Have you checked out DogEtiquette.info? It's a great resource for how to have fun with your well mannered, dog-about-town. Today, I'm so happy to welcome their very own Aurora James, who offers some basic etiquette on how to make sure our beloved pooches are well received within the community. The only thing I'd like to add is that a cute outfit often helps too!
If you’ve ever been awakened at 3 a.m. by a barking dog, then you probably understand why not everyone is a dog person. You love your dog and know how great they can be as a housemate, but what do your neighbors think? Is Fido being a good boy when he goes out into the yard, or have you gotten barking complaints from a few houses over?
Whether you’ve owned a dog for years, or just gotten a new puppy, it’s never too early or late to learn some good neighborly dog etiquette. Here are five easy rules to get you started:
1. Clean Up After Your Dog
Most good etiquette partially revolves around treating others the way you would like to be treated. The other half of etiquette is taking personal responsibility. Your dog can’t help it when they need to relieve themselves, and they won’t waste any time when nature comes calling. While you can’t control when and where they need to go, you should always be prepared to clean up after them, especially when they are off your own property. No one expects, or enjoys, stepping in a fresh pile of poo on the sidewalk. Always bring along baggies to collect and dispose of your dog’s waste, and if your dog ever has an accident indoors, be ready to clean the mess yourself.
2. Use a Leash on Walks
Not everyone associates being around a dog with positive experiences. This is important to keep in mind whenever you take your dog on a walk. Sometimes people can get nervous around dogs, and can become frightened or upset if your dog comes near them, even if your dog was just trying to say hello. Only approach strangers on the street if they express interest in meeting your companion, otherwise it’s best to just keep to yourself.
3. Maintain a Safe Distance
Anytime you are out in public, you should create an imaginary bubble around you and your dog. The leash should not extend beyond this bubble, and you shouldn’t have a leash that allows your dog to get too far away from your side from any angle. Having a small personal bubble will allow others to feel safe knowing that your dog under control. As you go about your walk, be wary that you keep a safe distance between your bubble and other passersby. You should also be alert to any other dogs approaching and be prepared to keep your dog close. Even if your dog is friendly around other animals, you can’t always be sure about other dogs you might meet in public.
4. Respect Others’ Property
No matter how adorable your dog is, if they’re constantly crossing into your neighbor’s lawn, then they are probably becoming a nuisance. The easiest solution to keeping your dog where they need to be is by installing a fence around your property. According to HomeAdvisor, the average price to install a wood fence ranges from $1,732 - $3,869 and only takes two to three days to set up. Fencing your property not only keeps your dog out of your neighbor’s yard, but also protects them from the dangers of crossing a street.
5. Keep the Noise Level Down
Barking can rapidly wear down your neighbors’ patience and lead to resentment, or even a formal noise complaint. Not all dogs are heavy barkers, but if yours seems particularly enthusiastic about letting you know whenever a leaf blows across your lawn, then you might try a few training techniques to contain their excitement. Other methods of reducing the barking is by keeping them indoors during late hours and drawing curtains so they aren’t constantly reacting to cars or people walking past the house.
These are just a few basic etiquette rules to keep in mind as a dog owner. Just remember to take responsibility for your pet and to treat others the way you’d like to be treated and you shouldn’t have any problems. Soon, everyone on the block will be telling Fido how he really is a good boy.