Street Etiquette for Dogs
Street Etiquette for Dogs

I recently had a client new to puppy-rearing who asked “What is the etiquette for where to allow your dog to pee, when walking in the city?”

My answer? “That’s a great question!”

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I could name a few locations/situations in which it’s pretty clearly not cool to allow your dog to urinate or defecate:

  1. In a stranger’s yard or garden
  2. In front of a food or drink establishment
  3. On the front of a store
  4. Wherever a posted sign forbids it

I could also name a few locations that are pretty commonly accepted as A-OK:

  1. In a fenced dog run
  2. In a dog park during designated “off leash hours”
  3. Into a sewer grate
  4. Just off the “curb”, in the street
  5. On a fire hydrant (this one was voted on by all the dogs I asked)

Unfortunately, many, if not most, city locations fall somewhere in-between the definitely-no and definitely-yes. Is it ok to allow your dog to poop right on the sidewalk, where other people are walking — if it isn’t in front of any store and you scoop it up immediately? On city trees? I was once reprimanded at by a sanitation worker for allowing my dog to urinate on a pile of trash bags on the side of the road, because he had to lift them into the garbage truck.

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What are your thoughts on street etiquette for dogs in the city?

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