8 Etiquette Rules for The Dog Community


Call it dog code, if you will. 

There’s unspoken rules (and some spoken and clearly written) that not everyone who owns a dog is aware of. And they generally help your interactions with other people/dog owners. They will make for a smooth relationship with others, and may help you avoid some common problems. 

Some I know you are already aware of, and some may be something you’ve never thought of. And don’t forget to share if you agree with these. You can also send it to someone who may need a reminder ;). #passiveaggressive


Most parks and neighborhoods have rules that you have to clean up after your dog. 

And believe it or not, there’s always those people who don’t pick up the poop.

If you’re one of those people, please hear me out. 

Leaving your dog’s poop on someone else’s lawn (or in any public place for that matter) is not only disgusting, but someone could step on it and transfer it around. And if you don’t leave poop on your grass, why would you on someone else’s? It only common sense to pick up after your dog in common use areas. 

If it’s your own backyard in a fenced area, that’s your business, but not in public please. Be a decent neighbor. 

2. Don’t go up to play with a dog without asking

Most dog owners will never say no to another person playing with their dog. But sometimes if you come up to a dog, he/she is going to lose it and jump on you and get out of control. Since you don’t have to be the one controlling the dog, it’s only common courtesy to ask before approaching the dog. 

If you approach without asking and an accident happens, things will get complicated and I’m kind of inclined to say I told you so. 

3. Don’t bring a dog without asking

I totally understand the feeling of wanting to bring your fur baby everywhere, but sometimes it’s just not a good idea. Or just because you know there will be a dog there doesn’t mean you should bring your own without asking. 

4. Ask before giving a dog human food

Some owner’s don’t want their dog eating scraps and leftovers at all. Some will give dog pretty much anything that won’t harm them. 

Whatever they choose as their dog’s diet, respect it. If you have guests over and plan on giving the dog a treat or scraps, make sure you ask. It’s possible you may give the dog something that upsets their stomach.


5. Be prepared

The same way that sometimes kids will cry and throw tantrums in public, dogs may bark and get out of control over anything too. But with dogs, it’s a little easier to bring them back to normal with a few treats. 

I usually carry a few extra since my dog tends to lose it over anyone who will give her attention. 

Another thing you should always have handy is poop bags. Trust me, when they gotta go, they gotta go.


6. Keep on a leash

I know your dog may be really well behaved off a leash, but it doesn’t things won’t happen. Once a loose dog who is usually well behaved saw Lily for the first time, and ran right up to her to growl at her and scare her. Not only was this a shock to the owner, but to us as well. 

Thank goodness my husband had quick reflexes to pull the dog back, but let this be a lesson. 

7. Give disclaimers



If people invite us over and welcome the pup, I always give disclaimers. Things like if my dog:

  • Isn’t housebroken
  • Likes to jump on people
  • Is used to getting on furniture 
  • Is teething (and will chew on sutff)
  • Has a taste for socks and shoes

It’s only courteous to others’ to let them know ahead of time what be on the lookout for when having your pup over.

8. Sick dogs

If you dog is sick, it’s recommended that you don’t them out to public places, unless absolutely necessary. Not only could they be contagious for other dogs, but it could get messy if your dog is throwing up or having diarrhea. 

Just let them rest and get better at home. 

Any other unspoken rules you go by?