How to Make Sure You and Your Dog Are Good Neighbors
You already know your dog is the most lovable pup around, but if you always expect your neighbors to feel the same, you’re barking up the wrong tree. The habits you find adorable might be annoying to some people. However, you can take steps to avoid confrontations by making sure your dog knows how to be a good neighbor.
Neighbors’ pet peeves
Nothing upsets a neighbor more than stepping in dog poop. Pet waste contains harmful bacteria that can make people sick, and it smells awful. The U.S. is home to 83 million pet dogs, producing more than 10 million tons of poop every year. 40% of dog owners even admit they don’t bother scooping it up.
Most dogs bark when their owners return home. They’ve been inside all day, and they need reassurance that you’ve missed them as much as they’ve missed you. They will also bark when they’re bored. Consider hiring a dog walker for days when you’ll be gone for hours. Your neighbors will thank you.
A knock at the door is also enough to set off the bark alarm. You don’t want to discourage this, since it’s good for people to know there’s a watchdog guarding your place. Contrary to myth, you can teach an old dog new tricks — you can teach your pup to bark just once or twice. They’ll learn when to bark and how to be a good neighbor by taking a few obedience classes.
No matter how well-trained you think your dog is, a leash is crucial in public spaces. Even if Scout doesn’t bark or growl at strangers and isn’t a jumper, some neighbors may be uncomfortable having a dog approach them unleashed.
If your landlord or neighborhood community doesn’t regulate loose dogs, don’t forget that most states and cities have leash laws. If simply being a good neighbor doesn’t motivate you, the hefty fines will.
Digging in the dirt
Some dogs naturally like to dig, depending on the breed. Take them to an open space to run and dig so they can’t destroy flower gardens in your neighborhood. Many communities have special areas for dogs to dig and relieve themselves. Make sure you utilize these spaces.
The right home for your dog
Young or old, pets get bored if they don’t have something to do. Dogs need exercise, toys, activities and attention. It’s just as important to choose the right rental home for your dog as it is to choose the right dog for your home. That’s how you can be a good neighbor and a good dog owner.