Pet parents, unite!
Some dogs are like family. They sleep in our beds, eat when we eat, and play with us endlessly. So it’s wonderful and handy when establishments and services make themselves pet-friendly. Like Grab and Uber drivers who sometimes let you bring pets when you ride. Or places like Century City Mall which has opened its doors to our furry friends. We can now tag our “kids” along like the family they are!
What this means though, is we need to make sure our dogs are trained to be socialized, friendly, well-mannered animals who are comfortable indoors and out. This may seem like hard work (ever tried training a Pekingese?) Fortunately, there are resources and animal training schools to help us out. In the meantime, let’s focus on being conscious and considerate keepers with these guidelines:
A well-mannered dog will do his business on schedule and on command, either in an area specifically allotted for pooping or, at the very least, away from the public eye. Always pick up after your dog as a courtesy to the people around you.
Keep Calm, Carry On
Be in charge when you bring your pooch to public places. One of you is going to be top dog; make sure it’s you! Otherwise, your pet might get into mischief and harass people and other animals. Once a dog starts sniffing around where he shouldn’t (no matter how natural!) things can quickly get rambunctious.
Train your dog to be relaxed in new surroundings and around strange people by gradually and diligently exposing him to new experiences. For a puppy, making positive associations with different encounters before the age of four months has a long-lasting impact in their lives.
Obi “One Can Obey”
Get it? Obi Wan Kenobi? Star Wars reference aside, you need to learn how to control your dog through Jedi mind tricks voice commands. This involves teaching your pet English as a foreign language. Seriously! Of course, animals don’t understand words (unless you’re Garfield) but they do make phonetic connections which aid communication. Once you get your pet to associate your language with the right commands, it’ll be like mastering The Force. Sorta.
When a puppy reaches two months he’s practically an adult. Just by being around his dam and littermates he’ll have learned the intricacies of canine communication, social dominance and submission, and other skills needed to survive the dog world.
But once he’s separated from his canine family and thrust into a new, human environment, he’ll need to learn how to interact with people and other animals.
This is where we need to be loving pet parents, patiently orienting our dogs about their new world. Cars, blow driers, babies, stairs, escalators – whatever we encounter on a daily basis, they’re gonna have to live with too. We effectively become their new pack leaders so it’s vital we teach them how to behave in our world so they don’t grow up wild and mischievous.
Owning a pet is an incredible journey. We become teachers and trainers for life. There is no such thing as a bad pet, as long as we’re committed to raising them right.
See you and your behaved, happy pets at the mall!