How You and Your Dog Can Be Great Neighbors

By Guest Blogger, Cindy Aldridge.

Did you ever have a neighbor with a noisy, barking dog? Or, maybe a dog that was repeatedly invading your lawn? Maybe you even lived near a dog who was aggressive and unfriendly. If you’ve experienced this, you understand how important it is to train your dog to behave well and not be a nuisance; after all, neglecting to do so is irresponsible pet ownership. It could even lead to a situation in which you are no longer able to keep your dog. 

However, if you follow these tips your happy, well-trained dog will be welcome and loved by all – and you’ll be able to look forward to many years of friendship with them.

Keep up to date with your dog’s health care.

One of the first things you should do when you bring home a new pet is to find them a good, reputable vet. This is important both for their routine treatments such as vaccinations and parasite prevention, and also so you can get them tended to as quickly as possible in the event of an illness or accident. Talk to your vet about a schedule for getting your dog spayed or neutered if this has not been done yet. Dogs that have been fixed are less likely to roam and cause trouble in your community.

Help your dog be on their best behavior.

Letting your dog do whatever they like and run wherever they please does them no favors. They may get hurt or be picked up by animal control. They could also end up causing damage or even hurting someone else, or someone else’s pet. Practice firm, patient, and consistent discipline to teach your dog to come when called, to stay out of neighboring lawns, and not to jump on people. Make sure they have the basic training they need to behave well at home and elsewhere. A good dog trainer can help you teach your dog to listen, respond, and obey.

Give your dog the space they need to run and play.

Dogs need exercise if they are going to be happy and healthy. If they are cooped up all the time, they become bored and lonely. They may suffer poor health as a consequence, or develop bad habits such as chewing, digging, or barking incessantly. So, take your dog for walks frequently, play games with them, and make sure they have a safe, appealing environment to explore. A dog who never gets a chance to play may become irritable and anxious, and keep the neighbors awake with constant barking. It’s better for you, your dog, and your neighborhood for you to let your pet play in a safely fenced area with the option to shelter from sun or bad weather. Consider investing in fence installation, and look for companies that specialize in pet enclosures.

Don’t leave your dog alone for too long.

Even if your pup doesn’t have separation anxiety, too much time alone can lead to a host of unwelcome behaviors. Older dogs can be left alone for longer, say if you work an eight-hour shift, but puppies are a different story, and they require a lot of attention. If you have large swaths of time where you need to be away from home, consider hiring a dog walker or pet sitter. This ensures your pup has some interaction during the day, and that they get an extra dose of exercise. If you have the option to work from home, remote work could be ideal if you have a new puppy. You’ll be able to keep close tabs on your little one while still fulfilling your work obligations. When creating a home office, just be sure you keep safety in mind, like putting up wires, securing heavy objects, and being mindful about small items that could be ingested like paper clips or staples. 

Know the laws.

Much of being a good dog-owning neighbor has to do with basic manners. Don’t violate people’s boundaries. Don’t trespass. Don’t assume that people should have to put up with your pet’s bad behavior just because you do. But much of it also has to do with complying with laws regarding dog ownership. Some laws to be aware of include buying a dog license, keeping your dog up to date with mandatory vaccines, leashing them when going on walks in public, and not letting them take a dump in other people’s lawns. Also, be aware that should your dog bite someone, you may be liable for damages unless you can demonstrate that your dog was provoked.

You love your dog, so naturally, you hope others will, too. But remember, some people simply are not dog people, and that’s okay. As for those who are? They will probably enjoy getting to know your canine buddy. And they’ll be pleased to find you’ve taken the time to make sure your dog is safe, healthy, and well-mannered.

You can contact Cindy at: cindy@ourdogfriends.org

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A Note From Ariel, Up on the Woof:

Don’t leave your dog outdoors, even inside of a fenced-in yard when there is no one home to check on them. Additionally, some communities have laws banning residents from keeping certain breeds like pit bulls, mastiffs, and Dogo Argentinos, or may have special requirements for certain breeds. Save yourself some heartache, and before you adopt, be sure to check with your city or township laws, and follow their regulations.

About yelodoggie

Ariel C. Wulff is an author, artist and animal advocate. They have been involved in pet rescue for over twenty-five years. They have written two books about their true-life adventures living with an ever-changing house full of pets: Born Without a Tail, and Circling the Waggins, and a guide to animal advocacy using the Internet as a tool: How to Change the World in 30 Seconds". Wulff also wrote a pet column and book review column for the Examiner, and was a contributing editor for AnimalsVote.org. They attribute their love of animals to having been raised by Wulffs.
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