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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Taking Your Pup Out in Public

Mar 29, 2012 02:23PM ● By Colleen Demling

With spring just around the corner, many people want to start taking their dog out in public. But before you take your dog to your favorite hangouts, follow these four tips to make sure the public and staff at these establishments enjoy your dog as much as you do.

Before you go – Before you try to take your dog out to a public place, make sure that he responds to simple commands like sit, down, and stay and knows how to walk on a leash. This will give you some tools to help control him during your outing. Also, remember that not every dog is a social butterfly so if your dog is fearful (or protective) in public, it might be best to leave him at home while you go out to lunch. Then you can work on bettering his public manners at a time when you don’t have to split your attention between him and that yummy burger.

Be prepared – Always, I repeat, always have poop bags and water for your dog. Also, if you have a dog that tends to drool (like some of the larger breeds) make sure to bring an extra towel. You may not be bothered by puppy slobber but the local high end clothing boutique will not find the habit so endearing!

Keep him out of the way – If you take your dog to a restaurant or shop make sure that he is under the table or out of the main aisle. This will ensure that other guests don’t have to walk around your pup or the waitress isn’t trying to balance a tray full of drinks as she steps over Fido. Plus your dog will thank you because his tail or paw won’t get accidently stepped on by a stranger.

The golden rule – Remember, bringing our pups with us to local establishments is a privilege, not a right. When you take your pup in public the ultimate compliment is for someone to say “Oh, I didn’t even know there was a dog here!” If your dog is barking or acting unruly, he isn’t having fun (and neither are you!) so remove him from the situation and try again later.Colleen Demling

Colleen Demling is the owner of Pawtopia Dog Training. For more information, call 858-414-7797 or visit

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