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Good fences = good neighbors - help me with mine! Long!

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  • Good fences = good neighbors - help me with mine! Long!

    Let me start by saying we have great neighbors. We live on 9 acres of lovely, flat, mostly cleared land. We use the open land as...lawn...at this point. Yes, we bought hoping to do the whole horse set up but alas, not in our budget.

    "Great" neighbor to our side has a lovely little set up for horses and a few heifers on 3 1/2 acres. He is very neat. We have good relations. However...he has two dogs. The one dog is a friendly older lab who goes on her daily adventures across our land, smelling the "news" and peeing and pooping her way here and there. We have mentioned to the neighbor that the amount of doggie do and pee was getting a bit out of hand on our "lawn" and he somehow managed to tell the dog to not go as much on our land. I am serious! The amount has indeed become waaaayyyyy less. It is not bothersome at this point. We are talking about the area of side property that is near his line which is a good 500' from our house and really is a mowing issue vs. a use by us issue. The dog is old and her eyesight is failing and so she barks at us but does no more than a mosey and when we call out to her she realizes it is "us" and gives a friendly wag of her tail and goes on her way.

    Ok - the problem is dog #2. Dog #2 is a large, young, active, black, strong....guess what? Pitbull. The neighbor got the dog maybe a year ago because it was his roommate's or friend's or girlfriend's or something and the roomate or friend or girlfriend has now since left and left the dog behind. I commend the neighbor for taking in the dog and giving it a good home. The neighbor keeps the dog restrained during the day by a long cable. At night, he lets the dog run loose for a bit and then brings him into the house for the night.

    The problem is is that there have been a few occasions where the pitbull has run free during the day. My daughter is 6 and is very, very, very afraid of dogs. All dogs - little ones, big ones, hairy ones, smooth ones, light colored ones, dark ones. We work very hard on having her be friends with my sister's friendly dog each and every time we get together and after about 2 hours of acclimation, my daughter can pet the dog on its back and not climb up me when it approaches. This is in a controlled situation and we are working on her fears in a positive manner.

    Still with me? So, one day, daughter and I are out in OUR backyard playing and the pitbull comes a runnin' toward us barking the whole way in a "hi, I'm excited to be free, I saw you two running and playing and I want to run and play too but I also am a little unsure of you so I am going to have my hackles up and be a bit agressive in my tone and oh by the way - I am not wagging my tail either so I may just run up to you and bark or hey...I could just as soon leap and make a grab for your neck and we can play "kill".".

    So, my daughter climbs up me and we both make a dash toward the house. If it were just me, I would have maybe played the whole, "hey young dog - I am no threat at all and I would love to play with you". But, with my daughter, I took no chances and into the house we dashed. So, I certainly reinforced that this dog is one to be fearful of - gahh. I felt in that instance I had no choice. Daughter is now leery of playing outside in the back yard or side yard that is next to this neighbor. The dog barks at us when he sees us and that is enough to raise our level of unease truth be told. I have gone over and made friends with the dog a few times but it is a big, strong thing and still barks at me from afar. There is NO WAY my daughter is going to acclimate to this dog. Yes, we have spoken to neighbor about that if this dog comes onto our land and chases us out of our own yard then we will take care of the problem - permanently. Neighbor understood and dog hasn't been loose since that we've seen.

    Ok, am I an over protective freak in that now I want to fence us in and keep the threat out? My daughter certainly wold be more comfortable and thus I would be more comfortable. My hubby - who is NOT one to do anything on a whim without years of analysis even mentioned putting up a fence. That says something to me. What would you do?

    1. fence property line which will keep both dogs off and also alleviate pee/poop issue. We are talking oh...a good 800' to do that whole side and of course the dog/s could just go around the end of it and then be "trapped" on our side.

    2. fence in a much more modest "back yard" area just behind our house.

    3. SSS

    4. Tell neighbor we are going to fence property line with some old chain link we got for free from the state prison and see if he wants to pony up something a bit more aesthetic.

    Cost is a factor for us. What are your suggestions?

  • #2
    What a shame you have to deal with this! I would probably check out my local ordinances on owning a dog of this type and if a fence is necessary. IMO your neighbor should be the one keeping his dog in, not you keeping his dog out.

    I know there are many rules in different states dealing with what are seen as aggresive breeds, so might be a good place to start. If not, and you want to fence, ask him to pay for a fence that runs along his property and you take care of the rest.

    Comment


    • #3
      You are 100% correct to be proactive and protective of your daughter. Never second guess yourself on that issue, ever.

      You have a couple choices though IMO people who let their dogs run are rarely willing to contain their dogs even after they have been told the dog is a problem. The simplest and least expensive thing to do would be to fence a play yard for your daughter off the back of the house. Later you could add a plain old 2 strand electric wire on T post fence line with a solar charger on the property line. That would not be horribly expensive and it helps set/reestablish the tone of neighborly expectations.

      Comment


      • #4
        My suggestion is not to randomly kill your neighbor's dog or jump to conclusions about the Pitbull breed in general. I have 2 Pitbulls, both from rescues as adults, and are not a threat to anyone. Also, I think teaching a 6-year old that certain animals (or whatever else) are dangerous purely because of how they look is not the best way to parent. Regardless, I would simply have another chat with your neighbor, but if he is containing the dog what is the issue? What kind of crazy person threatens to kill their neighbor's dog anyway?

        Comment


        • #5
          Go talk to your neighbor in a serious manner. Tell him what happened, and that you don't want the pit bull anywhere near your property anymore. It is a safety issue, it's your daughter, and you are sorry but the next time Animal Control will be called.

          Then start buying your fencing and start installing. A privacy fence along the neighbor's side would provide an 'out of sight out of mind' solution. Find the money if it's your daughter's safety at issue. Then buy metal fence posts and "dog fencing" for the rest of the property line. Put it up in stages as money permits. This type of fencing isn't expensive, but it is effective. And you can do it yourself.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Nifty550 View Post
            My suggestion is not to randomly kill your neighbor's dog or jump to conclusions about the Pitbull breed in general. I have 2 Pitbulls, both from rescues as adults, and are not a threat to anyone. Also, I think teaching a 6-year old that certain animals (or whatever else) are dangerous purely because of how they look is not the best way to parent. Regardless, I would simply have another chat with your neighbor, but if he is containing the dog what is the issue? What kind of crazy person threatens to kill their neighbor's dog anyway?
            Big strong barking dog (breed does not matter), but if it continually came in my yard in a threatening manner, yes, my husband would shoot it. And we are far from crazy.

            I don't think the OP is teaching her daughter to be afraid, sounds like she already is, why take a chance on a dog that is coming towards them barking? I'm really quite shocked at your post, but then again not...

            Comment


            • #7
              OP was not bothered by said lab that continually came onto her property, enter pitbull and now talk of shooting it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Has anyone bothered to take the time to read the OP's post for comprehension where she has ALREADY spoken to the neighbor about the most recent episode & the dog hasn't been seen loose since? Or are you just - as happens all too frequently on COTH - so eager to post your own gab that you simply didn't have the time to read first?

                Neighbor already sounds sensitive & accommodating to the issue, but as OP has a young daughter & accidents do happen (dog accidentally getting loose again), I vote for what another poster suggested - a dog-proof fenced-in play area for the daughter for the time being until such time & budget that permanent boundary fencing can be done.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'd build Fort Knox with a double gate and solid walls. Sure, you want to continue working with the daughter's fears, but she deserves an outdoor play space where she feels secure. Nice neighbor or no, all dogs get loose. People who have a history of "oops! Rusty's out again!!!" tend to let their dogs get loose more than others. And a young pit bull is an extremely strong, athletic animal of a breed of notorious escape artists.

                  Originally posted by Nifty550 View Post
                  OP was not bothered by said lab that continually came onto her property, enter pitbull and now talk of shooting it.
                  The OP clearly described an older lab that just ambled about v. a young pit bull that came running directly at her.

                  "Also, I think teaching a 6-year old that certain animals (or whatever else) are dangerous purely because of how they look is not the best way to parent."

                  A Darwin Award-winning comment, on so many levels.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by vacation1 View Post
                    I'd build Fort Knox with a double gate and solid walls. Sure, you want to continue working with the daughter's fears, but she deserves an outdoor play space where she feels secure. Nice neighbor or no, all dogs get loose. People who have a history of "oops! Rusty's out again!!!" tend to let their dogs get loose more than others. And a young pit bull is an extremely strong, athletic animal of a breed of notorious escape artists.



                    The OP clearly described an older lab that just ambled about v. a young pit bull that came running directly at her.

                    "Also, I think teaching a 6-year old that certain animals (or whatever else) are dangerous purely because of how they look is not the best way to parent."

                    A Darwin Award-winning comment, on so many levels.
                    ^ This for the most part. I'd go have a chat w/slacker pet owner neighbor and let them know in no uncertain terms that the big, rambunctious dog is just too much...keep it up or face consequences. I'd follow the letter of the law to cover my own butt (calls to animal control, etc.) and unless the dog was attacking me, my livestock, I wouldn't shoot it. We did have a neighbor who was stupid - just plain stupid - about letting his dogs run loose. While a little well placed rat shot did the trick most of the time, it was having to constantly deal w/animal control about having "at large" dogs that finally got him to confine the dogs.

                    As for the breed being an issue...why is it Pit owners automatically assume that when someone mentions the breed behaving unacceptably that that person sees nothing other than a vicious killing machine? I spent over a decade as a vet tech in private practice and also in animal shelters & rescue. I've seen pits be nurturing across species and I've also seen them tear chain link fencing apart to try and fight with other pits (77 dogs in evidence - horrible 8 months). I've also seen chows, akitas, pekes, Dachsunds, etc. act like total a$$holes. The reality is ANY dog can bite and get too rough. A geriatric lab getting rowdy is a VERY different gig than a young PB getting wound up. Our now geriatric Boxer with his CD and therapy certs was a wild man when he was young. If allowed to unwind, he was all over the place, unintentionally pretzel-ing into anything not quick enough to get out of his way.

                    Someone else's pet can very quickly become something else once they are no longer at their own home.

                    Good luck, Joyrider...hopefully neighbor will get the picture.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Definitely securely fence in a play area just out your door.

                      AND, get your neighbor to put up "invisible" / radio fencing to contain the dogs. Our perimeter fencing is "reinforced" with invisible fencing, because we have 2 livestock guardian dogs. This is the system we used; however, I got it for less by purchasing the transmitter, collars, & wire via eBay -- and upgraded the wire to a lower gauge (thicker) and higher quality - doing our 10 acres cost around $300, and we have 2 transmitters (1 is a backup). The "lightening protection module" is KEY - we lost our first transmitter to a lightning strike b/c we didn't have one. Innotek has great customer service and will replace collars & transmitters at cost after warranty expires.

                      http://www.gundogsupply.com/inuliuinpetf.html

                      NOTE - the invisible fencing is not a perfect solution - just as electric fencing is not a 100% solution for horses / livestock. Dogs in pursuit may decide to take the shock and run through. However, this system allows a wide boundary, so the dog gets a warning tone followed by intensifying shocks.

                      However, for the safety of a child, I would have tall fencing w/ hotwire along the top and outside bottom of the fence.

                      If your neighbor is a farmer, he knows that the dog is going to meet the SSS fate sooner rather than later running loose. Loose dogs are the number one threat to livestock, and the laws in most places allow the farmer to kill the dog harassing stock AND get financial restitution for any damages from the owner of the now dead dog.

                      The fenced play area is a must, because there ARE loose dogs in the country -- and usually they run together; plus there is a growing problem with feral packs of dogs that are extremely dangerous. Because your daughter is so fearful of dogs, she might run, which is the absolute worst thing to do. So, give her a safe enclosure to play in.

                      Good luck. Be Safe.
                      Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Unfortunately even though the dogs belong to the neighbor, the cost of keeping your child safe is going to fall on your shoulders at this point. I am sure your neighbor feels like he is doing a reasonably good job of keeping the dogs on his property at this point, and he's mostly right. It's the one-off situation where the dogs oops got loose or he let it off for a quick run close to his house and it took off for your yard where it remembers "play" time was happening or whatever. That is what is going to turn into a bad situation. And it can be ANY dog, doesn't have to be a pitbull. I don't think you were wrong at ALL to be super protective with that dog running up on you, I would have done exactly the same and taken mine inside as well.
                        As far as fencing goes, I doubt you will get any $$ out of the neighbor for the fence. BUT it never hurts to ask. "Hey, DD is just really really afraid of dogs. We are working very hard with certain dogs in controlled situations to help her get over this fear, but right now the sight of your dogs coming over just to play really terrifies her. So in order to help our child feel comfortable in her own yard, we are going to go ahead and put up a fence along the property line. We can afford chain link at this point, which is of course not very attractive. If you were interested in having a nicer fence run squarely down the line between our yards, it would benefit us both if you chipped in some so we could do a nice wood privacy fence. If not, we are going to have to go ahead with the chain link in order to stay in our budget. What do you think?"

                        I would bet he's going to congratulate you on your new chain link fence. But it's worth every penny for peace of mind regarding the safety of your child in your yard. In a nicer world, dog owner would assume the responsibility of fencing his dogs IN, instead you are going to have to fence them OUT.
                        Bolter Bolter Bolter!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I would build the conservative play area for now...you said that the dog hasnt' been spotted loose since you told the neighbor, which makes me think that he did take you seriously.

                          Why spend thousands on a fence around the entire property, when in a few years, your daughter may not be afraid of dogs, and you may not even see this dog again?
                          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would fence the play area, and maybe use double heights of the free chain link (one by the ground and an overlapping top level-you can tie them together with the wires you use to tie the fence to the pipe on top.

                            The OP was not slamming Pit Bulls, but explaining the old harmless Lab doesn't bother her except for the pooping issue, and that has stopped. Any dog that advances on me with hackles up, barking, and charging me, I would consider a threat also, regardless of breed.
                            You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If paying for fencing is an issue, then fence in an area around the house. It will probably add to the resale value of the property. Fencing the whole property to keep dogs out is going to be expensive AND if you decide to add horses in the future, is not likely to be appropriate horse fencing.

                              I think DD will feel much safer with a fenced yard.
                              Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
                              http://www.ironwood-farm.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                It sounds like the biggest issue is making your daughter feel safe, so fencing a play area is the easiest route to that end. I would have another talk with the neighbor, expressing appreciation that he has kept the dog confined successfully, and just explaining your child's fears, and how important it is to you that she only have positive interactions with dogs for now, while you work on her fears. If you can't afford to fence your property for horses, you obviously can't afford to fence it to keep dogs out - since that requires solid rather than horse fencing, but a play yard should at least give the poor kid a place to have fun without worry.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I would do the fence around my house and yard for now. I would make it a taller fence, not the common 48" height of yard chainlink. I am a HUGE fan of yard fences, which kept my children and dogs safe inside, and roaming dogs OUTSIDE.
                                  This will work for a while, be less expensive than a neighbor fence.

                                  As mentioned, I would go over and have another SERIOUS talk with the neighbor about the young dog. With how dog acted the last visit, there just CAN NOT be another incident like that happening to you or daughter!! You need to feel safe on your own property. I expect dog to escalate aggression as he gets older, self-confident and even nuetering won't help change his innate attitude. If daughter meets dog alone, the screaming alone will probably send him over the edge to at least start jumping at her. No good ending will happen then.

                                  I take large dogs and their actions VERY seriously, whatever the breed. Hackles up, aggressive barking are signs that people NEED TO HEED, when around this dog. I don't want a Pit Bull around, have SEEN them in action, know people they turned on. Dogs had never exhibited aggression, then they went nuts on another dog or people in the home. Kind of like a kid, good until they are not, and you can't control when or if it will happen. Dogs got shot, right then and there, to get them off! They have no quit, which is sadly, what they are bred to be. These are MY experiences, not other folks.

                                  Not wanting to start this into "Pit Bulls are misunderstood" thread, not the topic of OP question. Any large, agressive dog can be a problem, needs to be dealt with BEFORE it damages anyone or another animal.

                                  OP needs to protect her child with physical barriers as a passive defense with a good, tall, SOLID fence around the yard and house that a dog can't get over, under or thru. This is just good sense for any farm house, will keep other loose livestock away from where people are when outside. My chainlink fence has been invaluable to us over the years. Prevents things from happening.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Bacardi1 View Post
                                    Has anyone bothered to take the time to read the OP's post for comprehension where she has ALREADY spoken to the neighbor about the most recent episode & the dog hasn't been seen loose since? Or are you just - as happens all too frequently on COTH - so eager to post your own gab that you simply didn't have the time to read first?

                                    Neighbor already sounds sensitive & accommodating to the issue, but as OP has a young daughter & accidents do happen (dog accidentally getting loose again), I vote for what another poster suggested - a dog-proof fenced-in play area for the daughter for the time being until such time & budget that permanent boundary fencing can be done.
                                    This on both fronts.

                                    I think fencing in around the house is a great idea. It will give you a safe play area for you and your daughter. It will allow you a little more freedom during her play time because you know she is safely contained.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      You've got a good neighbor, it sounds like, one who will appreciate your concerns about your daughter. Talk to him, nicely and seriously and explain to him that you appreciate the fact that he is a good neighbor and that you know he will understand why you are:

                                      1. Asking him to be super-vigilant about the dog
                                      2. Building a dog-proof play area for your daughter.
                                      3. Maybe planting some kind of line of sight barrier, so that the dog can't see your family when you are out and bark. That could be a quick-growing hedge of some kind, doesn't necessarily have to be a fence.

                                      Good neighbors are true gems, and, while you are right in that your first duty and concern is your daughter, you want to, if possible, stay on this neighbor's good side.
                                      If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                                      Desmond Tutu

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        The thing is - she's already spoken with the neighbor about the dog issue. WHY does she need to go back AGAIN & rehash it?? Nothing new has occurred.

                                        If I was the neighbor, understood the situation, & was now keeping the dog confined, & then my neighbor stopped by AGAIN (for no apparent reason since I've been keeping my dog confined/under control) simply to rehash/emphasize what already's been taken care of, it wouldn't be untoward for me to feel that the woman is an idiot, must think I'm an idiot, &/or was bent on making me feel worse than I already did for what happened.

                                        I simply do not see the point. Message was gotten across, neighbor is complying, OP is going to build some type of fence for her daughter. End of story & no need for further neighbor confrontation unless something changes.

                                        Comment

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