What Does “Curb Your Dog” Mean?

Curb Your Dog

Here’s the breakdown of what “Curb Your Dog” means, along with responsible dog ownership practices:

What Does It Mean?

  • Depends on Location: It can have two meanings:
    1. Simply picking up after your dog and disposing of waste properly.
    2. Specifically taking your dog to the gutter area of a street to relieve themselves.

The History

  • Origin: The phrase emerged in New York City in the 1930s to combat excessive waste in the streets, initially from horses.
  • Pooper Scooper Law (1978): Further cemented the responsibility of dog owners to clean up after their pets.

Laws and Etiquette

  • Varies by Location: Check your local regulations on where dogs can relieve themselves and waste disposal rules.
  • Common Sense: Always clean up after your dog, no matter what the specific laws say. It’s good for public health and the environment.

Why Picking Up Poop Matters

  • It’s Not Fertilizer: Dog waste is harmful, unlike that of grazing animals. It can contain parasites and diseases transmissible to humans and other pets.
  • Environmental Impact: Excess waste overloads ecosystems, especially in dense urban areas.

What to Do with Dog Poop

  • Bag and Bin: Usually the best method is to bag the waste and dispose of it in your regular trash.
  • Flushing: Some places allow flushing, but check your local rules.
  • Don’t Leave It: It’s never acceptable to simply leave your dog’s waste outdoors.

Key Takeaways:

  • “Curb Your Dog” is a reminder of responsible pet ownership.
  • Clean Up After Your Dog, ALWAYS: It’s about public health, environmental protection, and being a good neighbor.
  • Know Your Local Laws: Find out the specific rules for your area.

What Does “Curb Your Dog” Mean?

Curbing your dog often refers to keeping them from urinating or defecating in one place. For instance, hundreds of curbing signs deter pet owners from letting their dogs relieve themselves in the designated area on New York City’s sidewalks.

There are two recognized interpretations of what “curbing” a dog entails. Curbing, in the eyes of some, simply means keeping your dog under your supervision and control (i.e., making sure you don’t leave feces in the street and dispose of them correctly). Conversely, curbing is sometimes understood to mean taking your dog to the gutter areas at the end of the street and letting it relieve itself there.

Origin Of The Phrase Curb Your Dog:

You might not be familiar with curbing signs or areas if you’re not from a large, walkable city! In an effort to reduce the excess garbage that was ailing the city, “curb your dog” signs started to emerge in New York City in the 1930s.

Horse excrement was abundant, especially at the period of origin. Since the issue was out of control, the city devised “curbing” as a means of removing excess feces from the pavements.

In 1978, a new feces control law known as the “pooper scooper law” was passed. Because dog urine can actually harm certain species, owners were expected to clean up whatever their dog “dropped” and discourage them from urinating on plants!

The common consensus regarding these indicators is to make sure you pick up after your dog and not allow them to “go” anywhere they please! Look for dog-friendly places in your community, and don’t forget to bring poop bags!

Laws for Curb Your Dog:

There are laws governing dog leashes in every state. It is crucial for you, your dog, and the society at large to comprehend and abide by the rules in your state and locality.

The saying “curb your dog” is thought to have originated because, should canines walk on the curb, their excrement would fall there and be picked up by the cleaners. Some of the laws described here are universal and can be applied anywhere.

The locations for dog walks and/or exercises are governed by various local ordinances. This also applies to locations where people are forbidden from using the lavatory or, to put it another way, from ‘answering the call of nature’.

Dogs are generally permitted to be walked and picked up after on public roadways; but, some places prohibit dogs from urinating in particular areas, even when their owners plan to clean up after them. 

There are times when the city’s police, park rangers, and health department will enforce a “no dogs on grass” policy. You will be breaking this rule at your own risk because there can be heavy consequences.

Why Picking Up The Poop Important?

Most localities have a requirement that requires the owner or the person walking the dog to pick up the waste as soon as the dog urinates.

The key thing is that they gather up the rubbish and carry it home with them to be disposed of appropriately. They can use a shovel, a bag, or whatever else they like. It is standard practice in most places to have pick-up bags on hand and to quickly collect and dispose of canine poo.

Even while you might believe that your dog’s waste won’t cause any harm, remember that there are probably hundreds of dogs in your neighborhood just like yours. The ecology can support up to two dogs per square mile, as is well acknowledged. On the other hand, there are far more dogs per square mile in urban areas.

These dogs produce a lot of garbage, which can soon overrun the ecosystem. Cleaning up after your dog contributes to the preservation of the environment.

Your dog’s excrement, like ours, may include bacteria and parasites, such as Giardia, that are dangerous to humans and other pets even if your dog doesn’t exhibit any symptoms of the disease.

Furthermore, viruses found in dog feces can spread via flies or other creatures who come into contact with it, so you don’t even need to come into direct contact with it to get sick from it.

What To Do With the Picked-Up Poo?

While some localities have regulations regarding the disposal of pet waste, others don’t have any at all. Feces must usually be wrapped and disposed of in the garbage or flushed in the toilet in most states or towns.

The intention is to keep human waste out of storm drains and pipes, where it may find its way into water systems and pose a major health risk.

It’s common etiquette for dog owners and walkers to always pick up after their pets. If you witness someone else not doing so, it’s possible they need a bag, so offer one and gently remind them to do the same.


In New York City, the expression “Curb Your Dog” first appeared in the 1930s. Even now, people still use it. It means to keep your dog under control or to take them to the edge of the roadway so they can relieve themselves.

This basically says that you should not let your dog poop or crap in this location. It serve as a helpful reminder to you about how important it is to clean up after your dog.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at ItsAboutDog.com.

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