Want to be a decent dog owner? Or at least not be “that asshole” that all other dog owners hate and vent about on our blog? Great. We’ve created a handy-dandy list of do and don’ts. We like lists. And Indian food.
1. Learn basic dog body language
While we are glad our dogs can’t actually speak (can you imagine the secrets they would spill?!), their body language does a pretty good job of indicating how they are feeling. Do yourself a favor and do some research. A little Wikipedia goes a long way.
2. Know your dog
Related to “Do #1, please don’t be that dog owner who is in “in denial” about their dog. Some dogs do not like other dogs, some dogs don’t get along well with children, some dogs hate men, and so on. Knowing your dog and its limitations is key to avoiding potentially dangerous situations. We understand that everyone wants to think that their dog is perfect, but we actually have a lot more respect for people who acknowledge their dogs’ limitations than those individuals who insist their dog doesn’t have any.
2b. Knowing your dog isn’t an excuse for bad behavior. The number of times we hear ‘He’s a rescue’ or ‘She’s just a puppy (at 7 years of age)’ as an excuse for bad behavior is downright shocking. We acknowledge that many dogs have issues, but not working on those issues is frankly lazy and doing an incredible disservice to the dog. Not every dog has to go to the dog park, but they should, even as a long-term goal, be able to work to the point of not attempting to murder every Shih Tzu or postman in their path. If it’s a problem, work to fix it. if it’s not a problem, don’t worry too much about it. Simple? Yes.
3. Always pick up dog poop
No one wants to step in it, or look at it, or stand near it. Not even other dog owners. Don’t be a jackwagon. If you can’t deal with dog poo, don’t get a dog.
4. Train your damn dog
Training is what you make of it. Your idea of training and ours may differ, but some things are universal. If your dog jumps on me, steals my lunch, and calls me a bitch while you merely stand there in slack-jawed idiocy, you’re an ass.
5. Take care of your dog
Dogs are high maintenance creatures. There is more to it than food, water and shelter. It can feel overwhelming at points, but there are some necessities that you cannot get away from. If your dog needs to be groomed, either groom it yourself or pay someone who knows what the shit they’re doing. Your dog have pus falling out of its face? Take it to a vet. Is your Chi 48 pounds? Get it some exercise. It’s not rocket science, but it is practical to learn what’s panic-worthy and what’s shrug-worthy.
6. Be Courteous
We may be bitches but we’re polite bitches. Being nasty to newbies, strangers and fellow dog-enthusiasts, while occasionally called for, is rarely going to pay off in the long run. Discretion may not be the better part of valor, but it will keep you from getting the stink-eye from the hundreds of other dog owners entirely unimpressed by your assitude.
7. Lead by example
If you’ve procreated, please teach your children these rules. Here at the Dog Snobs, all our dogs love kids (similarly sized, sticky, and prone to dropping food -what’s not to love?) but not all dogs do and that’s something to be respected.
1. Let your dog invade another person or dog’s bubble.
You know how we feel about this
2. Molest another person’s dog without permission
Try to alpha roll our dogs, correct them, or feed them that cooked chicken bone because you heard bones are good for dogs, and you will get bitten. Not by our dogs, but by us.
3. Be a know-it-all
It’s okay not to know the answer. Insisting your way is the one, the true, and the light (especially if it’s your first dog) will illicit a lot of eye-rolling and shaking heads. You’re one different dog away from being proven wrong. Keep that in mind the next time you’re slamming someone who disagrees with you.
4. Believe everything you read
There is a lot of conflicting advice out there. Harnesses are bad! Harnesses are good! Kibble is the devil! Raw Feeding gives dogs food poisoning and kills titwillows! Use some sense, critical thinking, and a coin to pick what advice you follow or don’t. We don’t pretend to know-it-all (Know-it-most, sure, but all is a stretch) and we still learn new things from just being around our own dogs as well as dog-people.
5. Take it personally
Someone is always going to call you an asshole. In some cases, those someones may be us, but really we don’t know you, likely never will, and really despite it all, we’re not all that invested in your life. It’s not you, it’s us.
**What did we miss? Anyone want to confess to breaking one of our rules? Share below!**