It looks the rainy season might have finally ended the San Francisco Bay Area. Dry and maybe even sunny days mean there’s more opportunity to be out and about with your dog. While ensuring your dog is well trained is always important, especially in a dense urban environment such as San Francisco, springtime with all the opportunities to be outside with your dog, is a good time to both remember why dog training is important and to brush up some skills.
Here are a few reasons to think about dog training and why it is important in San Francisco:
- Safety: San Francisco is a densely populated city. There is an amazing amount of foot traffic, bicycles, and vehicles – and that’s only the “positive” things you’ll experience when out and about. Add in the other “things” you and your dog are likely to run across and it’s essential that your dog be well-trained. Key skills include “leave it,” “drop,” “come,” “wait” and “off.”
- Access: San Francisco has many public spaces that allow dogs, including parks, beaches, cafes and bars (my favorite). While many of these places have “rules” about dog behavior, even those that don’t have formal rules have informal expectations about dog behavior. You want to make sure that your dog is first comfortable in these places but also is under either leash control or strong voice control. Depending on where you are certain skills might be more important than others, but the general rule of leash or voice control covers all.
- Housing: Spring is often a time of relocating and even post-pandemic the San Francisco housing market is both tight and expensive. Add finding a pet friendly place to your housing requirements and the market is both tighter and more expensive. One way to ease this burden is to show a potential landlord that your dog is well trained. Addressing concerns about behavior (barking, good social skills, etc.) might reduce some landlord anxiety and open some housing doors. Consider a pet resume (sadly true), reference letters (Pet Camp writes them on a regular basis) and even training certificates.
- Community: We like to think of San Francisco is a city with a strong sense community. While some of that feeling might have dissipated in recent years, dogs are both part of the community AND can help build community. A well-trained dog can be included in neighborhood events, create community on a Slow Street (try Sanchez Street late on a Sunday morning and you’ll see what I mean) and help make connections at a dog park
- Quality of life: Dogs are amazing and add so much to our lives. A well-trained dog allows you to include your dog in an amazing number of activities that enhance both your lives. Maybe you like going to off-leash dog parks where you can both explore, perhaps a café with friends is more your speed, or are you a stroll around a new neighborhood each weekend kind of person? A well-trained dog makes all of this so much easier for both of you to enjoy.
We know training a dog takes time and commitment, but it’s so worth it!
Thanks for reading.