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Bike Rides and Mean Dogs

bike ride

James came home for the weekend after dropping off a student in Joplin.  It was BEAUTIFUL today- mid 70s and we just had to get out and enjoy the weather!  In the morning, I opened all the windows and turned on the attic fan to air out the house while the whole family worked on getting the house tidy.  The house was scrubbed down, including the three kid rooms (which are always a disaster) and we deep cleaned the living and family rooms, and caught up on the laundry.  Then James and I took the kids bowling, went for a bike ride (I walked with the littlest two around the neighborhood for an hour but James took the bigger two on an eight mile ride down the bike path).  And then we came home to yummy chicken and dumplings in the crockpot!  Good stuff!

The down point of the day………  I got into an altercation with my crappy neighbors about their crappy snappy barky dog.  Yesterday, I was just trying to get from the car to the house and it came charging up behind me, barking. James said its hackles were raised. I’m afraid its going to bite someone, but I am also afraid of starting a fight with our neighbors.  Which is why I haven’t done anything but call animal control once, even though this has been going on for months. This dog is always loose, and constantly in my front and back yards.  It seems to consider our property part of its territory.  It hangs out on my porches and growls and barks at us through the freaking windows!

The problem is, at first the dog just barked and would run back to its own yard when we came out, it was just a nuisance. I have said something to the neighbors a few times, but they never do ANYTHING.  Now its getting more and more bold and aggressive and I am starting to get scared of it!  Its scary to be chased and barked at just trying to get in the house. I don’t like it. What happens when I’m trying to get a little baby in and out of the car in a few months?

I meant to call animal control again today, but we were out all day and I forgot.  When we got home from a bike ride, guess who was there to bark and chase the kids into the house? Ugh! Two guys from next door must have heard me yelling at the kids to get in because they came into our front yard to try and catch the dog. One guy, the older one said that it wouldn’t hurt anyone it just barks and there is no problem. I told him that there was going to be a problem if they didn’t keep their dog on a leash and out of my yard. I said that it barks and chases my kids and scares them and scares me and we have a right to be in our own yard and not scared. The guy didn’t say anything to that.  I have social anxiety, but apparently I was angry and mama bear enough to yell at the neighbors.

When James took our dog out a few minutes ago….  Their dog was STILL out and loose.

This is seriously starting to piss me off.

What would YOU do? 


41 Responses to Bike Rides and Mean Dogs

  1. when we lived in maine we had a neighbor whose dog would do that. everyone said it was ok, a nice dog. but it would come in our yard, chase the kids, dig in our compost bin, bark at us. it made me crazy. the people were nice but they never seemed to be able to keep the dog on a leash. i did call animal control often but the neighbors just paid the fine and let their dog run free. it made me really irritated because the kids were scared to go in the yard.

    • That’s our problem too. My kids are scared to play in the yard unless they can SEE the dog on the leash/run in the next yard. And I’m afraid to let our dog out to pee- she is only six pounds. That dog could hurt her quite easily. :(

    • Our back yard is enclosed on two sides with tall privacy fencing, but the two gates on either side of the house and the side we share with THESE neighbors is waist-high chain (and the dog can climb over it). I’m thinking of asking our landlord if he would be willing to finish off that side and the two gates with more privacy fencing, so at least the yard would be safe to play in.

    • No idea. Maybe a terrier mixed with something bigger? It doesn’t look like any breed that I know. Its medium sized, with pointy upright ears, a pointy face, and mostly black with a little white.

      • Huh. Probably a mixed breed. I know some people have suggested not trying to dominate the dog, and to rather use pepper spray, but I disagree. First and foremost, a LOT of states have laws against using pepper spray – check your state laws before buying any.

        Secondly, it’s vital that you show the dog who is boss before your baby is born – especially since it’s obvious that you can’t trust the owners to do so! You have an extra benefit of exuding pregnancy hormones, which – trust me! – that dog can smell and WILL respect, because there is nothing in this world more dangerous than a mother protecting her offspring.

        First thing I would do – and I KNOW this sounds really really weird, but please trust me on this one – is to mark your territory. There is only one way to do this that the dog is going to respect, and that’s with urine. Yeah, I know, ewwwww, right? But it WORKS. We had a neighbor dog who was really aggressive to other dogs, and this was back when our own pit bull was a puppy and unable to protect himself. I searched the web for answers and found the whole “pee on your territory” thing. Thought it was nuts, but hell, I was desperate – that dog was huge and I have kids. So I peed in a sealed container for a couple days, then in the dark of night (so the neighbors wouldn’t see!) I poured a thin line of the stuff all around my yard.

        Watched the next day as the dog approached my yard with a swagger, aggression showing and fur bristling. Walked right up to the line I had “drawn” and then stopped on a dime. Took a couple of sniffs and then – bam – all the aggression was out of that dog. It was instantaneous. I decided to test it by walking towards the dog (which in the past had caused a flurry of barking and raised hackles), and I was shocked to discover he backed up and lowered his tail (exhibiting submission) and wagged the tip, looking at me hopefully. I was able to pet that dog for the first time, and since then I’ve had no issues whatsoever with him. My yard is the only yard he will not trespass on, and if my kids or my dog are outside, he will actually wait at the boundary for an invitation.

        Dogs communicate mainly by scent and body language. Spread your scent in a way the dog will respect, and hold your body in a stern assertive position – not aggressive, just assertive and in control – and that dog will respect the heck out of you.

  2. Hands down, after confronting the neighbors about their dog, call animal control and if they can’t do anything, call the police and ask what rights you have regarding self defense against aggressive animals.(also, by doing this you’re on record complaining about the animal.) If it comes down to it, if you’ve gotta take a walk with a non-deadly weapon for protection, do you have the right to use it? ie- bat, cane, walking staff. OR, maybe even carry an air horn. and if the dog comes around, use it. most animals are noise sensitive. it may just be enough to startle it back.

    If it does attack you or your kids, that’s legal grounds for it to be destroyed. it’s harsh, it sucks, but if the owners don’t care enough to properly train it or keep it in their yard, you need to keep your family safe.
    Another thing? get a stun gun. it comes at you, stun it. the dog may think twice about coming around you and your family..if it’s stunned enough. you could also try a pepper spray .

    Think of the dog as a human attacker. how many ways can you think of to defend yourself & family.

    Good luck with whatever you do.

      • You’re welcome. I really hope you’re able to get something done about the dog. I don’t mind pets, but that’s all they are- pets. If they don’t behave and attack my kids or even me..i go all ‘mama bear’ on them, and fight back. lol. I know it’s not the animal’s fault for improper training..but it’s the one that’s gonna pay the ultimate price.

  3. I’m not too sure how to help because I’m one of those ‘animal people’. I think it’s mostly attitude. You gotta stand tall, be assertive and just KNOW, ‘this is MY home. These are MY babies, and if you come any closer you’re in for a beating.’ Most of the dogs I’ve encountered around my home were pits and boxers so it IS possible to dominate them. However it depends on how confident you are around dogs. If you can’t get them to back off, I’d write the owners a letter with some baked goods attached(I also dislike people and would avoid confrontation). Reason being, not all cops and animal control would refrain from shooting a dog found harassing a neighbor. I know people whose dogs have been shot for no good reason by the authorities. Step 1: confront neighbor formally. Good Luck & Energy!

    • I AM strong and assertive. This dog is just nuts. And like I said, this has been going on for months, and its getting worse and worse. I don’t want to hurt an animal, or have anything bad to happen to it. I have a dog of my own that I love. BUT. My babies come first. This dog is scaring them and starting to get aggressive. It snapped at Patrick just a few days ago and nearly bit him. I just want them to understand we are serious and keep their dog on their property. Its at the point where my kids aren’t safe playing in their own fenced in back yard because the dog climbs OVER the fence to get at them.

      • that is crazy. climbing the fence? wow. i like the idea of pepper spray,maybe the dog would stop then. and after i buy it i would send a bill to the neighbors for the cost.

  4. In that case I’d go to a sporting goods/hunting store and get some serious pepper spray. Or cayenne in a spray bottle with vinegar might do the trick. While you’re waiting on the authorities to do something anyway.

  5. First, I’d look up the exact laws about animals and leashes where you live. Then I’d call animal control. If I remember correctly, you also live in one of those neighborhoods that has a neighborhood association – which means rules and whatnot. Complain to whoever is in charge of that, too.

    You are completely right about your rights in your own home and yard. They need to control their animal so that you do not have to fear for yourself or your children.

  6. People who cannot control their dogs are so terrible! I guess you will have to talk to your neighbours and make sure they understand that you will not tolerate their dog on your property – or threatening your family. And then start getting rid of the dog. Research ways to show the dog you consider yourself dominant – when dogs came charging at our (now deceased) dog, I usually shouted them down (and kicked one once). Even big dogs scare easily.

    • Watch the “be dominant” thing. It works with most dogs. Not all. If you do it wrong, you could be regretting it – some dogs are absolutely convinced of their own dominance and they will attack a human.

  7. I agree that the first port of call is to research the laws – and I would try and look for them directly on the web or local library because phoning authorities can be surprisingly variable depending on who you get through to.

    Then I would write a letter and copy the local animal control and police stating the laws that apply and what action you will take if the dog is not brought under control, preferably citing some specific instances. And send it so they have to sign for it (sorry I’m in the UK so I’m not sure what you call that service).

    What I WOULDN’T do is try to deal with the situation yourself by dominating the dog. You don’t know this dog and frankly I wouldn’t want to be the one escalating my sense of threat towards a strange animal when I was pregnant or soon to be carrying an infant. There are professionals who SHOULD be dealing with this for you.

    If I can do anything in terms of helping word letters, etc. let me know. Sorry you’re not over here otherwise I could be a lot more help!

  8. I second the pepper spray method. There is a super duty bear spray you can buy that reaches up to 50 feet and, if it will stop a bear, will definitely make that dog think twice. People who refuse to keep their dogs under control have no business having dogs. it’s not the dogs fault it’s owners suck, but, if the owners refuse to take responsibility for it, then you’re going to have to take more extreme measures to “mark” your territory.

  9. Pepper spray sounds like a good idea for personal safety but I would go directly to the neighbors. Speak to them as politely as possible, but firmly request that they keep their dog on his own property. I promise that calling animal control is the fastest way to make them hate you. Normally, I wouldn’t care if people hate me (especially over their own irresponsible behavior) but these are people you have to live with for a while. If they refuse to remedy the situation, go for it with both barrels: animal control, police, pepper spray, pellet gun, landmines, whatever you have to do to keep that animal off your property.

    • We have talked to them several times over the last four months. Talking to them is doing nothing. They just don’t care. They don’t even apologize! They act like WE are being unreasonable!

  10. It’s really the owners at fault here. The dog is just being a dog. Some dogs are by breed territorial if you let them roam. These owners suck at understanding their own dogs instincts. I cringe at thinking of using the bear spray on a dog because my dog cowers when sprayed with water. But then I think of my parents Jack Russell who would be stopped at nothing short of bear spray if she was truly intent on going after something. I think you are the only one who can judge how intent this dog is on going after you and the kids. Maybe the suggestion of a spray bottle of vinegar with a little cayenne mixed in is a good middle ground and by all means if you have a housing association to utilize go for it. See this resolved easily so you and the kids can walk outside with ease and no worries. I wish you the best.

    • I’ve had to use bear spray on dogs who chase, lunge at and try to attack my horses while I’m out riding on PUBLIC property. It’s dangerous behavior and the spray stops them in their tracks. All it takes it one good spray and they quit trying to attack when we pass.

  11. I would defiantly follow up with animal control and report it again, it is sad and unfair to you and your family as well as the dog and like Jenn said its not the dogs fault that his human parents suck. I would also try the following throw him a milkbone and other piece of food for nothing says love to a dog but firmness and food, you can also keep a garden hose on the porch and spray him with water anytime he comes in your yard or porch, this way you avoid any legalities as pepper spray, if your neighbors are that blind and ignorant to their dogs bad behavior this will not be the case when it comes to maiming fido.

  12. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/homemade-dog-repellent.html

    I would put this as close to your neighbors side of the house as possible. If they can not be made to understand the problem then you can at least annoy the nose of the offending animal. As a last resort, you could try a paintball gun both with and without paintballs in it. The sound alone might frighten him into submission. If not then getting tagged with a couple might do the trick. Or simply print out the city ordinance and fine schedule and mail it to the neighbors with delivery confirmation so you know they got it.

  13. Maybe an air horn? Can of marbles? Super soaker? If that fails, animal control should be called. If the animal doesn’t have a collar then it will likely be euthanized which stinks but hopefully they will simply return the dog and fine them for failing to follow leash laws. Not to be a Debbie Downer but the last time I had something similar happen, my son was bitten by the neighbor cat. When I asked them to keep the animal inside they sideswiped my car, called the police on US (nothing happened), and would bang on our doors and windows in the middle of the night. All because the ER called animal control because of their unvaxed cat biting my child. There is just no good solution to the problem :( It’s the owners, not the Dog but the dog is being aggressive and at some point it’s likely to bite :(

  14. I honestly probably would call animal control at this point. The dog has overgone territorial and is being aggressive to children, with owners who having been warned absolutely refuse to do anything. The dog could be put down for this, yeah they’d hate you, but you asked them nicely, got huffy once, I think its time to push it. If the dog is on your property, you have every right to call the pound and have the dog picked up.

  15. Definitely call animal control. You’ve tried to deal with the neighbors directly with no luck, so any consequences of animal control handling it are totally on them. The owners of that dog are not doing the animal any favors either with their lax behavior.

    Keep your family safe, call animal control.

  16. I don’t particularly like dogs. Especially aggressive dogs who jump up and bark. I would call animal control every time the dog was out and unleashed. I would also google and see if there is a pepper spray for dogs (not that I would use it to be mean, but if the dog ever came after one of the kids I would want a way to stop it dead in its tracks). But that’s just me.

  17. http://talesoffruitandcake.wordpress.com. (Sorry my link often doesn’t work in these things.).

    I wanted to add- I agree with patricialynn about the “pee” thing. And it’s an easy, Eco friendly, non-toxic, free thing you can try. I would keep calling animal control every time, and perhaps the police, you want a paper trail so if things escalate you an prove that this is an ongoing problem.

  18. I would be sure to carry a pocket full of dog biscuits. Every time the dog came up barking I would offer him one. Pretty soon he would see me and my kids as friends who give him treats. He would great me much less agressive since he knows I give him something good. Nothing like kindness to turn away anger.

  19. I would for sure contact animal control. At the point you have addressed your concerns with the owners and they still refuse to do anything the authorities need to be brought in. I would worry that if you used any kind of spray to defend yourself they would take the dog to the vet and charge you for it and maybe threaten you. I would stay as far away from the situation as possible and make it as serious to them as you can.

  20. I don’t like dogs. I was chased by a small dog when I was very young (it did not seem small to me at all) and I was so scared I literally jumped from the ground to the roof of our car. I can’t even do that now. If they are adjoining neighbors you might suggest going in part way to fence their yard, you split the part that is on your property in half. If that isn’t possible you could suggest they just fence their yard. The supplies can be bought at any home repair store. If the dog is scaring you and your children then you do need to call the police and animal control. The dog itself deserves owners who will care for it. If a child was doing something like that police would be called, dogs need guidance too.

  21. I am afraid you are going to have involve animal control or police if you can’t get them to listen to you. Leash law is a LAW for a reason. I LOVE dogs and have two really spoiled large dogs, but aggression is aggression, and you deserve to not live with that. THEY either need to fence in the yard for the dog(barking will still happen,….sorry), or use a leash. You go Mama Bear. Just do what you need to do for you and the littles.

  22. As someone going through neighborly dog issues, and having a general aversion to calling animal control, I would say that’s probably your only choice. You’ve voice your complaint, the dog is at large and threatens to be aggressive. My frustration with my situation is just that our dog has a high, anxious, and incessant bark, but he’s in his yard and has never chased other people. The neighbors called animal control and sent nasty anonymous notes instead of coming and knocking on our door to let us know there was a problem. I would honestly rather have a neighbor like you that let’s me know there’s a problem, so I could do something about it. As it is, our puppy is being fostered until we find him a better home. In your case, you’ve made the problem known and they are not correcting it, and in addition it’s a potential danger to your kids. At the very least animal control needs to address the dog at large issue.

  23. Call animal control again. If there is a leash law in your state call the police about it. Call your neighbors again. If they refuse to keep their dog out of your yard call the police. You are absolutely right that you should be able to be in your own yard and now be scared.

  24. Since the dog has gotten progressively more agressive (which it sounds like he has, since he no longer runs off and now chases), I would definately call the animal control Every Time that he chases one of your family members.. that way, if the worst happens and he attacks someone, they have documentation that he has been a neusence (sp) and that the neighbors haven’t done anything to stop it.
    Likewise, DON’T run from the dog, this makes you prey, just keep a small paddle, rolled paper or something in your hand, and when he charges stand firm and in a loud firm voice to stop it and go home, if this doesn’t do anything, pop him on the nose with whatever you’ve kept in your hand for this purpose..
    Definately call the authorities though, for every occurance.. it can only help.

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