Responsible dog ownership not only involves taking top-notch care of your pet, experts agree, but also being considerate of those around you. A recent survey by the American Kennel Club (AKC) revealed that some dog owners need a tighter leash on their canine companions-especially when out and about in the community.
Forty-seven percent of non-dog owners surveyed cited “a lack of picking up after their dogs” as their number one complaint with dog owners. Twenty-five percent said “not controlling their dog” or “letting the dog jump on you,” and 13 percent said “allowing a dog to bark incessantly.”
One result that should cheer dog owners: Only 4 percent said they were most annoyed by “the way dog owners fawn over their pooches or use baby talk to address their dogs.”
Whether you’re looking to make peace with your neighbors or just now considering adding a pup to the family, you might want to circle the month of September on your calendar. That’s when groups across the country will be holding more than 350 free “AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day” events, aimed at educating first-time dog owners about their responsibilities and helping current owners enhance their relationships with their pets.
While each event is uniquely entertaining and educational, many include obedience/agility demonstrations, microchipping clinics, breed rescue information, therapy dog/service dog demonstrations, and presentations on safety around dogs for kids. Attendees can speak one-on-one with experienced dog breeders and trainers.
And for those looking to show their neighbors that their dog is a respectable member of society, there’s the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test-a 10-step test certification you can take that recognizes well-mannered, obedient dogs.
“We invite dog owners around the country to attend an AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day event in their area to learn how their dog can become a Canine Good Citizen and earn an A-plus in manners,” said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson.