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to ask my neighbour to keep her dog chained up?

(36 Posts)
skiingsheep Sat 25-Aug-07 15:27:32

I am having a real problem with my neighbour's dog. I'm not sure what breed it is, but it looks like a boxer only wider.

She's had him since he was a puppy and he's always been q lively in the garden - jumping up at the fence and barking etc when we are out.

However, recently, at my ds's 2nd birthday party, he got very excited/angry, crashed into the fence and actually broke the bottom of the panel. There followed a terrifying wait while my dad and dh held the panel against his head, small children were rushed indoors and neighbour came out to bring him in.

When I spoke to neighbour she was obviously embarrassed and said she would try and keep him in, but wasn't prepared to keep him tied up.

We also talked about strengthening the fence, but 1, I don't want to feel like I'm barricading myself in, and 2, I don't want to be always wondering whether he might be able to get through (quite apart from the cost involved).

Then things quietened down for a while as the weather was bad and we weren't going outside. However, now it's nicer we are obviously keen to make the most of the summer. A couple of times we have ventured out, only to run in again because of the dog barking and jumping up. Normally the neighbour brings him in (because I make sure she is there before going out) but I have got to the stage that I am terrified to go into my own garden, wondering if he's going to be there. We can't see over the fence without climbing up, and the one time I did that I came face to face with him!

I'm at my wits end really as I don't know what the solution it. Neighbour says it's cruel to keep him tied up and will make him more aggressive, but I know nothing about dogs and so don't know if this is true. We have got to the stage of considering the police, and are even thinking of moving house a year earlier than planned.

Apologies for such a long post, but this has become a really big issue for me. I'd really appreciate hearing from anyone who's been in a similar position, or who has kept big dogs and knows how to control them.

totaleclipse Sat 25-Aug-07 15:30:09

it looks like a boxer only wider.................its not a pit bull is it?

skiingsheep Sat 25-Aug-07 15:32:11

No, much taller I think - it's head is about waist height. And sort of a chestnut brown.

Desiderata Sat 25-Aug-07 15:35:10

Is it an English Bull Mastiff? Big head, dribbles a bit, short haired?

NutterlyUts Sat 25-Aug-07 15:35:19

Could just be a fat boxer

SoupDragon Sat 25-Aug-07 15:35:34

YABU. It would be cruel to keep the dog chained up.

It would not be unreasonable to ask the neighbour to split the cost of reinforcing the fence.

evenhope Sat 25-Aug-07 15:36:00

Yes YABU in expecting her to keep her dog permanently chained up.

However it is your neighbour's responsibility to see that it doesn't come into your garden and reinforce her fence if necessary.

A boxer but wider sounds like a Rhodesian Ridgeback?

FWIW we are on the opposite side of this problem. I only let our small dog out in the garden once I've checked there's no-one outside but I can guarantee someone will come out while he's out there, set him off and then complain about the barking. It's not much fun this way round either

evenhope Sat 25-Aug-07 15:39:38

Just re-read your post and you say you are considering the police and moving. Be careful because if you report your neighbours you have to declare it when you sell, so it might make selling difficult.

(I would also be furious if someone reported us to the police- again- without speaking to us first. If you want your neighbour to be reasonable I can guarantee she won't be once you've reported her!)

skiingsheep Sat 25-Aug-07 15:42:55

Looking on google, I think he might be an English Bull Mastiff.

I can completely see that it's a problem for my neighbour as well, which I was I'm so unsure about what to do. And I don't want to be cruel to the dog. He's actually in the house quite a lot - he doesn't live in the garden - but what I wanted was for him to be secured when he's out and they're not out with him. Otherwise I feel that it's being cruel to me and my family!!

lucyellensmum Sat 25-Aug-07 15:46:14

sounds like a mastiff, but anyway, your neighbour is right the dog would definately become aggressive if tied up for long periods of time.

Is this dog always in the garden and not indoors? If so i would be inclined to speak to the RSPCA, otherwise then i am afraid it is entitled to use its own garden. Dogs do have a basic gaurding instinct however they are mostly all mouth and slobber. My old dog used to bark and snarl at the children next door because he could hear them and not see them, when they used to say hello, he would give them no more than a nasty lick, of course this was always supervised and i didnt leave my dog outside for long periods of time.

Saying that i do not think you are being unreasonable if you think the dog is a threat. I would speak to your neighbour regarding her contributing to a sturdier fence that the dog cannot jump over. Have you been introduced to the dog or is it likely to bite, it could just be wanting to say hello, which is ok if you like dogs but less than ok for your young family. It might help you and your children if you could meet up with the mutt so you feel less intimidated, but i would insist on the fence being strengthened if i were you.

lisad123 Sat 25-Aug-07 15:48:03

You said in your post the fence is high and you cant see over it. Unless there is a chance he will get inot your garden I dont think you can do much. They cant chain him up all the time and they have a right to let their dog use their garden. I would suggest you put something against the lose fence bit for now, and enjoy the garden.


Doodledootoo Sat 25-Aug-07 15:48:04

Message withdrawn

lucyellensmum Sat 25-Aug-07 15:49:47

skiing, we crossed posts there, for what its worth, English bull mastiffs often do tend to be all mouth and slobber and not inclined towards aggression. BUT that does not follow with every dog, i do feel that you should perhaps meet the dog and that way you would feel less scared. Of course you dont want a great hulking hound lumbering over your children so i would be insisting on the secure fence, that would keep everyone happy.

bozza Sat 25-Aug-07 15:51:35

Obviously you want to feel able to go out into the garden as and when, but it sounds as though the particularly worrying incident happened in exceptional circumstances - ie a child's birthday party. So it might be worth warning your neighbour if you are planning on holiday a birthday party, barbecue etc so that she can be aware that there will be extra noise from your side.

lucyellensmum Sat 25-Aug-07 15:55:50

doodledoo - i think this dog is displaying perfectly normal behaviour, he is protecting his property. Of course it is inappropriate as the little 2yo at the party are hardly a threat to his home

I dont know how reasonable your neighbor is Ms Sheep, but i would have happily contributed to the fence if my dog were causing my neighbours worry. We were actually quite grateful for our snarling monster though as we live next to the alley and would often get kids running up and down, dog would go ballistic, so we secured the garden so he couldnt bite them, but would often hear the local kids daring each other to run down the alley. Our garden side was against alot of back gardens and the neighbours were quite grateful for our brute, however now we have a little yappy runty rat dog which wouldnt deter mickey mouse let alone a burglar.

skiingsheep Sat 25-Aug-07 15:56:04

Thanks everyone. I do need to speak to her again - hopefully without descending into an argument this time!

And I did suggest training, but she said she doesn't want to stop him doing it as he's there as a guard dog (and obviously needs to guard against two-year-old boys playing football!)

(By the way on the fence, it's breaking a hole through rather than jumping over that I'm worried about. I have met the dog face to face and he is completely calm then - and she reckons he would never hurt anyone - but it's when he gets wound up that I'm just not convinced, and frankly, I don't want to risk it.)

pipsqueeke Sat 25-Aug-07 15:58:51

yes in a word you are in her garden to keep her dog locked up. there needs to be a strengthened fence between you both - is it a wire one where the dog can see you?

for your side it might be an idea to get some of that meshy stuff, and suggest to her if you do that she adds strenghtened fencing (ie panels or something)

also how about getting some slats to make the fence bigger (am thinking along the lines of our dogs don't bother if they can't see anyone) for the most part the owner is prob feeling the same as you. is it kept outside all day? in this heat tbh no dog should be outside all the time.

pipsqueeke Sat 25-Aug-07 15:59:48

tbh if she's saying it's a gurad dog then i'd be worried yes. is she encouraging teh behaviour?

skiingsheep Sat 25-Aug-07 16:14:06

No, she doesn't actually encourage it. I suppose we'll just have to strengthen the fence. I've got so wound up about it now though, that I panic if he even jumps up...

pipsqueeke Sat 25-Aug-07 16:24:39

tbh it's their dog and as such they need to control him, also they're really the ones resonsible for the fence. as a gesture of good will suggest you pay half each?

also the more the dog sences you're scared the more inclined he is to come and see you - whilst he will prob be saying hello, and the owner is saying 'he harmless' when you've got toddlers about the last thing you want is a huge dog jiumping (tbh those dogs are HUGE! so I wouldn't want my DS around them when we have a GSD - mainly due to their size).

does she check your out first? with ours we check no one's out first - also if you are haing parties etc it's prob best to say look we're in the garden from x to x for definate so could you keep the dog in then or see if you can come to an arragement - it might be a hassle for her to keep checking but it's far better to do that then have any accidents iycwim.

helenhismadwife Sat 25-Aug-07 17:46:32

difficult one, it would be cruel to tie the dog up and likely to make it more agressive and bark more, but the fact that it almost broke through your fence is worrying, has your neighbour offered to strengthen the fence to make sure it cant get through? Even if she says it wouldnt hurt anyone I dont think you can ever guarantee that. It might be worth talking to local RSPCA without giving them any names or address and asking for advice and then perhaps passing on the advice given to your neighbour, I wouldnt go to the police without trying to sort this out amicably (sp) otherwise things could get really unpleasant

skiingsheep Sat 25-Aug-07 19:58:13

Hello everyone. Thanks again for all your advice. After freaking out this afternoon, I have been round to see neighbour again and things are much better. She was worrying about it too and had planned to do some work on the fence this weekend, so we're going to go half and half. Stupid dog was lying on the floor slobbering without a care in the world all the while we were talking! So hopefully we can sort something out without resorting to drastic measures.

Alambil Sat 25-Aug-07 23:51:29

Quote: £30 for an hours worth of training should solve it!

A few times over perhaps wink

Having a mother as a dog trainer is quite handy at times - it would cost the £30 for an assesment - then another 3x£30 to get the issues dealt with and the dog under control (that is 4 weeks training ... miracles can happen in an hour so it's reasonable to expect most issues to be dealt with in this time)

It would take a specific behaviourist trainer though - not a general obedience/socialising one

It sounds a bit odd that the dog is barging in to the fence... is there any way you could suggest some training to your neighbour - perhaps say that if it doesn't get sorted, and soon that the only other option open to you is the police cos I'd be loathe to wait til it was too late to report an agressive dog - and a dog that behaves like you are describing has agression issues (amongst others!)

tuppy Sun 26-Aug-07 19:41:31

I just don't get why people need to have these huge dogs in an ordinary domestic setting.

Bozza if I had to let a neighbour know every single time my garden would have "extra noise" due to children playing/barbecue underway etc., so that she could then keep her massive slobbering animal inside as opposed to its potentially breaking through the fence and terrifying everyone even if only slobbering and barking as oppsed to actually biting anyone, I'd be seriously pissed off to say the least.

Definitely sounds like the dog has territorial issues which need to be addressed through professional training.

Doodledootoo Mon 27-Aug-07 10:33:15

Message withdrawn

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