By Annie Anderson
Do dog owners make good neighbors?
Some people might think that owning a dog won’t make a difference in their relationships with their neighbors, but it does. The question is whether it makes those relationships better or worse.
Studies show that by walking around the neighborhood with their dogs, people are more likely to strike up conversations with their neighbors. They’re especially more likely to engage newcomers, which makes them feel more welcome. And people also are more likely to start a conversation with someone who has a dog because animals create natural ice breakers.
Why dog owners make good neighbors
Trustworthy — Studies also show that neighbors are more likely to trust dog owners and ask them for help when they need it. Dog owners also are recognized for being loyal and having leadership skills, which can potentially help with solving problems or conflicts around the neighborhood.
Friendly — Dog owners tend to be more gregarious and approachable. That makes dog owners more likely to volunteer for neighborhood events such as block parties or community garage sales.
Neighborhood watch — Dog owners make good neighbors because as they walk their dogs, they’re also patrolling their neighborhoods. That makes them more likely to notice when something is wrong. They spot cars that don’t belong and could potentially belong to thieves. Or recognize when mail or newspapers stack up because neighbors are sick or have gone on vacation.
Dog owners need to take action to ensure they are good neighbors. Just like people who disciple their cats, dogs require training and discipline to make sure they are well-behaved community members.
Dog owners make good neighbors when they ensure their dogs don’t become a nuisance or cause disruptions.
And dog owners also need to make sure their dogs don’t get into someone else’s trash and make a mess.
When a dog routinely barks or howls, chances are good the owner isn’t the only person who is annoyed. And angry neighbors are more likely to file complaints.
Don’t leave dogs outside for long periods without supervision. Dog owners who consistently violate community noise ordinances could face tickets, fines and ultimately even lose their dogs.
Owners who want to let their dogs spend time outside, should consider adding a fence tall enough that the dog can’t jump over it. People who already have a fence, need to keep the gates closed and maintain the fence so the dog can’t squeeze through any openings or dig under it.
Dogs that get out risk getting hit by cars. They also can get into fights with other dogs, other animals or could get into conflicts with neighbors. Even more dangerous, they could stumble upon poisons set out for pests.
It’s not only important to be a good neighbor, you need to make sure your dog is a good neighbor, too. Dog owners make good neighbors when they train their dogs to be well-behaved and take advantage of daily walks to get to know their neighbors and neighborhoods better.
Annie Anderson is the founder of MeowKai, where she and her associates write about cat behavior, health issues, and tips and tricks on how to get your cat to behave! It concentrates on creating the best life for you and your cat so you can enjoy each other’s company and build the trust that is so important between pet and human.