Don’t Let Your Dog Be a Bad Neighbor
By Aurora James
Photo by Pixabay
Your four-legged pal may be the most awesome dog on the planet. His love and affection for you is all you need to make it through the day. But your neighbors might not love him as much as you do, especially if you and your pup aren’t following dog etiquette. Luckily, it’s not that difficult to change your ways and teach your dog some basic manners.
If your home has a yard but doesn’t have a fence, it’s time to get one. Keeping your dog contained makes your neighbors happy because he isn’t hanging out in their yard, digging, going to the bathroom, or being a general nuisance. It also keeps your pooch safe by preventing him from running off. You also won’t have to go outside in the freezing cold with him whenever he needs to go to the bathroom because you can just open the door and let him in and out. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to install a wood fence in Sacramento ranges from $1,270 to $2,893, so installing a fence won’t break the bank.
Once you’ve got your fence installed, it’s time to work on his other manners, too. Don’t let him bark a lot. It’s annoying to your neighbors and can frighten nearby children. Your dog’s natural instinct is to protect his home and his family, so some barking is understandable. And some breeds naturally bark more than others. But if your pup is a chronic barker, it’s time to get that under control. Teach him that it’s OK to bark once or twice to alert you to danger, but tell him “no” after that. You can reward him when he stops barking with a treat or praise. Eventually, your dog will come to understand that only an initial bark is acceptable.
Work on your dog’s greetings, too. When people come to the door, he should be able to sit nicely and greet them calmly, not barrel into people and knock them over. Get a friend to help out by knocking on the door, and make your dog sit and stay while you answer it. By training your dog, not only will friends be more likely to visit, but it will keep him safe from bolting out the door onto the street.
When you’re out for a walk, your dog should be able to greet other dogs calmly and nicely. Some dogs are naturally more aggressive, and their owners won’t want your dog to get close. That’s perfectly OK. They know their animals and what works and what doesn’t. If your dog is not friendly to other dogs or people, cross the street to avoid them or stop and make him sit until the other person and dog have passed. If your dog is super friendly, ask first before introducing him and then allow him just enough leash to sniff and say hello. Remain calm because your dogs can sense your stress.
If you’re not confident in your training abilities, there are tons of books on the market that will teach you how to train your pooch. There are YouTube videos created by professional dog trainers, and you can always hire a trainer to work with you and your dog.
Working on some basic doggie manners will not only make your neighbors happier, it will give you better communication skills with your pup. The time you spend working on these skills will also be quality time you spend with your dog, so he’ll enjoy it, too. Your dog wants to please you, so give him the tools to make you happy.