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Good dog behavior at sidewalk cafes

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Having a well-behaved dog who remains well-behaved in a public setting, such as a sitting alongside you at a sidewalk café, is the hope and aspiration of many dog parents. A well-behaved dog can go to more places and have more outside stimulation than one who more publically challenged. Being a responsible dog parent means having control over the situation with your dog so that others are not disturbed or bothered that you dog is with you in a public setting.

Here are a few tips for taking your dog with you on activities.

  • Make sure your dog is always on a leash when in a public setting. A non-retractable leash is always a better option than the retractable ones so that your dog can not get more lead than you would desire when you are not looking. Retractable leashes are also very easily tangled with other dogs leashes. A shorter non-retractable leash is the best choice.
  • Clicker training can help to silence a barker. Take your dog through a Clicker Training course. Very affordable evening classes are available at PetSmart.
  • Carry small treats with you to reward your dog for good behavior in public. This includes being good when other dogs pass, not barking at every person who walks by and sitting calmly while waiting alongside you.
  • Never leave your dog unattended and tied up outside a restaurant or store.
  • Always have poop bags on hand and pick up even small droppings.
  • Carry a soft-sided water bowl with you and offer your dog a drink when you are out on a warm day.
  • Harnesses are a better solution than collars. Collars are often slipped out of, especially if your dog is a puller and starts backing up.
  • Consider buying a cooling vest for your dog if you are going out a lot in hot summer months.
  • If it's best that others do not approach your dog, speak up and say so when people ask. Also, if there is any chance that your dog might nip at someone, tell them that your dog is just getting started with being out in public and it's best if they don't try to pet him/her.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Start with short trips outside the home setting before you immerse your dog in an hour long wait while you have a coffee at an outdoor café.
  • Be respectful of others always and remember that having your dog alongside you at a sidewalk café is a not something to take for granted. Take the steps you need to make it an enjoyable experience for everyone and you will be helping to ensure will be a privilege for people to enjoy in the future.
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