Your dog's relationship with the neighbors

Jennifer Bonn
Jen Bonn

I love our border collie puppy Bandit, but he is a whirling dervish. He doesn’t do anything calmly or slowly. He tears out the door, super excited about playing and meeting new people. He is gentle and loving and would not willingly hurt a soul, but his behavior can be annoying and scary if you don’t know him which means that we have had to worry about his behavior with our neighbors.

On the website,, they say, “We need to be good dog parents and neighbors. If we aren’t, we put stress on others in our community.” Here are a few suggestions that might help the relationship between your dog and the neighbors.

Communication is important. Talk to your neighbors about your dog and include the dog’s temperament and be transparent about any issues you are having with training or behavior. Your neighbors will be more understanding if something goes wrong if you include them in the discussion. The neighbors closest to our house have a fourteen-year-old beagle named Joey. He is amazing and he and my cat are best friends, but he becomes territorial with dogs. He and Bandit had been doing well even though Bandit wanted to sniff, poke, and jump while Joey looked like he wanted to say, “Dude, I’m 14. I don’t jump.” Joey injured a disc in his back, and our neighbor told us he was worried that having Bandit off the leash near him might be too much. Because we communicated, we keep Bandit on the leash when we come out near his house. We have neighbors across the street who have a small puppy that Bandit loves to play with, but one of the little boys is very afraid of bigger dogs. When he comes over, I let him stay in our garden enclosure so he can watch Bandit catch frisbees. I love seeing his courage as he will move closer to Bandit as time goes by.

Keep your yard clear of dog waste because odors and fleas will drift into the neighbor’s yard. Carry poop bags when you are walking in the neighborhood in case your dog wants to relieve himself in the neighbor’s yard.

In the article, 5 Ways You and Your Dog Can Be Good Neighbors by Sassafras Lowrey, she suggests, “Leash your dog unless he is behind a fence. Don’t allow your dog to uninvitedly approach adults, children, or other dogs. Seek consent first.” We all think our dogs are amazing, but we shouldn’t assume that everyone else will feel the same. We let Bandit run free in the backyard because he has so much energy, I think he might explode if he couldn’t run the crazy out, but I either am playing with him or working in the garden while he slays the sticks. He has seen neighbors once or twice and raced over to play, but he is getting better at staying put, and our neighbors have been very understanding.

Barking seems to be the issue that causes the most problems. I have heard of several situations where a dog barks non-stop and when someone mentioned it to the owner, the owner acted as if it wasn’t an issue. Your first step though is to speak to the owner and explain that the barking is a problem for you. You could also suggest that the owner buy one of the stop barking aids or talk to a dog trainer.

I hope these help and that your dog and your neighbors have a great relationship.

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I am passionate about running, parenting, education, and self-help information. I enjoy writing articles that will offer readers the information needed to help them in some way. I recently retired from teaching French and Spanish for forty years. I run every day and have done all kinds of races from 5ks to ultra-marathons. I have three children and three grandchildren. I write for several magazines in my area, I am a contributor and in charge of the Pinterest board for a parenting magazine called Screamin Mamas, and I have a second book about to be released through Loving, Healing Press called 101 Tips to Ease Your Burdens.

Kennesaw, GA

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