You love your dog, and think of your pet as part of the family. However, you also live around other people, some of which may not love your dog or even like dogs in general. No matter how wonderful your dog is, you have a responsibility to make sure it does not cause any problems or inconvenience to your neighbors. Here is how to do just that.
Before anything else, you should recognize that your pet is your responsibility. While your neighbors should do their best to be understanding of the occasional barking, you need to accept that not everyone is going to love your dog as much as you do.
Some people dislike dogs, some people are allergic, some have pets or children who could be scared by your dog, and some people have a genuine phobia of dogs themselves. No one outside of your household has any obligation to take care of your pet. With that in mind, you should do everything in your power to minimize any inconvenience to your neighbors.
Install A Fence
The first thing you should do in order to be a good dog-owning neighbor is to install a fence around the perimeter of your property, or at least around the areas your dog is allowed access. This ensures your dog doesn’t run away and get lost, but it also stops your dog from wandering into your neighbors’ yards.
According to HomeAdvisor, installing a fence usually costs $1,643 - $3,861. This can seem like a steep investment, but it is simply part of the necessary costs of owning a dog. Remember, it is not your neighbor’s responsibility to protect their yard from your dog.
Scoop The Poop
Of course, this is something you should do at all times, but it is especially disrespectful to repeatedly leave your dog’s business lying around the neighborhood. More than unpleasant and disrespectful, it is illegal. This is for more than just aesthetic reasons: dog poop can carry worms and a variety of other diseases that can be harmful to humans, especially children.
Keep Your Dog Healthy
It is your responsibility as a dog owner to keep your pet healthy. This means regular check-ups for worms and ticks as well as spaying or neutering. However, this is also part of your responsibility to your neighbors and community, as an unhealthy dog can spread diseases to both humans and other animals.
Keep Barking Under Check
Barking will probably the biggest complaint you will have to deal with as a dog owner living near other people. Of course, barking is your dog’s method of communication, and no dog can be expected to be silent at all times. No reasonable neighbor should expect this. However, you should not allow your dog’s barking or howling to become a nuisance to others.
The Humane Society outlines multiple ways to train your dog to bark less, including teaching them the ‘quiet’ command and ignoring them when they are barking for attention. You should also make sure they are not barking out of boredom or lack of exercise, as this is a sign you should be spending more one-on-one time with your dog.
Keep Your Dog On A Leash
As a general rule, your dog should be on a leash when in public. You can make an exception if you are more or less alone, like an open empty field or the park early in the morning, but not in the streets around your neighborhood. Once again, even if your dog is just being friendly, some people simply do not like being approached by dogs, and you need to respect that.
As a general rule, being a conscientious dog owner is about understanding that you should never impose the inconveniences of having a dog on people who have not chosen to have one. Simply being a good dog owner will get you a long way. Keeping your dog healthy, happy, and well-trained will reduce the chances of it being a nuisance to anyone else. The only thing you have left to do is use a fence and leash to make sure your dog stays under your care, and yours alone.
Aurora believes there are no bad dogs. She created DogEtiquette.info to share her dog training tips and advice to dog owners everywhere.