How to Be a Good Dog on Twitter in 8 Easy Steps

Krista Travers from Whippet Snippets (follow her at @WhippetSnippets)

twitter-dog.jpgMy dog Ribsy is on Twitter. He’s far from being the only one. Take a look at this list. Or this one. Or that one. Just like many of their human counterparts, dogs spend their days tweeting about the mundane (are they home yet?), but they also take it further. They talk about current events (is President Obama’s dog going to be a Labradoodle or a Portugese Water Dog), health issues (what’s that in my poop), to lighter topics such as fashion (lovin’ my new collar) and personal hygiene techniques (licks before kisses?).

Twitter is a huge off-leash zone your dog will be drooling to explore. But like any real-life park, manners count. So with that in mind, Ribsy has compiled some tips on how to be a good dog on Twitter.

1. Be open to other species. At first Ribsy had a no-cat rule. But what the heck, some cats can be pretty darn intelligent. As @officecat stated, “Decided to follow lots of dogs…I like to keep friends close and enemies closer.” Ribsy also follows horses, rodents, and of course, humans. Diversify your list and you’ll be rewarded with a richer, more fascinating feed of tweets in return.

2. Don’t bark incessantly. A sure way to turn off your followers is to bark, bark, bark about the same old thing. Your person may want you to push his or her product, or you may have a new blog post. We get it. After about the 10th tweet in a day about it, we get tired of hearing about it.

3. Dig for answers. If another dog is looking for help with issues on training their human, throw them a bone if you can. Or if you find a useful canine article, post the link. Being helpful and listening to other dogs is a sure way to engage, raise your profile, and increase your number of followers.

4. Wag your tail. Try talking to other dogs you follow, by @ replying to them. Let them know you sympathize their plights about being left alone or getting shooed off the bed. However, if you find yourself constantly going back and forth over Twitter, move it to a different venue, such as direct messaging or email.

5. It’s ok to drool. Besides the everyday dogs on Twitter, there are the rock stars. Down boy. @cesarmillan might not follow you back. Neither might @snoopdogg. What’s neat about their presence on Twitter is that you may be first to hear their latest thoughts or find out an interesting bit of news. And isn’t that what celebrity worship is all about? Have fun. A bit of guilty pleasuring doesn’t hurt any dog.

6. Try not to whine when you lose followers. It’s not the way your butt smells. Dogs follow and unfollow all the time. Recall the last time that you were at the park. When you first arrived, a lot of dogs were probably circling you, in your face, checking you out. After a while, they knew what you were all about. And frankly, you’re just not their running style. So they stopped paying attention to you. That’s just how it goes on Twitter.

7. Take naps. No dog should deprive themselves of their 19-hour a day beauty sleep for the sake of Twitter. Download a client such as Twhirl or Tweetdeck to make sorting through all your tweets easier.

8. Be yourself. You’re a dog. You live in the moment. So don’t overanalyze your words. Just tweet and be yourself. Tell the world about you, in an honest way (don’t forget to fill out your bio, or provide a link to your blog or website), and you’ll start finding dogs (and people, and whatever other species are out there) who will sniff you back with interest.

Ribsy’s still getting his paws wet on Twitter. If you’re more dominant, please share your tips. And if you’re not, there’s no need to be submissive. Get off your back and tweet (twark?). Every dog can have its Twitter day.


  • February 14, 2009

    Now that’s a very creative way to illustrate the Twitter community concept – awesome thoughts!

  • February 14, 2009

    This is freakin’ funny Roof Roof! :-)

    I think being yourself is key… know one wants to hang with a Twitter-Chow-Poo-Daschund-Rotwiller-Doberman-Yorkie-Maltese-Westie-Pit Bull dog!

  • February 14, 2009

    I can visualize a St. Bernard with a little barrel around his neck filled with some TweetyWhiskey coming to my rescue today…


  • February 14, 2009

    Great post, throw me a bone:)!

  • February 14, 2009

    This is awesome. Being new to Twitter, I didn’t see this coming… but I guess the sky is the limit with how people choose to creatively utilize the platform. At the risk of offending certain individuals, I would just like to say that I hope Twitter doesn’t become over run with Furries, ala SecondLife :)

  • February 14, 2009

    Don’t bark incessantly is the biggest one for me. I suppose I should get a client to sort the tweets… but I don’t, so when I use the regular interface, and the front page is nearly full of tweets from one person I’m very tempted to unfollow.

  • February 14, 2009
    Mike Patrick

    After all the “how to be a good Twitter user” posts ad nauseum, I guess we’ve finally hit the bottom of the barrel.

  • February 14, 2009

    Love this!!! Right now Brit is recovering from his Big Boy surgery at 6 months… Just had it two days ago. So he’s a bit too young for Tweets, and if he weren’t, he’d be too likely to produce typos on his meds. On a normal day he’d love to tweet! He’s already trying to get to the keyboard. Being a black Lab puppy, he’s very social. Twitter is right up his alley.

    But it’s something for all of us to remember — sometimes real life — like being sick or restricted by “Elizabethan collars” (sounds much more glam than it feels) — tells us we need a break from Twitter and that’s OK. We’ll catch up with the pack later. (See #7).

  • February 14, 2009

    We think that was an excellent article on dog manners online and think letting cats in may be a little much ;) but thanks for the great post! Ruff! Woof Woof!

  • February 14, 2009

    Great article! I linked to you on my blog post on Dog Art Today about embracing twitter.

  • February 14, 2009

    Good thing that i dont have dag but its juts the main idea of a godo tweeter user how to manege fallowers and some other kind off funny friends that you could find in twitter.

    good and funny pots.

  • February 14, 2009

    Great post!

    I really like the item #7: take a nap. Sometimes, taking a nap, finding somewhere to breathe fresh air then come back and you’ll see all your tweets are more interesting, attractive and appeal for followers.

  • February 14, 2009

    Krista, that was a very funny beginning to your post.
    But you I mean your dog Ribsy hands out some very good tips.
    Which is pretty good, considering he has no thumbs.
    I guess now I have no excuse not to tweet on my phone.

    Gary McElwain

  • February 14, 2009

    Very interesting way to present Twitter tips. Good job.

  • February 15, 2009


    This is canine-errific! Following these tips will surely help you to become a big dog on the block.

    I’m thirsty now – heading to the toilet…

  • February 15, 2009

    That was a fun post to read. I even briefly considered starting up a puppy twitter account! lol.

    I especially liked the part about whining when losing twitter followers. Like the first time you went to the park? hehe. Nice. Many people do complain about that a fair bit.

    sniff sniff… my owners home, i gotta log off before they see me…

  • February 15, 2009

    This is hilarious!!! I just loved the tips and I can see how this article would be useful for people and not just dogs :D
    This article is so entertaining and fun to read and any dog who reads this will simply love it too!

    What is a dogs favourite city ?
    New Yorkie !

    Thanks for such a brilliant article!

  • February 17, 2009

    Love this. Very entertaining…now, back to my nap zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • February 17, 2009

    My dog @gusttheboxer thought this was the best post he’d read on how to use twitter.

    He’s very knowledgeable in space and tweets regularly with the Australian Leader of the opposition Malcolm Turnbull @turnbullmalcolm about important matters such as the selection and naming of the #FirstDog by the Obama girls.

    Nice work Krista aka Ribsy.

    Written and Authorised by @gustheboxer

  • February 18, 2009

    you have opened up my window of understanding … look for me in the future,
    woof from the Cisco Kid, my studio muse
    many thanks

  • May 16, 2009

    This is great! So entertaining and great tips. Vendio has two Siberian Huskies who are both on Twitter – @mr_angelus and @stormdevil. The dogs also serve as Vendio’s CMOs (chief morale officers). Both dogs learned from this post and will have to share with the board.

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