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Dog Etiquette: Being a Good Pup at Friends’ Homes

Our dogs' outrageous antics at home can be adorable, but they need to be well-behaved when visiting friends
BY Bill Lindsey TIMESeptember 23, 2022 PRINT

Many dogs love just going for a casual ride, but when it’s time to visit friends, that makes for an epic day. To make sure everyone has fun, here are a few suggestions to help your pup put his or her best paw forward.

Be a Pet Ambassador

Some folks aren’t “dog people,” so be aware if they’re nervous around your pet. It’s hard to believe, but not everyone wants puppy kisses! Keep the pup on a leash, even inside, and don’t allow him to jump on your friends. Definitely keep your dog off the couch, and don’t feed them from the table. Have your pooch obey “sit,” “stay,” and “lie down” commands to demonstrate how great it is to have a pet around the home.

Enjoy the Visit

Your pet may be exuberant when meeting new people and seeing new things, so be patient. Resist the urge to scold them if they get rambunctious, especially around kids and pet-friendly adults who are happy to see them and add to the excitement. If your friends have a dog, don’t attempt to train him or otherwise correct his behavior—that’s very rude and usually doesn’t work, so there’s no need to go there.

He Broke It, You Bought It

Accidents happen, especially when pets are in unfamiliar surroundings. If your furry buddy breaks something, it becomes your responsibility to replace the item immediately. It’s natural for dogs to sniff around a new area to see what they can find, so keep them on a leash, or if you let them explore, pay attention to what they’re doing. They don’t mean to break things, but a happily wagging tail can leave behind a trail of destruction.

Enjoy the Quiet

Not everyone will be impressed by how Scruffy barks at everything, real or imagined, which makes it important to work with your pet to quell unnecessary barking. Some folks use bark collars, but if they were to try one on themselves, they’d find another method. Use positive reinforcements such as treats to help your dog learn when it’s OK to bark and when it’s not.

Bring a Toy

You may be having a great time visiting with friends, but don’t be offended if the dog gets bored. Keep your pet occupied by bringing a favorite toy and snacks. Pups can be sneaky, stealing another dog’s toys, so make sure that doesn’t happen. Pay attention to see if your pet looks about to “answer the call of nature,” so you can bring him outside in time and then clean up afterward.

Bill Lindsey
Bill Lindsey is an award-winning writer based in South Florida. He covers real estate, automobiles, timepieces, boats, and travel topics.
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