Since dogs and people in the city are going to be in close proximity and contact it is really important for everyone to respect each other to ensure that problems between dog owners and others don't occur. Often dog owners don't even consider what their dog is doing to be a problem, so it is really critical to pay attention to how others are responding to your dog and to act on any possible problems before they occur. Not only will this make your life easier but it will also prevent possible fines or even more significant consequences for you and your dog.
Barking And Noise Complaints
The single greatest reason why dogs in the city are voluntarily turned into rescues and shelters is because of barking problems. In many cities owners face stiff fines and even removal of the dog from the premises with just a few complaints. Since these by-laws and regulations have been put into place because of irresponsible dog owners not responding to complaints, it is important to work closely with your neighbors to ensure there is not a problem.
The first option and perhaps the best choice is to attempt to locate a "pet friendly" building. Generally buildings or neighborhoods that welcome dogs are going to be much less likely to make a noise or barking complaint without first trying to work it out with you. The key to remember is most of the time if your dog is barking when you aren't home, you simply aren't aware of the problem. If the neighbors let you know before making the complaint you can make modifications in your dogs training and routines to address these issues. Dog friendly neighbors are typically more tolerate of training and behavior correction times and will appreciate your efforts.
If your dog is a known barker when left alone it is essential that you address the issue. This may include determining the cause of the barking and working with your vet, trainer or animal behavioralist to correct the problem quickly. In some cases a doggy daycare or dropping your dog off at friends when you are away for longer periods of time can make a big difference.
Dog barking, even for dog lovers, is a very real concern. Remember that some people in your neighborhood or building may work nights or may have very different schedules, meaning that your dog's noise is seriously affecting their life.
A great many of the larger cities now have strict regulations about when and where a dog can be off the owner's property and not on a leash. If you aren't sure of the laws or regulations in your area, be sure to check. In many locations specific breeds have to be on specialized types of leashes and muzzles or head halters may be required. If in doubt, even with a very friendly dog, always keep them on a leash when they are in a public place.
Dogs off-leash in cities pose a danger both to others as well as to themselves. Even a well trained dog can become startled or respond to a sudden noise or movement, often jumping out into lanes of traffic. When this happens the drivers typically respond by trying to avoid the dog, which can result in serious vehicle accidents. The other option drivers have is to actually stay in their lane, resulting in injury or death when the dog is hit by the vehicle. A simple leash can prevent this problem completely.
If your dog is on a leash it is still important to keep them close to you in the heel position, especially on busy or crowded sidewalks or walkways. Not everyone is watching for dogs and leashes, and both can pose tripping and injury issues for other pedestrians. Keep in mind that not everyone loves dogs either. While your dog may be very friendly, having a dog approach someone that dislikes or is afraid of dogs can create a real concern for that individual. Allow your dog to stay by your side and have them sit or stand by your side when you are stopped. This not only highlights your dog's obedience and training but it also prevents many common problems.
Cleaning Up The Mess
One of the worse complaints that both dog lovers and non-dog lovers have with many dog owners is that they simply don't clean up after their pets. While no one enjoys this task, if everyone doesn't make the effort it quickly become a very large problem. Not only is fecal material a potential cause of disease and the spread of parasites but it is also unsightly. Waste material left behind in parks, on beaches and in recreational areas is the reason many cities no longer allow dogs in these places.
There are many options for dog owners including the popular "pooper scoopers", which are specially designed wands with a attached bag that allow you to scoop up the mess, seal the bag and deposit into a garbage can. Other less complicated options include recycling old grocery bags to pick up the mess or even using the environmentally friendly dog bags available at most pet stores.
Visiting Others Or Others Visiting
It is always the most polite option to let people know that you have a dog or that you are planning on bringing your dog, no matter how well trained he or she may be. Often people mistakenly believe that everyone will be fine with their pet, when in reality many people aren't. Individuals with a fear of dogs, a non-pet friendly home or people with allergies to dog hair or dander are particular unhappy with canine visitors.
Giving your guests or host the heads up that you have a dog and the dog will be with you allows them to prepare for your visit or make plans to meet you elsewhere. While it may seem a bit obvious, most people really appreciate the notification and it can prevent a lot of uncomfortable moments.