Dogs may be man's best friend, but they aren't always man's best neighbor. Bad bathroom habits, loud barking, and other annoying behaviors make lots of people unenthusiastic about living next to homes with canine companions.
So, what can you do to make sure you and your dog are good neighbors? Here are some helpful tips.
Keep Off the Grass and Landscaping
Your neighbors put a lot of time and effort into their lawn and landscape, and your dog can ruin them in seconds. Dog urine contains nitrates, which causes brown spots in the grass and kills landscape plants.
When you take your pup for a walk, veer away from the neighbor's yard. Instead, let your furry friends do their business on publicly owned curbside grassy areas. If your neighborhood doesn't have any spots like that, consider taking your pup to a dog park instead. That would be better than angering the neighbors with a trail of dead grass and flower beds in your wake.
Clean Up After Your Pup
If your dog ends up doing the doo in someone else's yard, the neighborly thing is to pick it up immediately. Carry bags with you – either reused grocery bags or doggy bags in an easy-to-carry dispenser – every time you go for a walk. Bring multiple bags, so you never come up empty-handed.
You should always pick up your dog's poop, even in your own yard or in the park. Leaving poo to sit out adds a certain stink to the neighborhood, and it also spreads dangerous bacteria and parasites.
Stay on the Leash
Never let your dog roam the neighborhood. That might upset your neighbors, but more importantly, it puts your pup's safety at risk. Your dog should only go outside in a fenced-in area or on a leash. In fact, most cities and states have leash laws that legally prohibit letting your dog outside unrestrained and unsupervised.
If your puppy is still undergoing training, a harness is even better. It protects their little necks from injury should they start to pull.
Give Your Furry Friend Places to Play
Sometimes, boredom is the reason your dog barks all day or tries to dig out from under the backyard fence. One way to make your dog a quieter, less unruly neighbor is to provide plenty of entertainment.
If you can't be home to play with your pup all day, here are some ideas for a dog-friendly backyard that will keep them busy even when you're gone:
- Kiddy pool for splashing and cooling off in summer (make sure it’s shallow enough for them to get out of.)
- Sandbox for digging (much better than your flower beds!)
- DIY agility course with ramps, jumps, tunnels, and ropes.
- Clear window in your fence for your pup to see the outside world.
When your dogs have plenty of positive places to play, they're less likely to get into trouble – with you or the neighbors.
Correct Negative Behaviors With Training
Entertainment on its own isn't always enough to correct all the canine behaviors that might bother your neighbors. Obedience training, either on your own or with help from a professional dog trainer, can help with common dog behavior issues such as excessive barking, hyperactivity, chewing, and aggression.
With a little help from you, your dogs can be everyone's favorite neighbors. Guide them to the proper places to do their bathroom business, clean up after them, and teach them to be well-behaved. Then, even your grumpiest neighbor won't have any bones to pick with your precious pups.