Who let the dogs out? We did!

The weather in Miami has been really nice lately and with spring just around the corner, I thought this would be a good time to do a post on taking your pup with you when going out.

It’s actually a really good time to do it, even though the weather is already heating up. So, you wouldn’t want to leave your dog in your car, and why would you, if you have helped him learn to behave appropriately in public places.

The great thing about the current boom in dog ownership is that there are more and more public places that allow dogs, including cafes, restaurants and more and more shops. Here are the steps to success for having a dog you can take anywhere:

Step #1 – Socialization to people

This is pretty obvious, so it’s more about proofing your dog so that he’s not surprised when he encounters new types of people: tall, short, young, old, those with hats or canes, etc. Start with walking in a street where there are a few people and work your way up to areas where there is more variety to the population. Stick to areas where there are few or no dogs to start, such as a university campus.

Step #2 – Socialization to other dogs

A dog who can ignore other dogs he encounters in public will be welcomed almost everywhere. Teach your dog the difference between environments where he can run and play with other dogs, and those where he needs to stay calm, or settle in one place.

Step #3 – Comfortable in a variety of settings

Your dog has probably encountered steps or stairs and riding in a car, but what about elevators, escalators and automatic doors? You can build your dog’s confidence over time by introducing new environments in a controlled way.

The trick to success at each step is to work at your dog’s pace and to try not to go too fast. Spring is a great time to start working on this and will pay off big-time come summer, when your dog can hang with you almost wherever you are.

We can help you get started with our outdoor adventure group classes, which are held in a different location each week. All dogs who have completed level 1 obedience (foundations for obedience) are welcome. Our next Outdoor Adventure group class begins on Saturday, April 9th @ 9:30AM. You can click here to learn more or to register for the class! 

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