Take Your Dog With You

If you want to teach your dogs to work with you and to trust you, bring them out into the world with you whenever you can.  Avoid the mind set that makes you do all your errands alone while your dog sits at home.  Bring her along and always maintain the leadership position in those outings.  Do not let your dog haul you around by the leash, do what it takes to keep you both working as a team.  At first this will usually require one of two things:  1) immense strength and patience or 2) a good training collar or harness.  I’ve talked about harnesses I love in a previous post as well as the prong collar, both useful tools.  But the ‘where of walking’ is what I want to cover here. 

Take your dogs wherever you can think of taking them.  Ask before entering a store you aren’t sure they allow dogs, and most people will say “ok” and let you in if you seem confident.  If you aren’t that sort of person, call ahead first.  Here in the Fox Valley, IL area we have a great opportunity for many on leash experiences in the Geneva Commons

Their website indicates which stores allow leashed dogs.  If dogs are welcome you can bring yours!  Then you have to make sure you take charge of the situation.  Walk your dog outside a bit to burn off some energy and get them emptied out (how embarrassing to potty in Victoria’s Secret!!)  Make sure you enter the establishment first, your dog following you.  Have your dog “sit” and “wait” if they are trying to rush you into the store.  If you enter in a controlled fashion you are communicating to your dog that you are in charge.  Once inside, you decide what you look at and where you go.  If someone wants to pet your dog, ask them to wait until your dog is under control and take as much time as you need to get your dog seated and calm.  Then let them approach.  Done correctly, these sorts of outings are a great way to put the basics of obedience training into a package of usable manners. And it’s a great way to get some holiday shopping done too!

November 3, 2009 • Tags: , , • Posted in: advice, general info, training, work your dog

One Response to “Take Your Dog With You”

  1. Michelle M. - November 7th, 2009

    This was a great essay. I bring my doggie when I shop and ask if he can come in with me when I’m not sure. If they don’t allow him, I walk on.

    When people see my dog with me in the store or bank, they comment on how well behaved he is. I tell them that it is self-fulfilling for him. He behaves and gets to come with. He knows how he is to behave in the stores. So it’s a cyclical thing.

    For interested readers, the Burr Ridge village center (Burr Ridge, IL) is also pet friendly. Each dog friendly store has an icon on the ground that indicates it’s dog friendly. Had a great experience shopping there with my doggie last weekend.

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