The most obvious complaint about a dog’s behavior is incessant barking. The best way to limit your dog’s barking is to limit how much time he spends unsupervised outdoors. If your dog is left alone in the backyard for hours, he may start barking out of boredom. Supervise your dog’s outdoor activities as much as possible and always bring him inside as soon as barking starts. If your dog barks at people walking by, a privacy fence can stop the barking by limiting his view.
If your dog is barking while you’re away from home, you might not realize it. If you suspect your dog may be causing a nuisance while you’re away, set up a nanny cam to monitor his daytime activities. If he’s barking all day long, he may have separation anxiety. Use this information from Your Dog’s Friend to determine if your dog has separation anxiety or if there’s another reason behind his bad behavior. Separation anxiety can be cured, but it may require professional intervention.
While barking is the first annoying dog behavior that comes to mind, it’s hardly the only one. If your dog is exhibiting any of these behaviors, you’ll need to address them in order to stay on the neighborhood’s good side:
Escaping your yard isn’t just dangerous for your dog, it’s also bothersome for your neighbors. A loose dog can impede traffic, damage landscaping, get into fights with other dogs, and intrude on people’s enjoyment of their yards and neighborhood. If your dog is an escape artist, secure your fence and spay or neuter your dog to reduce the desire to roam.
No one wants a surprise litter of puppies, so make sure your dog is spayed or neutered. It only takes once for your dog to contribute to pet overpopulation.
It’s great to have a friendly dog, but if yours can’t contain his excitement and jumps on visitors, your neighbors will be less than enthused at the prospect of dropping by.
If your normally well-mannered dog loses his cool when he’s leashed, he could be frightening neighbors and their pets. Follow Animal Humane Society’s advice for training away this bad behavior and stick to walking along less busy routes until your dog overcomes his leash reactivity.
Whether he’s begging for food or begging for attention, a dog that begs tends to invade humans’ personal space. If your pup is a bit too needy, avoid off-leash get togethers until you’ve trained him out of food- and attention-seeking behaviors. In addition to teaching your dog the “settle” command, getting him plenty of exercise before social events can reduce begging.
It’s hard to teach commands in environments with a lot of distractions. Rather than trying to train your dog out of bad behaviors while you’re out and about, start teaching public manners inside your home. Once your dog has mastered etiquette skills in the predictable setting of your home, gradually expose him to increasingly stimulating environments. Keep training treats on hand and be ready to correct and reinforce his training throughout the process.
In addition to training your dog, assess your own behaviors as a dog owner. If you’re not following leash laws, cleaning up after your dog on walks, and keeping your yard clear of waste, you could be the source of your neighbors’ discontent.
Life is better when you’re in harmony with your neighbors. While fixing your dog’s bad habits isn’t an easy undertaking, it will make life a lot more pleasant for you and your neighbors alike. If your own efforts aren’t working, it may be time to seek the help of a professional dog trainer.