new neighbours teasing my dogs

(41 Posts)
Hubblez Fri 11-Apr-14 19:54:29

we've had about 6 different neighbours since we moved here about a year and a half ago, they're getting worse and worse!

I let my 2 large, young dogs in the garden for the toilet, sparingly though as it's not as 'safe' as I'd like it to be, it is fenced but with weak and low fences and the neighbours can see over them easily

Anyway the most recent neighbours have a daughter about 15yo at a guess, my dogs were in the garden and I heard laughing and banging so called them back in but they didn't come, I went out to look and see this kid with her hands on the top of the fence wiggling them at my dogs, making one of them jump up, the other was barking and growling at her from a distance and she was laughing. As soon as she saw me she grinned and walked back into her house without saying anything.

Why does she think its ok to tease my dogs like that? she doesn't even know them! The one who was barking and not jumping was getting more angry as she was doing it so she was looking for a reaction from him, what if she had got one and he snapped? No doubt I would get the blame from a legal point of view. The fences are like paper anyway but we can't replace them as we're renting - they don't really need to be replaced if certain idiots would stop making my dogs jump up at them! DP was watching from the window as one dog used to go up to people and try to jump the fence so now we keep an eye on him, but he said that dog wasnt bothered at all until the girl started making noises and taunting him

Previous neighbours kids have put their fingers through the letterbox to tease the dogs aswell, taking them out when they see them running up. What if they were too late and the dogs bit their fingers? (rightfully defending their property imo) their parents were watching them as they were doing this and not saying anything to them!

WHY DOES EVERYONE INSIST ON TEASING MY DOGS!!! It's making me crazy! AIBU to be mad/overreacting at this or are my neighbours just really badly wanting to get a dog bite? Don't know if I should go round and talk to them about it or if they'll just brush it off as other neighbours did, they can't care much for their own safety in the first place since they're doing this angry

Pleasejustgo Fri 11-Apr-14 19:57:05

Are they not just playing with them? Teasing implies a slight meanness.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 11-Apr-14 19:57:50

I've no idea if this is sensible or not, but would it be worth logging it with the police on 101/ filming it, so that if your dog does bite them you can show it is not their fault.

Also can you talk to the parent? Not in an accusatory way but in a concerned for their DDs welfare sort of way?

deakymom Fri 11-Apr-14 20:00:54

is it your fence? get a prickle strip on the top now to stop any "foxes or cats" entering the garden its perfectly legal x

oneperfectlimousine Fri 11-Apr-14 20:01:30

I'd film it if it happens again - if she gets bitten, it should help to show that it's the girl, not the dog. Still not sure where you'd stand legally but hopefully it would help. Alternatively speak to the police and see what they suggest about keeping the dogs safe - or put a muzzle on them for their protection. It's a shame, and you shouldn't have to - but it would protect you and them.

Hubblez Fri 11-Apr-14 20:03:31

I think I will go and talk to the parents. Even if the girl is trying to 'play' with them, they aren't her dogs to play with, she does't know them and does't know their temperaments = possibly dangerous, would have thought at 15 ish she should know better. I don't want strangers playing with my dogs. Both dogs seemed stressed out and for one to be barking and growling I doubt she was trying to play, also the grin she gave me when she walked off looked like she knew she was doing something wrong, she didn't even speak.

The girl was dropping her hands over the fence then raising them to make the dog jump. Jumping is also bad for the hips of larger breed dogs so I don't want them jumping at all regardless of if she is trying to play

Didn't know if I'd seem too OTT if I went to the parents straight away, maybe wait and see if it happens again first, maybe the fact that I caught her doing it will make her stop..

Hubblez Fri 11-Apr-14 20:05:00

Not sure who the fence belongs to actually, we both rent and it is shared (terrace house), I could put some of that prickle stuff on anyway though, that's a good idea - that is if she doesn't try to make the dogs then jump onto it!

Goblinchild Fri 11-Apr-14 20:06:12

If your dogs are in an insecure back garden, shouldn't you be out with them? If they jump over the fence and bite her, you could end up with them being PTS even if she is teasing them.

Pleasejustgo Fri 11-Apr-14 20:08:20


Definitely speak to the parents as if their is an injury god forbid then it's not on your dogs.

That's not OTT at all.

Pleasejustgo Fri 11-Apr-14 20:08:32


LowLevelWhinging Fri 11-Apr-14 20:10:01

But how would she know how to behave around dogs if she's never been taught? Not everyone has dogs! She seems to think she's just playing with them.

IMO it is very important that you speak to her and her parents, nicely, just to say, be careful, the dogs might not understand what you're doing etc.

You don't have to be confrontational, you could say stuff like, "oh my daft dogs don't know the difference between fingers and sausages!" wink or of course you could scare the bejeezus out of them!

Also, you shouldn't be keeping dogs that you are worried about in an insecure garden. They're your responsibility.

What's the point in your DP watching them jump up at people from the window? It only takes one jump to cause an injury and he isn't going to get there in time.

Hubblez Fri 11-Apr-14 20:10:48

The garden is secure as long as nobody is trying to make them jump, they won't jump for no reason and we've put chicken wire stuff along the top of one side of the smaller fence to make it higher to deter them if they tried. They normally go out, wee and come back in again. Most of the time I do go out and stand by the door to watch them, but the odd occasion that I don't it would be nice if somebody else wasn't teasing them

LowLevelWhinging Fri 11-Apr-14 20:12:55

If a child is playing with your dogs - not poking them with a stick, not tying fireworks to their tails, but getting them to jump up because it looks like they're having fun, I really don't see how the child would be held responsible in the worst case scenario. It would be your dog pts.

Keep your dogs safe and educate anyone in contact with them.

Hubblez Fri 11-Apr-14 20:13:40

I don't know, I always assumed that regardless of being taught or not, that huge barking and jumping dog = stay away? If she was younger I wouldn't have minded so much and would have talked to her parents straight away, but surely at 15 that is old enough to know better

Goblinchild Fri 11-Apr-14 20:15:44

You may well be in the right, but if you love your dogs, protect them from idiots. Go next door and talk to the adults, and try and monitor what happens in your garden if you can't secure it.
DS has Asperger's, he used to think that loud angry guard dogs were talking to him rather than trying to rip his face off. It took a while for him to understand that they were dangerous if provoked in any way.

PersonOfInterest Fri 11-Apr-14 20:22:33

it's not as 'safe' as I'd like it to be

Don't let them out on their own then. If someone gets hurt and you knew it wasn't quite 'safe' then you would be to blame.

You own 'two large dogs'. If the garden isn't safe they can't go out. Make the garden safe or go out with them.

Ask her parents to not let her lean over, but if they do jump over and hurt someone (because she's teased them or not) you will be the guilty party.

Are you sure this garden is suitable for your dogs if its not safe and you can't make it safe?

LowLevelWhinging Fri 11-Apr-14 20:25:24

The only thing you can control here is how you manage your dogs.

LtColGrinch Fri 11-Apr-14 20:35:24

I'd speak to the parents. I wouldn't want someone looking into my garden & waving hands at my dogs, much as I wouldn't like someone doing it to me if I was sat in there.

Is a higher fence an option?

I'd really make speaking to the "owner" of the girl a priority so they can take some responsibility for her actions. Yes your dogs would be put to sleep if they attacked her, but potentially she'd be scarred for life.

DoJo Fri 11-Apr-14 22:02:07

It does sound like she was trying to 'play' with them - she might not know that they don't normally jump up, and thought it was fun for them to have a game. You keep mentioning the fact that she's 15, but unless she has a dog, there is no reason for her to be able to recognise one which is stressed as opposed to happy, or to know anything about their hips!

Speak to the parents, and her if possible, and ask her to leave them alone when they are in the garden. You could even offer to take her with you when you walk them if she really does want to play with them, and then you might be able to a) educate her and b) have a knowledgeable dog walker on hand for if you need one in the future.

EggsFlorentine Fri 11-Apr-14 22:47:06

Agree with PPs, 'teasing' seems a bit OTT, sounds like she just wants to interact with them. Though yes her parents should warn her about playing with dogs without checking with the owner first.
If I were you I would speak to the parents about it and get a better fence in

Jolleigh Fri 11-Apr-14 22:48:52

It sounds like you should be out with your dogs to be honest. I'm a dog owner and I rent...I wouldn't have moved somewhere with an unsuitable garden. Or, if the garden came before the dogs, I'd have thought twice about getting the dogs, especially a large breed. It also sounds like your dogs don't have the training to know to ignore this type of thing. I get that it's not always possible or desirable but as you have an insecure garden, it's necessary.

NurseyWursey Fri 11-Apr-14 22:50:31

Film it, straight away

Then go and speak to the parents. Warn them that dogs don't like being annoyed, if anything happened they'd try to pin it on you.

Some lads were chucking stones at my dog whilst he was in the garden, he could have easily jumped over and bit them but thank god he didnt. I can't abide idiots who think it's okay to wind animals up.

And those saying she's trying to 'play'. She's 15. She will realise that the dog doesn't like what she's doing.

It's your garden, the girl shouldn't be bothering your animal in it's garden.

WitchWay Fri 11-Apr-14 23:23:47

Go and meet her/them, ask her to come & meet the dogs properly, explain why you don't want them jumping, perhaps she could help exercise them or something.

JohnCusacksWife Fri 11-Apr-14 23:54:03

I'm a dog owner myself but, to be honest, from what you've described I think you'd be held accountable in the event of an incident. You knowingly let two large dogs out, unsupervised, in an insecure garden. If the dogs are so disturbed by someone "wiggling" their hands that they are becoming aggressive then you have a potentially serious problem on your hands and it is your responsibility to ensure that you manage the situation. By all means speak to the neighbours but you also have to take responsibility and ensure that your dogs are never unsupervised if they are unpredictable.

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Sat 12-Apr-14 20:40:29

Agree totally with JohnCusacksWife

atos35 Sat 12-Apr-14 21:36:37

Next doors daughter has just as much right to be out in her garden as your dog's do in yours. Sorry but you can't stop people wiggling their fingers at your dog's and you would be pedantic to try. You are the dog owner, you need to make sure your dog's are being supervised properly if they are likely to attack anyone.

Xihha Sun 13-Apr-14 03:29:22

I had a neighbour who used to do things like that, only she was 50 something so definitely old enough to know better.

I would speak to the girl if you see her doing it, just say something like 'I don't think the dogs enjoying that' or 'I'm trying to teach them not to jump up.' (in a friendly way, not a telling her off tone) If it's genuinely she doesn't know any better then that should solve it without causing resentment over you getting her in trouble with her parents, if it doesn't then speak to her parents.

TBH I wouldn't leave your dog outside on its own for now, by the sounds of it the house next door is let on quite short leases so it may well be that you don't have to worry for long anyway.

Hubblez Sun 13-Apr-14 17:07:13

I went to talk to the parents but they weren't in, the girl answered the door herself so I told her to please ignore the dogs if they're in the garden as they might get stressed out if she's trying to 'play' with them, and they were ignoring me when I wanted to call them back in because of it. I also warned her that if they were getting wound up that much then they might bite her (I don't think they actually would but surely that is a warning enough to keep her away)

She then said............ "maybe I want to get bitten?" and closed the door in my face!!! WTF! why would she want to get bitten? I was calm and talking to her nicely trying to be chatty etc and she did that, all my neighbours on that side have been nutters so I guess she's carrying on the tradition

Will keep supervising the dogs in the garden, was wanting to still talk to her parents but they never seem to be around, at least their car isn't there and they also borrowed my gate key to get their own cut (shared gate) last week and everytime I went to try to get it back there was no answer, though it has now been posted through my letterbox after I spoke to the girl hmm

OldBagWantsNewBag Sun 13-Apr-14 17:19:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fluffyraggies Sun 13-Apr-14 17:32:59

I think the 'maybe i want to get bitten' thing was out of embarrassment/shame/indignation that you have come round to confront the issue. Some 15 year olds are still very child-like.

You've done the right thing OP. Except it would be best to have a word with the parents face to face. From the fact that the key came back right after you went round it seems the girl told her parents about your visit, but who know what she told them about what was said?! Could have been anything.

cjelh Sun 13-Apr-14 17:39:09

I think she probably thought she was playing, if your dogs react this way they don't sound very socialised. If you want to talk to the neighbours then go and say you are sorry but your dogs aren't very friendly and don't like playing over the fence. As fence isn't secure would they mind if the didn't play with them over the fence.
I've always had bull mastiffs and they think its fun if the neighbours talk to them through the fence and wouldn't see this as bad behaviour.

Hubblez Mon 14-Apr-14 17:17:52

So I went outside again with the dogs and was around the corner watching them but out of view of the other garden. This time a man comes out and calls them to the fence and starts stroking them. Ok stroking, fair enough. But they're still jumping to be stroked as he called them over. They weren't bothered in him before he called them. One is still barking his head off and staying away and the other is jumping to be stroked. The barky one is protective and guardy which is why he barks

Yes it's only stroking but they're MY dogs and I don't want strangers stroking them! I told him please don't make them jump it's bad for their hips so can he ignore them and he said that they jumped up to be stroked of their own accord. Yes because he called them over, I was bloody watching!! WHY CANT PEOPLE LEAVE MY DOGS ALONE FFS!

I really don't think they'd bite I just worry that they'll end up jumping the fence (well not both just the friendly one) to get to the person who's praising him for jumping (grrrr) and then he will do a runner or get stolen. He's a £2,000 dog and if he does get out and anyone recognises his breed then he will be gone. He also has no sense at all and loves people so will go with anyone happily.

I've been standing outside watching them each time since the girl was there and will continue to do so, so if anyone comes again and tries stroking them I'm gonna go mental

Goblinchild Mon 14-Apr-14 17:23:24

You need to get some screening for your fence, so that the neighbours can't get to your dogs.
You can go mental, but I doubt you can stop them doing as they like, they aren't in your garden.

Goblinchild Mon 14-Apr-14 17:24:03

I think your neighbours are a PITA, if that wasn't clear.

HolidayCriminal Mon 14-Apr-14 17:29:33

You seem to have a lot more dog access problems than many, OP. Get some double screening on the gate & a sign I suggest.

cjelh Mon 14-Apr-14 19:21:44

Instead of being open and honest about what you want you take your dogs outside, then HIDE and moan when someone is friendly?

You need to stop thinking all neighbours are horrid, these sound lovely. You deliberately hid to try and find them out doing something wrong .

Come on If you have two expensive dogs - not that cost of dogs should matter- Spend a bit on making your garden safe for your dogs so that these 'horrid' dog loving neighbours can't get to your precious dogs.
I think I'd be confused living next to someone who didn't come over and say what they wanted but hid and then told me off when I got it wrong.

samsam123 Mon 14-Apr-14 20:33:57

put a bigger fence up or borrow a really nasty dog from someone and let her 'tease' that

bochead Tue 15-Apr-14 00:39:39

I've given up on relying parents to train their children around dogs and now do it myself. Most children/teens respond well to being asked if they want to stroke our dog, and don't mind being told how to approach her and stroke her safely. Often you'll find kids/teens want to interact rather than torment but just don't know how to go about it. Even toddlers listen to "don't poke her in the bum or eyes because you might hurt her!".

Of course to do this, you have to have a well trained dog with the right temperament (just like people, not all dogs tolerate strangers easily!). However given we live in a society where parents are honestly too stupid not to tell their kids it's not a smart move to throw stones at a strange Rottweiler walking past I haven't yet worked out an alternate approach but to bypass them and teach kids dog safety myself. (Not my dog tbh but a friend's on an estate near where I used to live).

It's not altruistic, just the easiest way I've found of protecting my poor dog from random kids in the park that would poke her with pointy sticks in full view of their irresponsible parents. Back in the day my generation were all taught road safety, dog safety, booze safety, fire safety etc by our parents - now people expect the school to do it all, and honestly schools just don't have time to cover every life skill in sufficient detail! It's been one of the key mistakes of the encroaching nanny state.

Sadly, a large dog is like owning a loaded gun in terms of risk management. The law says the onus is on you to control the dog and it's the dog that will be put down if provoked by a bratty teen with no common sense. This means that in your shoes my dogs would only ever be out in that garden with me, and preferably on a lead/muzzle until this family move on with their rude, bratty teen.

Forago Tue 15-Apr-14 00:45:51

I am surrounded on three sides by neighbours that have 2 or 3 large dogs that they let out in the garden. I have children. None of us have the problems you describe. Your garden needs to be dog/child proofed.

ihavenonameonhere Tue 15-Apr-14 00:54:29

If you can afford a 2k dog you can afford a new fence.

Sounds like they want to get to know the dogs. That's all. If you don't like it then go with then when they wee

WTFlike Tue 15-Apr-14 00:59:57

Funny how ALL your neighbours are weird, isn't it...?

Fence off your garden so nobody gets bitten.

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