Activities For Courteous Dogs

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Introduction

Working with your dog to have proper manners and show respect when meeting other people or families is an important part of any training program. Luckily, there are many activities for courteous dogs that will show your pup the right way to behave in almost any situation. You can make many of these activities into fun games for your best friend so they feel more like bonding activities than training. Once your dog knows basic training skills like sit, stay, down, and loose-leash walking, you can go ahead and challenge them with a host of new activities that will teach them to be polite and courteous when meeting new people.

The Polite Shopper

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Any Day
Free
Normal
15 - 30 min
Items needed
leash
treats
Activity description
One of the best activities for courteous dogs to practice is meeting new people in busy places. Many dogs might run up to a new person or jump on them in excitement. This is a habit you want to change quickly, and a great way to practice proper greeting habits is to take your dog "shopping" in a store that is friendly to dogs. Many stores allow dogs inside on leash so owners can introduce their pups to new experiences and new friends. Pet stores, ranch and home stores, and even some local and boutique stores will be more than happy to let you walk your dog inside, and staff are often happy to help you teach your dog to be courteous when meeting new people.
Step
1
Find your location
The first step is to find a store that allows dogs on leashes inside. One of the best places to try is your local pet supply store. They often have in store training classes and allow owners to walk through the store to teach their dogs new skills. Home building and ranch supply stores are also often pet-friendly, and their employees don't mind taking time to be the test subject when you're working with your dog. Find a few locations you think will allow dogs and call ahead to ask about their policies.
Step
2
Take a walk
When you arrive at the store, make sure you grab your treats and snap on a leash before you head inside. On your first adventure into the store, your dog will be excited and may not focus. Spend some time walking around the perimeter to practice loose-leash walking and to let them get settled. When they are calm, walk down an aisle that has a person in it. If your dog runs toward the person, quickly turn around and walk away. Keep practicing until your dog will pass by without looking at the person and give them a treat.
Step
3
Say hello
When your dog can successfully walk past other customers in the store politely, ask a friendly person or a sales associate if they have a moment to meet your dog. Always be polite and ask first to make sure they are free. Calmly walk your dog up to the salesperson and ask your dog to sit by your side. If they start to jump, walk away and try again until they are calm. When your dog is sitting nicely next to you, you can hand the person a treat to give to your dog for good behavior.
Step
4
Keep practicing
The more you practice greeting new people with your pup, the more polite and courteous they will become. They will learn to wait until the new person addresses them and will be a great dog to have with you in many more situations. You can always check your dog's skills by taking them shopping with you.
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A Courteous Hike

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Sunny Day
Free
Normal
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Treats
Activity description
Hiking is a challenging and fun activity for courteous dogs who love to be outside. It's also a wonderful opportunity to challenge your dog's training and reinforce the polite behavior you have been working hard to teach them. Trail etiquette for dogs is important, and ensuring your pooch knows how to be polite on the trail will make the experience more enjoyable for both of you and other trail-goers you meet. There is nothing worse than an out-of-control dog who jumps on people, pushes them out of the way, or even bites other hikers. When your dog has learned to be courteous and well-behaved on the trail, they will quickly become your best hiking companion.
Step
1
Stay close
When you go out for a hike with your dog, make sure they stay close to your side. If they wander off trail, call them back before they get out of eyesight. A courteous dog should always be close enough to call back right away and be at your side in minutes.
Step
2
Follow me
Use a treat to teach your dog to follow behind you. This command will teach your dog to fall in line behind you when passing someone else on the trail. Get their attention with a treat and put it behind your back. When your pup walks behind you, say "follow me" before you give them the treat. Soon they will know to get behind you when you give the command, and let other hikers pass by easily.
Step
3
Horse and bike friendly
If you hike on multi-use trails in your area, chances are you will come in contact with horses and bikers. Teach your dog to be courteous to these other users as well. When a group of bikers or horseback riders pass by you, teach your dog to pull off the trail and sit quietly. Always talk to horseback riders, so the horses know you are there, and keep your dog still and quiet.
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Get a Coffee

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Leash
Bowl for water
Toy
Good book
Activity description
Courteous dogs make great companions for coffee dates at the local coffee shop with an outdoor seating or patio. If your dog is polite and enjoys laying next to you, they are the perfect partner to take to a coffee shop on a sunny day and enjoy a cup of your favorite caffeinated drink and a good book. Many coffee shops have dog-friendly outdoor seating and will even offer your pup their own bowl of water. This activity is perfect for a quiet morning or a lazy weekend afternoon where you want to relax and spend a little time with your pup.
Step
1
Scope your spot
Find a local coffee shop that has nice outdoor seating and allows dogs on the patio. You'll want to check with the barista on duty to see if it's okay to sit with your dog before you order your coffee.
Step
2
Get the right set up
Find a table and chair that are out of the way, and ask your dog to lay down in a spot where they won't be a tripping hazard. Make sure to tie the leash to your chair or a railing. Set up a bowl of water for your dog and give them a toy to keep them busy.
Step
3
Enjoy your time
Once your dog is set up, they only thing left to do it order your favorite coffee drink and crack open your book. Reading at a coffee shop is one of the most relaxing activities for courteous dogs.
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More Fun Ideas...

Go to a Farmer's Market

If your dog is courteous and calm in busy situations, take them with you to a local farmer's market. Dogs are usually allowed at these venues, but there are often lots of people and distractions. Your well-behaved dog will thrive in these markets and will simply enjoy calmly walking between booths and checking out fresh produce and local wares.

Visit a Nursing Home

If your dog is certified as a therapy dog, you can give back to your community by signing up to visit a nursing home or hospital. This is the perfect activity for courteous dogs because their calm and approachable nature has incredible healing and health benefits for others.

Conclusion

It takes a lot of time and training to teach your dog polite manners in a variety of situations, but once you accomplish this task, there are hundreds of activities for courteous dogs that you can partake in. From relaxing at coffee shops to hiking on the trail, you'll feel proud of your companion, and the people you meet will be thankful and impressed by how doggone polite your pup is.