Aurora James By Aurora James • February 20, 2018

How to Be a Good Neighbor When You Have a Dog

Dogs are wonderful companions. They're full of boundless energy and exuberance that can fill your days with fun and affection. Unfortunately, those same qualities can cause conflict with neighbors. A lot of these tensions can be avoided simply by following a few etiquette rules.

Clean Up

Dog mess isn't a glamorous topic, but it's a major irritant. Cleaning it up is one way to stay on good terms with neighbors. Admittedly, it can sometimes be a challenge, especially if your neighborhood doesn't have any trash cans for pets, but that's still no excuse. Keeping things clean doesn't just apply to waste. If you live in an apartment, you may find your pup's love of mud and puddles can become a proverbial muck wrecking ball once you get back inside. With that in mind, keep a towel or two at your disposal alongside those all-important waste bags and perhaps invest in some dog booties. Cleaning up after your dog is the most essential thing you can do to keep your relationships with neighbors positive and free of disputes.


Deal With the Barking

Dogs bark. You can't really avoid it. It's how they communicate and express themselves. Whether it's to show excitement or to warn you of danger, it's natural for a dog to bark. While you may get to avoid it for much of the day if you're working, your neighbors may not have that luxury. This can be an annoyance that can easily escalate, especially if it induces other dogs to bark. To avoid any complaints or if there has been one, try to establish if there is a particular trigger for the barking. Sometimes it can be because your dog is bored or isn’t getting enough exercise, so if that's the case, consider hiring a dog walker or taking him on extra walks yourself if practical. If that doesn't prove effective, you may have to think about crating him or putting him in daycare while you're away. Of course, you can always consult with a dog trainer or vet if the barking does persist.


Teach Public Decorum

When your dog is in public, best behavior is essential. This is especially true if your dog hasn't been socialized with people and other pets. The best approach to take is to prepare your dog for being outdoors through training, so as to avoid any unfortunate, avoidable incidents. You can do this yourself, but professional training can be really useful. Training your dog in public manners and impulse control is critical to ensuring your dog is a good neighbor. He won't make friends if he uses others people’s lawns or walls to go potty, or if he approaches strangers with exuberant disregard for boundaries. If you're armed with basic commands to keep him under control, not to mention a leash that provides the right sort of balance for your pooch, you can avoid things that could leave a bad impression on neighbors.


Realize That Not Everyone Loves Dogs

This is an unfortunate truth and can be a major source of contention with neighbors. Your dog himself may not love everyone or even other dogs. Communication can be beneficial as does understanding your dog's personality. He may be nervous, shy, or otherwise uncomfortable being petted. If this is the case, always make sure that strangers know this, and you may be able to avoid uncomfortable situations occurring. If necessary, consider investing in a “no petting” vest as an extra precaution. Should it be the reverse, neighbors who are uncomfortable, consider asking them what they find to be problematic. It may be possible to correct the issue, but, if not, don't put a neighbor under any pressure to get along with your pup. A polite “hello” as you walk by may have to suffice.

With these tips in mind, you can be a conscientious neighbor. Your dog has a better chance of getting along well with others if properly socialized, and you'll have an easier time, too.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Aurora James is a guest blogger from dog etiquette 

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