Saturday, 22 November 2008

What is acceptable behaviour?

And who says so? (And how much grief am I going to get from this post?). We need to have this discussion.

This is NOT what is responsible pet ownership. This is what is acceptable behaviour for a handler and their dog/s travelling on public transport, and it's a discussion that needs to be had from those travelling with dog and those observing or opposed.

We've all seen breed-ist behaviour, most ill-advised. "Alsatians are dangerous, big dogs are worse than little dogs, little dogs are harmless, Labradors are perfect and don't get me started on Staffies!"

What to we expect from ourselves and what do we expect from other - specific to using public transport across Australia?

I will start with someone else's opinion: (with comments).
  1. Accepting a friendly stranger (is this necessary?)
  2. Sitting quietly
  3. Clean (what happens with wet dog coming back from the beach or having walked in the rain?)
  4. Walking on a loose lead.
  5. Calm walking through a crowd
  6. Sit or down on command and staying in place (may need to use both hands to get through ticket barriers or buy a ticket).
  7. Coming when called (necessary if we have the dog on lead for the entire journey?)
  8. Reaction to another dog (compare this with humans, we don't like everyone, do our dogs need to?).
  9. Reaction to distraction (do we want a dog howling when the train goes over a noisy railway bridge - but they it could be very funny....)
  10. Supervised separation (again, needed if we have the dog on the lead for the entire journey?)

I look forward to your comments with some trepidation and thoughts about cans and worms.