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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

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