While you may think your canine friend is compatible with everyone, some people are afraid of dogs. Others have had traumatic or negative experiences, and others don’t value pets at all. If you want to keep friendly relations with your neighbors, you’ll need to employ proper dog etiquette around your home to keep them happy and your dog content.
Introducing Your Dog to Others to Prevent Dog Bites
There are about 4.5 million dog bites reported in the U.S. each year, according to the CDC. There’s no guarantee that something about your neighbor or his home won’t trigger your pet. There are some ways you can prevent dog bites. Before introducing your dog to your neighbors, talk to them. Ask if they are allergic to dogs or if they like dogs. Some will be welcoming, but others may be cautious. Keep in mind that if your neighbor has an allergy, it’s likely that they will not be able to come into your home.
If this is not an issue, a formal introduction can be made while your dog is leashed. Make sure to approach your neighbor slowly and tell your him what makes your dog anxious and likely to bark.
Some additional precautions you can take are:
- Be careful with children who don’t understand that any dog can bite. This can be an even bigger problem if the child already has a dog because the interaction they are used to will be unfamiliar to your dog. Make sure these meetings are supervised and teach the child what to expect. The American Kennel Club has a safety booklet called “The Dog Listener” (PDF) filled with kid-friendly instructions and activities.
- At the first sign of any unusual behavior or aggression from your dog, don’t wait. The ASPCA recommends you “seek professional help from a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB), a veterinary behaviorist (Dip ACVB), or a qualified Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT).” Read their page “Behavioral Help for Your Pet.”
- Install a fence around your home to keep your dog out of your neighbor’s yard. According to HomeAdvisor, the average price to install a wooden fence in Huntington Beach ranges from $1,787 – $4,025.
Proper Care of Your Dog
Taking proper care of your dog will prevent others from fearing him. Be sure to follow these rules:
- Groom your dog regularly. Smelly and dirty dogs can bring unpleasant stereotypes to mind.
- Keep your pet up to date with rabies vaccinations. This preventative measure is the law in most states and will put you at ease should something happen.
- Treat your dog to prevent fleas, ticks, and other parasites, as well as taking him for regular checkups. Quarantine him when sick or medicated as his personality may change.
- Spay or neuter your dog as soon as you can so they’ll be less likely to bite. Some animal organizations may offer to do this for free, or you can expect to pay between $50 and $125 at a low-cost clinic.
- Walk and exercise your dog in your neighborhood regularly. This will help him learn proper interaction with others including strange dogs.
- Hire a certified professional dog trainer to train your dog (a 90-minute, in-home lesson can cost you $225). Get recommendations from friends to ensure the training is humane.
- If your dog is experiencing uncontrolled barking, seek help right away. While you do, talk to your neighbors to proactively prevent any ill will.
Dogs are a welcome part of many families. Make sure your dog welcomes your neighbors, too. Check back on our blog for future pet moving tips with Pet Jets!