How to know if your dog is a good neighbor?

We’ve all experienced an annoying neighborhood dog. The endless barking gets on the nerves quickly, and you begin to wonder why the owner lets them bark for hours on end. The truth is the owner may not be aware of the barking or aggressive behavior. This makes you start to wonder, how does your dog behave when you’re gone? Is it a possibility that perhaps your dog is a bad neighbor as well? Here’s how to find out and hopefully curb that behavior.

In some cities across the country, renters have faced problems with their dogs, and being approved for rentals. Some rentals are even requiring dog interviews to determine whether or not they will be behavioral problems or not.

Preparing for an interview

Some rental owners don’t require extremely thorough checks, but it’s still good to be prepared. Some owners make sure their dog is well-fed beforehand, and some will even be sure to take the dog on a walk before the meeting. Whatever works for you to make sure that your dog is on its best behavior.

Some rentals in certain cities require a little more when it comes to approving a dog for a rental property. There are some places that exclude certain breeds, and require DNA testing.

A new trend popping up in some areas is to get your dog certified through the American Kennel Club in their Canine Good Citizen Program. As many as 42 states have endorsed this program, including Oregon.

What they’re judged on

The training program has 10 items that your pup needs to pass in order to be certified as a Canine Good Citizen Program.

Your dog has to be able to accept a friendly stranger, and not show any signs of aggression. They need to be able to sit quietly, and accept petting, whether it’s from a stranger or familiar face. Something that dog owners may overlook is the overall appearance of their dog. It’s important to keep your dog clean and healthy, as it makes them more approachable for people. Some dogs may even benefit behaviorally from a grooming.

Dogs also need to be able to go out for a walk and behave themselves on a leash. They need to be able to handle themselves while walking through a crowd of people. A crucial part of training is the ability to sit and stay in place on command. This is a helpful skill for the safety of your pup, as it could prevent them from running after an animal, or out into the street. Your pup also needs to come when called.

Your dog will also be evaluated on their reaction to other dogs, and other distractions. The final step of the class is to have a supervised separation of you and your dog, to test how they react to being separated.

Alternative methods

If these programs aren’t offered in your area, or your potential landlord doesn’t require strict guidelines, there are still things you can do to ensure that your dog is a good neighbor. Talk to your neighbors about your dogs barking habits. Ask if your dog is a nuisance when you leave.

If you want to work with your dog on aggressive behavior, talk to your local veterinarian about what they would recommend to help. Look into behavioral classes, or great places to socialize your dog.