There was a column in our local newspaper a few weeks back about dogs doing their business on lawns that are not their own. Essentially the columnist (who does own a dog) was of the opinion that dogs should do their business only on their own lawns because even if the owner picks up after the dog, there are still germs left behind and kids could run in said germs and be horrifically scarred for life (or at least “germed” and therefore gross).

Practical in theory … not happening in real life. Unless you are one of those people who never, ever walks their dog (and I cannot advocate that).

Dogs are dogs. They pee on things as a social calling card. They, apparently, have the intelligence of a two year old – and most toddlers don’t start potty-training until 18-36 months, so is it reasonable to expect a dog to know which lawn is okay to go on? And then there is the fact that, even if domesticated animals (let’s not forget about those roaming cats) did not do their business on any lawn other than their own, how would you stop the wild animals from using your yard as a rest stop? Do wild animals not have germs?? I’m pretty sure that with the number of wild animals in our city, the impact of their bathroom habits far outweigh those of the resident dog population.

However, the article did make me think of some of the “general rules” that we have for our pugs on walks:

  • We don’t let them pee on garbage bags, yard waste bags, or recycling bins
  • We don’t let them pee on flower gardens or small bushes that are likely trimmed by hand
  • We encourage them to pee on the strip of lawn closest to the road rather than on the “usable” part of lawns (but they are pugs and can be stubborn)

These, of course, are just the general guidelines for potty spots. We do tailor them a little bit. For example, we try to dissuade the pugs from going on the lawn of the B&B in our neighbourhood. We encourage them to pee on election signs (particularly for parties that we don’t like).

And if you have a pet weed, everything is fair game.