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New neighbours complaining that our kids are distressing their dog
371

InYerFace · 01/08/2022 09:31

New neighbours (a couple, late 40s so similar age to us, but no kids) came around last night to complain that the sound of our teen boys playing in the garden was upsetting their dog who is a rescue, very nervous and reactive to sound.

I'm really torn on what to do. I'm sympathetic to their situation and I really don't want to fall out with them. I know the dog has problems because it barks at us from his side of the fence whenever we go out in the garden. When they came round to complain they brought the dog with them to show us what it's like - the woman had it in her arms and it spent the whole time growling and baring its teeth.

The kids had two friends over yesterday and they were playing basketball. My dilemma is that while I'm sympathetic, I don't think the noise they were making was excessive - no screaming, no music blaring, just the sound of kids playing in the garden. The ball doesn't thud loudly on the floor as the garden is grass with no paving or decking so its muffled, but it does clatter when it hits the hoop.

I get that the clatter would be annoying after a while, but I wouldn't say it was any more annoying than the noise of their dog barking at us through the fence and I wouldn't dream of complaining about that. It's just part and parcel of life.

Last set of neighbours never complained about the kids playing, but they did have grandkids of their own who came regularly and made a fair bit of noise so they were probably as immune to the noise of kids playing as we are!

They also said they were worried that the ball would come over and hit their dog, even though it didn't.

I've told the kids they're not to play basketball anymore to keep neighbourly relations cordial, but it is a shame as they absolutely love it and it will probably mean they're just inside playing X Box.

The problem is is that because they're teens, most of the games they'd want to play in the garden do involve some kind of ball. Do I just resign myself to a summer of them sat inside? We do have a local park but it's quite some distance away and seems a shame they can't use their own garden.

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youngestisapsycho · 01/08/2022 09:33

Sod that. don't make them stop playing in their own garden!

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IncompleteSenten · 01/08/2022 09:36

No. Don't do anything.
The second you cave to one request, she'll be round with another. Then another. You'll have shown her that she can demand anything from you and before you know it you'll be tiptoeing round your house and sneaking your clothes to the launderette because you've been banned from using your washing machine.

I'm sorry your dog is so reactive. That must be hard for you. Hopefully you will get a trainer to help you. I won't be stopping my children using the garden.

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Wombat27A · 01/08/2022 09:36

They can keep the dog in, if it's getting distressed.

I'm the most doggy person you'll ever meet with no DC & was driven batty by teen girls chatting & taking the mick through our hedge last week but no, crack on playing in your own garden. They bought the wrong house for them.

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BeanieTeen · 01/08/2022 09:37

When they came round to complain they brought the dog with them to show us what it's like - the woman had it in her arms and it spent the whole time growling and baring its teeth.

Honestly, for a several reasons attributed to just that sentence - these people have no idea what they’re doing with that dog. Ignore them OP. They need to read up on dog training, dog behaviour, and what to do/ what not to do with a stressed out rescue dog. It’s not your problem.

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whowhatwerewhy · 01/08/2022 09:37

I wouldn't stop my children playing in there own garden.
If the dog is distressed they should take it into the house.

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PathOfLeastResitance · 01/08/2022 09:38

I think I would come to a compromise. You will be using your garden and you will being doing that between X and Y time. They can’t dictate what happens in your garden if you are doing anything excessive. What are they doing to support their dog to not be reactive? For the dog to be happy they need to train it better. I see that to them the dog is very important but to me, it’s a dog and is below humans in the pecking order. It doesn’t get equal time in the garden to a human. Since loads of people have got dogs it seems that they expect dogs to have the same ‘rights’ as people and to me, that’s not correct. I say this as a dog lover but but my dog knows the hierarchy.

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Quincythequince · 01/08/2022 09:38

Your neighbour is being massively unreasonable.

Your sim and his friend should play as normal teenagers and they will just have to manage their dog and it’s anxiety better.

Goodness me! The entitlement of some people.

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BlackeyedSusan · 01/08/2022 09:38

Definitely sod that. Tell them you are worried their dog will get through and hurt the kids and they should control their dog.

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Hugasauras · 01/08/2022 09:39

Tough. The fact they brought round a distressed dog to stand on your doorstep shows they don't have a clue in the first place. It's their problem to manage and if they aren't equipped to take on a difficult rescue then they shouldn't have done it. Their job is to help their dog get used to normal life, not expect life to change to suit their dog.

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Mamamia7962 · 01/08/2022 09:39

As a dog owner myself I would say the onus is on your neighbours. If the dog is nervous around noise then they need to desensitise it, so only a short time spent in the garden at one time etc.

Don't stop your teenagers playing in the garden.

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Mischance · 01/08/2022 09:39

Their dog, their problem. If the dog reacts to the playing then they should take it in. Bloody dogs - owners get totally obsessional about them and lose perspective.

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TenThousandSpoons · 01/08/2022 09:39

YABU to tell your kids they can’t play in their own garden. The neighbours will need to keep their dog in when your kids are playing. I hope you told them their dog barking every time you go out is annoying for you as well.

if you wanted to be super nice you could say the kids will only play at certain times so they know when to keep the dog in.

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autumnboys · 01/08/2022 09:39

Not a chance I would keep my kids in because of a neighbour’s dog. They needed to move somewhere more remote if this was a problem. as long it’s not really early/really late, I think it’s fine. Children should be able to play out.

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lechatnoir · 01/08/2022 09:39

Absolutely don't pander to this - you can't live in fear of your neighbours for some totally appropriate garden use. What next - no talking? As a mum of teenage boys I would be delighted they were outside and definitely not wanting to encourage them back inside!

If they complain just politely point out that as you have here about accepting the dog barking as everyday noise and they will need to do the same.

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KangarooKenny · 01/08/2022 09:39

I’m a dog owner, and if your kids playing was upsetting my dog, I’d bring the dog in for a while.
‘They need to work on their dog’s problems. Have they got a behaviourist for it ?
But, to be fair, the constant thud of a basket ball is annoying, and they are heavy if it flies over the fence. For basketball I’d be sending them to the park.

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Fraaahnces · 01/08/2022 09:39

Fuck that noise! They have an aggressive dog. You should mention that the council would be much more interested in the dog barking at you constantly any time you are in your garden and that you are willing to get Environmental Protection involved to record their dog if they complain again.

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Soubriquet · 01/08/2022 09:40

They are batshit.

My dogs go loopy if someone lets their dog outside, or children play outside.

Guess what I do? I make them come in and try to find ways to soothe them/shut them up.

I don’t go complaining to neighbours for using their own garden

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BlueWhat · 01/08/2022 09:40

Good grief don't stop you're kids playing in your garden! They can stop their dog going out into theirs!!

As PP said this will just be the start and it will be once thing after another if you start giving in to their batshit crazy requests!

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AlwaysLatte · 01/08/2022 09:40

If their rescue dog can't cope with neighbours, then they shouldn't have brought it home. Don't stop your boys using their own garden.

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Putonyourshoes · 01/08/2022 09:40

They’re being unreasonable to expect you and your family to abstain from
enjoying your garden, especially as you say they weren’t being particularly noisy.
I am also, however, sympathetic to their need for their rescue dog to have access to a garden without noise that frightens them. You shouldn’t have to, but if you’re trying to find a way to work things out with your neighbours could you perhaps suggest a certain time of day where your children will not play ball games? Explain you understand their situation but your children should be able to play in their own garden. But as a gesture of goodwill you will encourage them not to do so between 9-11am, to give their dog a chance to enjoy some quiet time in their garden.
I don’t think you’d be unreasonable to tell them it’s not your problem honestly, but if you want to keep the peace I think that would be a reasonable solution.

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MaggieFS · 01/08/2022 09:40

No way I'd make my kids stay indoors in the summer holidays for that reason!

Perhaps you can agree an hour a day when they won't play with balls?

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Hugasauras · 01/08/2022 09:41

And yes definitely don't stop them playing! What a shame for them.

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CloseYourEyesAndSee · 01/08/2022 09:41

Don't keep the kids inside. They need to train their dog!

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LaLaLouella · 01/08/2022 09:41

Nope, your DS can play in their own gardens and make a reasonable amount of noise. It's just day-to-day life. If their dog cannot cope they need to bring it into the house and then get some professional dog training help so it can cope with noise.

Do not coop your kids up in the house because of a new unreasonable neighbour! First it's this and then there will be complaints about mowing your lawn, hanging out your washing, having a Bbq, using your garden at all....

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MaChienEstUnDick · 01/08/2022 09:42

As the owner of a reactive rescue who would probably be exactly the same - they are being totally unreasonable. You can't and shouldn't stop your kids using their garden.

They need to focus on a combination of training and keeping their dog inside, it's not on you.

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