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  • Writer's pictureJenny

With A Problem Neighbor's Problem Dog

Your new home can be the key to your health and happiness, allowing you to make a new chapter in your life and find peace and tranquility in an environment of your own making. However, it can be difficult to find all that when you have a good reason to fear for your safety. Problem neighbors are their own special kind of terrible to deal with, but it can be more complex and difficult when the real problem is their dog. Aggressive, attacking, invasive, and otherwise bothersome dogs can be a risk to you, your family, and your pets, so how do you deal with them?

Talk to the neighbor

The very first thing that you should do if a neighbor's dog attacks, terrorizes, or otherwise frightens you, your pets, or your family is to talk to your neighbor about it. Don’t go in all hot-headed and start a yelling match, and don’t leave a letter that can come off as passive-aggressive. Go in the spirit of cooperation, talk to them directly, notifying them of the issue. You can’t guarantee that the other owner will take steps to rectify the situation, but you have a much better chance of doing just that by starting things off on the right foot.

Consider the contributing factors

It might not just be that there’s an aggressive dog trying to get into your yard or displaying aggression for no reason. There are several factors that could be triggering the dog. This can include your own pets antagonizing them, your children teasing or otherwise bothering the dog, or even right down to pests and wildlife in your yard triggering them. You should also consider improving the fencing in your yard if you’re worried about the neighbor’s dog getting in. This isn’t to shift all the blame or responsibility on you but to highlight that you always have a role to play in addressing the situation, one way or another.

Build evidence

It might be the case that the owner is defensive of their dog, honestly doesn’t believe their pet would ever be aggressive, or simply might not budge. If that’s the case, then you should start to gather evidence of the behavior you’re noticed, if you can. Setting up a camera feed of your own garden (being respectful of laws that might prevent you from aiming said camera at their yard) or taking recordings of aggressive behavior as and when it happens can help you build your case if you need to move onto more formal modes of dealing with it. Hopefully, in talking with your neighbor, you are able to establish a rapport and find a way to resolve it with no hard feelings, but sometimes, it’s not always that easy and the evidence can be useful for that, too.

Handling a bite

Safety should always be your first concern, so extracting yourself from any potentially dangerous situation where the neighbor’s dog starts to show signs of aggression or breaks through or bypasses the fence to get into the yard should be your first step. If you are unable to do that, however, then make sure that you’re ready and able to treat a bite, be it to yourself a family member, or your own pet. Have an emergency kit ready to treat the wound by putting pressure on it, before cleaning it with a cloth and antiseptic, then see if you need stitches. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with a dog bite lawyer if this happens as well. You should ensure that the owner is held responsible if they’re not willing to take responsibility, themselves.

Think about animal control

You do not have to wait until you are bitten until you make a report to an animal control officer. While it can be wise to try and resolve the situation directly with your neighbor before escalating it, if they’re not willing to respond to diplomacy, then don’t be brow-beaten by them and their dog. Some owners simply don’t care about the bad behavior of their dogs, or may even encourage more of it. Calling animal control is, admittedly, not likely to improve your relationship with your neighbor, but it’s better than living in fear of a dog that might cause serious harm to you and yours.

Dealing with a difficult dog can be tough because it’s not always a clear-cut situation that the dog is in a bad situation causing it to be aggressive. Hopefully, the tips above help you work it out.


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