One thing that's certain about city-dwellers is that they love their dogs! Living in small spaces and cramped quarters doesn't seem to have impacted their need for canine companionship. But those same cramped quarters do impose different rules of engagement. Out of respect and courtesy to others, dog owners in urban areas should live by a stricter code of conduct. Here are the top five points of etiquette for urban dog owners:
Curb Your Dog
In large cities like New York and Chicago, you can't walk far without seeing a sign instructing you to "Curb Your Dog!" These signs are intended to remind dog owners to escort their dogs to the curb to do their business, rather than allowing them to soil sidewalks or planted areas. There's not much worse than rushing through the crowds to an appointment and stepping smack in the middle of a puddle of pee … or worse.
Silence the Bark
In the suburbs where there are expansive yards to separate homes, a barking dog in your house is no big deal. But when you live in an apartment complex with paper-thin walls that houses hundreds of dogs, it's a different story. Dogs should be trained that barking indoors is not allowed. And if you break this rule often enough, you may just find yourself searching for a new place to live.
Pick up the Poop
Regardless of where you live, you should always pick up and properly dispose of your dog's poop. But for those who live in the city, it's even more important. The sheer numbers alone are mind boggling. If just 10 percent of city dog owners left their dog's waste unattended, the area would soon become a biohazard. Considering how many other people are always around, you're not likely to get away with shirking this responsibility anyway.
Shorten the Leash
There's no place for extended leashes on crowded city streets. Some people are afraid of dogs, some are allergic, and some just plain don't like them. It is not OK to allow your dog to approach passersby, nor is it appropriate to allow them to wander loosely on a leash. Keep them tightly at your side and insist on polite behavior.
Respect Prohibited Areas
Many city governments and townhome owners go through a great deal of effort and expense to green up and beautify property where they can. Allowing your dog to use these areas as a toilet is inexcusable, and can land you with a big fat fine. Respect these areas and help keep the city clean and pretty for everyone.
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