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The Chew: How to Make Your Dog a Better Neighbor

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

Article provided by Tamara Gilmore at

You adore your dog, but how do your neighbors feel about your pet?

If you’re not practicing good pet-owner etiquette, you could be unwittingly making enemies of your neighbors. For a more harmonious relationship between canines and humans, follow these dog etiquette tips.

At Home

Your house is your dog’s home too, but that doesn’t mean giving your pet free reign is always the appropriate choice.

When hosting guests, consider their comfort level around dogs. It’s good etiquette to let first-time guests know you have a dog before they come over. Ask if guests prefer that you close your dog in a room before their visit; Fido won’t mind a couple hours of solitude and it could do wonders to comfort a dog-fearing guest.

If your dog tends to jump on visitors, leash him before they arrive. That way, you can control the introductions and let your dog off leash once the initial excitement has waned.

If at any time your dog appears anxious or overstimulated while you’re hosting guests, shut your pet in a quiet room. Just because your dog is sweet and gentle with you doesn’t mean it will behave the same way around small children, big bearded men or another type of person it’s unfamiliar with.

If you’re unsure how to tell if your dog is feeling anxious, refer to this list from Doggone Safe. You can also use daycare as a great alternative to tire your dog out before guests arrive or boarding to keep your pup out of the home during extended visits.

In the Yard

A fence is essential for good canine-neighbor relations. A good fence not only keeps your dog contained, it also stops your dog from barking at passersby and keeps children and other animals out of your yard.

While chain link fencing may be economical, it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing choice. In addition, some dogs can climb the links to escape. Consider a wood fence instead.

While it’s more costly — Arlington, VA, homeowners pay an average of $1,700 to $3,833 to install a wood fence — it’s an attractive solution that will last for years to come. Wood fences are also easier to modify than other styles, so you can add a peekaboo window or other fence features that ease anxiety and reduce escape attempts.

While a fence is important, it doesn’t give homeowners carte blanche to leave their pets unattended in the yard.

A bored dog in the backyard is prone to tear up your landscaping, bark for no reason and experiment with new methods for escape. Keep an eye on your pet when it’s outside and always bring dogs in when they start to bark.

On the Go

Walks around the neighborhood are a great opportunity for your pup to mingle with the neighborhood dogs and make a good impression on their owners. But if it goes poorly, it could leave your neighbors crossing the street when you approach.

Maintain your neighborly etiquette on the go by always following local leash laws and picking up your dog’s waste on walks. Try not to let your dog urinate on neighbor’s yards. Instead, aim for parks and strips of grass between the sidewalk and road.

Always ask before letting your pet approach another dog. Even if your dog is the friendliest canine on the planet, other dogs may have aggression or anxiety issues. Asking first keeps everyone safe and prevents unnecessary stress.

If you have a dog who needs space while on walks you should consider joining The Yellow Dog Project.

The local dog park is a great place to let your pet romp with other dogs. However, dog parks aren’t suitable for dogs in heat, sick dogs or dogs who play rough with others.

While it’s fun to chat with other dog owners at the park, ensure you’re always keeping watch over your dog. If your pet is exhibiting bullying behavior or being bothered by another dog, leave and try again another day. The Atlanta Humane Society offers helpful tips for identifying and correcting bullying behavior in dogs.

If you’ve followed this advice and your pet is still causing problems with the neighbors, it’s time to seek professional solutions. Your dog may benefit from obedience training or working with a canine behaviorist, or he may simply need a dog walker to increase his daily exercise.

By finding the right solutions for your pet, you can enjoy a happier dog, happier neighbors and a happier you.

Looking for more tips, interested in adorable pet pics or just want to get more information on what we do? Stay connected with Bark + Boarding on FacebookInstagram and our website!

Click here to check out our short video about this article!

Mention this article for a FREE evaluation and click here to sign up for one today. If you have a question about your pet, feel free to come in, or email [email protected] any time.

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