Dogs are friendly unless they sense something fishy. It is common for dogs to be a bit agitated when in the presence of strangers. However, this does not last. Once you hush them, all goes back to normal, and your guest can comfortably enjoy his visit.
Sometimes this may not work. Have you ever noticed that your dog is accommodative to many people except for a few individuals? Surprisingly, your neighbor may also fall on his reject list. In a sense, dogs are a better judge of character than us. Could this be the reason he behaves differently with your neighbor?
It may be to the extent that your dog barks at him even across the fence. It may be scary to the neighbor and uncomfortable for you to witness it all. If your dog hasn’t attacked him, you may hold your breath as you expect it. What may be the reason behind this behavior, and what can you possibly do to change it all?
Your thoughts might race over many things. Did your neighbor at any time assault your dog? You may also wonder whether there is anything fishy with your neighbor. You may also not help but think of him doing something wrong to your dog. You may have other thoughts other than these. Let’s try to explore different aspects as we find a suitable solution.
Type of Breed
The breed one keeps may sometimes explain a dog’s reactions. As much as dogs are generally friendly, some breeds are excellent protectors of their owners. One of such dogs is the German Shepherds. Despite being protective, they are loyal to their owners. This nature in them makes them aggressive towards anyone strange to them.
Other breeds also tend to bark at visitors without waiting to see the person. You can assess whether your dog falls in any of these categories. Later on, we will discuss what you can do.
How You Relate With Your Neighbor
Have you ever noticed how a child observes how his parents relate? It’s funny how he brings out their behaviors while playing. Instead of being mad, it will amaze you at how the child replicated your behavior. The same happens with dogs. They will observe how you relate with other people, and this will affect how he regards them.
If you regularly talk with raised tones or their language is abusive, the dog will pick that up. He will perceive the person as being unkind. For this reason, he may find the basis of treating him differently. Even if it was a one-time event, the reaction might stick longer.
Although it may sound absurd, your dog might relate your neighbor to some previous experience he had. Dogs identify humans with their scent. Some people might have an unfamiliar smell; it could be a doggy odor because of some skin condition. The canine might relate this smell to maybe a dog that previously attacked him hence the aggression.
The most obvious assumption of any dog owner would be that the neighbor might have assaulted him. For you to back up this claim, the dog’s reaction becomes the best and safest alibi. You could be right or wrong; some investigation might help you know the truth.
Does your dog interact freely with individuals outside your family members? You can only achieve this through exposure. If your canine does not interact with outsiders, then this might explain his behavior. Since he has not previously interacted with him, he might show some aggression.
Building Friendship or Separation?
When you have a protective breed like the German Shepherd, you will do well to train him. Having a protector is fulfilling since you know that someone has your back. However, if he shows signs of aggression like lunging or even showing teeth, you need to check.
You may lack the know-how on how to contain your dog’s aggression. Whether or not your dog is of the protective breed, you may seek help to train them right. Your vet may help you do this or recommend an animal behaviorist to take charge. Aside from training, you may also receive advice on how to reinforce socially acceptable behaviors.
If you keep your canine indoors mostly, then you can decide to visit your neighbor with him. When he barks at him, you remain calm. In doing this, you will teach him restraint. This idea will work best with prior arrangements with your neighbor. Hopefully, by the end of the meeting, he will realize that the neighbor isn’t bad after all.
If you suspect that the case has to do with an abusive neighbor, you can opt for separation. How do you attain this? By having a fence on your property, you will make the first step to protect your dog. You will thus prevent him from getting into your neighbor’s property.
Dogs know their boundaries and limits. Naturally, they will be friendly to anyone unless they perceive any danger. However, this depends on the breed you have. If the dog is aggressive, it would be best to take him to a vet who will help you train him on social behaviors. Even so, you ought to be the judge of the situation. Depending on the cause of his reactions, you may choose to build friendships or separation.