Discouraging Your Puppy from Bad-Neighbor Behaviors

There's a lot to keep in mind when trying to be a good dog neighbor. While training your puppy, discourage him from bad behaviors that might upset your neighbors. This includes keeping him calm and quiet when he is at home alone. Also, be sure to respect your neighbors by always picking up after your puppy.

Respecting your neighbors

Some neighbors get along. They know when to accept situations that won’t change. They clean up after themselves, and they’re fairly quiet. Other neighbors, however, bicker and fight in negative situations. They make messes, and they’re loud and intimidating.

Which of these two types of neighbors do you want you and your puppy to be classified as? The choice is yours, but being a well-respected neighbor isn’t too difficult. Just follow these steps:

  • Make sure your puppy does her business on your own property. Help your pup learn where her territory ends by keeping her close while walking around the perimeter of your yard or block. In case of an accident, carry a bag with you so you can remove the evidence from your neighbor’s lawn.

  • Instruct “Follow” as you parade around the neighborhood and teach your puppy to follow your lead.

  • Use the “Wait” direction to teach your puppy to wait at curbs and to wait while you chat or window shop.

  • Teach the “No” direction to discourage your puppy from going after everyday temptations, such as cars, joggers, and other animals.

Leaving your pup home alone

To be a good neighbor, you’ll need to help your puppy settle down when you’re away from home. No puppy enjoys being left alone — she’s sociable by nature. Don’t be surprised if she thinks of some activities to pass those lonely hours — digging, chewing destructively, or barking. Below are some helpful techniques to calm your puppy before your departure.

  • Exercise your puppy for ten minutes.

  • Follow playtime with a two-minute training session.

  • Leave a couple of chew toys and scent them by rubbing them in your palms.

  • If you leave your puppy indoors, leave her in a dimly lit, confined space with an old shirt or blanket and a radio playing soothing tunes.

  • If you leave your puppy outdoors, provide her with access to a shaded area and plenty of fresh water.

If you’re expecting inclement weather, don’t leave your puppy alone outside. Go with her to her potty area and bring her directly back inside after she’s done.

If your puppy suffers from separation anxiety and is a gulper (which means that she eats things she shouldn’t), crate or enclose her in a small space with a large bone and no bedding. You don’t want to leave bedding for your pup because she may eat it when she becomes upset that you’ve left.

Picking up your puppy’s messes

Make a habit of cleaning up your puppy’s elimination the moment she goes to the bathroom. Aside from the obvious sanitation element, when your puppy is praised and sees you picking up her mess in the right location, she’s more likely to go there again.

Yes, there is an art form to picking up dog poop. The simplest method is to take an empty plastic bag, put your hand in it, grab the poop, flip the bag inside out, and tie the knot. Voila! You can use empty grocery or newspaper delivery bags, or fancy perfumed blue bags from the pet store.

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