Have a Well-Mannered Dog, Even When You’re Not Around
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Dog owners frequently wonder what our dogs get up to when we are not around. Some people have gone so far as to buy nanny cams to spy on their animals. A better move is to ask your neighbors what your dog is doing. If your neighbor says, “He barks all day,” you will need to work on dog owner etiquette. Read on for some relevant tips.
Walk your dog
You can stave off a number of dog behavior problems by religiously walking your dog every single day, as the Animal Foundation recommends. Walked dogs are quieter and less anxious than unwalked dogs. Keep in mind that age and breed impact how much exercise your dog needs. To ensure your dog stays safe while active, talk with your vet about the proper exercise recommendations.
Walking your dog gets him out in the neighborhood. There, he has a chance to become familiar with the neighbors and their animals. This is beneficial because his familiarity with others will make your dog less suspicious, and he will not need to protect the house quite as vigilantly.
Walking your dog also forges a bond between dog and owner. A walked dog is more likely to respect your wishes when you say, “Leave it” or “No bark.”
Leave your dog inside the house during the day
There is a temptation to leave your dog in a fenced backyard on a nice day. But most dog experts recommend against leaving a dog outside and unsupervised for hours at a time.
Depending on how close your house is to your neighbor’s, an outside dog can be a terrible nuisance. Outdoor dogs bark for attention and also tend to jump up on your neighbors’ houses, scratching paint and window sills. They may even appear at the windows and tear at window screens.
An indoor dog may also bark excessively out of boredom and anxiety. Make sure that your dog has some kind of “environmental enrichment.” This term refers to things in your house that stimulate your dog’s brain and prevent boredom.
Toys and food dispensers provide environmental enrichment for your dog. While these are both great ways to engage and occupy your dog, you should never leave your dog unattended while doing so, especially if there are small parts that can fit in his mouth or be easily chewed off.
Make sure your dog is good with children
All dog owners need to ensure that their dog is not a hazard to children. If you have a puppy, make sure he has regular exposure to kids. Children should be able to pet and hug a puppy without fear.
Expose your dog to the scent of blankets and toys that have been handled by one or more children. Make sure your dog has positive experiences with children. Before allowing children to pet your dog, take a minute to discuss how to approach him. Tell children to let the dog smell their hand first and then scratch under his chin. Explain that they shouldn’t put their hand over the dog’s head, or pull on tails, fur, and other body parts. Remind children that they should never climb/lay on the dog, or bother him while he is sleeping, eating, pottying, etc.
Make sure that your male dog is neutered. Doing so makes him less aggressive and therefore less likely to nip or lunge at anyone.
If your dog is not child friendly, take him to dog obedience school and train him to be good around all your neighbors.
Having a well-behaved dog is a great blessing, and it will keep your relationship with your neighbors unstrained and positive. Make sure that your dog has good experiences inside and outside your house. With a little training, you will feel nothing but pride in your dog.
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