It’s Saturday afternoon and you’re at a crowded farmer’s market. There are people moving, shopping, laughing, children running or playing, you stop to look at a booth and as you do, you take a step and feel your leg touch something. You turn to say sorry but it turns out to be a dog you didn’t even know was there. The dog looks up at you and then to its owner and the owner gives you a smile. You ask if you can pet the dog and the owner says, “Sure!”

Who wouldn’t love to have a dog who can be that calm in such a situation? A dog like that is one you can take anywhere without worrying that he/she will become scared or nervous and react unpredictably.

If you’d like to venture out with your furry friend, here are some tips to get you started:

  • Do it on your own. Start with your own neighborhood, then move up to busier streets and areas where there are more people. Take it slow if you go this route and don’t expect your dog to be able to spend all afternoon under a table in an outdoor café if you’ve only been strolling through parks up to that point.
  • Sign up for a group class that offers practical experience and the opportunity to get out in public with your dog, such as our Outdoor Adventure class.
  • Sign up for a group class that offers preparation for the AKC Canine Good Citizen test, such as our Level 1 Obedience class.

Having a CGC title not only gives you peace of mind that your dog will behave well out in public, it gives you the confidence that you can take your dog with you more often. And that can only benefit the bond that exists between you and your best furry friend. It’s a win-win!

All dog owners who earn their CGC title, sign the Responsible Dog Owner Pet Promise, a pledge that acknowledges the owner’s responsibility in caring for his or her best buddy. This year, September 19 is Responsible Dog Ownership Day in Florida. Look for events that may be held in your area or sign up to take the CGC and sign the pledge.

Written by Sheelah Gullion

 

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