Tips on Neighborhood Dog Etiquette
Having a pooch in your neighborhood comes with its own set of rules. As a dog owner, it is up to you to set the standard for your pet’s behavior as you are likely going to be held responsible for his actions within the community. Here’s some advice on how to ensure that you are a conscientious dog-owning neighbor.
You should always have your dog on a leash anytime he is outside the home. Some people (especially seniors and children) are afraid of dogs and can get nervous if they see your dog walking around unleashed. Your neighbors could get knock
ed over easily, so be sure to keep the leash shorter so you can control who your pet approaches when out and about.
You should also bring multiple doggy bags with you when going out for a walk so you can pick up your dog’s waste. While it is common for dogs to want to mark their territory, try and avoid letting them pee on other people’s property. Many don’t want their plants, vehicles, or mailboxes being ruined. As a preventative measure, walk them around your yard first so they get it out of their system.
When meeting others for the first time, remember to exhibit a calm and confident attitude that will help put everyone at ease, including your pup. Don’t rush or pressure interaction. If introducing your dog to another dog, ask permission before approaching as you don’t know what the other dog’s personality or temperament is like. Additionally, only let your dog approach those without a pet if those people ask to meet your pet. Don’t make assumptions or take it personally if a neighbor wishes to be left alone. Be understanding that they may have children with them or a general fear of dogs.
Train, train, train
Behavioral training is very important when it comes to turning your dog into a neighborhood-friendly pet. Take him to a dog park or doggy day care so he can gain the proper socialization skills and get used to playing with other dogs without being aggressive. He may also need to learn how to walk on a loose leash so he doesn’t choke himself by constantly pulling. Licking, jumping, and endless barking are also usually not welcomed actions for those around you. However, if you take the time to train your dog properly, chances are he’ll back off when you tell him to if things are getting too rowdy.
Consider a fence
If you have a fence, your pet can play freely without wandering into the neighbor’s yard. Depending on what you can afford and prefer aesthetically for your home, there are many options when it comes to installing a fence. For example, HomeAdvisor quotes the average price to install or replace a vinyl or PVC fence at anywhere from $720 to $1,525. If your dog has a tendency to bark while outside alone, don’t leave him unattended. For the safety of everyone, it also helps to post signs that you own a dog.
Neutering and spaying
In order to protect other dogs in the community, as well as owner’s interests, consider getting your pet neutered or spayed. Not only does doing so have many health benefits for your dog, but it also helps to rein in any unwanted behavior. According to The Humane Society, “Unneutered dogs are much more assertive and prone to urine-marking (lifting their leg) than neutered dogs.”
As a dog owner in your community, be sure to communicate about your needs so you can better prevent misunderstandings. Apologize if you overstep and take action the next time to make sure it doesn’t happen again. By respecting your neighbors’ space and wishes, you can make everyone feel comfortable around your pet.