Raising A Friendly Canine Neighbor

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Most dog owners want their neighbors to be friends with their dog but many get off on the wrong foot. That can end the relationship before it begins. However, there are steps you can take to help your dog be a good neighbor.


Safety First

Keeping your neighbors is safe is one of the most important rules of dog etiquette. You want to make sure that your new dog does not run all over the neighborhood or scare the local kids. Here are tips that can help:


* Setting Boundaries.

Your dog should be leashed whenever he is away from home. You should also restrain him if he is growling or looks set to jump or pounce. Finally, it’s a good idea to fence in your yard to protect your dog from running into the neighbor’s yard. According to HomeAdvisor, it costs around $1,643 - $3,857 to install a fence – a good investment to keep your neighbors happy!


* Safety With Visitors.

When your dog is home and multiple guests are visiting, make sure you create boundaries for him there too. You can keep him in the yard, crate him,

or set up a gate to keep him inside a certain area. Follow this rule if you have any new guests whom your dog has not met .

* Obedience Training. 

For puppies and dogs that are not too old, obedience training can be a good option. This will make your life much simpler, too, as an obedient dog is calmer and easier to manage.


* Don’t Overstimulate Your Dog’s Senses

Dogs can be sensitive to extreme sounds, sights, temperatures, and more. When possible, keep your dog away from loud, scary noises or bright, flashing lights, such as fireworks. Also be sure that he doesn’t overheat in warm weather. Keep his coat neatly groomed and have plenty of water on hand. Read the ASPCA’s article on keeping your pet safe during the summer.


* Spay Or Neuter Your Dog. 

This can help reduce aggressive behaviors. Check out this page of questions and answers on spaying or neutering your puppy from American Kennel Club.


For more tips, the American Humane Society features a page about socializing your dog at any age.


Introductions

Once you think your dog is ready, you can introduce him to your neighbors. This may take time – and that’s ok! You should be aware of how your neighbor feels about dogs and/or pets in general. Have they had a traumatic experience? Are they afraid? Do they want to get to know your dog?


If your neighbor has children, those introductions should be separate if there is any trepidation on his part. You want to make sure he is comfortable first.


Next, make sure your neighbor knows your dog’s habits. Tell him what triggers your pet. If he is new to dogs altogether, teach him a few basics things about how dogs interact: how they sniff, what they see as threatening, etc. Your dog should not be barking, snipping, or rearing. If so, you might want to postpone introductions for another time. Additionally, do not set out to introduce your dog to others if he is sick or medicated. It may lead to unpredictable behavior.


Read WikiHow’s step by step article on how to introduction your dog to your neighbors.


Solving Your Dog’s Problems

Dogs can present numerous problems that may upset your neighbors, including:

* Growling

* Snapping

* Chewing

* Peeing where it’s not allowed

* Barking through the night

Each behavior has a cause so you, or you and your vet, must determine what that is. Some are relatively simple to understand. For example, excessive chewing in a puppy may mean he is teething. The Spruce’s article on problematic dog behaviors can help you determine how to fix a number of different issues.


Teaching your dog proper etiquette around people is not difficult. He can become friends with your neighbor if you take the time to plan your introduction well and minimize problems.

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