How To Introduce Your Dog To New Neighbors

Introducing your dog to a neighbor
Introducing your dog to a neighbor

Moving into a new home or apartment is always exciting. When you make this move with your faithful dog, you not only have to help him make the adjustment to a new home environment, but you also have to help him make the adjustment to new neighbors: Both of the two and four-legged type. Here are a few tips on how to introduce your dog to new neighbors.

Introduce Your Dog to New People

If you move into a new house with neighbors who are at least a yard or two away, it’s always a good start to take the time to meet them whenever possible when you are alone and without your dog in your company. This type of one-on-one approach allows you to properly introduce yourself, alert them to a new dog on the block, and to find out if they have fur babies of their own. Take this opportunity to find out about how courtesies have already been established in your new neighborhood so that you may blend in comfortably.

The same generally holds true if you move into an apartment complex, but the sheer volume of neighbors around you make things a little more difficult. Try as much as possible to meet and greet your immediate neighbors, and ask the apartment office personnel about other dog owners who are in your building. Attempt to garner as much intel as possible so that you have the best chance of making the new transition as smooth as possible.

World renowned dog trainer, Cesar Millan, reminds dog owners to always be respectful of your neighbors, especially if they are just not naturally fond of any dogs. No matter how gentle and sweet your pup may be, some people are fearful of all dogs. Don’t force the issue with people like that, and just simply respect their preferences to not be around your dog.

Introduce Your Dog to New Dogs

It’s a wonderful thing to behold when your dog finds a new playmate in the neighborhood, and it helps you to bond further with your neighbors, as well. However, that initial meeting between your dog and another needs to be approached with a plan and preparation, along with a good dose of observations skills and patience. Some connections between dogs may take a little longer than others.

Reference:  How to Introduce A Second Dog Into the Family

One good thing to remember is to bring along plenty of treats for your dog, and enough to share with others. Rewarding good behavior in an initial meeting between two neighboring dogs is great for both of them. Just be sure to ask your neighbor for permission first before just giving their dog a treat of yours. There may be some dietary restrictions for the dog, so ensure it’s okay to share.

The Humane Society gives some great tips on how to watch the dogs’ behavior upon meeting to be aware of signs of aggression or fear.  It may be difficult to watch for these as you’re chatting up your neighbor, so a better idea is to schedule a playdate with your two dogs at a dog park or some other location. That allows both of you to have a bit more attention to the matter at hand, and will help aid in the success of the relationship between the dogs.

Introducing your dog to new neighbors and their dogs is a bit of a slow process, but it is so worth it. Not only do you get the opportunity to make new friends, but your dog does as well. This is healthy from the standpoint of just having some cool new folks in your life, but builds better communities, too.

Image: iStockPhoto

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