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Old 12-31-2012, 11:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My Neighbor is Not a Dog Person

Good morning and Happy New Year! My Boxer boys are still snuggled in bed. Isn't it wonderful that they are so loving and loyal? We don't have children and will likely always have Boxers.

Unfortunately, our neighbor doesn't share the affinity for dogs. And, as we live in the city with smallish lots, he doesn't hesitate to tell us how much he doesn't like our deaf white Boxer, Buster. All of our dogs have been adopted through rescues. We think he was six months old. From what we know, his life was chaotic. Very small living situation with lots of kids and other dogs/pets. Busy, with little or no discipline.

Over the course of the past year and a half, we've taken the boys to training, tried play dates with the neighbor (they are fine together on the same side of the fence), installed cedar panels in front of the chain link fence to distract Buster from seeing the neighbor...and to deter the neighbor from spraying the boys with the hose.

The neighbor complains about Buster barking at him. Buster doesn't bark at his other family members, nor at the neighbors and their dog on the other side of the fence.

My concern escalated when I walked outside on Dec 22 and I saw the neighbor standing at the fence line, in the bushes, videotaping our dogs. They were anxious and barking at him. I couldn't believe it! Our efforts to appease the neighbor, and it appears that he was riling up the boys. And, we're not sure what he intended to do with his media - if anything. I was a little weirded out, and I called Animal Control b/c I'm so concerned the neighbor will complain about the dogs. I was reassured that the dogs can bark at people - they are dogs. But, they can't bark for 7 minutes straight unprovoked. AC suggested that we contact the police department and file a report. As we live so close to one another, this neighbor seems like he is tit-for-tat, so I opted not to do that.

On an unrelated issue, over the course of the past 4 years, he gives us direction regarding projects, which are ridiculous. We are the same age, BTW - early 40s. I finally sent an email to the neighbor, outlining my concerns about the electronic media, and kept my emotions and edited out anything that seemed like a personal attack.

We purchased a surveillance system, which will be installed. I informed the neighbor in my email that it will not be directed at his personal property, but to indeed evaluate issues and correct problems on our end. I also outlined other measures that we are going to take to add additional privacy between properties.

The neighbor sent a long email, denying the videographing/photographing of the boys and any recent discussions (that day) with my husband regarding his recommendations. I get that, he's trying to protect himself. I'm not going to respond, I shared my concerns about the vulnerability of our boys. I don't need to say anything more to him. Although, I understood why he was feeling defensive, I was a little disappointed that his response took on a personal tone and was disparaging against us and the boys. Yes, he threatened to call the city...but he's entitled to do that. It doesn't mean that they'll respond the way he thinks they should.

In the past, we have attempted to invite our neighbor over for get-togethers. I feel SO deflated, and I'm concerned about the safety of our dogs.

Is there anything else you can recommend? We have lived in our neighborhood longer than our neighbor, but we are considering moving. My husband and I would be just sick if something happened. I've thought about getting more connected with our neighborhood council/association and contacting our local Animal Humane Society. We do have a family lawyer we can utilize as a consultant who is decent and wouldn't suggest filing suit.

Thanks for any advice and/or affirmations. !!
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Oh, I feel really bad for you! I would kick someone's azz if they messed with my boys. I am just wondering what the code restrictions are on fence height. I would put in a solid wood fence along that property line as high as code would allow. We have a dog eared 6 ft fence and am happy to report I don't even SEE my neighbors (except on one side with metal fencing and cool neighbors). I also am very careful not to let the dogs bark in the yard. They are only really out there to do their business unless we are also in the yard, but as soon as I hear a bark, I call mine in so I don't make any issues with the neighbors. I would watch them outside to make sure your freaky neighbor doesn't throw them something hurtful.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh wow! I agree with the above post, I'd look at solid fencing & making your fence as tall as you can. I live in military housing & so far we've had neighbors that don't mind our dogs. I dread the day that someone moves in near us that are not dog people. Our girls go out to potty/play but the moment they bark more than once or twice we call them in. Generally during the day they are fine but when it starts to hit evening hours we try to not let them bark much at all. (we got neighbors with young kids & I know they put them to bed early) I keep hoping when we get our forever home we can find a place where our next door neighbor isn't on top of us like they are here. I would keep an eye on that neighbor of yours. I would be worried that he'd try to toss something over the fence that could harm your dog. I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Oh man!!!! I am so sorry you have to put up with a person like that. What kind of person are you if your not a "dog person". LOL...I don't know what I would do other than what has already been stated about the fence. Its really sad that you can't let them out to burn some energy without being supervised for THEIR OWN protection. If your not into conflict other than moving I would just watch them at all times when they are outside.

We have a neighboor who is terrified of our dogs. She has jumped on top of her garbage can to "get away" from Jaxon. (who BTW is more gentle than Belah) she has threathened to use a tazor on my dogs. Well me being me...I politely told her that if she felt the need to use a tazor on my dogs that I would feel the need to use one on her and smiled and walked away. (BTW, my dogs are no where near her...they don't leave my yard, she just THINKS they are coming for her) Needless to say, she just smiles and runs now.

It kind of sounds like he is trying to intimidate you into moving (maybe thats what he wants) or getting rid of them. My mom always said to kill them with kindness.

I truely hope everything works out for you. Its not worth them getting hurt or taken away.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Jen, I just LOVE the image I have in my head of your kooky neighbor jumping on a garbage can. Luckily most people in my neighborhood are dog people or tolerant, at least. There is one lady that walks in our neighborhood that is afraid of dogs. I mean I have him on a leash and if she sees us coming she starts with "oh..oh no...I'm afraid of your dog..keep him away". LOL. I ignore her since we are nowhere NEAR her when she starts in and on a leash. I don't know what she expects me to do for her, but I don't do a thing or even acknowledge that she's having a reaction.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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This is another reason why I live in the country. I would personally call his bluff and say that I had recorded him, recording the dogs, lol.

I would also build a huge fence on his side and possibly look into citronella collars for your dogs to discourage barking.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think you handled it admirably I am not so nice I would look into a taller fence before I considered moving adn I am afraid I fall into the B!@#$ catagory when someone is messing with my dogs in any way when I saw him videotaping I would have confronted him
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I also live in a neighborhood with "cozy" lots. As already stated, I'd bring your dogs in if they start to bark. I won't let mine start barking (more than once or twice), b/c I hate listening to other people's dogs bark. Mine aren't outside unattended anyway, so it's usually not a problem.

I also agree with building a fence on the neighbor's side as tall as city/neighborhood code will allow. If your neighbor films the dogs again, or if you witness him riling them up, I'd file a complaint with the police - that's harassment, and causes the dogs to bark!
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sounds like he is bored with himself.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you, all! I talked to my husband, and we are going to have extensions made for the cedar panels. We can have up to six feet fences in the city. Before we had the panels made, our neighbor requested input on the fence, but not put $$ toward the cost. The panels were more economical for us...but maybe not as effective in the long run...because our neighbor can see over the fence. LOL.

I regret not confronting him right away. We do have Citronella and vibrating collars for the boys.

We are limiting their time outside; thank goodness Boxers are house dogs. We do walk them and take them to the off leash dog park.

Living in the country does seem more appealing every day.

I will definitely look forward to more of your advice and suggestions.

Thank you!
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