Please advise me on the best way to solve this problem.

(18 Posts)
pieinthesky123 Tue 18-Mar-14 10:01:51

I am new so please bear with me, I thought this might be the best place to post this problem and get advice from wise dog owners.

Basically we have two small dogs one age three years the other eight months. Our garden is surrounded on all sides by our neighbours gardens and the only family with a child lives at the rear. We have six foot fences around all sides and conifers too at the back.

A couple of years ago the child at the back had a habit of throwing small toys into the garden which he can do when he uses his trampoline, the older dog was a puppy at the time and a couple if times we caught him eating the small toys. I collected the items about ten in total to return as proof and to politely ask them to watch he didn't do it again. I said I don't mind the odd football etc but puppies can choke on small objects, get stomach problems or worse and vets are not cheap. The family happily received their child's toys and ignored the bit about the pup etc. The child thanked the nice lady for collecting all his toys and bringing them all back. I know they got the message but ignored it.

Anyway this morning our puppy went outside and I noticed he was chewing on something and it was another child's toy. I have collected dummies, several small plastic figure toys and he has unscrewed knobs off a drawer front complete with screw attached and thrown them over.

I am having to search the garden several times a day before letting the puppy out incase there are more toys chucked over and as our garden is secure and dog proof meeting normal dog owner requirements its really getting to be a pain and a worry. I know I am going to have to talk to them again but last time did little to stop it. I am aware balls accidentally get kicked over which I don't mind too much its the small plastic toys etc as I don't want my dogs harmed in their own secure garden and get into a situation where at best we have an expensive and unnecessary vet bill. Also would vet care for this type of situation be covered by our pet insurance as it was caused by someone else.

Also when he isn't throwing stuff over he spends time jumping on the trampoline barking at our dogs who bark back and we end up bringing the dogs indoors as we don't want complaints about our dogs barking from our neighbours. The dogs don't bark normally and are very quiet its only when he torments them by barking at them. When the dogs bark he then tells his mum that the naughty dogs are barking at him again and she says things like not again but doesn't notice its cos he us tormenting them again. The poor dogs cant enjoy their garden and they love being outdoors.

How can I get this to stop I have to speak to the parents but last time they avoided the seriousness of it. The child is about 4 or 5 years old.

Thanks in advance for reading and I really would appreciate advice as this is becoming a nightmare and I don't want anything to hurt my lovely dogs as we adore them.

Floralnomad Tue 18-Mar-14 11:37:50

Take all the crap back to her and tell her that if your dog ends up with a vet bill when he's eaten a foreign object you will be charging her and tell her you have put up CCTV so that you have proof that it is her delightful child that is throwing the stuff over ( or that it is at least coming from her garden) . When our neighbours children were small we used to have yoghurt pots and all sorts chucked over but I'm very upfront and just told the offending child to pack it in ( not sure her children like me !) .

I would look again at the fence. We have similar fencing, and have added wire trellis all the way round. We have then trained climbing plants such as honeysuckle, jasmine, clematis etc up it - this provides a screen and extra privacy. The trellis adds about 2ft and a bit to the height of the fencing. It has improved things considerably as previously we were plagued by trampolining brats peering into our garden and also winding up our dogs.

punter Tue 18-Mar-14 14:36:34

My neighbour's children at the end of our garden stand on top of the shed (roof) and wind my dog up, he barks, they bark back, so it ends up with my dog being called inside. They think it is so funny, their mum tells me they are scared of dogs!

JokersGiggle Tue 18-Mar-14 16:07:03

My MIL has the most lovely gorgeous springer smile her neighbours children are vile to the poor boy sad I was walking him the other day (coming back from a 2 hour walk) and they were out on their bikes in the field behind the house. They chased him and shouted at him. The usually their stuff AT him over the fence and tease him with food.
the little brats felt my wrath - I grabbed one by the hoodie hood and told him off (made him cry ..... smile ) tried to grab the other but ended up just pushing him off the bike (smile )......(am I a bad person?)
Turns out poor Ben strained a tendon running away from them so yesterday I took the vet bill over to them......the children hid from me.
I'm glad to say that after my "chat" the children have stopped being evil and they are paying the vet bill.
Maybe be harder on them, you don't want you little ones in pain because of a little s**t

Floralnomad Tue 18-Mar-14 16:22:18

jokers I'm staggered if they've really agreed to pay the bill !the dog could have strained its tendon on its walk and if you had put your hands on either of my children I would have been ringing the police about you ( not that my children were ever nasty to animals) .its one thing telling someone else's children off its totally another thing to physically assault them and as an adult you should know better .

moosemama Tue 18-Mar-14 16:54:59

If the parents aren't going to listen to you, I don't think there's much you can do.

If it were me, I'd be concentrating on fortifying my garden to stop him throwing things over. You shouldn't have to, but it sounds like you don't have much choice.

Scuttle's idea of trellis is good, but you could also look into Willow screening that is higher than your fence line.

How high are your conifers - could you plant some taller ones in between the existing ones to make it harder for him to aim?

JokersGiggle Tue 18-Mar-14 16:57:16

Ben likes to walk in the "heel"position, even when off lead so no chance of staining from that.
I honestly think the parents knew how bad their children are. They chased him without letting up, in front poof me, all over the field, shouting "get him!" And "run him over" Ben was terrified.
I should add that they children are about 9 and 11 so it is really a case of knowing that they should not be doing it. little children don't know any better but boys that age should. I called for them to stop, they didn't listen so I stopped them. Ben won't go through that field anyone, and is terrified of bikes.
the parents knew the children teased him a bit buy when the children confessed the full extent the parents were horrified. They were fine with the accidental bike felling. The results - the children are grounded, vet bill is being paid, they've stopped tormenting him over the fence and neighbourly relations are improving now that its been delt with.

1MitchellMum Tue 18-Mar-14 18:12:41

I'd be tempted to bin the toys. Higher fencing (trellis or whatever) as suggested above. Insurance should pay out, but that's not the point, you don't want to have to go through that.

MothershipG Tue 18-Mar-14 18:28:16

So you've had the gentle chat, now you need to have the serious one pointing out that apart from the pain and suffering that the toys could cause they would also be liable for the vets bill.

Also ask them to stop the child winding up the dogs with the barking. Explain that you are trying to be a considerate neighbour and that you hope they will return the courtesy.

Unfortunately if they don't respond to reason all you can do is consider the other posters suggestions of increasing the fence height.

cathpip Tue 18-Mar-14 18:28:32

Bin anything that comes over the fence irrespective of its value or wether it was an accident. If mum comes complaining then tell her that you are only taking care of your dogs by removing any objects that could cause a large vets bill, and then suggest that her children take a bit more care of their toys to stop them getting lost smile. As for the barking if some one complains tell them that said children are winding them up by barking at them!

pieinthesky123 Tue 18-Mar-14 22:14:52

Thanks for the replies, seems we are not the only ones to experience this either. I think the way forward is screening and trellis so it makes chucking things over more difficult. We deliberately didn't cut the conifers last year so they are about seven feet tall but the tops are wispy and sparse, hoping it might stop him or if they complained about the height of them we could explain why. Trouble is the trampoline is right up near our fence and he is a good aim and its well positioned to bounce up and down on all day barking like a loon. Hopefully the bloody trampoline might break soon and solve the problem.

The ironic thing is we held off getting a dog until our own dc were old enough to understand how to treat and respect animals properly yet this is happening with a neighbours child.

They are such lovely gentle cavs and seeing them tormented and the thought they could get injured makes me furious. I will have another word when I feel calmer and see what happens. At the weekend when its worse dh has taken to loudly asking what's making the dogs bark and I loudly say they are being tormented again, or they are barking because someone is barking at them, hopefully the other neighbours are aware incase they complain and also so him and his parents hear.

Are they being left unattended in the garden?

MichonnesSamuraiSword Mon 24-Mar-14 12:42:09

I agree with everyone upthread. Have you had any resolution OP?

Increase the height of your fencing - you shouldn't have to, but it sounds like it's necessary. Willow screening / trellis, but not something that the child could still throw things through.

Bin everything that ends up in your garden. The child might learn that he'll never see his toys again once they're thrown over the fence.

Have another word with neighbour to tell them that you're going to do this and will not be putting up with it any longer. Threaten them with vet's bills if you think it would work.

withextradinosaurs Tue 25-Mar-14 06:24:26

Could the RSPCA help? A visit from a uniformed inspector explaining exactly why throwing door-knobs with screws into a dog's garden is Not On might put the point across well.

i wouldnt leave them on their own in the garden, it isnt necessary. and either chuck the toys back or bin them.

Laetissimus Tue 25-Mar-14 07:24:01

Bit confused - why would you not leave your dog/s in their own garden unattended ?
Surely it is their own territory and if you are inside I see no problem.
A 4/5 year old in their own garden unattended I see as a problem.......

pieinthesky123 Tue 25-Mar-14 19:32:13

Hi, sorry for not replying sooner. To update, we are having trellis put up in the next week or so which will hopefully stop things. Fingers crossed. My two dogs are never left outside unless we are at home and we constantly check on them for missiles or barking. I am still checking the garden for missiles and found a plastic T Rex toy about 4" long minus the front legs with chew marks so presume it was a present from the child from hell. I saved it as evidence. The child plays out alone unattended from what we can make out, as every so often a parent will come out and despair at what delightful chaos he has created over in his own garden.

The RSPCA is another option if they play dumb with us when we see them to have a word.

Thanks for the replies.

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