Basic Etiquette for Dog Owners

I really love my dog. Most of you already know my ole cow pup but just in case you’re new around here, this is Belle in all her glory.

If I could I’d take her everywhere. Alas, such is not the case in our society, and after seven years of having a pup I can understand why. Some of y’all really suck at owning dogs. I don’t mean you can’t keep a dog alive, I mean your dog’s behavior could have been the inspiration for Walker and Texas Ranger from Talladega Nights. Sure owning a dog is hard, but with everyone who’s ever scooped a bag of poop offering training services there’s really no excuse for your dog be as unstable as Kim Jong Un on a bender. With that being said, here’s some basic etiquette for dog owners.

Let me reiterate that I love my dog. There are maybe 10 of y’all on this whole planet that I wouldn’t choose Belle over if I could only save one. But as much as I love her and think she’s the greatest little creature God’s ever put on the Earth, I realize some of you might not feel the same way. I recognize that to others Belle looks a little wild and mean. So, unless someone asks, I’m not going to give Belle the chance to intrude herself into a stranger’s presence and potentially create an uncomfortable situation. That so many of you fellow dog owners can’t subscribe to the same courtesy is both stunning and more than a little annoying. Keep your dog to yourself unless otherwise requested. It’s not that hard.

Maybe I’m more sensitive to this because I’m so antisocial myself, but I can’t stand it when you’re on a walk, minding your own business, and some asshat strolls up and insists your dogs “say hi to each other.” Dogs don’t need to greet one another. They’re not parents at a HOA park. Just because your little flea boat of a runt is tugging on its leash and trying to get across a four lane road to poke its nose up my dog’s ass doesn’t mean my dog shares the same desire. I don’t know you, I don’t know your dog, and I damn sure don’t know what kind of extinction level diseases you and your mutt are currently transporting. As the owner of a dog that wants nothing more than to herd your Yorkie until its legs fall off, let’s save us both some trouble and just keep to ourselves.

When I take Belle out I always make sure there’s no confusion about who she’s with. This helps her stay focused and not let her ADD afflicted nose guide her right off the edge of a cliff, but also makes for a much less logistically difficult time when we find ourselves amongst a crowd. Unfortunately, it seems this is yet again another behavior so many of you just don’t find necessary. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been out and had to detangle myself or Belle from the 10ft lead someone has allowed their dog to extend all the way out. Nobody wants to recreate the Mission Impossible laser scene on their morning walk. Keep that leash tight.

At the end of the day dog ownership is not difficult. Keep your pup healthy and remember that no one will ever like your dog as much as you. Taking your canine companion in public needn’t be equivalent to remembering the proper behavior at a Buckingham Palace tea party. All you really need to prioritize is the comfort of your dog and those around it. If we all followed this most basic of dog owner etiquette we’d probably all be surprised at the sort of places that suddenly started opening their doors to people and their puppies.

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