Etiquette Tips for the Conscientious Dog-Owning Neighbor


Etiquette Tips for the Conscientious Dog-Owning Neighbor


The number of dogs in U.S. households is about 89 million, making a sizeable portion of people in practically any neighborhood dog owners. Over countless generations, dogs have evolved into our consummate companion, but they can also dig up tulip beds, bay at the moon all night, and occasionally snarl at children and passersby. So, for anyone juggling the competing roles of kindly dog owner and likeable neighbor, consider a few etiquette tips to abide by.


The House Dog


Fences make good neighbors, and even better dog-owning neighbors. Giving your dog the range to romp outdoors keeps it happy and sane, but cordoning that range to your backyard is a prerequisite for a host of safety and municipal reasons in a residential setting such as preventing it from getting in scraps with other dogs (or vice-versa); protecting it from a coyote or (if it’s a smaller breed) a hawk or bird of prey; and making sure it doesn’t dash in front of a car or wander away. The national average for putting in a fence is about $2,500.


The Apartment Dog


Many city dwellers have had the experience of walking along the sidewalk at night and looking up at a lighted window, where an adult German shepherd is gazing out longingly from within a matchstick-sized apartment. If you’re a New Yorker and a dog-lover, you don’t have the option of giving your pet a yard. But, you also don’t want your neighbors blaspheming you through the walls whenever your dog gets cabin fever. One available win-win is crate training, which makes use of limited space and helps your dog to relax.


The “crate philosophy” is that dogs are den animals and a crate replicates their sensory recognition of shelter and warmth. You’ll likely need to train your dog to use a crate from a puppy. Your pup should sleep there, scamper in there during a storm, and just gravitate there because it designates the crate its territory as an adult.


The Dog Walker


No matter how comfortable your dog is in that crate, though, it will want to be walked and depending on your schedule, you may not have time to do that. Enter your dog walker, who abides by his own job’s etiquette.


Dog walking has been around for ages, but pet services are so prevalent now that you can download apps to contract with pet sitters and dog trainers.


The Healthy Dog


Even the best-groomed dog in the world being walked with a perfectly 6-foot leash is going to lose marks for etiquette if you don’t keep it up-to-date on its vaccines. Imagine bringing your family Fido to the dog park and infecting any number of fellow canines with ticks and fleas. You wouldn’t pack your child off to school if he or she had the flu, and your office manager sends you home if she hears you cough once down the hall, so treat your dog’s social situations with the same abundance of caution.


You love your dog and you love your house, and there’s no reason those two loves can’t coexist. A good dog is an invaluable part of your family, protecting  your home and helping to weave a city’s social fabric by being just adorable enough that your neighbor has to pet it on your evening walk.


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