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A Kinder, Gentler DINOS™ Handout

I’m a wee bit snarky. My sense of humor is one of the reasons people liked the “My Dog is Friendly PSA” so much, but it’s not for everyone, especially if you’re a MDIF.

Since the DINOS message is such an important one, I wanted to make sure there was a positive, helpful handout that everyone would feel comfortable using, so we can reach the largest audience possible (without offending anyone).  So, I whipped up a kinder, sarcasm-free version of the DINOS Manifesto.  I’m hoping that if you work at a vet’s office, a shelter, as a dog trainer, or just want to educate your neighbors, that this handout will be the right fit for you!

Here’s the text (you’ll find the link to the print-friendly pdf at the bottom): 

A Message from DINOS: Dogs in Need of Space

There are many dogs that prefer not to interact with people or other dogs while they’re out in public. Dogs that are DINOS are good dogs, they just need space. For example, dogs that are ill, recovering from surgery, injured, seniors, fearful dogs, service and working dogs, reactive dogs, and dogs in training, are all types of DINOS. They have a right to enjoy walks in public without interacting with other dogs and unfamiliar people.

In order to create safe communities for everyone, Team DINOS needs your help! Here are some guidelines for polite leash etiquette that will benefit all dogs:

1. Obey Leash Laws: Outside of a dog park, or otherwise sanctioned off-leash area,  please leash your dogs. In many places, this is the law, designed to keep all of us (including your dogs) safe.

2. Ask Permission Before Approaching: Stop moving and ask, “Is your dog friendly?” or “Can my dog say hi?” before you allow your dog to greet us.

3. Listen to our Response: Give us time to respond. If we say “No”, please don’t be offended.

4. Respect Our Space: If we move to the side, so that you can pass, do not let your dog approach us. Please shorten their leash and continue walking.  Not all dogs are comfortable meeting strange dogs while on leash.

5. Do Not Give Chase: Please do not allow your loose dogs to chase us. Additionally, if we abruptly turn the other way or cross the street, we do not wish to interact with you or your dogs (for one of the many reasons listed above). Please do not chase after us, asking to meet our dogs.

6. Lock your Leashes: If you walk your dog on a retractable leash, please retract and lock your leash, so that we may pass by without engaging with your dog. This applies to indoor spaces as well, such as the vet’s office and pet stores.

7. Be Kind: While we understand that these guidelines may be frustrating at times, please refrain from arguing, name calling, or judging others. One day, due to illness, trauma, or other circumstances, you too may find yourself the loving owner of a DINOS.  Please be compassionate.

8. No Matter How Nice You Are, the Rules Still Apply: Dog lovers and those with friendly dogs often think they are the exceptions to these rules. Please understand that we know our dogs best and must make choices based on their well-being. It’s nothing personal. We believe that you and your dogs are really nice, but we ask that you respect our personal boundaries.

In return, the DINOS pledge to uphold the following standards:

  1. We promise to be responsible dog guardians, focused on creating safe interactions for all dogs, by following leash laws, as well as training our dogs and using safety tools (such as muzzles), if necessary.
  2. When it is possible, we will always create distance between your dogs and our DINOS, so that you too can pass us without incident.
  3. We will tell you that our dogs are DINOS and that we need space. No mind reading necessary.

The DINOS thank you for your support! Together we can create safe communities for ALL dogs!

Print it! A Friendly Message from DINOS: Dogs in Need of Space

The rest of the handouts are here!

Have you seen the DINOS Movie? It’s pretty awesome and super funky. Watch it and share!

  1. Thank you! Love this! I also love your sense of humor but I appreciate this public friendly version!

    January 25, 2012

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