You may love your dog like a family member, but you need to balance that love against the needs of your neighbors. Read on for tips on how to keep your dog and yourself in your neighbors’ good graces.
Pick up dog waste
Dog poop is inevitable. But it is discourteous to leave it in your neighbor’s yard, on the sidewalk, or in parks. Furthermore, uncontained dog poop gets into waterways when rain drives it into the nearest storm drain.
When you walk your dog, have plastic bags in a pocket or backpack. These can be baggies, cheap surgical gloves, or just repurposed grocery bags, including produce bags.
If you want to be a dog advocate, lobby your local city council members for doggie stations that feature small plastic bags and waste receptacles.
Keep your dog on leash
Even a dog who is very well-behaved in your home may wreak havoc when let loose. Off-leash dogs get into other people’s trash, they terrorize pedestrians, and cause worry to other dog owners.
When you are out and about with your dog, keep him on a leash. Big dogs may need a harness so that you can fully control them. Don’t let your dog lunge at people, cats, or other dogs.
You want your dog to be well socialized, so take him to the dog park. Cesar Milan notes that you should first walk your dog around the park and let him get used to the sounds and smells.
If your dog does not come when called and does not follow your instructions to “sit” or “leave it” when nervous, you may need dog-obedience classes. An untrained dog is likely to embarrass you in public or even injure another dog.
Dog-obedience classes specialize in teaching your dog to obey basic commands like “no bark” and “heel.” Everyone in the family should attend the classes. Dogs learn to follow instructions from specific people. Your dog needs to learn to sit, lie down, and heel upon hearing your voice issuing these commands.
Build a fence
If you already have a fenced yard, you know what a blessing it is to be able to let your dog out into the yard, knowing he will be safe and not bothering the neighbors. If you don’t have a fence, consider investing in one. The fence will be useful to you for the entire life of your dog and any dogs you have in the future.
According to HomeAdvisor, it costs between $1,643 and $3,857 to install a fence, depending on the size of your yard and the height of the fence. If you have a small dog, a five-foot fence may be tall enough. Larger dogs need fences that are at least six feet tall. Research your dog’s breed. Big breeds, like Akitas and malamutes, have been known to jump right over six-foot fences.
Good dog owners are beloved by their neighbors. And your dog is safer if he is not annoying people or other dogs. Follow the above tips, and you will have a long, loving friendship with humankind’s best friend.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay