Bad pets and dog poop in the lawn or trash are among the top complaints people have with their neighbors nationwide. While you may find your pooch’s actions endearing, not everyone else is in agreement. In many cases, it’s not the fact the dog is a nuisance that’s the issue, it’s fear.  Cynophobia (extreme fear of dogs) is actually one of the top 10 phobias in America. There’s no reason why you can’t live in harmony with those around you, but, if you have a dog, ask yourself if you’re doing everything you can to be a respectful and conscientious owner.


A Fenced-In Yard Is A Must

Installing a fence in your backyard will give your dog freedom while keeping it out of your neighbor’s yard — or running away. The average cost to install a fence is between $1,645 and $3,951. Obtain a few estimates before making a final commitment. Make sure the companies you’re considering know the main purpose for the fence is to contain your dog so that the height and the type of materials needed are taken into consideration. Other factors to keep in mind include whether or not you obtain some of the parts yourself, or if you rely on a contractor. While they may charge a markup fee, their industry discount could still wind up being more cost effective for you. It’s also important to check with your local municipality, as you may need a permit. You also have to verify that your fence won’t interfere with any utilities by disrupting with any underground wires or pipes, so call 811 (a number that works in every state) before breaking ground.


Behavior 101

Whether you have a puppy or a stubborn middle-aged or senior canine, every dog owner should be prepared to teach their pooch some level of obedience. Along with the basics of house training (more of an issue if you have a puppy), other essentials include sit, stay, come, leave it, down, and settle. While those actions may sound like simple commands, properly training a dog not to jump on other people or fellow dogs isn’t an overnight task, so consider enrolling your pet in an obedience school — look to your vet or local pet stores as a starting point. On a separate level, agility training is a great way to cater to your dog’s natural instincts while strengthening your bond, which can help with obedience. If you can’t or don’t want to invest in a pricey program, set up your own DIY course in your backyard.


Pick Up Poop

As mentioned, waste is among one of the top offenders, so along with regularly (as in several times a week, if not daily) cleaning your yard, stay equipped with baggies when you’re on walks or taking jaunts to the dog park. Odor aside, feces poses a risk for disease, so the sooner you scoop and discard it, the better.


Banish Barking

Occasional barking is normal, but anything that’s more excessive can get on your neighbor’s nerves — and yours. When training your dog not to bark, keep in mind that yelling will not help. To an animal, it only sounds like you’re barking, too. Instead, teach your pooch how to bark and remain quiet on command to eliminate any confusion.


You may never win over neighbors who don’t like  — or who fear — dogs, so don’t take any standoffish behavior personally. Focus on teaching your pooch basic obedience skills and cleaning up after it. At the end of the day, you’re completely responsible for your pet’s demeanor, so don’t wait until a situation becomes out of hand to take action.

Article provided by Medina at

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This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.