Dog Owner Etiquette: How You and Your Dog Can Be Great Neighbors

Being a dog owner is rewarding and so much fun, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. After all, caring for a dog isn’t just about feeding them and giving them love. As a dog owner, you’ll also want to give him training to help him thrive around others, provide him with proper exercise and socialization and ensure that you both build good reputations with your neighbors.

Making sure to keep your dog leashed at all times, scoop their poop and provide them with basic training to help them feel a sense of security as they learn to engage with you, your neighbors and other dogs are all crucial to giving them a good life in a happy neighborhood.

Here are simple tips to help you and your dog become great neighbors in the neighborhood you love.

Love Your Leash
Even the best trained and most friendly and gentle dogs need to remain on a leash when outside your front door. It shows your neighbors that you respect their safety, and it keeps your dog safe from being injured by other dogs, hit by a car or harming wildlife. If your community has a Bark Park, where your pup can safely play off leash, be sure to follow the rules and guidelines carefully to ensure that they’re time off leash is safe and fun for all.

Supervise Play
Anytime your pup is at play, be sure to supervise closely. If your townhome has a fenced backyard, do not leave your pup off leash and roaming free unsupervised. Not only will your dog likely get bored in a yard alone for stretches of time, but they may take to digging, eating plants (many of which can be toxic) or barking. Your dog is under your care and will always do best if you supervise and even join in on his play and down time.

Manage Street Style
While out for walks in the neighborhood, be mindful of how greeting others can spook both your neighbors and your dog. Some humans have had negative encounters with dogs in the past and can be afraid of approaching dogs. Children especially can be inexperienced and uncomfortable around pets they don’t know. Never approach a stranger or assume that neighbors want to pet or be close to your pup without first asking for their consent. Be mindful of your dog’s comfort level as well, knowing whether or not your dog becomes spooked by other animals and humans will determine how you walk and communicate with neighbors on the street.

Train Your Pup
A trained pup is a happy pup, and we always recommend giving your pup some amount of basic training to help them learn how to engage with both you and your neighbors comfortably and successfully. Dog training is also a positive way to bond with your pup, as you two will learn more about how to interact and experience the world together. You want your dog to grow up to have positive associations with you and your neighbors, and basic dog training can help you to do so in just a few weeks.

Proper Poop Scoop
Always scoop your dog’s poop, even in your own backyard. Leaving dog poop on the sidewalk, in neighboring yards or in your own backyard is one of the fastest ways to get a bad reputation as a neighbor. Carry extra baggies with you on all walks, as some dogs may surprise you by going more than once in a walk. Properly dispose of your baggies and keep the streets free and clear for other neighbors and pups to roam.