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How to Not be a Shitty Dog Owner

If you can avoid doing these nine things, then you won’t be a shitty, annoying dog owner.

So here they are.

1. Don’t expect me to kiss your dog, please.

I love your dog, but please keep his mouth away from my mouth.

My own dog Ace licks his ass hole every day. He literally gags himself with his penis. Other interests of his include eating cat “sand biscuits” and putting his nose right up to the spots where other dogs have peed. He also pukes a few times per week and proceeds to eat that puke.

I’m guessing you would prefer my dog keeps his tongue out of your mouth?

2. Ditch the Flexi leash.

Is there really much more to say?

This is a screen grab from a YouTube video where some idiot was blocking the road with her dog’s leash, causing a guy on skates to crash.

3. Don’t say: “Don’t worry, he’s friendly!”

Yeah? Well, f— off!

What if my dog isn’t friendly? What if I just adopted him, and he has some fear issues we’re working on?

What if I have to kick your dog in the face to prevent my dog from defending himself against what he can only assume is a threat?

4. Keep your dog away from my dog.

“Brutus wants to say hi!”

OK, but why would we want to say hi to Brutus? Can you not see that I’m trying to control my own two dogs while picking up after them? Where is this law that every person walking a dog has the right to barge up to the other people walking dogs?

5. Learn some dog-handling skills.

Why is it OK to let your tiny dog lunge and growl at my dog? If my dog did that, your dog would probably piss itself.

Tip: Don’t let your child walk Sparky until you teach the child and the dog some rules.

6. Don’t just stand there screaming “LEAVE IT!” louder and louder.

You have to actually take the time to teach Lola what the command means.

7. Don’t show me pictures of your dog.

Oh, how nice of you to show me 50 pictures of your dog. How “cute.” But then you don’t even ask about my dog? Oh, that’s right. It’s because you don’t care. So why would I care about yours?

8. Don’t “forget” a bag.

Always bring two. Bring three or four if your dog is especially talented.

9. Use a leash for crying out loud.

When you walk from your car to the gate of the dog park, use a leash. I get that you’re embarrassed how your dog tries to rip your arm off by pulling, but stop being an enabler. When your dog charges the gate, it brings the wrong energy to the park.

Confession: I am a shitty dog owner. My dog has licked people in the face, drooled on them, puked on them, charged them, stolen their food, ignored my “leave it” commands, gone without a leash, pooped four times on a walk when I only had three bags, peed on inappropriate tall objects – and yes, his pictures are all over my phone. Want to see?


Monday 5th of March 2018

I'm a relatively new dog owner, our Doodle pup is 8 months old and Doodles are so excitable, but I loved reading the comments! 1) Trying to train a pup with everyone stopping & saying how cute or their dog just wants to say hello, just doesn't help one little bit! He'll walk past people now, but I have to work hard to get him focused on me, or walk the other way when I see one coming 2)we don't have Dog Parks in the UK, which is a shame, I've spent time in the US & think they are great, so we let dogs go off leash in parks etc, what annoys me is people walking them off leash on a pavement and they coming running over to me 3) people sending kids over to pet the puppy...don't get me started!!! 4) I hated flexi leashes even before we had a dog, especially people with tiny dogs like Dachshunds...I've nearly be tripped up so many times.... love reading your training tips !

Jean Davy

Monday 9th of January 2017

Mmmm..what a read, I took my rescued Maltese..Button on three walks before I was ready to play frisbee in the yard for the rest of her life as her exercise! Dog obedience classes every kind of lead you can imagine, even had a back harness made at a saddlery...until here in NZ I found a front leading harness on's called 'Walk your dog with Love' It has made walking her an absolute pleasure! ( I have absolutely no connection to this product other than buying one it really is the best thing for my relationship with my dog) she no longer charges other dogs and it in no way harms her.


Thursday 5th of January 2017

My Simon pooped at the departure counter in the airline terminal just before getting put into his crate at the beginning of a 12 hour flight! Fortunately I was prepared and whipped out the bag and dealt with it. Smart pup really, waiting. The flight was more like 14 hours and he did great. until the last minute. I have been unprepared in the past & do feel really badly.

Pet peeve: 'my dog just wants to say 'hi' w/o asking permission. I'm trying to remember to say something breezily like 'Not today, we're in training!'

Lindsay Stordahl

Thursday 5th of January 2017

Oh I'm glad Simon went right before getting in his crate and not after! Poor guy!

I usually don't want people to greet Remy because he gets so crazy excited so I usually just say something like "He gets too excited!" and move away. By that point people usually can see that and understand.

Danel Selfridge

Thursday 5th of January 2017

I have to admit I have a pic of Okami on my phone as my wallpaper.

I have been guilty of a number of the offences once or 10 times...

I took Her into a petsmart the other day, and she was saying "hi" to the people (staff) at their in store vet, and while I was talking to them she got bored and Laid down, a few moments later she rolled over and her leash unclipped itself from her collar. Fortunately I noticed that immediately (I had noticed something looked a little funny about the clip on the leash) and was fasically reaching for her when the leash unclipped, so I grabbed her and clipped her back on leash before she realized she was "loose" in the store

Lindsay Stordahl

Thursday 5th of January 2017

Haha! Don't worry I'm guilty of all of these as well!

Sharon McGuigan-Baki

Thursday 5th of January 2017

Yes Poop evaders are bad especially if your dog eats it As well Flexi leads should be banned and people have even had torn tendons in their legs from having them wrap around! I also avoid other dogs when I walk my Shiloh Shepherd because she will protect me and our house and I am not explaining that to dufuses who do not listen! Also at the park she is fine with other dogs and people because the dogs are off leash and the park is not our house! Also she is very obedient and well trained !