Our Pet Column

Published weekly and read widely in The Watch, Telluride Daily Planet and Telluride Inside…and Out as well as this website the Pet Column offers insights from the Second Chance’s pet of the week on a variety of topics.

Proper Petiquette

Wow Petiquette Seeker – you have a very strong point there. I agree that pet parents should consider themselves the ambassadors of the pet and model how to be a good parent to a good pet. Thus I have thrown down a rough outline to help others do this.

Dear Pet Column,

Lately I have been annoyed by other people’s pets behaving badly, although the reality is - the pet’s people are the ones behaving badly. I wonder if people who have pets followed better etiquette whether more people would want to have pets?

Sincerely, Seeking Petiquette

Wow Petiquette Seeker – you have a very strong point there. I agree that pet parents should consider themselves the ambassadors of the pet and model how to be a good parent to a good pet. Thus I have thrown down a rough outline to help others do this.

First and foremost: always ask permission to let your dog approach other people or dogs. This is a big one – parents of friendly dogs will say “my dog is friendly” and let their dog run up to others. But dogs who have been attacked by other dogs may not appreciate this and the parent of that dog is then left with all the responsibility of keeping their dog from eating yours. And you have just ruined their relaxing and peaceful walk.

As you all know, allowing your dog to jump on people is a big no-no. And I know how hard it is to train this excited reaction out of your dog but it can be especially distressing to those afraid of dogs. Teach your pet an alternative way to say “Hello!” Four paws on the floor, a sit, or a down are three useful behaviors that can gain the same attention the dog wants, but in a more human-friendly way.

With both the above situations it requires dedicated repetitive training. But you can teach your dog to wait for a signal from you before greeting people or other dogs and only allow this when given permission. Second Chance’s low cost dog training courses can help you with this.

Probably the biggest community nuisance is barking dogs. Dogs that are left in yards to bark all through the day and night can easily turn people “off” pets. Typically this occurs when your dog isn’t getting enough exercise and attention. I recommend you address the issue immediately (even if it means keeping your dog inside when not supervised) and allow your neighbors the peace they deserve.

Similarly, letting your dog bark at other people and dogs when you are out walking is a downer. Basic training and distraction will correct this problem, ignoring it will not. As a cat, the best advice I can offer is to adopt a cat instead of a dog and you won’t have to worry about any of this. But, I know some of you like those waggy, drooly, mannerless critters. But if you change your mind, I am looking for a new home. My name is Handsome Arvin and I am about 4 years young.

Currently I am living in a communal room with other cats here at Second Chance, because I am so well-mannered with other cats. I like to lay in the sun out on the cat patio and I do seek love and attention from people who pass my “safe to approach” test (which isn’t an overly involved test and simply requires you to be calm and gentle around me).

In closing, I encourage all pet parents to consider how properly training your pets could potentially lead to more people adopting pets and there being less homeless pets in the world. A trained pet saves lives!

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops service San Miguel, Ouray and Montrose counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 970-626-2273 to report a lost pet or to learn about adopting a homeless pet and the SCHS spay/neuter, volunteer, feral cat or other programs. View our shelter pets and services at adoptmountainpets.org.

Second Chance Humane Society

Contact

(970) 626-2273 | phone
animalcare@adoptmountainpets.org
(970) 626-3233 | Ridgway thrift
(970) 728-1100 | Telluride thrift

Address

PO Box 2096 [mailing]
177 County Road 10
Ridgway, CO 81432

Shelter Hours

Animal Resource Center 11 am - 6 pm
Cat Castle 11 am - 6 pm
Dog Den 11 am - 5:45 pm