Build a fence
If you don’t have a solid, dog-proof fence surrounding your property, then the first step to being a good neighbor is to get one built. This is certainly the most expensive and possibly time-consuming step you can take - according to Thumbtack, the average price to install a fence is $500 to $4,500 - but it’s also the most vital. Without a good fence, your dog will inevitably wander onto your neighbor’s property, which can be a problem for so many reasons. Not only that, but a fence prevents your dog’s line of sight. This can reduce their temptation to act out and misbehave.
Always leash up
It doesn’t matter how well-behaved and friendly your dog is. When you’re walking around the neighborhood, it’s just good etiquette to always have a leash on your dog. A friendly dog can be seen as aggressive, even if that “aggression” is just excitement. Some children and adults harbor a deep fear of dogs, especially ones that are large and/or rambunctious. Dogs on leashes are simply easier to control than dogs that are not. To ensure your dog doesn’t frighten someone, tear up someone’s flower bed, or discreetly poop on their lawn, just use a leash. It’s
good manners. And the benefits of keeping your dog leashed are plentiful.
If your dog has never been properly trained to walk on a leash, it’s important that you train him. He can be a danger to others and even himself, especially if he excites easily and tends to jump on people or take off running at any free opportunity. Angie’s List notes that it’s important to get the right gear
including a nylon, non-retractable dog leash and a harness or collar with ID tags. When you’re ready to start walking, Canna-Pet suggests starting inside and teaching him cues to enforce good and discourage bad behavior before taking your first stroll around the block.
Focus on proper training
There’s not a lot you can do to mitigate the misbehavior of a bad dog - so don’t have a bad dog. Improperly-trained dogs will bark, and will not stop when commanded to. Poorly-trained dogs will dig, jump at fences, and attempt to convince neighboring dogs to misbehave as well. You cannot overcome a bad dog through tricks and tips. The only way to avoid this is to focus on training.
The most annoying action a dog can take, in terms of infuriating neighbors, is to bark incessantly. How do you get your dog to stop barking? There are a variety of techniques that, if used in tandem, should make your dog relatively quiet. First, never leave your dog outside if they are barking. Second, remove the motivation. Do not reward your dog with attention when they bark. Ignore it (but ignore it inside). Finally, teach your dog to respond to the “quiet” command. You do this through positive reinforcement (praise and rewards when they are quiet).
Check here for more tips on this.
Pick up the poop
Many dog owners forget this simple fact: dog poop smells. It smells terrible. If you think that your neighbors can’t smell your dog’s waste that is left sitting in the backyard in the hot sun, you’re sorely mistaken. Being a good neighbor means scooping the poop, even if it’s just on your own property.
It’s also good for your dog’s health to clean up after them. As DogTrainingBasics.com points out, “Poop left lying around is just unsanitary. It can also lead to your dog picking up intestinal parasites.”
The key to being a good dog-owning neighbor is to remember than nobody loves your dog as much as you do. Not everyone is a dog person, and even the ones who are have trouble forgiving dog faux pas if they are committed again and again. In the end, if you focus on training, always clean up after your dog, and keep them under control at all times, you’ll be fine.
By Jessica Brody
Photo by Taylor Bryant on Unsplash