letting your pet meet a new dog!!