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Doggy Do's: Advocacy group: A controlled, well-behaved dog is a good dog

Posted: Friday, March 12, 2004

First, whether you own dogs or not, we'd like to introduce you to The Grateful Dogs of Juneau, an advocacy group for dog owners and walkers who use Juneau's public trails and parks in a responsible manner. Our objectives are: 1) promote public awareness of what it means to be a canine good citizen and responsible dog owner on Juneau trails; 2) outline local resources so dog and owner can become good trail citizens; 3) provide a unified voice on canine issues and legislation and 4) conduct outreach events such as poop scoops on designated trails.

Grateful Dogs needs your time and efforts to protect dogs and their owners' rights to walk freely on Juneau trails in a responsible manner. Please consider helping in our on-going education and trail clean-up efforts. Even consider forming a group to sponsor clean-up on your favorite trail! Check http://www.gratefuldogsofjuneau.org for more info.

Curious about how to be a responsible owner with a canine good citizen on local trails? The following are basics which must be observed if we wish to continue to use Juneau trails without opposition from other user groups.

• Purchase an annual CBJ dog license for your canine companion.

• Display your dog's current CBJ license tag on an appropriate collar or harness.

• Ensure that your dog is under control, either by leash or voice command at all times.

• Keep your dog out of the way of other citizens, including bird watchers, walkers, parents with strollers, bicyclists, runners, skiers, etc.

• Do not allow your dog to touch someone who does not want to be touched.

• When walking your dog off-leash, give the right-of-way to others with dogs on-leash.

• Do not allow your dog to harass wildlife.

• Pick up your dog's waste and dispose of it properly.

• Meet the needs of your canine companion, including: cleanliness, health, grooming, nutrition, training and appropriate exercise.

More specifically, how can you demonstrate responsible ownership?

1) Before starting out on a trail, grab a leash and collar for your dog. You may not need it. On the other hand, it may come in handy if you meet a porcupine or 30 pre- or grade schoolers!

2) Stuff plastic sandwich bags or plastic newspaper covers in your pocket or your vehicle's glove compartment for those times the trailhead poop bag dispensers are empty.

3) Invite your dog to sit-stay slightly off the trail with you to allow others, such as runners, joggers, skiers, elderly and young children, to easily pass by. This is a great opportunity to reinforce household manners in public. Remember to reward your furry friend for a job well done!

A special note to runners and skiers with dogs: Please jog in place, or place a collar and leash on your dog, when it is behind you, so you are aware of the need to scoop poop. Remember, your dog's and your behavior reflect on all users with dogs.

How about those of you using trails without dogs? You can help too!

Fast moving trail users, such as runners and skiers, can show common courtesy by gently calling out 'on your left' when they are 15-20 feet behind other trail users, including those with dogs.

Compliment those who demonstrate responsible dog ownership or have trained their dogs to be good citizens.

Looking for ways to reinforce good behavior in your own dog? The Capital Kennel Club of Juneau, established in 1989, offers a variety of training classes and events including: puppy kindergarten, basic dog obedience, competitive obedience, rally obedience, agility, conformation, canine good citizen, and seminars led by well-known dog trainers. Its obedience and agility trials are also open to the public with no admission fee. See http://www.ckcoj.org



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