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Aggressive dogs next door -- need suggestions

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  • Aggressive dogs next door -- need suggestions

    I am trying to come up with a good way to deal with a bad (and worsening!) situation and need help! I've recently moved home after nearly a year away, and have started having a problem with my neighbor's dogs. The dogs in question are two adult intact Rotts. I love dogs, have shown and trained my own dogs for years, and am a strong proponent of the "punish the deed, not the breed" idea. My grandmother has the world's best dog-- which happens to be a massive Rott! But these dogs are not simply barking in their yard-- something which might be annoying, but certainly not something to be considered dangerous.

    When I am in my pasture or using the walkway behind my barn (to bring horses in/out or go out to the manure pile-- regular trips, to say the least!) these dogs charge the fence (my five board wood fence with some wire mesh on their side). They growl, snarl, and bare their teeth. I was thinking it was partially in response to my unneutered male (a show dog, so he can't be neutered until he finished his championship--mine is non-confrontational, sniffing the fenceline and marking his side, but staying with me while I'm out around the barn)-- but they are acting the same with my roommate and I even when my dog stays inside the house.

    They are on their property, and have not yet harmed anyone or anything on mine, so they are not "officially" violating any laws. However, my roommate and I are getting to the point where we are definately uncomfortable on that walk. I worry about the day the fence doesn't hold them. The wire on their side is getting pulled down as they jump on it, and I don't doubt that they could go under or through mine if they get that wire out of the way. My horses are definately bothered by the commotion, and it's becoming a problem to lead them down the lane (where we are boxed in by the fence on one side and the barn on the other maybe 6 feet away).

    I am planning to go over and talk to the owner in as non-confrontational a way as I can (I'm not very intimidating!). I'd like to tell them what's going on and see if they'd be willing to work with me to try to fix it. I don't know what would be a solution though, short of crossfencing to seperate the dogs from my fenceline a bit more-- and I doubt that'd be something they'd even consider. They might not be aware of the problem-- their property backs up to mine and their house is some distance away and sheltered by trees. We don't know each other, and I certainly don't want to start a battle with them. But this is a bad situation and I hate not feeling like I or my animals are safe in my own barn. Any suggestions of what to say to the people or what I can suggest we do about the situation?
    Last edited by bewarethechestnutmare; Nov. 20, 2008, 01:51 PM. Reason: edited to add-- we're going to visit the people today-- and will bring some cookies for the dogs. Hopefully that will work!
    --Becky & the gang

    "Anyone can slay a dragon, he told me, but try waking up every morning & loving the world all over again. That's what takes a real hero." from storypeople.com

  • #2
    I'm sorry. That sucks.

    I think talking to the owners as you have planned is the way to go. Are the owners home when this is happening? (Or are they out at work and think the dogs just hang quietly in the yard?)

    Barrier frustration is really tough to deal with once it's been established, and yes, if they make it through the fence it's likely to be bad. If you can somehow reinforce the fending (and with something they can't see through) that would likely be your best bet.

    Fingers crossed the owners just don't realize how bad it is. If the owners don't care, and are the type to get off on having unneutered Rotties that go ballistic, maybe appeal to that for your own sake and go on about how the fence needs to be reinforced so their big tough dogs don't hurt anybody. (I did a home visit for rescue once where the guy was ever so proud of the 8 foot fencing he had to put in to keep the world safe from his previous dog.)

    Good luck.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'll play devil's advocate.

      If someone walked over to my house, and complained about my fenced dog on my own property, I'd tell em where to go and how fast.

      If you want a double line fence to separate them from :"Your" unneutered dog, then I'd be telling you to build it on your side of the property. Since as far as I would be seeing, my dogs have commited no crime, and are fully contained.


      I hope you have a damned convincing argument to present to the rotty owners.
      Originally posted by ExJumper
      Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.

      Comment


      • #4
        You might want to put up privacy fence along that section, so dogs can't see you. Yes they can hear you, but the visuals won't be making them defensive or more aggresive, like you are teasing them in dog language.

        My dogs were following the neighbors up and down the wire as they mowed the yard, did backyard stuff, which really annoyed the neighbor. Mine would bark when he came out into his yard, then just watched him. HE did some majorly annoying things to drive the dogs off, the kids teased the dogs, and it all annoyed ME!! Our dogs are large, all I could see was the situation escalating, getting the dogs jumping over the fence with kids doing nasty stuff. Talked to husband about it, he spent a couple days home and saw the neighbor trying to make our dogs go away by blowing a silent whistle, which made them bark a lot! Kids throwing sticks, rocks at the dogs, yelling at them when they thought we were not around.

        We made the investment in privacy fence, put it in ourselves. What a gift! We can't see the neighbors OR their pesky kids, dogs may bark as they bang the trash can lids, but otherwise are quiet. If dog follows the sound of mowing up and down the fence, neighbor doesn't see it to be bothered.

        Privacy fence is one of the best things we ever did for ourselves. AND we put the good side towards our yard. Now I have vining flowers, some nice bushes that flower on the fence. Way more fun to look at than the neighbors yard.

        I would make a report about the dogs, at least have it on file with the police. Horses may be very tempting to chase. Try talking with the owners. Does the fence surround the whole yard so dogs can't get out? You sure don't want to count on your board fence keeping them out. Talk to owners, peacefully if possible. Tell them dogs are scaring you and horses, making daily situation dangerous. Perhaps video a daily incident and tuck it away.

        Get a tall, solid fence installed if possible. Maybe the fence addition will remove the problem. Good luck.

        Comment


        • #5
          Might be worth putting up "privacy fencing" or even electric tape on your side of the fence. If they push the wire mesh far enough, they are gonna get zapped!! Maybe plant some trees or hedges? I agree that a visual barrier might help some. Barring that, I'd start carrying mace...
          When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

          Comment


          • #6
            Would the neighbor accept you making friends with the dogs? I don't know Rotties, but most dogs can be made docile with a few milkbones and some conversation. Our retrievers sound aggressive, but become tail wagging puppies if someone tells them they are beautiful and gives them a treat. Of course they become terrors again if some male dog comes up to their fence.

            Comment


            • #7
              Another vote for you putting a sturdy privacy fence in. I have dogs (neutered), that will bark at people walking close to my fence. If a neighbor complained, I'd apologize, but I wouldn't be putting more fencing up, when my fence contains them perfectly fine.

              Comment


              • #8
                I had a bad dog situation once, but it was my dogs that were barking. Kids would ease them and throw rocks at them and let them loose. Things were going to go very badly.

                Before they did I somehow managed to make friends with the kids and introduced them to the dogs. They were young children so it wasn't scary to talk to them, but they learned to walk the dogs and stopped being scared of them and were very proud to be seen with the "neighborhood" killer monster dogs.

                The dogs stopped barking at the kids and the kids stopped throwing things at the dogs and peace and sunshine rained down from the heavens. I had to keep kid food to fed those strays and talk them for a few minutes a day, but it was much cheaper then building a 6 ft privacy fence.

                Ask your neighbors if you might have the pleasure of meeting the dos and giving them dog treats so you can be in the position of being a non-stranger to the dogs and have a chance to train them to sit quietly while you walk by.

                If they don't feel threatened by your request (humans--not dogs) they are more likely to be flattered and willing to work with you.

                You show dogs--once you have permission its easy to teach them to behave if they know you are not a "stranger"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by rainechyldes View Post

                  If someone walked over to my house, and complained about my fenced dog on my own property, I'd tell em where to go and how fast.

                  If you want a double line fence to separate them from :"Your" unneutered dog, then I'd be telling you to build it on your side of the property. Since as far as I would be seeing, my dogs have commited no crime, and are fully contained.


                  I hope you have a damned convincing argument to present to the rotty owners.
                  I totally agree!

                  Build a second fence on your side if you have an issue.



                  I loved how you said you have nothing against any breed but these dogs are acting stereo typical. Laugh. All the rotties I know are wimps and so food driven that you can bribe them to do anything. I guess my stereo type is different than yours.
                  If you train dogs you know this is no more than a bad case of barrier frustration.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My dog is half rottie and my barn cats beat the crap out of him In my experience with a couple of Rotts, once you establish boundries they are the most wonderful, smart dogs you could ask for.

                    As far as the situation with the OP, frankly, it's your problem not your neighbors. Your neighbor has them safely contained on his property. And additional fencing should be done by you because as previously stated, your neighbor has done his part. Filing a complaint is absolutely ridiculous and will do nothing except tick off your neighbors who may retaliate by drumming up a complaint against you or your horses. If the dogs bother you so much then I agree with the previous posters about putting up a privacy fence.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Food is the answer. Dog cookies in bulk. They will start seeing you in a knew way.
                      Lilykoi


                      Hell hath no fury like the chestnut thoroughbred mare

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Solid fence panels on your side...out of sight/out of mind...good fences make good neighbors...etc. Solid barrier for your safety and less of a distraction to annoy the other dogs.
                        Also I'd train your dog to not urinate on the fenceline...if he heads that way to pee just call him back and redirect him. A bunch of intact male dogs trying to mark the same area is going to annoy some dogs. They smell your dog's mark and get defensive most likely. In their heads you and your dog are challenging *their* territory. They don't undertsand "my side/your side" of fences...they just know they can smell the marking.
                        And since it's easier to train/change things on your side I'd suggest trying that first. Solid fence, no more peeing over there to keep the peace for both of you.
                        You jump in the saddle,
                        Hold onto the bridle!
                        Jump in the line!
                        ...Belefonte

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rainechyldes View Post
                          I'll play devil's advocate.

                          If someone walked over to my house, and complained about my fenced dog on my own property, I'd tell em where to go and how fast.

                          If you want a double line fence to separate them from :"Your" unneutered dog, then I'd be telling you to build it on your side of the property. Since as far as I would be seeing, my dogs have commited no crime, and are fully contained.


                          I hope you have a damned convincing argument to present to the rotty owners.
                          While I get where rainechyldes is coming from, as I have an intacted English Mastiff male(previous show dog) and 2 altered Pit Bulls, all of which are leash walked while my neighbors nasty CHI dog runs free to poo in our y ard and will walk up and attack my dogs a will.

                          I suggest you have a shotgun handy, perhaps one in the barn and one by the backdoor. Make sure you are able to use it properly, take a class, learn to handle it, clean it, load it and properly store it. BUT keep it handy in case those dogs do get into your yard and threaten you, your roommate or your animals.

                          You have ever right to protect yourselves and your animals! If it's acceptable in your area, seriously consider looking into it! If you chose not too, and something really bad happens, well, the owners of those dogs aren't likely to feel any sympathy for you.

                          ~Kerri
                          Chronicle of My Horse
                          Secret Passage Ranch
                          **a member of the
                          Riders with Fibromyalgia & Adult Re-riders Clique

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            When I was little the entire street was scared of our neighbor's 4 rotties. They'd bark and growl at everyone who walked by. They were actually just wanting attention. Lol the rest of the neighbors thought we were crazy little kids when we made friends with the dogs and would go over and play with them. Most of the neighbors finally realized the dogs weren't as scary as they'd thought.

                            But a privacy fence would probably fix most of your problem.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              they may be perfectly friendly dogs who are just "fence fighting" and territory guarding. When I was a kid our dog and the neighbor's dog would roar up and down each respective side of a chain link fence acting like they wanted to kill each other. If they met outside with no fence they'd happily play together. And many dogs bark at people going by their property- dogs have been bred for centuries to bark to warn the owner and to scare the possible intruders away. Most such dogs are completely non-aggressive.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by VAHorseGurl View Post
                                I suggest you have a shotgun handy, perhaps one in the barn and one by the backdoor. Make sure you are able to use it properly, take a class, learn to handle it, clean it, load it and properly store it. BUT keep it handy in case those dogs do get into your yard and threaten you, your roommate or your animals.

                                You have ever right to protect yourselves and your animals! If it's acceptable in your area, seriously consider looking into it! If you chose not too, and something really bad happens, well, the owners of those dogs aren't likely to feel any sympathy for you.
                                VA, I fully believe in the SSS method for aggressive animals who won't stay off the property, but absolutely nothing in the OP's post suggests that these animals are in any way, shape, or form going to be left to roam free.

                                The neighbors have a fence which sounds sturdy enough, and the dogs are on their own property. The neighbors, in my opinion, have done the responsible thing in making sure their animals are kept contained.

                                OP, I don't know your neighbors, but they don't sound like assbuckets who are going to turn abusive if you politely speak to them. They may be unwilling to do anything though, because it's your issue, not theirs.

                                Put up a cross fence between you and them, or a privacy fence. Either way, since this really is your problem and not theirs, you're the one who needs to handle the financial burden of the new fencing.

                                Heck, if the neighbors are nice enough, maybe they'll spring for part of it. I doubt it, but there's no harm in asking.

                                I like how some of you are assuming the dogs are vicious killers, just waiting to get out and rip people and animals to shreds. I have guns and know how to use them, but they're always a last resort. They shouldn't even be considered unless there's a real threat, which in this case, there doesn't appear to be.
                                Homeopathy claims water can cure you since it once held medicine. That's like saying you can get sustenance from an empty plate because it once held food.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I would talk to the neighbors about making friends with the dogs and give them dog treats (the cheapest ones). Raising hell when you are at the barn is probably the only thing they have to look forward to all day. If that doesn't work a strong solution of amonia/water in an old fly spray bottle makes a cheap mace. Good luck

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by 092556 View Post
                                    If that doesn't work a strong solution of amonia/water in an old fly spray bottle makes a cheap mace. Good luck
                                    So you want to make them aggressive by irritating them while they are on their own property?

                                    That is a sure fire way to get someone and something hurt.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by 092556 View Post
                                      If that doesn't work a strong solution of amonia/water in an old fly spray bottle makes a cheap mace. Good luck
                                      If the dogs are on their own property and you are spraying them...how is this different from a kid poking a dog thru a fence?? Would you advocate that?

                                      If the OP is so scared of the dogs...put up a privacy fence like has been suggested. But I certainly wouldn't complain to the neighbors about what their dogs are doing while they are contained on their own property. And if I was the dog owner and I found out my butt head neighbor was spraying my dog with ANYTHING while my dog was in his own yard...I can tell you there would be hell to pay!
                                      I'm not a CPA.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I would kindly ask the neighbour if you can meet the dogs on their side of the fence and then ask if you could feed the treats from your side while he is there. I think training them that when they see you and are quiet they will get treats will solve your problem. If not, then a big privacy fence is your best bet.

                                        Good luck,
                                        Nancy!

                                        Comment

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