Mar 052012

Chicago dog owners probably see some sort of “Curb Your Dog” sign almost everyday.  But what does it mean?  Our friends at the South Poop blog have the answer:

The phrase ‘Curb Your Dog’ originated in the 1930?s in New York City.  Citing (from the Chicago Daily Tribune, 4 December 1938, “Mostly About Dogs” by Bob Becker, pg. F10: “Curb Your Dog” Good Advice:
“In New York, truly a doggy city, an ordinance has been passed to make for a cleaner city and at the same time compel the indifferent dog owner to consider public welfare. The ordinance demands that dogs be curbed. There are signs everywhere with the request, “Curb your dog.” It means that owners cannot allow their pets to soil buildings, nor can a dog make a nuisance of himself on the grass of the parkway or on the sidewalk. As a result there are practically no complaints about the dogs soiling sidewalks or grassy places which the public uses.”
That is, ‘Please Curb your Dog’ meant ‘Don’t let your dog do its business on the sidewalk. Let your dog do it in the road’.
Urban Dictionary offers this definition:
How does this translate to you?  It basically means, let your dog do his business in the “gutters” of the street and not in the middle of the sidewalk and clean up after your pet.  Moral of the story?  Don’t be the disrespectful dog neighbor that let’s your dog run wild and doesn’t clean up after them.
You’ve also probably noticed that the Chicago Park District Doggie has gotten a face lift.  He’s lost his heavy chain leash in favor of a chic-er look.  See the before (left) and current (right) signs posted around dog parks, parks, and public spaces.  
For a more in depth analysis on what exactly “curb your dog” means, make sure to check out South Poop.

  12 Responses to “What does “Curb Your Dog” mean?”

  1. The expression “Curb Your Dog” means take your dog to the gutter (curb) and let them pee/poop there. Dogs can be trained from an early age to do this. I love dogs and have had more than a few. I never let them pee on people’s lawns or fences or buildings. It is just bad form. Ideally, they will not be ready to burst when you take them outside, so they can walk a little way if needed.

  2. Anonymous, have u ever thought of getting a small roll of like say, chicken wire fencing maybe?? Or even enough 2x2s & nails or even wooden trim would work., Maybe a full coil of barbed wire to just throw up around ur well maintained grass or possibly even ur property line?? It sounds like a little two foot tall fence may just be worth it for u. & for ur grass. Also stake some curb your dog signs and possibly no trespassing signs right up in the dirt there. U can grab those at nearly any hardware store & I’m sure Walmart. Anyway, I know that’s even more work that u shouldn’t have to do. But if u think about it, its only once that u wld have to do that extra work, and it will cause u to have to do less upkeep in the future, which means less work in the ‘lawnrun’ (longrun heehee). Just a suggestion. Take care!!

  3. PEOPLE: You do not own that land between the sidewalk and curb. You may take care of it, but it is public land. You have no legal rights to that land. People can, and will, let their dogs potty there. So, if you plant anything nice there, don’t be surprised when it gets destroyed. These public landstrips are the only reasonable spot for dog walkers to allow their dogs to urinate/defecate.

    DOG OWNERS: When your dog craps on this public land, it is the law that you pick it up!

  4. Here is an idea. If it isn’t your yard how about you just don’t let your dog take a crap in it. Just cuz you’re okay with dog crap on your grass blades doesn’t mean that the next person is. Some people may want to sit on their porch and enjoy the weather without flies flying around because you couldn’t pick up every single particle of your dog’s crap. Some people may have kids that are allergic. Some people just may not like your dogs on their lawn that that ever crossed your mind?

  5. In a society with dog ownership permissable some level of biological fouling will occur. Plants critical to your happiness should be protected from said fouling. Choose planting location with full knowledge of the realities of a society that allows dog ownership. Good luck with your predisposition with canine specific waste. Change your perspective and change your world. Patience kindness and love with a touch of reality to you….love your neighbor and forget about it.

  6. In my town, we have a grassy park strip between the sidewalk and street. This is a public right of way. Home owners are responsible for mowing that grass and for shoveling the walk, but they don’t actually own the sidewalk nor the park strip. It is ok for dogs to pee there and poop there, but the latter the owner must pick up, of course. There was a letter to the editor recently with someone complaining about dogs using the park strip, their point that it was never ok to allow your dog there, even if you cleaned it up. The paper added a note stating that, in fact, the park strips are for reasonable public use and dog walking is one of them. Now that my dog is used to going on the grass or in ivy, I couldn’t get him to go in the street whatsoever. He is surface trained on grass and that’s that. Fortunately, people in my town seem to be generally fine with that.

  7. I am a responsible dog owner and hate it when others ruin it for others. Having said that, a patch of grass by the curb is an acceptable place to let your dog urinate. It’s the owners responsibility to pick up any poo. If you have any prized items that you don’t want trampled on or touched, place a small fence around it to protect it. Children and pets are part of life. It seems odd that one would specifically hunt out a set of flowers to destroy. I know my pup doesn’t even go near anything like that, nor did my dog before. Why would you place delicate items near an edge without some type of protection (because it’s delicate) is beyond me. I maintain an extensive food garden and there is a border around everything. Idk it seems like people care more about things than people. I get upset when other dog parents don’t pick up after their dog’s poo. You can try to direct a dogs location as to where s/he pees but a dog doesn’t know property lines. All they see and smell is grass. Be kind and not so nasty, ask politely without attitude and hopefully you will receive the results you seek.

  8. I have a lawn, a sidewalk and a patch of grass approx 4 feet wide by 100 feet long running near the curb. Everyone lets their dogs urinate on that grassy area. Doesn’t curbing mean exactly that? Let the dog urinate in the street by the curb not on the grass I try hard to maintain.

  9. Everyone will be happy if we clean up after our dogs, although it seems so many don't even try to pick up after their dogs.

  10. We had a young girl in the neighborhood years ago who would bring her gigantic dogs to our dead-end street so they could pee and poo on everyone's lawn without cleaning it up. One day after speaking to her, my wife saw her doing it again and followed her home. After walking our big dog and picking up lots of poo, my wife deposited it right in front of her door with a note advising her to stop emptying her dogs on our lawn or she would find more poo in worse places. She never returned!

  11. I recently moved to suburbia and I have to tell you: I think the dog owners in this high-end enclave are amazingly inconsiderate and disrespectful of others. I have dedicated flower beds all along the perimeter of my property: two of which are "Memory Gardens" (with signs indicating that they are special)…every day there are people walking their dogs and allowing them to urinate (and poop) in those very same beds!!! I am ready to get a bb gun and use it on the owners who are soooo stupid and careless…a few bb's in the butt might get their attention!
    Gardening is expensive and I continually have to replace killed plants because of the dog problem.
    What on earth is a person to do? I repeatedly ask the dog owners to CURB THE DOGS and they just LAUGH or totally ignore me…I may start peeing on THEIR gardens.

  12. I always see those signs and wondered what they meant. Thanks for doing the research for me!

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