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Thread: Dog etiquette

  1. #1
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Default Dog etiquette

    So, I have a dog, right? His name is Eli. He's a Malamute mix. He's a good boy most of the time. Up until now, I haven't walked him regularly because 1) he is a sled dog and pulls like a m-fer, and 2) we have a sizeable backyard that borders two other backyards with full-time outdoor dogs in them, and they run up and down the fences whenever he's outside anyway. Recently, in an attempt to spend more time engaged with him and also to try to be less of a fatty myself, I've been walking him. This presents some other challenges. I'd love to get the input of other dog owners and neighbors of dog owners.

    What do you do with the poop? I've just been carrying a grocery bag and a piece of cardboard or something with me. Is that good enough? I mean, there is probably poop residue left after I pick it up. And do you let them pee whenever they feel like it? It just seems gross, even if I'm picking up the poop, but I don't really know how to stop him.

    What do you do when kids want to pet your dog? Eli's a good boy, but pretty big (85 lbs) and we rescued him as an adult. He has been known to get nervous around new people once in awhile. So I am very, very careful about having him around others, especially children. Even my own, to a somewhat lesser extent. Yesterday I encountered a woman who was walking with her 3 kids, and the middle one who looked about 4 went "Look at that wolfy, mommy!" and walked right up and started petting my dog. Mom said "Don't bother the doggy," but only after he had started putting his hands in Eli's face and there could already have been an issue, and then she didn't pull him away or anything. I had to ask him to back up and told him my wolfy was a little shy. Eli was fine, he just sniffed, but I'm very aware that if he ever snapped at anyone it be bad for him (and obviously I don't want anyone to get hurt if I can prevent it). How do you handle that?

    And finally, what do I do about the aforementioned pulling? Eli has been very trainable in most ways, but one thing we have never been able to cure him of is pulling at the leash. He's just so eager to get going, plus he has that sled dog heritage which I've read makes for a rough go at leash training. Heaven help you if you try to walk this dog after an ice storm, which Noah once did to comic effect. Any tricks or tips from seasoned dog owners?
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  2. #2
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I used to always take my dog to a leash free trail zone by the river- there I didn't have to worry about him disjointing me like a chicken when he saw a squirrel or what to do with his "residue"- now I don't have such a place to walk him

    anymore, I've taught my dog to go near the trash can so I can bag it and then toss it without having to carry anything less than pleasant around with me. This involved a lot of standing in one place, waiting for him to give up and go, and then praising him profusely. I let him pee on anything that it won't damage or be gross about, like trees and fire hydrants, but people's flowers and children's toys are off limits- I pull him away from it.

    Pulling though- I'm just lucky that my dog is merely as strong as I am and I try to notice if something is going to interest him and brace myself
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  3. #3
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    I used to always take my dog to a leash free trail zone by the river- there I didn't have to worry about him disjointing me like a chicken when he saw a squirrel or what to do with his "residue"- now I don't have such a place to walk him

    anymore, I've taught my dog to go near the trash can so I can bag it and then toss it without having to carry anything less than pleasant around with me. This involved a lot of standing in one place, waiting for him to give up and go, and then praising him profusely. I let him pee on anything that it won't damage or be gross about, like trees and fire hydrants, but people's flowers and children's toys are off limits- I pull him away from it.

    Pulling though- I'm just lucky that my dog is merely as strong as I am and I try to notice if something is going to interest him and brace myself
    I wish we could do leash-free, but that's just not an option for Eli who is a total roamer. And he's iffy with other dogs so I don't really feel comfortable taking him to dog parks, either. I don't know for sure that I could pull him off another dog without a leash.

    The pulling is crazy, isn't it? I know it probably looks ridiculous, too.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

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    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    As far as the poo situation, all people expect is that you pick it up. It doesn't matter that there's residue left. They just don't want you to leave a pile. I don't think most people mind a dog peeing in their yards, but I usually try to steer my dog to pee in the little grassy area on the other side of the sidewalk, b/c that seems more like a public area to me.

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    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    With a dog, you have to teach him to listen to you completely. If he doesn't listen to you off the leash, he won't listen to you on it. The dog has to fear you and respect you. You can teach the dog by practicing walking with him and when he pulls on the leash or begins to walk ahead of you (the dog should never be very far in front of you) whip him with the leash and pull it back. Have a word that you use (heel, for example).

    As for walking past people, keep your pace and do not slow down when you pass people. Look like you're on a dog-walking mission when people come to bother you and pet your dog. Give them a quick smile and pull your dog to keep walking.

  6. #6
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    He listens if I have food. Otherwise, all bets are off. Like I said, we got him as an adult and he's been pretty tractable in some ways but not others.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

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    Senior Member kuranes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    As far as the poo situation, all people expect is that you pick it up. It doesn't matter that there's residue left.
    C'mon, people are gonna be all up in Ivy face 'bout dat resi-dukey, know what I'm sayin' ?

    "Excuuuuse me, missy. I believe you left something back here."

    "What does she expect to accomplish with that miserable piece of cardboard ?"

    "Well, I'm sure I don't know ! "

    "Poop on dat cardboard or blood on my knife !"
    "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them that they are being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
    Reichsfuhrer Herman Goering at the Nuremburg trials.

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    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Heaven help you if you try to walk this dog after an ice storm
    I can sympathize--my one-year-old lab is now roughly 100 lbs, so due to my weight, my dad doesn't let me walk him in the winter. Last time I walked him when it was winter, he saw another dog and excitedly went to play and dragged me for a while, almost pulled me in front of a vehicle. (All 3 of my younger siblings walk him all year round because they inherited my dad's Tall Genes which aids them against the forces of a strong yet too-young-to-know-his-strength dog). I should take him out more often now that I still can in this weather.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

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    Just a statistic rhinosaur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    And finally, what do I do about the aforementioned pulling? Eli has been very trainable in most ways, but one thing we have never been able to cure him of is pulling at the leash. He's just so eager to get going, plus he has that sled dog heritage which I've read makes for a rough go at leash training. Heaven help you if you try to walk this dog after an ice storm, which Noah once did to comic effect. Any tricks or tips from seasoned dog owners?
    As with any training, start with positive reinforcement, and add negative reinforcement if it's not working.

    Teach him to "heel" by rewarding him for walking beside you, not ahead of you (even if he's not pulling). Start from a sit, and walk a few paces. When he stays beside you, give him a reward. If he starts to pull ahead of you, give him a stern "no" and yank on the leash, and stop for a second. Then start again. Repeat until he gets the picture. Once he starts walking beside you, give him a little treat. Timing is very important, and you have to be aware of what the dog is thinking.

    If that doesn't work, and he doesn't listen when you tell him to stop, you should get a choke collar, or a shock collar. Pulling is bad enough, but if the dog doesn't listen to you when you tell him "no" or "stop," you have bigger problems.

    If you're worried about hurting the dog with the choke or shock, it is possible to train him with only positive reinforcement, but it will be more difficult, especially if he's not listening to you in the first place.

  10. #10
    Free-Rangin' Librarian Jae Rae's Avatar
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    Three ideas:

    1) Watch The Dog Whisperer videos. Cesar is very humane and he understands dogs.

    2) Take a dog training class.

    3) Hire a trainer for a few spot lessons.

    Disregard's ideas are good advice.
    Proud Female Rider in Maverick's Bike Club.

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