Regardless of where you live, dog etiquette is important, however, in the big city, it is even more important. When you walk your dog in the city, compared to walking a dog in a country setting, there are much more challenges. For this reason, you will need to have a keen sense of your surroundings, other people, and other dogs, at all times. If you’re a city dweller, you will need to put more thought into the dog walking process. To help you and your four-legged friend stay safe, here’re some tips on how to safely walk your puppy in the big city.
Practice Proper Obedience
From the very beginning, you need to teach your new puppy proper obedience. Puppies that are under eleven weeks old should learn how to wear a color, take on basic house training and accept praise. Afterwards, when the puppy is more than eleven weeks old, you can start teaching them key commands like sit, come, heel, stay, and lay down. As your pet ages, start introducing him to more difficult commands like wait, leave it and so on – this will help them stay safe while you’re walking them in the big city. As a popular saying goes “A well-trained dog is a happy/safe dog.” So first things first, start training him.
Always Leash Them
Sure, you may have a tiny puppy that can’t run very fast, but that’s not the point of a leash. The leash is there to make sure he knows to stay by your side, and not run lose in the city. Leash training is something that should start at a young age, so always make sure he has a leash on when you take him outside.
Navigating Those City Streets
There’s so much commotion in big cities, and this can be overwhelming to a dog. Ease your new puppy into navigating those streets, but as we said above, always have them on a leash. If you do not have them on a leash, they could run off, or get hit by a car. Teach your dog to be street smart and when it comes time to cross the busy street, make sure he knows to wait for your cue before walking forward. By teaching your dog to wait at the curb, it will keep them from trying to cross the road before you are ready and stop them from ending up in the path of a vehicle.
Have the Dog Walk in Front of You
We’ve noticed that many trainers are teaching dogs to walk on the left side, at the heel of their owner. When dogs walk on the sidewalk, at an early age, they learn that there is a lot to get into. When you walk your puppy in the city, have them walk a little in front of you. This way, you will be able to keep an eye on him at all times and make sure he isn’t snacking on something that’s on the street, like wrappers, chicken bones, rat poison, and any other “treat” your dog shouldn’t be eating.
You may not want to do it, but it’s something you need to do when you walk your dog in the big city. It’s unsanitary and rude to leave poop laying on the sidewalk. Plus, there are certain diseases, like roundworms and hookworms that can be transmitted through animal feces. You know no one wants to step in that, so go ahead and clean it up.
Curb That Dog
By “curb that dog,” we mean that you should make sure your dog does his business at the edge of the sidewalk. Just make sure he doesn’t step into the street, because this is dangerous. Make sure each time he has to go, pull him to the edge of the curb. By doing this, your dog will quickly learn and this will become a habit.
While you’re on that walk in the big city, you need to realize that not all dogs are going to have friendly faces. Before you allow your dog to greet another dog, ask the owner how their dog is. If your dog isn’t really friendly, use a yellow leash, or put a yellow ribbon on the leash. This is a part of what is called the “Yellow Dog Project,” and is a universal sign that the dog isn’t that friendly.
Take a look at these leash colors and their meanings:
- Red: “I just want some space.”
- Blue: “I’m in training.”
- Green: “I like meeting new friends.”
- Light Yellow: “I need some space. I’m nervous.”
- Purple: “Do not feed me.”
Don’t Tie Him Up
We’ve seen people tie their dog up outside of a store while they run in for a couple of minutes. This isn’t a good idea, even if it is just for a couple of minutes, because your dog is alone, which means they’re at risk. Your dog could get off of his collar and run away, or he could get abducted by someone. So, if you’re taking your dog for a walk and you plan on going into a store, make sure you bring a friend with you so that they can stand outside of the store and watch your dog.
Taking your dog for a walk on those busy city streets can be dangerous, especially for puppies. If you feel there are too many people on the sidewalk for your puppy, then pick them up until you reach a safe location that has more space. Large dogs can be avoided as they’re easy to spot, but a small dog can get stepped on. Regardless of the side of the dog, some may get anxious when in a large dog. If you have a dog that gets nervous on busy streets, consider going for walks in less populated areas, or in a park.
Big cities have a lot going on at all times, and as we said in the beginning, you need to make sure you’re always aware of your surroundings, and always keep an eye on your puppy.