The most important part of being a good dog owner is not showering your dog with treats and praise, making sure they always have their favorite bone, or having the friendliest dog on the block (though these are all great!). To be a conscientious dog-owning neighbor, you must think about everyone else. Here’s how to be considerate and ensure you and your dog can exist peacefully with your neighbors and their canine companions.
Make Sure Your Dog Has Basic Manners
As Manners Mentor says, if you wouldn’t let your 3-year-old child do it, then you shouldn’t let your dog do it. If your dog has good basic manners, most other elements of being a good dog and a good dog owner will fall into place. Some of these basic manners include not jumping on people, not begging for food, not barking at strangers, and knowing the basic commands.
Ask Before Entry
Whether it’s at your neighbor’s home, a local small business, or a corner store, it is extremely poor etiquette to assume that your dog is welcome inside any building. For one, some businesses could be fined by the health department for allowing dogs inside. For others, it’s simply a preference. Before you let Fido come with you inside any structure in your neighborhood – ask!
Practice Proper Leash Etiquette
Leashing your dog when you’re out and about in the neighborhood isn’t only about protecting your dog from running away and getting injured. Many people have dogs that will walk with them perfectly fine without a leash. Even so, it’s just good etiquette to keep your dog leashed for the sake of others. The sight of an unleashed dog can make some people nervous and dogs both yours and others – are unpredictable.
The Animal Humane Society also says that leash etiquette extends to when it’s not OK to leash your dog, specifically during play. “Letting your dog play with another dog while on leash can result in injury and teach your dog that all dogs enjoy this kind of interaction,” they note.
Don’t Be a Dog Park Dummy
One of the integral parts of a dog-loving neighborhood is a good, well-kept dog park. Dog parks provide dogs with more exercise than they can get anywhere else and a rare chance to socialize with dozens of dogs.
For starters, walk or tire out your dog in some other way before taking them to the park. Over-excited dogs are a danger to others at the park (rough play). It’s also important that before you head out to the dog park, you vaccinate your dog, and equip them with ID tags. While there, make sure you supervise your dog. Reader’s Digest points out that the most important command to master at the dog park is “come”. More importantly, clean up any messes your dog makes. Check here for more dog park safety tips.
Don’t Let Your Dog Terrorize Neighbors Form the Backyard
A common practice of some dog owners is to leave their dog in the backyard when they are away from home or when the dog is misbehaving. Putting your dog outside to entertain themselves is usually lazy and unproductive. They will end up barking and terrorizing the fence line between you and your neighbor. Instead, work to control barking and exercise with them to burn off energy.
Being a thoughtless dog owner is one of the fastest ways to become the talk of the neighborhood, and you don’t want that kind of celebrity. Instead, make sure that every action you take with your dog is mindful of others and their dogs. Most good dog etiquette starts at home with proper training and a focus on good manners.