- This topic has 77 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 4 weeks, 1 day ago by Ele4phant.
August 13, 2020 at 8:20 pm #952581BondgirlGuest
B/c I know the DW community will be brutally honest if I’m in the wrong….
My next door neighbors have 2 kids. We recently adopted a dog and the neighbors’ little girl, 4 years old, loves dogs. Asked her mother if we’d let her keep him. Even bought him jerky and tennis balls…. Told them to stop because he wasn’t eating his regular food. Then, probably like 2 months ago she then got into the habit of hanging on our fence to yell for our dog to get his attention. Cuz you know, she wants to pet him. When this happens he’ll run over and she tries petting him thru the fence. This started happening multiple times a day, and at one point it was like 5-6x/day. I got very irritated cuz usually I want to enjoy my dog and lawn in peace. Dog is also still training to learn our commands so he needs to not run over to the fence everytime this girl starts yelling for him. I spoke to the mother explaining all this and how the girl needs to have our permission before petting our dog. Initial response I got was “she’s just a little girl” but mom later supposedly started limiting how often the girl would approach our property fence. After that these incidents were down to once a day. But even then, there are times I want to play with my dog in our yard, unbothered. So like once a day or every other day I let it go and let her interact for a few minutes. Once he walks away and is no longer interested though, she’s still yelling for him. I intervene then and usually say he’s done visiting. So last time this happened, meaning he wanders away and no longer interested after a while, again I said he’s done visiting despite her yelling. The mom then storms over to my property fence yelling at me how I never let her kid pet my dog, wondering how I can be this way towards a 4 year old girl.
After I explained how he’s our dog and we ultimately decide who he interacts with, I calmly asked what a compromise would look like in terms of her kid interacting with our dog. Instead she picked up the kid and kept ranting, saying that times are very hard but people like me are making it worse, and eventually stormed off into her house with said kid.
On one hand, I have nephews her age and I want to be accommodating because they’re kids. On the other hand, my dog my rules. I’m in a lot of legal trouble if heaven forbid he bites someone.
Am I an unreasonable neighbor or is the mom out of line? Interested to hear from parents.August 13, 2020 at 9:34 pm #952651PeggyGuest
Well I am not sure if you are just a bit over protective of your dog and protective of your time in ways that most dog owners are not–I can not say,as I don’t have a dog. However she is 4 and likely just doing what kids do.
I think you and the parent are probably both “out of line”. Maybe a compromise would be for her to have a visit everyday with the dog for say 5-10 minutes at a set time and otherwise the yelling and petting etc. are off limits. Her parents should be teaching her proper behavior and to be careful around animals and courteous of others.August 13, 2020 at 10:05 pm #952673VathenaGuest
Yeah…I agree with Peggy. I think you’re both kind of overreacting here (assuming this child is on her own -her parents’ – property though. Different story entirely if she’s coming onto your property.) I have a young daughter who also loves dogs. She loves ALL the neighborhood dogs. She once convinced a babysitter to make homemade dog treats with her, then carried them around every time we went out, in case we encountered any of her dog friends. (We have a cat.) I TOTALLY understand how irritating this is for you. Believe me because my daughter has talked utterly nonstop since she was 3, she’s 7 now, and I live all day every day for months now with a person who talks, hums, sings, whistles, trills, and just MAKES NOISE constantly. We do not have a real yard. If we had a nice, safe, fenced yard, you bet your ass I would be trying to find a few minutes of peace here and there by sending her outside to play. And if my child-free neighbor complained about my kid’s noise, after months of being trapped with it myself, I might consider rudely losing my shit.
HOWEVER, I think it’s perfectly fine for you to say that you’re trying to train your dog to listen to your commands, and maybe even say that he’s been nippy with strangers or something. It is absolutely the parent’s responsibility to teach their children how to behave around animals, especially dogs. My daughter learned many years ago to always ask an owner before approaching their dog, and never to pet a dog who wasn’t with an owner or approach a strange dog. (Now during covid, she yells “I like your dog!” while we pass from 10+ feet away.)
In closing, I think you both need to give a little, because irritations like this are part of living in a society. Since the mom didn’t ask me, I’d say that you can continue to cheerfully tell the little girl that Fido is all done visiting for today. (If she did, I’d say she needs to repeat to the kid that she needs to leave the dog alone every day until it finally sinks in. Maybe she is already doing that, but 4-year-olds are kind of a-holes and lacking in impulse control.)August 13, 2020 at 10:07 pm #952675dawnfawn1996Participant
I mean I can see where the mom is coming from, kids will be kids and almost all kids love puppies! That being said, it is your dog, your yard and you have expressed your feelings towards this situation and the mother has all but disregarded your input on this. It’s a tough situation because the little girl is innocent and just doing what normal kids do but the mom also needs to put a stop to it. And like you said, you are going to be responsible if the dog happens to bite her. I would suggest maybe Taking the dog to the park to play for a little while until things cool off.August 13, 2020 at 10:08 pm #952676FYIGuest
Uh, okay. I’d be rather surprised if some jerky kept a dog from eating later — I’ve never seen that — but if you say so.
To me you just sound kind of uptight. It’s a dog. And a kid. And you’re wanting to control them both, because … ? You can’t “enjoy your dog in peace” if it gets a few pets from a kid??August 13, 2020 at 10:52 pm #952693CopaParticipant
Ehh. I dunno. I don’t have kids, so maybe my opinion isn’t as valuable. I get that the kid is just being a kid, but I’d think this would be a good opportunity for the mom to teach her kid about things like asking permission before petting someone else’s dog — not all dogs are friendly, some aren’t good with kids — and not yelling persistently by the fence — this sounds irritating, tbh. I watch my dog like a hawk around my boyfriend’s nieces even though he’s the world’s sweetest dog. Maybe you could be more accommodating, but her reaction sounds excessive to me.
Re: the treats. Some dogs have sensitive stomachs and can’t eat just whatever food someone else gives them in whatever amounts. My dog has ended up with explosive bloody diarrhea before and required a vet trip that cost me like $500 over the “wrong” kind of treats. He’s also had issues getting sick from eating toys that aren’t harder to destroy. All this to say, I don’t expect other people to know what he can and can’t have, but I do expect other people to ask and appreciate when they do. I’m the one who cleans up what comes out the other end!August 13, 2020 at 10:56 pm #952696Ele4phantGuest
Honestly I think you both sound like maybe quarantine has made you go a little crazy, and you’re both blowing things out of proportion.
Since you’re the one writing in, I’ll just focus on you. I get not wanting to have your dog distracted while your training it, but unless you have the money or resources to move to a farm the middle of nowhere, it’s always going to be something.
She’s a little girl, she’s been cooped up for six months, the idea of giving her some designated time every day is very generous. You can’t control how she behaves the other rest of time.August 13, 2020 at 11:17 pm #952705Ele4phantGuest
Think of it this way – I’m sure it’s obnoxious to have a child yelling at you when you just want to chill in your backyard, but by the same token you’re basically asking your neighbor to either keep her kid inside whenever you decide you want to use yours, or she has to watch her kid like a hawk the second you came.
Do they not also have a right to enjoy *their* yard? Maybe she just wants to enjoy her yard and let kid play safely with minimal supervision so she too can a breather.
Just think of what her life might be like right now – she’s at home, all the time with at least one kid, potentially trying to work full time, all the normal forms of entertainment for her kid are off the table – no school, no camps, no trips to the library, no play dates, no playground time. Sounds brutal to me.
I don’t think you *have* to do this, but it would be very gracious to work it out with her mom that she gets 10-15 minutes of puppy time on a regular basis. That may make mom more gracious and willing to stop the other stuff.
Or not, but you can only control so much. You can’t control what they do in their yard (even if what that is yell and try to attract your dog).August 14, 2020 at 3:57 am #953090TalisGuest
Your neighbors are surely welcome to get their own dog. You don’t sound out of line to me but then again I’ve owned many pets, have worked in an animal hospital, and don’t have kids so maybe (definitely) I’m biased. As a kid I was utterly obsessed with my neighbors’ dogs (and my neighbors were great about it!) but under no circumstances would I have been allowed to hang on the fence and make a ruckus to get anyone’s attention.
This has been mentioned but it bears repeating that giving any animal unfamiliar food can be disastrous. Not to mention how critical it is that a 4-year old not be left with a dog unsupervised because no matter how sweet the child or how well-trained the dog, accidents happen. Your dog is not a plaything.
It seems to me like the mom was being touchy but I can’t tell if she’s stressed/exasperated or just entitled. I’m leaning stressed, times being what they are. She’s probably fucking exhausted, in all fairness. Idk what your relationship was like with your neighbors previously but I feel like this does not need to be contentious. I’d reiterate to mom that you’re just trying to do the responsible and safe thing by everyone (her and her daughter especially) and hopefully that will open her ears a bit to your willingness to compromise.August 14, 2020 at 4:48 am #953199KateKeymaster
Peggy wrote: “Well I am not sure if you are just a bit over protective of your dog and protective of your time in ways that most dog owners are not–I can not say,as I don’t have a dog. “
I do have a dog (no kids) and I would say yes you are.
Like jeez, she’s 4, and she did cut it down to once a day. It’s actually good for dogs to socialize with kids.
I am with the other commenters who said you all sound like quarantine has gotten to you and you’re not reacting normally. Give each other a break.August 14, 2020 at 5:48 am #953326BondgirlGuest
Fair points all around. Quarantine burnout hadn’t occurred to me which is why I posed the question…. I will keep your feedback all in mind moving forward. So thanks for that. Probably gonna wait a few days tho before trying to re-approach the conversation.
I have nothing against our neighbors but we haven’t interacted much since we’ve moved in until we brought the dog home. At least, nothing beyond basic pleasantries. They have a son but he doesn’t behave like the girl does. Along with my desire for backyard privacy, I do worry about legalities if the kid gets hurt from either the dog biting or from hanging on our fence that’s in very poor shape —- we’re scheduled for replacement.
Not sure if it was clear in my original post but about once a day I have been letting the girl interact for a few minutes from the fence. Sometimes less, depending if we’re doing something with him. But, after a few minutes of interaction if he walks away and she’s still carrying on, that’s when I shut it down with “he’s done visiting!” And this is exactly what had happened when the mom flipped out.August 14, 2020 at 6:06 am #953368AlexGuest
It doesn’t matter if child is 4 or older, she should not be hanging on the fence or calling for the neighbor’s dog. A child that age is old enough to be taught to leave the neighbors alone. I don’t understand why there us so much sympathy for the child just because of her age. My kids were well adjusted and happy but there were boundaries. I am sure I will get comments by saying this but it sounds as if the child’s mother isn’t doing her job. Why is that little girl always in the yard by herself? Seems lonely to me.