Is Your Neighbor’s Pet Friendly?

The term friendly can mean many things to different people. Some define friendly as willing to
be petted or not prone to biting. Others may describe their neighbor’s dog as friendly when
they really mean he/she doesn’t bark all night or dig up their yard.
The truth is that some dogs are well-behaved when accompanied by one of their family
members, but may be aggressive if he/she wanders into your yard. Your neighbor will typically
be more than willing to let you know what a great dog they have, but it’s what they don’t say
that can be a problem.
The dog may have a traumatic background and an innocent gesture could trigger an
unfortunate reaction. He/she may be the product of bad breeding practices or not sufficiently
socialized. If your neighbor warns you about any behaviors – listen. Don’t take chances.
Some breeds have been specially bred for protection and other tasks that aren’t necessarily
neighbor-friendly. Other dogs may be fine with adults, but don’t like children. Even the most
socialized canine can act out of character if they’re frightened.
Even if your neighbor’s dog seems to be friendly, there are precautions that you need to take.
Pay attention to their body language, but be aware that a dog may be sending signals contrary
to what they’re feeling. A dog that’s stiff and not wagging their tail loosely is a red flag.
Always ask permission before petting or touching your neighbor’s dog and let them sniff your
hand first. A dog that feels cornered can become dangerous. Never run from a dog – it arouses
their prey instinct.
Don’t enter a dog’s yard unless you’re accompanied by one of his family members. You may be
sharing freshly baked brownies, but the canine doesn’t know that. Children should never be left
alone, even with the family dog. Canines add immeasurably to your life.


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