Nobody wants to live next to a yapping, growling, barking dog—but if your pup’s bark is worse than his bite, what can you do to make sure he (or she) is a good neighbor when you move into your new home?
As a pet-owner and homeowner, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your pet doesn’t bother the neighbors… but in some cases, that’s easier said than done.
How to Ensure That Your Pet is a Good Neighbor
Minimizing the amount of time your pet spends outdoors goes a long way toward preventing him or her from being a nuisance. Besides, the ASPCA says that pets shouldn’t be kept outdoors for long periods—they want to be part of your “pack,” but they can’t do that if they’re always outside, away from the family.
(Many people mistakenly believe that guard dogs are better off outside, but research shows that’s just not true. All dogs want to—and should—live indoors.) It’s good for dogs to spend some time outdoors, basking in the sun, but never during inclement weather, and never for extended periods with little or no interaction.
So what can you do, other than keeping your four-legged pal inside most of the time?
The Canine Good Citizen Certificate
You can work through the American Kennel Club to get your pup certified as a “Canine Good Citizen.” Dogs that make it through CGC training take a 10-step test that includes:
- Accepting a friendly stranger
- Sitting politely for petting
- Appearance and grooming (the dog will let someone check his or her ears and front feet)
- Walking calmly on a loose lead
- Walking through a crowd
- Sitting and laying down on command and staying in place
- Coming when called
- Reacting appropriately to other dogs
- Reacting appropriately to distraction
- Behaving properly under supervised separation from you, the pet-parent
While it’s not always easy to make sure your dog is a good neighbor, you can avoid a lot of issues—both with your pup and with the people who live around you—by making sure your pet is properly socialized and trained.
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