Urban-Dog-Etiquette

More and more, city living includes dogs, and this means dogs in ever-greater numbers in limited space. If you live in a big city, here’s a primer on urban dog etiquette:

Be extra vigilant about socialization. Urban dogs meet strangers – human and canine – on cramped sidewalks and in parks every day. For everyone’s safety and for your dog’s quality of life, you need to socialize your city dog thoroughly to all kinds of people, dogs, and situations.

Don’t skimp on exercise. A stroll around the block three times a day is not enough. Dogs need daily vigorous workouts to be happy and healthy, even if the nearest park is the size of a stamp. If necessary, hire a dog walker or enroll your dog in a doggie daycare (if he enjoys other dogs).

Teach your dog not to bark. Be kind to your neighbors. Provide your dog with ample exercise and stimulation so he doesn’t become a boredom barker. And if your dog is naturally more vocal, consult a trainer about how to put Fido’s barking on cue, so you can control it.

Take a dog training class or hire a trainer. Good advice for any dog owner; a must for urbanites. A well-trained dog is a much better and happier city companion, able to navigate sidewalks, sit for greetings, wait at the curb, come when called at the park, and so on.

Clean up after your dog. Likewise a decree that applies to all dog owners, but all the more so to cosmopolites. Most big cities have hefty fines for failing to scoop, and both environmental concerns and common decency demand extra vigilance of city folks in this area.

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