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10 Basics Rules of Dog Etiquette

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Owning a dog can be a pleasant and rewarding experience for many people. They’re our true friends and loyal companions, our guardian angels and comic relief.

chihuahua looking at food on plate

We all want to enjoy our time with our pets, friends, and family but may be unfamiliar with canine etiquette within the urban setting. And I’m sure we have all come across irresponsible dog owners who don’t pick up the poop after their dog or let their dog run off-leash in the neighborhood.

Here are 10 simple rules that dog owners can follow to help improve their canine/human interactions.

1 Clean up after your pet

It’s the law and for a good reason. It’s a health hazard to the community and other pets. Leaving Fido’s smelly gift behind for someone else to deal with makes you, as well as other dog owners, look irresponsible. Always, always have plastic bags ready for clean-up duty.

2 Always have your dog on a leash

Again, it’s the law, and it may sound self-explanatory, but many owners still fail to abide by this rule. Your dog may be the sweetest dog in the world, but neighbors and pedestrians don’t know your pets. It can be very scary to see a dog running free with no leash. If you want your dogs to be off-leash, they should be confined to your property. If they are off your property, they should be on a leash at all times.

3 Have proper identification for your pet

A collar, rabies tag, and identification are necessary for others to identify your dog if he or she ever gets free from your supervision.

4 When passing someone on the street or trail, keep your dog as close as possible

sitting chihuahua on leash next to human legs

5 Don’t ever assume that a stranger likes your pet

They may not, and it’s nothing personal if they don’t.

6 Don’t ever allow your pet to jump on someone

Allowing your dog to do so shows a lack of control on your part and a lack of respect for the person who is now wiping paw prints off her clothes.

7 Never allow your dog to greet another pet without asking first 

To let Fluffy run-up to Fido without permission is not only dangerous but disrespectful to Fido’s owner.

8 Always get permission before bringing your dog to a barbecue or family gathering 

The host may not care for a dog on the property, and bringing one is disrespectful to the host and guests who are attending.

9 Do not let your dog beg 

It makes people feel awkward, and it makes you look incompetent. Always allow a dining area that is free from lingering puppy-dog eyes.

10 Do not let your dog drool on others’ clothes or furniture

If you happen to have a dog, such as a Saint Bernard or Newfoundland that is a heavy drooler, keep a handkerchief or towel handy for slobber control.

Barking white chihuahua in grass

11 Don’t leave a barking dog outside 

Your neighbors have the right to a pleasant night’s sleep as well as a silent, peaceful afternoon.


By following these simple steps, you can help our fellow dogs and humans interact peacefully and respectfully on a daily basis.

I’d love to hear your experiences with good or bad pet owners.



Sunday 8th of October 2023

HELP! We rescued a 11 week old chi. Never had a dog this small (all my other dogs were 40 - 100 lbs). I got him crate trained, but having issues with potty training. We set up a special spot with wee wee pads for him to use. Most of the time he uses them when we say "go potty" and take him by them. Problem is, he is peeing in different parts of the house, even after using pads!! I am a senior and cannot move that fast to get to him before he's gone. Please give me some advice. Lynne

Cathy Bendzunas

Sunday 8th of October 2023

I have a few articles that will help and I'll list them below this but a few things: you need to get rid of any smell at all or your pup will go back to those spots. Use white vinegar or an enzyme cleaner. And until you can be sure he's not going to potty in the wrong spots, watch him like a hawk. When you can't watch him, keep him confined.