Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, pet adoptions have skyrocketed. For companionship and the fact many are working for home full-time, it’s clear this has been the year to get a dog.
If you are one of those new puppy owners, you may find these tips helpful in your training journey. Please also note, there are some special considerations for those living in an HOA regarding pet (especially dog) ownership.
- Establish a potty routine. When potty training a dog, it is important to establish a routine that includes potty times, location, affirmation, and phrasing. Take your puppy our after certain times of day, go to the same part of your yard, give your dog affirmations when they are done, and say a word or phrase that you can eventually use to remind them what to do when distracted.
- Crate training is essential. Whether you need time to do housework without a puppy underfoot or you are going out to run errands, crate training your dog will help them feel at peace when you are gone. Slowly introduce the crate, then lock them up for short periods of time. When they can go 30 minutes of crate time while you are home without whining, you can start to leave the house. Keep initial trips short, slowly lengthening your time away from home until your dog is comfortable.
- Leash train your dog. Especially in a shared living community, having your dog used to being on a leash is important. Most communities have rules that animals must be on some type of leash, so by training your dog you will also be adhering to your HOA’s standards. Start leash training by putting the leash on your pet while they are spending time indoors. When they are used to it, start walking your dog around your house so they know what it will feel like and don’t have as many distractions as they would outdoors. Finally, take them outside with their newly developed leash skills!
Pets and HOA Living:
Please keep in mind your neighbors and the rules of your HOA. Some of the most common complaints regarding pets in an association include:
- Nuisance behavior. Lack of physical control over your dog, your dog relieving itself on walls or floors of common areas, aggressive and/or dangerous behavior, and conspicuous uncleanliness or parasite infection.
- Barking problems. If your dog barks continually for a period of 10 minutes or intermittently for a certain amount of time at any time during the day or night, you could be in violation of noise rules.
- Picking up poop even in winter weather. No one likes to spend more time outside than needed when it’s cold and snowy, but that doesn’t mean you can leave your dog’s poop outside until spring.