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How to Ensure Your Dog’s a Good Neighbor

We all love our pets, but even if your neighbors have a dog of their own, they may not love yours. It takes a lot of work to be a good, conscientious neighbor when you own a dog. However, with the right steps, this can easily be a labor of love.

Public Waste

If dogs could use the restroom, our lives would be easier. Unfortunately, it’s often our duty to take our pets outside to let them relieve themselves. If this is in your private backyard, you should always clean up your dog’s waste. But if you let your dog go in public areas or even your front yard where it may be visible, you need to clean it up immediately. It may be unpalatable, but it’s important for sanitation and for being a good neighbor. Not only can your dog’s waste be dangerous for people, but it can be bad for other dogs, too. Make sure when you throw away your dog’s waste that you tie it well so the smell is minimized. While you may throw your bag out in a public waste bin, throwing the bag into your neighbor’s trash can because it is convenient is bad form. You will stink up their trash bin, and they won’t be happy.

Greetings

As a dog owner, you will have to deal with at least two forms of greeting with your pet: greeting people and greeting other dogs. You will have to carefully monitor each situation but for different reasons. When your dog is meeting a new dog, always ask the owner before approaching. A strange dog may be an abuse rescue or simply not socialized well with other dogs. Once you’ve established the okay, go slowly and stay close. Let the dogs sniff and examine each other and walk near one another. Stay attuned to how both dogs are acting, and intercede if either seems anxious. When meeting people for the first time, make sure you have trained your dog not to jump. If your neighbors stop by, they may not want dog fur on their clothes or may be afraid of dogs. If your dog is well-behaved, but the moment he meets a new person he jumps or acts out, consider crating him before company arrives or when the doorbell is rung.

Dog Park Behavior

Ideally, you live in an area where you have access to a dog park. While this is a great way to get your dog plenty of exercise and socialization, there are still basic forms of etiquette to keep in mind. In addition to proper greeting as mentioned above, it’s important to supervise your dog closely, he can’t just roam free, and you should still pick up your dog’s poop. As an added precaution, make sure he’s up to date on vaccinations and is microchipped before he enjoys any park adventures.

Prevent Barking

Excessive noise, especially at night, can be a nuisance for owners but more so for neighbors. No one wants to be woken up in the predawn hours by loud yapping or howling. If your dog is prone to barking, don’t let him out into your yard without being present to monitor him. Then, if he starts barking, you can direct his attention to something else, by command or by using a toy. You can train your dog with treats if he barks often, by pairing a treat with a short word when he barks. You silence him with the treat, and he has a positive association. It’s also a good idea to simply remove him from any temptation, so consider crating him at night to make everyone around you happy. Crating is a good way to make your dog comfortable as well, so try not to use it as a punishment but simply as a safe space for your pet.

It may be difficult at first, especially if you have a young dog or a puppy, but training your pet proper etiquette is worthwhile. Not only will your neighbors be happier, but your dog will be happy knowing his place in the household. Repetition is a comfort to your pooch, so make sure you stick to your decisions and maintain your training.

Article by Tyler Evans tyler@dogzasters.com

 

Image by Roman Groesswang from Pixabay