Unfortunately, the truth is that many are not - unfortunately without even knowing or thinking about it.
What does it mean to be a considerate as a dog owner?
- Respect that others do not necessarily love Fido as much as you do. For example, they may not appreciate that he runs over to greet them even if he is the sweetest dog in the world.
In other words - make sure people greet your dog if and when they want and not because it is constantly running up to them without you having him under control.
- Pick up after your dog when he relieves himself. Sure, it's disgusting, but it’s what you signed up for when you got a dog. Maybe deep in a forest you can let it lie, but on a path or sidewalk in a residential neighborhood and the like, you have no choice. You are not going to gain any friends by looking the other way when Fido can’t hold it all the way to the forest.
- Respect your neighbors. Bring your dog in immediately if it is barking outside. And don’t wait 5-10 minutes - imagine how annoying it would be if everyone let their dog bark out there in their back yard.
- Make sure to ask if it is ok for your dog to greet other dogs BEFORE she’s got her snout up in another dog's behind. It may well be that she is the nicest dog in the world, but you have no idea about the other dog. Respect that not all dogs like greeting others - and there is often a reason why people say no thanks or walk around you.
- Make sure to have your dog under control, even when walking in dog parks or other free-range areas. Yes - it's nice to have a chat - but your focus should still be on where and what your dog is doing, so you can intervene and help if there are problems.
- Observe rules and regulations. Make sure you comply with the leash laws that apply where you are walking your dog. It may be that your dog never runs away but the rules are there to protect other animals or people moving in the area, and are there for a reason.
- Get to know dogs’ body language. Then you can always interpret both your own dog and other people's - and thus become better at reading what your dog and others are trying to tell you.