How To Avoid Being a Dog Snobs Blog Topic aka Do’s and Don’ts of Dog Ownership

7 Aug

Want to be a decent dog owner?  Or at least not be “that asshole” that all other dog owners hate and vent about on our blog?  Great.  We’ve created a handy-dandy list of do and don’ts.  We like lists.  And Indian food.


1.   Learn basic dog body language

While we are glad our dogs can’t actually speak (can you imagine the secrets they would spill?!), their body language does a pretty good job of indicating how they are feeling.  Do yourself a favor and do some research. A little Wikipedia goes a long way.

2.  Know your dog

Related to “Do #1, please don’t be that dog owner who is in “in denial” about their dog.  Some dogs do not like other dogs, some dogs don’t get along well with children, some dogs hate men, and so on.  Knowing your dog and its limitations is key to avoiding potentially dangerous situations.  We understand that everyone wants to think that their dog is perfect, but we actually have a lot more respect for people who acknowledge their dogs’ limitations than those individuals who insist their dog doesn’t have any.

Not just a river in Egypt

2b. Knowing your dog isn’t an excuse for bad behavior. The number of times we hear ‘He’s a rescue’ or ‘She’s just a puppy (at 7 years of age)’ as an excuse for bad behavior is downright shocking. We acknowledge that many dogs have issues, but not working on those issues is frankly lazy and doing an incredible disservice to the dog. Not every dog has to go to the dog park, but they should, even as a long-term goal, be able to work to the point of not attempting to murder every Shih Tzu or postman in their path.  If it’s a problem, work to fix it.  if it’s not a problem, don’t worry too much about it. Simple? Yes.

3.    Always pick up dog poop

No one wants to step in it, or look at it, or stand near it.  Not even other dog owners.  Don’t be a jackwagon.  If you can’t deal with dog poo, don’t get a dog.

Natalie Dee, we love you.

4.   Train your damn dog

Training is what you make of it. Your idea of training and ours may differ, but some things are universal. If your dog jumps on me, steals my lunch, and calls me a bitch while you merely stand there in slack-jawed idiocy, you’re an ass.


5. Take care of your dog

Dogs are high maintenance creatures. There is more to it than food, water and shelter. It can feel overwhelming at points, but there are some necessities that you cannot get away from. If your dog needs to be groomed, either groom it yourself or pay someone who knows what the shit they’re doing. Your dog have pus falling out of its face? Take it to a vet. Is your Chi 48 pounds? Get it some exercise. It’s not rocket science, but it is practical to learn what’s panic-worthy and what’s shrug-worthy.

Fat is not a goal; it’s a journey.

6. Be Courteous

We may be bitches but we’re polite bitches. Being nasty to newbies, strangers and fellow dog-enthusiasts, while occasionally called for, is rarely going to pay off in the long run. Discretion may not be the better part of valor, but it will keep you from getting the stink-eye from the hundreds of other dog owners entirely unimpressed by your assitude.


7. Lead by example

If you’ve procreated, please teach your children these rules. Here at the Dog Snobs, all our dogs love kids (similarly sized, sticky, and prone to dropping food -what’s not to love?) but not all dogs do and that’s something to be respected.




1. Let your dog invade another person or dog’s bubble.  

You know how we feel about this

2.  Molest another person’s dog without permission

Try to alpha roll our dogs, correct them, or feed them that cooked chicken bone because you heard bones are good for dogs, and you will get bitten.  Not by our dogs, but by us.

We like cake almost as much as we like our dogs.

3. Be a know-it-all

It’s okay not to know the answer. Insisting your way is the one, the true, and the light (especially if it’s your first dog) will illicit a lot of eye-rolling and shaking heads. You’re one different dog away from being proven wrong. Keep that in mind the next time you’re slamming someone who disagrees with you.

4. Believe everything you read

There is a lot of conflicting advice out there. Harnesses are bad! Harnesses are good! Kibble is the devil! Raw Feeding gives dogs food poisoning and kills titwillows! Use some sense, critical thinking, and a coin to pick what advice you follow or don’t. We don’t pretend to know-it-all (Know-it-most, sure, but all is a stretch) and we still learn new things from just being around our own dogs as well as dog-people.

5. Take it personally

Someone is always going to call you an asshole. In some cases, those someones may be us, but really we don’t know you, likely never will, and really despite it all, we’re not all that invested in your life. It’s not you, it’s us.

Fine. Maybe, it’s you.


**What did we miss?  Anyone want to confess to breaking one of our rules?  Share below!**

29 Responses to “How To Avoid Being a Dog Snobs Blog Topic aka Do’s and Don’ts of Dog Ownership”

  1. Barb Nystrom August 7, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    beautifully written!

  2. swamppoodles August 8, 2013 at 12:08 am #

    Yeah, I love the “but s/he is a rescue” line while your dog is lunging at it’s flimsy soft sided crated that has been repaired numerous times. This from someone who is a “trainer”. Really? You’re a trainer? Then TRAIN your DOG!

    • Creepy McSteezerson September 23, 2014 at 2:31 am #

      Most trainers take on a dog that may be harder to deal with. However, making excuses for said dog is a surefire red flag that said “trainer” has no idea what they are talking about or doing.

  3. Beth August 8, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    LOVE IT – and so glad that someone has found a medium in which they can tell people how lazy they are and what asses they are. Did have to look up titwillow to make sure I wasn’t missing a vital point – LOL Thank you once again for calling things exactly how you see them

  4. Emma August 8, 2013 at 1:42 am #

    Gah the “s/he’s a rescue” excuse drives me insane in most situations.
    Admittedly I have used it a bit more than I should (though I say it as an excuse for her shying away from people who rudely approach her before I get a chance to intervene, not lunging, barking, or otherwise accosting).

    Here’s a typical situation in the crap-town area I live in:
    Dog comes up barking and snarling, so I pull my dog back.
    Owner: “He’s a rescue”
    Me: Oh how long have you had him?
    “6 years”….yeah, that stuff might fly within the first few months. Hell, the first few years. But there comes a point when you’re simply using it as an excuse for laziness.

  5. Trisha Ristagno August 8, 2013 at 4:07 am #

    Here’s one you missed – though it could possibly fit into the dog body language item. Here it is:
    “Your dog is not a Real Boy/Girl. It is a DOG. He doesn’t “feel” all the things you heap upon him. And that wagging tail? That is not a happy wag, it means your dog is about to go all Cujo and you need to curb it – NOW.” Thank you.”

  6. Alisha McGraw August 8, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    •To go with Train Your Dog “They’ll figure it out, dogs always do” is not an appropriate response to an aggressive dog misbehaving…hear this from a lot of people with jerk dogs at the dog park.
    •I have multiple dogs; it never fails that when I am bent over picking up their poop someone wants to come near us…. If you have 1 dog and see someone with 4 dogs taking a walk…picking up poo especially – that is NOT the time to introduce your dog. 🙂 …and ask if they are friendly 1st especially if the owner is bent over and doesn’t see you coming up. (city life)
    •Don’t make aggressive criticism without ever talking to a person nicely first. We own 3 deaf dogs and they wear a remote collar if they are going off leash – there are vibration options electric collars. You have nooo idea how many people assume we’re electrocuting our dogs . Without ever asking us about our dogs, talking to us or anything they will come to tell us ‘how bad of a person we are’ (especially fun because they are likely not the personality to take on a Deaf dog in their home (or 3) and invest the time into training one the way we have). I am very much the ‘let me explain’ personality. My husband is no,t he’s the ‘mind your own business you don’t know what you’re talking about’ type 🙂
    •Dogs with extendable leashes on a sidewalk in the city – ever try passing one when the owner is not paying attention?
    Much Love! Thanks for the fun read.

    • Kate Smith August 8, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

      So totally understand your sentiments. The owners need to be trained first in order to achieve a well mannered dog. And don’t get me started on retractable leashes, they are for stupid, lazy owners. Do they not realize that the lock mechanism is only plastic and if the dog lunges hard and fast enough it will break, then there is no stopping the dog from finishing its quest. I am a dog owner, have been all my adult life and I find it very frustrating when having to deal will ill-mannered pets.

      • karen October 21, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

        Really they still sell those leashes?? For idiots with more money than brains, I guess every city has to have a few….and speaking of cities, I live in the country and If I’ve heard this once I’ve heard it a million times, we live on 10 acres (or you name the space) and there are no leash laws out here, a sure way to get your dog killed!

  7. Sam Tatters August 8, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    Don’t even dare to suggest any of that alpha-schmalpa codswollop that’s on TV for *entertainment* purposes (who are we kidding – what sort of person finds that entertaining? It’s distressing, upsetting, and downright sad!).

  8. Julia August 8, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    Pretty much I worship you guys. You speak for me. Suggested topic for future: Stupid terminology that legit breeders never use: Pedigreed. “Full Blooded.” Papered. Pure. And my personal favorite, ” Yeah, I had a German shepherd just like that once. He was half Lab and Husky too.

    • Connie Macchione August 8, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

      Julia, how about “He’s thorough-bred”. (Not talking about a horse) That’s MY personal fave. Oh, and “His mom’s a show champion, but I never got the papers on him.” Sigh…

  9. Neil Hutchins inc. August 8, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    Reblogged this on Neil J Hutchins (Canine Education) Blog.

  10. Artessa August 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    Oh man the picture on number 4… My girl was nipped last year by a much larger dog. It changed her life and not for the better. She is coming along and just started doggy day care with only bigger dogs. She has come leaps and bounds I am happy to say. So last night we meet a dog and everything is going well and then it gets a bit too close to her lady bits. Direct quote from the other dog owner “Oh my goodness how cute….your dog is smiling”

  11. Celine August 8, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    I’m guilty of using the “He’s a rescue” excuse when my dog lunges. Then I inevitably get asked: Oh yeah? How long have you had him?! I usually want to respond with:

    Listen, you judgmental asshole. I’ve had him for a year. When I first got him, he was going to be PTS for extreme aggression. I insisted on adopting him anyways, and vowed he’d get better. After getting his ingrown tail amputated, we saw major improvements. (his previous owners let it go untreated for 3 yrs). We can now take him out in public, walk around in crowded places such as outdoor markets and festivals and rarely have any issues. It’s like night and day.

    That being said, he will still lunge if someone comes around a corner, out of nowhere. Or if there happens to be someone walking by our front door as we step outside. Or any time he gets startled by a stranger, especially if I am alone with him. As for other dogs, he will tolerate them so long as they give him space, which I make sure to ask of other dog owners upon meeting them.

    He may not be perfect, but he’s much much better than he was. He is dog-aggressive, and very reactive as well as being totally sight-motivated. So yes, when I say I’ve had him for a year… don’t be a wanker and assume I’ve been sitting on my ass being lazy about training. Know that I’m being dead serious when I say that my dog has come a long way since I’ve had him and that you wouldn’t even be able to be standing this close in order to bestow your shitty judgments upon me if I hadn’t worked this hard to begin with… since my dog would be eating you.

    Training is an ongoing thing. Some dogs take years to be rehabilitated when they went through years of neglect. And even then, some dogs will never be the dogs that can stay calm in any situation.

    • TheDogSnobs August 8, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

      And you’re doing what you need to do, rather than taking the ‘He’s just being a dog’ excuse. 🙂

  12. Linda Trunell August 8, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

    Would like to add “Don’t take your leash-aggressive, snarky 10 lb. leashed dog to the off-leash park and then lift it off the ground by the leash when it lunges at every off-leash dog who goes by.” Your dog really doesn’t like the dog park – give it up!

    • Jennifer August 9, 2013 at 4:11 am #

      While on the one hand I agree with you, as a trainer I disagree. I CAN change that behavior, but it has to be corrected, and I have to match the level of the correction to the level of the behavior. HOWEVER, obviously, this training should be directly supervised BY a trainer who is working – either directly or with the owner – to FIX the behavior. Correctly. Now, if said handler is some fart-brain who has TiVo’ed every episode of the Dog Whisperer, then I agree with you. But don’t judge in the first thirty seconds, because it just MIGHT be a trainer.

      Hey, there’s a slim chance.

      Dog parks have a few general merits, but these slight pros are outweighed by a variety of cons – the heaviest being that you can be an asshat and take your God-awful, aggressive, untrained, dominant dog to the dog park, then feel justified telling me that MY dog is the aggressive one because he corrected your dog for trying to hump him. No. Bad moron. Very bad!

      • Sam Tatters August 9, 2013 at 4:37 am #

        I should hope that it’s *not* a trainer – given the actions they’re taking they obviously have a whole lot to learn about how to actually modify behaviour in the direction they would like, rather than making this poor dog’s reactivity worse by applying positive punishment and a huge extra dose of fear to boot…

  13. Viatecio August 10, 2013 at 1:42 am #

    I just figure that NEITHER my dog nor I are friendly toward assholes. We both are just very well-trained in coping skills and societal mores to know good choice (grumble and move away) versus bad choice (outright offensive attack on every asshole out there). We’d both be put down were we to follow our oriignal instincts.

    Anytime someone mentions their dog being a “rescue”, I’m trying to train myself to make it first instinct to respond “What kind of dog is THAT?”

    /no affiliation with above-mentioned blog, just that it’s relevant to the conversation in a tangent-y sort of way

  14. Kristy March 3, 2014 at 2:52 am #

    Why do neutered males seem to have it in for my intact male dog at the dog park? He walks around minding his own business and gets piled on by the other boys. Or, one of them tries to mount him, and he doesn’t take that from anybody (he’s a collie and NOT dog aggressive at all – unless somebody tries to hump him.) He’s intact because we show him, and also don’t want any scarring so maybe we just have to give up the dog park idea totally and maybe not even take our female there, although she loves it…

    • AD December 23, 2014 at 4:40 am #

      Umm… yeah glad you are starting to figure that one out. You don’t like the way other dogs respond to your intact dog for Christ sake don’t take him to the dog park! You and other people of your kind are the reason I don’t take my dog to the dog park. I’ve worked with my dog so that I can get him to not automatically try to kill every intact dog he comes across but coming across people like you that can’t figure out their walking testosterone causes issues it’s just not worth it. You breed, you show whatever, fine but don’t take them to dog parks! And btw I know plenty of other dogs just like mine. He’s not the only one.

  15. Ophelia July 12, 2014 at 5:25 am #

    Every time I read about poop pickup, I always feel guilty, LOL
    My girl is an eight year old GSD rescue with a TERRIBLE stomach. It took us six months to find a food that not only didn’t give her horrible bathroom runs everywhere, but was enticing enough for her to eat regularly (a totaly grazer). Which was why outdoor training came so late.
    The first few walks were a hit or miss bathroom wise, but I’ll never forget the time she had a huge, terrier sized, watery diarrhea dump in the middle of our neighbor’s driveway. A bag would never suffice, and people were coming home from work. I ran all the way home, put her outside, and confronted my family about giving her a treat without running it by me before I left.
    I waited for a few days before walking her again and have been avoiding that street ever since.
    I am so sorry, neighbors I don’t know, it smelled awful and must have been horrible to wash off.
    Needless to say, if my girl tugs toward a patch of grass, I’m not going to correct her. She still pees all the time, but no accidents of the brown sort have happened in four months. I’d celebrate, but I don’t want to jinx it.

    • brindlenut February 11, 2016 at 5:07 pm #

      Dude- you should have faced the neighbors, asked to use their hose and cleaned that up. What a dick move. I love how you blamed your family for the dog shitting all over someone’s driveway.

  16. faithtrustnpups July 16, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    “No one wants to step in it, or look at it, or stand near it. Not even other dog owners. Don’t be a jackwagon.” This is exactly what came to mind when I found myself picking up some jackwagon’s two pieces of stray poop the other day because it was right outside the perimeter of my house/side yard. Frankly, I would have left it but since it was basically just beyond my property I picked it up to avoid the neighbors thinking my dogs or I were the jerks. I assure you, I take no issue with cleaning up after my own dogs, but something about picking up poop when I have no idea where or when it came from just grosses me out.

  17. Sophie September 4, 2014 at 12:04 am #

    Pretty sure there is such a thing as “poop karma.” Sometimes, no matter how hard I try, I can’t find the poop my dog just deposited at the dog park. I do the next best thing and pick up the poop I can find, regardless of who did it. Hopefully that balances everything out.

    • Connie Macchione September 4, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

      I do the same thing Sophie. I’m sure there is definitely such a thing as “poop karma” 🙂

  18. Serena December 5, 2014 at 1:33 am #

    Embarrassingly enough, our adolescent BC is quite aggressively affectionate. To say he adores people and being petted is an understatement. We’ve had him for 11 months (just turned 2) and have improved his jumping-on-folks bad manners somewhat but so many darn strangers encourage him when he does jump up–it’s frustrating. We hear “it’s okay, I’m a dog person I don’t mind” while we’re attempting to pry him out of their arms and have him sit for pets. Meanwhile our Australian Shepherd is scolding him for bad behavior. For the love, don’t reach for, pet, or otherwise encourage my dog to jump up while you see and hear me telling him to sit. It takes any progress we’ve made and flushes it right down the toilet. Enjoying the blog and looking forward to a pro/con entry on Aussies.

  19. AD December 23, 2014 at 4:45 am #

    If you do don’t #1 I will do don’t #2. At one point I almost kicked this dogs head off for going after my dog. It was either I correct the dog or my dog does it. And I would rather take the blame than my dog. I have also been blamed for not being courteous. Oh well.

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