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dealing with a problematic neighbor


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Mar 5, 2013, 7:10am   #1
K
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I moved to my house six months ago. It is a nice neighborhood with newer houses (a few years old). When searching for this house, I made sure to secure a home with a fenced back yard, because I love dogs and wanted to have a safe place outside for them to play. A few months after moving here, I got puppy. As he grew older, I began allowing him more play time outside. About a month ago I unexpected received another dog. It wasn't planned and was only suppose to be temporary. But the two love playing together and playing in their yard.

I work from home so their unattended time outside is very limited. I go to the gym three times a week, so an hour, max, there. And a few hours randomly throughout the remaining part of the week. Never before or after normal hours when a person would be bothered by a noise outside.

A couple of weeks ago my neighbors became a problem. They came to my house claiming that my dogs barked at all hours of the day and night. The lady claimed she was "recovering from surgery" and her "narcotics only last an hour" and she is left in pain for 3 more hours until she can "take more pills". She demanded I lock my dogs in the garage and not let them come outside. I politely apologized for their barking, said I would try to reduce it, but that I would not lock them away. I also explained that they are not outside more than a couple of hours at a time and that they could not be that disturbing.

Since that day, I have "spied" on the dogs, had others come by and check on them if I am out to see if they are barking, and they are not barking unless they see a rodent or hear another dog, average amounts of sound. I came home and three fence panels were missing, along with one of my dogs. I quickly located the dog as he was desperately trying to get back in through the gate (the gate in which the dog had never seen open to know that is the entrance/exit). I knew the dogs hadn't knocked over the panels because they were no where to be found. After further inspection, we discovered the neighbor had actually been IN MY YARD (foot prints). My dbf repaired the missing panels, put a lock on my gate and we moved on with things. Note: fence belongs to neighbor

Early this morning, my dogs woke me up to go outside and take care of their morning business. I let them outside, five minutes max, and realized a huge piece of the fence is now down. I am so upset right now, I couldn't even go back to sleep. I don't know what to do. My only thought right now is to respond like they are. I want to put up the ugliest, cheapest most eye sore fence that can be purchased and set my ipod speakers to max and leave for the day.

I tried to play along. I do not feel sorry for this lady and her "recovering from surgery". I had extreme surgery over the summer after shattering all of the bones in my foot/ankle. I had metal bars (11) drilled into my bones, on both sides of my leg, and now still struggle with the pain that they cause. And I didn't have to be hateful or rude to anyone. And I have news for her "narcotics" taking...I couldn't even so much as take a tylenol after my surgery. (Had an allergic reaction and completely stopped breathing and almost died on the operating table.) She is still completely able to walk (and gripe!) which is a lot more than I could do for three months. I don't feel sorry for her having to listen to dogs play occasionally.

Ahhh, sorry for such a long vent this morning. I'm about to go make matters worse!!
Mar 5, 2013, 8:17am   #2
natalie78's Avatar
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Originally Posted by KoKo01
I don't know what to do. My only thought right now is to respond like they are. I want to put up the ugliest, cheapest most eye sore fence that can be purchased and set my ipod speakers to max and leave for the day.
Do not do anything even remotely close to this, because then you become the problem if they call the police. Put up a fence of your own, but make it something that you would actually want to look at on a daily basis. And if they mess with your fence, then you have a legitimate complaint for law enforcement. They can do whatever they want to their fence (take off panels, tear the whole thing down, etc.) You can't control their behavior.
Mar 5, 2013, 9:59am   #3
J
Member
I agree. If the fence is their's and on their property, you should just put up a fence of your own that is on your property.

You might want to put your fence well inside your property if you have extra room, to keep the barking further away from your neighbor's house.
Mar 5, 2013, 7:30pm   #4
d
zzz
You can't do much about them messing with their own fence. You have to put up your own fence, and make sure it's well within the property lines of your own property.

Sounds like your neighbors just aren't "dog people." You have my sympathy.
Mar 5, 2013, 10:20pm   #5
K
Thread Starter
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The way the houses are, the fences are essentially shared. But my dbf was able to have a discussion with the neighbor. In my opinion, I feel the neighbor man told dbf a very one sided story, but I told bf I didn't care who was right or wrong or what was said, as long as the guy felt we had reached some kind of agreement he was happy with, I was happy.

The neighbor told bf that when they first approached me about the dogs barking that I was rude to him because all he asked for was that I try to keep them quiet for a few days while his wife recovered from surgery. (Surgery was mentioned that day as a last remark with no mention of temporary, in which I sincerely apologized for her pain and told her I could empathize.) I will be the first to admit that I probably was less than hospitable that day, but I in no way was disrespectful. He then told bf that he would check to see if the dogs were out and they were out from 9 am until after dark, which is a complete lie. They have never been left outside anywhere near that long.

In the long run, dbf agreed to help him repair (routine wear and tear) and pay for the portion of his fence that was bordering my yard in return for the fence being put back up and in a timely manner. Neighbor claims he was simply "reparing" his fence, but who begins replacing a fence with three pickets in the middle of the run, then two panels on the other end IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!?

But neighbor is happy with the effort of bf to try to diffuse the situation. He understands the one who is barking is only barking because he yells at her to stop, and now feels that we are making an effort to help the situation.

Not happy, but at least I am not worried for my safety or the safety of my dogs at this point. Choose your battles I suppose they say.
Mar 5, 2013, 10:55pm   #6
CCfor C's Avatar
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Try to make sure your dogs are not barking excessively. It can be quite annoying and a nuisance to neighbors. Barking you think might be okay, others are bothered by. My idea of a good neighbor would be one who would keep dogs from barking the majority of the time even if it isn't convenient for them, because too much of it is really noise pollution.

Others don't want to listen to owner's dog noises, except on rare occasions.
Mar 6, 2013, 1:59pm   #7
g
Member
Glad to hear you can probably work things out with your neighbor. I love dogs and have had them for years in all our old homes. Lucky we lived on 5 acres and then in a house that had seven feet walls and a lake in te back so our dogs never bothered the neighbors.

I can say from living in our development now with those open metal and wooden fences that the neighbors dogs drive us crazy. One neighbor has two small dogs that are out during warm weather and bark at any noise and bark and run the fence line at us. They are out all the time in the summer. I try to talk to them and they eventually calm down, they are good dogs.
But one neighbor about 80 feet away in the back lets his two dogs out and all you hear is constant barking for hours. He has big dogs. From what I hear they are mean and have bit people. If we are relaxing in the pool in the summer the barking from these dogs usually makes us give up and go inside. Add to the barking s the neighbor screaming at his dogs trying to train them. It can really get quite annoying. I could see how it would be easy to be upset over dogs in any yard if they are out for a few hours. I do agree that many owners o not realize how much their gos can bark.

Perhaps tell the neighbors your dogs name and maybe give them a box of treats to give the dogs every now and then? My Friend's neighbor has two large dogs and I love to talk to them and pet them through their fence when I visit. I would love to have them as doggie neighbors....
Last edited Mar 6, 2013 at 2:12pm.
Mar 6, 2013, 2:47pm   #8
o
ooo
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I would buy a large, large locked wire/metal kennel (dog run) for the dogs. Secure it so it's dog proof. I would make it a large dog run. If they escape, then, she trespassed and let the dogs out of a fully secured, locked, huge dog run/kennel. Otherwise, you know she'll try to let them out again.

Get security cameras in your backyard. ASAP.

I would even add an alarm in your backyard. Someone goes near the dog kennels when you're not home and the security alarm goes off. In fact, I would add security cameras around the whole house and an alarm. You've got a neighbor on narcotics. I wonder if she even has a doctor prescribing them.
Mar 6, 2013, 2:51pm   #9
o
ooo
Member
I would also get the dogs barking collars. They could be barking more than you think, though I think you're neighbor is just a PITA. Dogs barking at neighbors houses is very, very annoying. Ditto with children playing loudly and then squeeling. I would get the security cameras to protect yourself (the woman is on narcotics and tore down your/her fence!), as well as barking collars (maybe, just maybe, the dogs bark more than you think.) Dog houses and dog toys could help entertain the dogs more.

Actually, how about leaving them in the house when you're away? Not that you have to, but your neighbor is on narcotics, and I wouldn't trust her. If you want them outside, I would definitely get a locked/gated/human-proof/dog-proof dog run, plus security cameras.
Mar 7, 2013, 8:04am   #10
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Originally Posted by ooo
I would also get the dogs barking collars. They could be barking more than you think, though I think you're neighbor is just a PITA. Dogs barking at neighbors houses is very, very annoying. Ditto with children playing loudly and then squeeling. I would get the security cameras to protect yourself (the woman is on narcotics and tore down your/her fence!), as well as barking collars (maybe, just maybe, the dogs bark more than you think.) Dog houses and dog toys could help entertain the dogs more.

Actually, how about leaving them in the house when you're away? Not that you have to, but your neighbor is on narcotics, and I wouldn't trust her. If you want them outside, I would definitely get a locked/gated/human-proof/dog-proof dog run, plus security cameras.
I disagree with this. I have seen bark collars malfunction more than once, causing serious burns to the throat of two dogs. My neighbor put one on her dog and it made not difference in his barking through the night.
Mar 7, 2013, 8:06am   #11
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Even though you technically "share" a fence, you can still put up your own within your property boundaries. My sister has a neighbor with two large dogs who are very unfriendly. The neighbor erected a six-foot wood privacy fence to separate their yards. My sister turned around and has her own fence put up to make sure there was enough protection between her children and the dogs.
Mar 7, 2013, 5:19pm   #12
d
zzz
IMO you should put up your own fence. You already know the neighbors don't like your dogs, so why trust that they'll keep the fence intact.
Mar 8, 2013, 7:52am   #13
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Originally Posted by doreenjoy
IMO you should put up your own fence. You already know the neighbors don't like your dogs, so why trust that they'll keep the fence intact.
Yep.
Mar 8, 2013, 3:03pm   #14
ILuvShopping's Avatar
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I agree with putting up your own fence. It's horrible to have neighbors that are on the attack mode against your dogs. Happened to my friend who has two great danes. Someone called them into animal control for neglecting their dogs (which they are no where near neglected).

I have also see bark collars work, my friends had to use one on their daschund. it made a HUGE difference. now they think the battery is dead but they put it on anyways and it keeps the dog from barking 90% of the time (until he does bark at something and figures out the battery is dead lol). and yes they did try it on themselves before putting it on their dog. And it was their last resort as far as ideas trying to get the dog to stop, their dog barked A LOT.

It sounds like either your neighbor was taking parts of their fence down to either A. let your dogs loose in hopes that something might happen to them, or B. giving you no option but to keep them inside. and the first one is very scary that someone could be that cruel.
Mar 9, 2013, 11:09pm   #15
o
ooo
Member
Originally Posted by doreenjoy
IMO you should put up your own fence. You already know the neighbors don't like your dogs, so why trust that they'll keep the fence intact.
This.

And, if you don't get bark collars, at least get a trainer to stop the barking. Or, record video/audio of your home outside when you're away. They could be barking more than you realize.

Personally, I would rather get a safe/vet recommended dog collar (not some cheap crap from TJ Max) than risk my dogs barking all day and my neighbor letting them out to get hit by a car.
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