You love your dog, that’s a given. But do your neighbors feel the same way? Make sure your dog has neighbor etiquette both indoors and out, so he brings a smile to everyone’s face.
Well-behaved dogs are made, not born. To ensure your dog is a pleasure for everyone in the neighborhood to be around, a little training and management will go a long way to prevent bad habits from forming. Here are some ways to get started.
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If you live in close proximity to others, a barking dog can be the spark to ignite neighbors’ anger. The goal shouldn’t be to totally eliminate barking, but rather to create a situation in which your dog doesn’t feel he has to bark. A few simple management strategies can cut down on the opportunities your dog has to sound his alarm:
Overly exuberant dogs that jump on people can present a real danger, or at least an annoyance. While some neighbors may tolerate or even encourage the jumping, others will surely not appreciate pawprints on their expensive suit. Learn how to impress all your neighbors, even the not-so-dog-friendly ones, by teaching your dog to politely greet people.
Curb Your Dog
Here in New York City, you see “Curb Your Dog” signs everywhere. But what does it mean? While some take it to mean your dog should only eliminate right at the curb, for most of us “curb” can be interpreted as “restrain”; you should make every effort to keep your dog, including his waste, away from neighbors’ lawns and the center of sidewalks. And, of course, pick up your dog’s poop and dispose of it properly.
Some dogs, it seems, will only go potty in the center of everything. If that sounds familiar, it’s time to do a little brushing up on potty training.
Kate Naito, CPDT-KA, MS, is an author and dog trainer with Doggie Academy in Brooklyn, NY.