A well-loved and trained dog is unlikely to annoy anyone. Unfortunately, dogs that are unsocialised, bored, neglected or untrained can and do cause problems for their owners and the broader community. Some rules are necessary to ensure that dogs and humans can live in harmony.
Take enough time to choose a breed that fits in with your lifestyle. Owning a dog is a long-term commitment, and can be a distressing experience if you choose an unsuitable dog. Research breeds by visiting shows or dog clubs and asking plenty of questions. Take the Selectapet test to find out which dog would best suit your lifestyle.
Take your dog to puppy pre-school or dog obedience school. It is very important for dogs, in particular puppies, to be socialised with other dogs and people. Remember - if your dog is trained and issued with a training certificate, you will receive a rebate on your dog registration fee.
A dog’s behavior can be unpredictable, especially when left unsupervised with children. Children should be calm and respectful to animals. Teach your child to interact appropriately with dogs and not to ‘play-fight’ or play ‘tug-of-war’ games with them. Put your dog out of the way when children are playing loud games and running around. Dogs can sometimes get over-excited or frightened if there is a lot of noise or if other children are visiting.
Teach your dog to sit before you allow visitors to pat it. Allowing it to jump up may frighten or annoy some people, and children may feel very intimidated by the behavior.
It is an offense under the Act to not immediately remove dog faeces and dispose of them in a lawful and suitable manner.
Most councils provide plastic bags and bins near beaches, parks and reserves where dogs are allowed.
Some councils also include the requirement for dog owners to carry suitable bags for dog waste disposal in their dog by-law.
For more information on how to dispose of pet waste click here
Not all dogs like to be patted and cuddled. Ask the owner of the dog for permission to pat the dog, and if the owner agrees, allow the dog to sniff the back of your hand first. If it is happy to be patted it will sniff your hand and move towards you. You can then stroke it under the chin. Do not pat it on the top of the head - some dogs may interpret this as threatening behavior. If the dog backs away and does not sniff your hand, it is telling you it does not want to be patted.
Do not lose your temper with your dog. It will become confused, making it difficult for the dog to learn what you want to teach.
Ignore any undesirable attention-seeking behavior, but reward all good behavior. Call your dog to you and ask it to sit or perform another task before giving it your attention. If your dog scratches the door to come in, do not open it immediately. When your dog stops scratching, ask it to sit, open the door and then allow it inside.
Feeding your dog from the dinner table encourages it to beg for food, which are simply bad manners. Ask your dog to sit and stay on its bed while the family eats. When you feed your dog, ask it to sit first. Good manners for dogs!
Do not go near any dog when it is eating its meal or chewing a bone, especially if you do not know the dog. If you approach, the dog may bite to defend its food.
Dogs can be scared by sudden disturbances. Scared dogs may bite. Always call your dog first so that you do not surprise it. If your dog is ever unfortunate enough to be injured, be very careful how you approach and handle it. A dog that is frightened and in pain will often bite.
You should start with instructing your dog to sit first. Ideally, give your dog its own bed in a peaceful spot away from children and the bustle of family life.
Feeding and housing your dog is not enough. It needs to spend quality time with you. Dogs, like children, have energy to burn and one way to stop your dog getting into mischief is to keep its mind occupied and give it enough exercise.