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Another A=hole neighbor & dogs thread

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  • Another A=hole neighbor & dogs thread

    I live in a townhome community. Lots of people have dogs here, and 95% of everyone is great - they clean up after the dogs, they follow the leash law, they obey the rules.

    My one dog is dog-aggressive, mostly due to another ahole neighbor in my condo community whose dog attacked mine. Generally he will bark but when the dogs are moving away from him and he is moving away from them, he 'deflates' and stops with the barking and forgets about it. So he's annoying but not of control.

    BUT ... (isn't there always a BUT) ... there is one neighber on my street who lets his dogs run off-leash when he is outside playing with his very young barely walking child. They are shitzus or something like that, and while they are not aggressive, they will come off the porch and follow me down the street, and the one is barking at me/us. I'm always on the other side of the road, so it's not even like I'm walking on 'his' sidewalk in front of his house. It usually takes him a few minutes to collect his dogs, and in the meantime my boys get pretty worked up. He has never apologized or even said anything, he just collects the dogs and goes back home. I know if my one dogs (who is basically being held on either a very shortened leash or by the collar at this point) would rip into the dog if it ever gets close enough. And I don't want to see that happen, even though it wouldn't be my fault.

    So Saturday was the 3rd time this has happened. This time the dogs followed me a block down the street. I kept saying repeatedly pretty loudly "COME GET YOUR DOGS". He finally did, carrying the wee child by the waist, and he said something to me. I said 'Excuse me?' because I didn't quite hear him - and he repeated 'SHUT UP AND KEEP WALKING'. Okay so not only are YOU breaking the leash law, you're being RUDE to me ? I told him that there was indeed a leash law in this town, and he told me to SHUT UP yet again and called me a beeeyatch. I went off and told him I was calling the cops, and he told me 'Fine you do that beeeyatch !' . So that is what I did. Told the police the story and an animal control officer is supposed to go talk to him on Monday. I also sent an email to the community mgr telling her what happened.

    So here is my dilemma. Clearly this guy needs a smackdown for his actions - I was willing to let the loose dog thing go as they aren't really a threat to anyone but themselves (ie being smushed by a car crossing the road or getting eaten if my dogs gets one of them). BUT ... I really have no patience for someone being a jerk when they are in the wrong. The police told me that I could press charges against him for having off-leash dogs, and that he would be fined. I also don't want to start WW3 with my neighbors in a community where we are all pretty close to each other. I still have the option of pressing charges later, and the police are filing a report (which I plan on getting a copy of on Monday).

    So, should I press charges ? Should I have the ACO tell this guy that I could press charges if I don't get an apology and leave it at that ? There will be at the very least a nastygram in his mailbox from the association - but should I press the issue and take it to the next level ?

  • #2
    I'd let the ACO talk to them, and also mention your problems to the landlord (if there is one) or HOA or whatever the community authority is (I'm assuming there is one?)

    An yes, the guy is in the wrong, but you need to be proactive too, or you could find yourself in trouble for owning a "dangerous dog".

    If you aren't doing it already I suggest working with a trainer who really understands dog aggression problems. I also venture to suggest that, PITA though it may be, you walk your dogs separately unless you are sure you'll be unmolested by loose dogs. That way you can concentrate on keeping your dog distracted, and focused on you. And if things really go awry, controlling one stressed dog is a lot easier than two at once.

    Good luck, this sort of thing sucks.


    • Original Poster

      I have worked with a trainer in the past with this dog and he is tons better. My boys are shelties and weigh about 30lbs each - and the pup is actually pretty good about other dogs (he is going to agility classes now). I have no problem holding onto them when they get wound up, and it's not like they are trying to pull away to go 'kill' something else.

      But why should I change what I do ? I follow the rules, this butthead does not. My dogs NEVER are off the leash. He's the one that needs to change - BY FOLLOWING THE RULES.

      As I said in my post, the Association was emailed within an hour of the incident. They are going to address the situation, so my question was should I push it further by pressing charges ?


      • #4
        Oops, missed that, sorry.

        Personally I'd wait and see if this sinks in, give him a chance to do the right thing. Then if he still lets his dogs loose you can bring the hammer down.

        As to why you should change what you do? Because you can't control him, only yourself, and it might be better for your dogs and their happiness. You of course are NOT in the wrong here, but sometimes you can't be right and be safe :/


        • Original Poster

          Honestly if butthead apologized and promised it wouldn't happen again, I won't press charges.

          But the chances of him doing that ? I'm not holding my breath.


          • #6
            Originally posted by saje View Post

            Personally I'd wait and see if this sinks in, give him a chance to do the right thing. Then if he still lets his dogs loose you can bring the hammer down.

            As to why you should change what you do? Because you can't control him, only yourself, and it might be better for your dogs and their happiness. You of course are NOT in the wrong here, but sometimes you can't be right and be safe :/

            If this guy is immature enough to resort to vulgar name calling, there's no telling what he's capable of. Jerk.

            Particularly sticky that you live in a "community" rather than sprawling suburbia where you can successfully shun or ignore your neighbor. I call it "the cost of living in an inner city" where you have to learn to get along with others, no matter how distasteful. You're just helping him learn the rules.


            • #7
              They are little tiny yappy dogs. Turn around and growl back at them and they will back off. If they don't and then they get aggressive, then life for the owner could get very uncomfortable.

              As for the owner, you may have just escalated this, even though you were not in the wrong.

              She may not have changed the stars from their courses, but she loved a good man, and she rode good horses….author unknown


              • Original Poster

                Gnalli, I realize that it's now escalated. But honestly, if this butthead had said "sorry about that" and then taken the dogs home, that would have been the end of it.

                But he didn't. He was rude and inappropriate. So in my book, *I* didn't escalate it, *he* did. I made it clear to both the cops and the association that his being so nasty is the reason I'm not letting it go.

                And this is why I'm wondering about going further and pressing charges. I am within my rights to do so, but don't want to cause WW3 in my neighborhood. But I also want this guy to know beyond a doubt that he was wrong, and that his letting the dogs run loose MUST stop, if only because he clearly doesn't have control of them, never mind that he's breaking the law.

                It really is a no-win situation - I'm just trying to do what is best for me and my dogs and my peace of mind.


                • #9
                  I would suggest pressing charges, as I think charges and facing a fine is going to be the only way to get through to this guy. When he called you names, he demonstrated how unreasonable he is.


                  • #10
                    Don't walk by his house?

                    You never win in battles with neighbors, even if you are in the right.

                    you never know what he will do to retaliate people are crazy.

                    I probably would have tried to talk to him before calling the police......


                    • #11
                      Well you have stated that the dogs were really not the problem, it was the fact that he did not apologize and called you a bitc$.

                      So you want to call the cops on him because he cussed at you? When nothing actually happened? I think that is a waste of community resources. Keep it to home owners association....or actually speak to the man yourself and tell him your concerns without anger. Or go walk somewhere else.


                      • #12
                        I might suggest that next time, you be sure and get a video of his dogs in action as proof.


                        • #13
                          My corgi is dog aggressive- she's a rescue and wasn't socialized. When I encounter an off leash dog I have you yell (bc I'm at a distance) that my dog bites. People have always collected their off leash dogs. I guess I'm lucky so far in that my neighbor know if they're off leash it's their fault. You can also throw a really tasty treat away from you; so the dogs go after that instead of your dog. Lastly, you can carry some citronella and spray it at the dogs. Yes, though he should control his dogs.

                          I would give him a chance to change his behavior before you press charges. At least if he has a chance or two to fix this, you can't be accused overreacting. Because pressing charges right away going from step 1 all the way to step 9 on the first significant instance. Additionally, you don't have a lot of places to go after pressing charges other than pressing more charges.

                          I think asking for an apology is silly. He is defensive and irrational otherwise he wouldn't have called you names for something that is his fault. An apology most likely wouldn't be sincere; so what is the point?


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Roxyllsk View Post
                            Gnalli, I realize that it's now escalated. But honestly, if this butthead had said "sorry about that" and then taken the dogs home, that would have been the end of it.

                            But he didn't. He was rude and inappropriate. So in my book, *I* didn't escalate it, *he* did. I made it clear to both the cops and the association that his being so nasty is the reason I'm not letting it go.

                            And this is why I'm wondering about going further and pressing charges. I am within my rights to do so, but don't want to cause WW3 in my neighborhood. But I also want this guy to know beyond a doubt that he was wrong, and that his letting the dogs run loose MUST stop, if only because he clearly doesn't have control of them, never mind that he's breaking the law.

                            It really is a no-win situation - I'm just trying to do what is best for me and my dogs and my peace of mind.
                            Forget the apology. Some people, especially someone who would use foul language with a little child in their hands, is not someone who is able to be mature, nor be forced to be so. I would simply put on blinders, smile and say hello even if you are ignored, and do what you are doing, sans the pressing charges, yet. Let ACO do what they do, have them call you back or you call back to follow up, and do. It is not so much the childish tantrum that this person is guilty of, it is of course respecting others right to live in peace and not be molested by yapping following dogs. You do need to work with your dogs' overreaction but that is not the real issue here either. I had this happen in a different way in a house we just purchased after a very stressful and harrowing 2 years of near homelessness and the neighbors thought they can just let their giant big obnoxious Labs run. (I love Labs I have two), and they could crap all over the yard, and create havoc with my dogs but that was okay because they were long termers here, (bit of Norweigian redneck land here), and I was a newcomer from the east and wasn't I just ruining their nice little lives?

                            I created two enemies of the oldest family in the quiet waterfront neighborhood. But you know what. I could not care less. Rude people are rude people. I even had the local shop owner threaten me "that it could come back to bite me?" I have yet to file a police report on that but I am going to. You cannot be foolhardy but you also cannot be a doormat. The dogs have all been kept up now, the dog that was barking non stop on a chain has also been stopped. I do not care how I am looked at in the neighborhood. I just want to live peacefully and as happy as one can be in these insane times. Respect is a two way street. Do not carry the demands any further than can be reasonably expected, and again, this individual is going to really resent being asked to be an adult. Write a note if that helps. It is always better to get things in writing because you can always tear up the most aggressive ones, you get it out of your system, no harm done. Think of the little child of that man and you will know how to proceed. Take the high road and drop all pretense of self righteousness and it will all work out.

                            Absolutely, positively do not interact with his dogs, and most importantly, DO NOT FEED HIS DOGS. You can figure out why this is not a good idea.
                            Last edited by Calamber; Oct. 21, 2012, 11:14 AM.
                            "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK


                            • #15
                              Do you live in my old neighborhood? This sounds like exactly what I went through when I lived in my condo. People were rude and nasty as they let their stupid dogs chase me. My dogs became aggressive on the leash because we had been charged by other dogs so many times....and people always acted like you were the jerk when you told them to get their dogs...no one ever apologized when their dogs came tearing across the road to attack mine.

                              My HOA did do something finally that helped a little. Being that the whole development was crazy dog friendly...walking paths with "poop pick-up" stations everywhere. They put a form on the website for other neighbors to report loose dogs, not picking up poop, etc. I reported the nit-wit with the Golden Doodle who would just let him run loose (seriously, go play in traffic!) One day I was home and saw him unattended peeing in my flowers. I whipped the door open and asked her to get her dog. She said something stupid...I tried not to be mean and strike up a little conversation. She told me how she had been fined $200 twice by the condo assoc for him being off leash. (That had been me that turned her in.)

                              Report this to your HOA...seriously. I know how bad it stinks to just want to walk your dogs in peace and not be harrased by jerks. Let AC talk to them and let the HOA know that is going down. I don't know that I would press charges yet, but I would keep on the HOA to do something about loose dogs. Another think I was very careful about was making sure my dogs' county tags, rabies tags, and all that were displayed on their collars and were current, their vet records were easy for me to grab, and I carried my cell phone. Sad I know, but I just knew something would go down someday and I didn't want anything coming back on me since my dogs were always, on their leashes.


                              • #16
                                This is going to sound different but is there a Mrs. bad dog owner? Perhaps you could talk to her about the issue of the loose dogs, not her DH's bad behaviour. Tell her your concerns for her dogs in terms of them possibly being hit by a car or bitten by your dog if they get too close. And be sure she understands that if this happens it will not be your fault. (And because you have reported the problem of the loose dogs, you will not be held responsible.) She may have more sway than you in this instance. (I know my DH would be in deep doo-doo if a neighbor came to me to let me know that he was letting my dog harass their dog. And even more so if I found out that he had behaved badly as well - especially whilst holding onto DD)


                                • #17
                                  I'm confused...what exactly would you be pressing charges for? Cussing out someone on the street isn't an actionable offense is it? And since AC wasn't there to see the dogs off leash, they can't cite him for that. I'm not sure that you really have any recourse beyond what you've already done as far as contacting the HOA and AC.

                                  If it were me, I'd just ignore these people. Perhaps try to avoid the area where the dogs are when doing walks. People who behave like that when THEY are clearly in the wrong aren't the kind of folks you want to screw around with IMHO. They can escalate an otherwise relatively benign situation into something dangerous, retaliate, etc.
                                  A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                  Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                                  • #18
                                    well, think of it from the other guy's perspective: in his mind, he's out playing in his "area" with his family, and you come through with your out-of-control aggressive dog and yell at him and spoil his day because YOUR AGGRESSIVE DOG is the problem. For all you know, dozens of people walk through with their dogs and enjoy meeting and greeting his dogs; from his perspective, it's just you that is the problem.

                                    Doesn't matter who is in the right here, it's all going to go downhill from now. Think about what you want to have happen in the future and work towards achieving that instead. If the HOA can painlessly convince him to leash/contain his dogs, your set. With him. Until the next idiot comes along..

                                    and I know it's not fair, but you can't control other people or their dogs, and lots of dog owners are irresponsible idiots, or even the responsible ones occasionally suffer from leash failure and the like- all you can do is control YOUR dog. Perhaps you should work on the "aggression" problem, or muzzle your dog on outings. If your dog injures or kills someone else's dog guess who is going to get in trouble. Most likely your dog isn't actually aggressive and is instead just "reactive": look into the Control Unleashed theory, it has rehabbed endless numbers of reactive dogs.

                                    I don't worry about dogs running up to my dogs because they aren't aggressive. If I had a seriously dog-aggressive dog who couldn't be rehabbed or controlled to be safe around dogs, I would seriously consider euthanization.
                                    In our society a dog who can't handle meeting another dog is not a dog we want in our society. You can whine all you want about leash laws etc. but them's the facts. You take the dog out in public, you have to expect your dog to behave acceptably in public.


                                    • #19
                                      I'd read Wendy's post and think about the others side of the situation.

                                      I had a problem with a neighbor who often kept her boss's unregistered, over the weight limit, indiscriminately aggressive dogs. I had wonderful luck voicing my complaint with the homeowner's association who quickly banned the dogs from the neighborhood. Said neighbor is still surprisingly friendly to me.

                                      Take every step to control the elements of the situation that you can, i.e. your dog.


                                      • #20
                                        So you aren't worried about the dogs, and you don't want to start WW3, but you called the cops and now you can't decide what to do?


                                        You've already started a problem by involving the authorities and why? Because he called you a name.

                                        Might be time to get with teaching YOUR dog aggressive dog to ignore other dogs and keep moving.

                                        If your dog aggressive dog already knows how to ignore other dogs and keep moving.....why didn't you?

                                        This doesn't sound to me like it's really about "right" or "wrong" but about you were insulted.