Your emotional support dog is your friend, your guardian and your kid, all in one. And as a dog parent, you’re responsible for controlling your dog in public – how your dog reacts to certain circumstances, how people approach your pet and how your walk turns out.
When you introduce your pet to the public domain, you must be able to follow some basic social norms so that you don’t interfere with the people around you. To get the basics out of the way, here are 5 things you must do or keep in mind before taking your little furry one out in public.
5 Ways to Control Your Dog in Public
These social norms have less to do with what’s the right behavior for your dog and more with what’s the right thing to do for you. While introducing your little one to the real world, you must be prepared for what’s to come. Poop in public, a hyperactive pup trying to get to the poodle on the other side of the street or a snarling husky who doesn’t like his tail pulled. Here are 5 ways to control your dog in public.
Scoop the Poop
This one is more about your social responsibility than your dog’s. While you can teach it to only defecate in a particular place, you’re still required to clean up after them. Carrying plastic bags with you every time you travel with your pet is a place to start.
It is crucial to remember that leaving behind this waste is considered littering. And littering can lead up to a penalty for you. While most pet owners are aware of these rules, a first time emotional support animal owner might find themselves in a dilemma.
You might not do this on a regular basis in your lawn or your backyard, but when it comes to any public domain, you cannot let these things sit. Your best bet is to always have extra plastic bags with you so you can scoop up the waste and dispose of it properly.
Keep the Leash On
Dogs get excited, it’s not a secret. Our favorite furries can get really hyped when they come across another dog or a neighbor they’re familiar with. At the same time, they might get aggressive with a stranger trying to pet them.
No matter how well you’ve trained your pup, there is still room for surprise here. To keep your dog in control, especially when in public, it is best suggested to keep them on a leash.
This will help keep them away from any sight that gets them overly excited, or aggressive.
As a pet parent, you should also pay attention to your dog’s body language when a person or another furry being approaches. A wagging tail might be a sign of excitement but also of aggression, so that alone might not give you the right answer.
At the same time, allow your pet to decide if a stranger can pet them. Be firm in telling people to maintain distance from your pet as it can get your pup anxious.
Ensure Dogs Are Allowed
We understand that you want to take your dog everywhere you go, especially if they are your emotional support pets. However, not every place welcomes pets or does so under restrictive measures. This can even be true for your housing or rented apartment.
In case of the place you’re hoping to live at, an ESA letter can help. With this document, you can live at your place of choice without having to pay any additional pet fee. It can also act as an entry ticket to multiple restricted areas.
However, without an ESA letter, you should avoid trying to enter places that restrict pets.
Train Them for Social Interactions
We’ve already established that dogs get excited easily. They love the attention they get from everybody around them. But if your pet hasn’t been trained on how to interact with the public, you might end up with a hyperactive pup or one with social anxiety.
Just like you teach children to politely greet the people they meet, a similar training is required to teach your pets the basics of social interaction. This is one of the first steps to controlling your dog in public.
You should also be vigilant about how your dog reacts to strangers. Your friendly pup might need more public presence than the one who gets scared or anxious amidst strangers. Your job is to learn what your dog requires and the kind of training they need before you take them out into the real world.
Keep Your Dog Close
You must train your pets, not just to ease out their interactions with other animals and strangers but also to ensure that your pup doesn’t pose a threat to others. No matter how sweet your dog is, a loudly barking full-grown German would scare anyone. If your canine barks uncontrollably or pulls you throughout your walk, it’s time to figure out how to effectively begin controlling your dog in public.
This is where the need for proper and consistent training comes in. Keeping your dog on a leash and not walking too close to strangers or other animals is also the right way to go about it. Even when your dog has been professionally trained, it is always recommended to keep the leash on in public.
Before you take your furry pal on a long walk down the street, it is recommended that you go through some training sessions with your pet. Whether you choose to go for minimal training to take them on walks or more rigorous sessions to make them capable of protecting themselves and you is your choice. This also depends on the breed and size of your dog. You can’t expect a corgi to try to bite off a threatening stranger but you can teach them to be wary and maintain distance from them (You can find the list of suitable dog breeds for an emotional support animal here.)
A lot goes into taking good care of your dog. These loving, furry little ones require proper training before they can be introduced into the real world. At the same time, you must be prepared to take on the responsibility. Even with your emotional support animals, you’re required to support them back just as much as they support you.
7 Top Breeds of Dogs to Consider When Choosing Your ESA
Find the list of suitable dog breeds that are perfect to be your emotional support animal.