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How to Make Sure Your Dog Is a Good Neighbor

Posted on Aug 02,2019
Filed Under Pets , Community,

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By Annaliese Olson

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - You love your dog, no doubt about it. And maybe your neighbors love dogs too, but that doesn’t mean they want to be awakened at 5 in the morning or after midnight by the sounds of a canine chorus. Dog owners who encourage their pups to be good neighbors will find a little cooperation goes a long way when it comes to keeping peace in the community.

Love Thy Dog and Love Thy Neighbor
If you ask your friends and neighbors what really irks them about living in the suburbs, you’d probably hear an extensive list of pet peeves. Excessive barking ranks pretty highly. Even worse? Dogs that poop on the lawn – when pet owners don’t clean up the mess.

Owners who train their dogs – or, at least, try to – are appreciated, especially when it comes to barking.

But wait a minute. Aren't dogs supposed to bark?

Yes, but there is a time and place for everything. Training dogs not to bark, or only to do so for specific reasons, requires some simple techniques. You may be able to train your dog yourself, or you may opt to get professional help from a veterinarian or pet behavioral specialists.

It’s an understandable reaction to holler at a barking dog to be quiet. They can be so frustrating! But yelling only spurs the animal to bark more. Do not leave a barking dog outside because it's inconvenient to have it in the house. It's your responsibility to control your pet and keep it from disturbing everyone else. If you leave your dog outside on a leash or in a fenced area, bring him or her in immediately when barking becomes incessant. You may pretend not to hear it, but the whole neighborhood certainly can. Frequent, unending, loud barking will damage your relationship with those who live nearby.  It can also lead to legal problems.

Nature’s Call
Good dog owners know the No. 1 rule is to be prepared for number two. Carry a plastic bag with you and clean it up! There are fewer things more disturbing than stepping in and having to clean up poop from a neighbor's dog in your yard. Many communities and cities issue fines to dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets.

Use a Leash
Leash laws vary, but dogs that run free in neighborhoods are a danger to themselves and to people they don’t know. Along with the tragic possibility that your pup could be run over, if the animal bites someone, the consequences can be detrimental.

Keep in mind, not everyone is a dog lover.  Some people are afraid of large (and small) canines, especially particular breeds. If you let your dog run free, chances are an animal control officer will pick it up — leading to a complaint filed against you.

Fence Me In!
Good fences make great neighbors and good dogs! Your dog will get plenty of exercise and fresh air. It's up to you to make sure the fence is secure, so your pooch can't get into a neighbor's yard or into the street. The dog will be happy, and your neighbors will be grateful.

Dog owners love their pets, and it’s easy to get caught up in the attitude, “Whatever Rover wants, Rover gets.” While you may be at your pup’s beck and call, your neighbors do not share this sentiment. Keep everyone happy by using common sense and courtesy.

Annaliese Olson is a gardening and animal care writer. When she moved to the city from her family’s farm she decided she needed more nature in her life. She is dedicated to urban farming, she loves to creatively discover spaces for her animals and plants to blossom in her city home.

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