Crazy puppy and confrontation with neighbour

(54 Posts)
NK81dfff7X118c77cc322 Tue 06-May-14 09:23:45

Just had a rather upsetting experience and looking for some unbiased opinions.

We have a 12 week old whippet pup. He came to us at 8 weeks and is doing really well so far - no problems toilet training, well socialised, started puppy training classes last week and fantastic with the DDs 9 and 8. However - every now and again (for around 10 minutes a day) he becomes possessed! Growling, nipping, barking, haring around the house, launching himself at people and things. I understand this is normal puppy behaviour and after a few minutes he calms down again and order is restored.

So this morning the madness came over him as we were getting ready for school. Really bad timing as we operate to a v tight schedule in the mornings. He had discarded the kong, chew sticks, puzzle toy, etc. In order for us all to complete brushing teeth, combing hair, checking bags, and getting shoes on I shut the puppy in the garden for a few minutes. He is quite safe as the garden is completely enclosed and it is a sunny day. As we finished getting ready he was barking to come in - admittedly sounding frantic. Before I could open the back door there was an enraged knocking on the front door, which I opened to a red-faced shouting neighbour threatening to call the RSPCA and local council and informing me I was unfit to own a dog.

Have I got this completely wrong? Still upset from the confrontation but more upset that I am traumatising our puppy. How do others cope with this mad half hour?

SpicyPear Tue 06-May-14 09:30:24

Well I would usually say that you need to supervise the puppy carefully during the mad puppy zooming and just be really calm and consistent redirecting gather to appropriate toys etc. But we all have lives and if it occasionally coincides with getting ready for school then as long as the garden is safe and it's only a few minutes I don't see anything wrong with what you did. If you were dealing with every mad half hour this way though, that would not be acceptable. Your neighbour seems to have reacted very harshly - might they have other gripes or concerns and this was the straw that broke the camel's back?

Could you not all get up a bit earlier while puppy is young to take the pressure off in the morning?

NK81dfff7X118c77cc322 Tue 06-May-14 09:45:04

Thanks. Yes, I did get the feeling this has been building for a while, and that has stopped me from just dismissing it.

I don't make a habit of shutting him out and he is not really a noisy dog, although the girls do obviously play with him in the garden as do we. We were all up at 6.00am today for an 8.00am departure which should be plenty of time, but it may be that he picked up on the increasing urgency of getting ready to leave the house. This lady was obviously very upset though.

This week we will be able to start going out on short walks so I am hoping that will tire him.

SirChenjin Tue 06-May-14 09:51:09

What gives you the feeling that this has been building for a while?

Floralnomad Tue 06-May-14 09:51:49

What exactly was she shouting about if he was only barking for 10 minutes, if people own dogs there is going to be a bit of barking I think she is going to have to learn to live with it . She probably made as much of a disturbance shouting on your doorstep. I'm totally against leaving dogs to bark but they do have to be able to express themselves.!

Wolfiefan Tue 06-May-14 09:54:25

See I don't think dogs need to bark their heads off to express themselves. My mum has a dog. She greets us but rarely barks.
You sound like my neighbour who couldn't understand that I had an issue with her dog repeatedly barking his head off from 6am to midnight! He was certainly expressing himself. (As did my children when he woke them!)

Floralnomad Tue 06-May-14 10:01:52

10 minutes is very different to letting a dog bark constantly at all hours ,and different breeds are more prone to barking . My terrier is bought in or told to be quiet after 3/4 barks but I will never be able to make him totally silent because he barks when he hears the bell on next doors cat . If they kept their cat indoors he would be a pretty much silent dog . The OP does not suggest that she is leaving the dog outside barking at all hours.

NK81dfff7X118c77cc322 Tue 06-May-14 10:03:08

SirChenjin: I think the fact that she launched into a rant which felt rehearsed - why did you get a dog if you can't look after it, are you stupid, just take him for a walk (*vaccinations not effective until today), my dogs never bark - on and on it went. Completely out of the blue and the first and only complaint we have had, but so much rage poured out it felt like she had been fretting at home for a while.

Floral: I agree, I wouldn't just leave him barking, and have never done that, but a silent dog is not a normal thing either.

He is asleep now. I dread taking him out in the garden for a wee in case he barks.

Unexpected Tue 06-May-14 10:04:20

Why would it have been building for a while if this is the only morning you have had to leave him barking in the garden? Is the dog really only having 10 mad minutes per day - or is he barking at other times too? Do you think your neighbour can hear the barking and general puppy madness in her house?

SirChenjin Tue 06-May-14 10:10:01

What Unexpected said.

If it was genuinely the only time (or one of the few times) she'd heard barking then I would say try and ignore her, although I know that's easier said than done.

If you puppy is barking a lot, and she can hear it day in, day out, then I can understand her frustration tbh.

just let him run round the house, i wouldnt shut him in the garden as he is only a puppy.

Unexpected Tue 06-May-14 10:12:56

Seems a bit odd if next door neighbour has dogs herself. Surely she must know that this is a phase which will pass? How do you get on generally with each other?

NK81dfff7X118c77cc322 Tue 06-May-14 10:16:05

He does have a mad interlude every day - usually around 10 minutes, sometimes shorter.

He does bark occasionally in the daytime; if he needs to go out for a wee for example or if he is looking for me. Only one or two barks though as he has quickly trained us to respond! He is totally quiet all evening and overnight - although the first 2 weeks he would wake in the night and cry for the toilet (obviously we would take him out straight away). I am here all day so it is not that he is barking incessantly for hours, although I will pop out for an hour if he is asleep in the crate. At those times he is usually asleep when I come back and I listen through the letterbox before coming in to the house to check he has been quiet!

I do understand how nerve-shredding it is to listen to other people's dogs; I have been in that situation. This complaint has just come as an upsetting shock.

Wolfiefan Tue 06-May-14 10:17:00

Haha at barking at cat bell! (Is it awful to imagine a cat bouncing up and down to make the dog bark?!)
(You can't actually expect neighbours to shut their cat in?)

Some people are less tolerant of noise and some may misinterpret puppy behaviour.

well perhaps she had a headache or was feeling unwell anyway. or perhaps she has had a bad experience with dog owners leaving their dogs to bark in the garden, our neighbours do this - so pehrpa she wanted to nip it in teh bud so to speak.

did you tell her he couldnt be walked just yet?

Wolfiefan Tue 06-May-14 10:18:59

OP I'm not surprised this was upsetting. Even when my neighbour's dog was barking at al hours I remained polite and spoke quietly. Red faced and shouting sounds way OTT.

ender Tue 06-May-14 10:20:48

Is there somewhere in the house you could put him when he's noisy, rather than in the garden? A room as far away from neighbour as possible.
When I first got my rescue GSD he would bark with excitement when let out for first wee of the day, just for a minute or so. I didn't realise how much it pissed my neighbours off till they politely pointed out that it woke them up, one of them suffered from insomnia and didn't get to sleep till the early hours so really needed a lie in.
So now we go straight out for a walk first thing and neighbours are happy.

my dog rarely barks, but i am sure she will learn - my previous dog barked a lot and the neighbours complained because she barked late at night, wheni let her out, and first thing int eh morning, same scenario, so i went out with her on theose occasions and she stopped barking.

Floralnomad Tue 06-May-14 10:28:55

No I don't expect her to shut her cat in anymore than I would expect her to moan that my dog barks occasionally . That's what life is like if you have neighbours ,if you want to live a silent life then you need to buy a house in the middle of nowhere with no neighbours.

Wolfiefan Tue 06-May-14 10:31:03

No Flora. Not silent but considerate I do expect.

SirChenjin Tue 06-May-14 10:34:35

Well no, I disagree with that Flora - it's not unreasonable to want a quiet life (or a quietish life) which is why it's important to consider your neighbours and keep noise to a minimum, rather than doing what you want , shrugging your shoulders and telling your neighbours to move to the middle of nowhere.

OP - could you have a word with her? Her reaction sounds OTT, but I do wonder if she's been pushed a bit too far, and rather than speaking to you at the time she's bottled it up and then exploded - which was horrible for you.

basildonbond Tue 06-May-14 10:43:20

is he crate trained? could you have part of his morning routine chilling in the crate with a kong/chewtoy for 10 minutes while you do all the last minute frantic rushing about to get out?

JingletsJangletsYellowBanglets Tue 06-May-14 10:50:12

So your neighbour knocks on your door and starts yelling at you and screams "are you stupid" at you? Within earshot of your children?

I would be knocking on her door and tell her she's welcome to call the RSPCA, but if she ever knocks on my door verbally harassing me in front of my children, I will be reporting it to police on the 101 and starting a log of her harassment.

Regardless of whether your dog barked 24/7 or 10 minutes, she was out of order.

the neighbour was expressing herself, just as your puppy was. thing is the neighbour does have more rights.

does your neighbour have a history like this?

and no, calling 101 would be totally OTT

NK81dfff7X118c77cc322 Tue 06-May-14 11:00:57

Thanks everyone - lots of constructive suggestions here. I think I need to look at our routine again and see where the flashpoints are.

We moved to a city centre 4 months ago and we don't know any of our neighbours very well. Maybe that is why there was no calm approach prior to things kicking off this morning.

When my DDs were babies I never left them to cry. After a while they hardly ever cried. But I am worried that responding to barks will have the opposite effect and encourage him to bark more. Quiet dog owners, what should I be doing?

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