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Old 06-27-2013, 07:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
 

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Help with a neighbor's dog

I want to start by saying I'm a dog lover of all breeds. I work part time at a doggy daycare/foster facility and have worked with numerous dogs. I say this because I don't want to come across like I'm anti pitbull...quite the contrary, I've actually fostered some wonderful pits and have found forever homes for all of them.

I'm trying to make a long story short, but we recently rented the lower a townhouse where our upstairs neighbors have 2 female pitbulls right around 3 years old. One is more reactive than the other, and that is the one I'm concerned about. My neighbors are nice people, but I'm seeing signs of aggression with their dog Eva and I'm not sure of the appropriate way to proceed, as I don't feel they have a good handle on their dogs or an accurate perspective on their behavior. There has been a bite situation that has taken place and I don't want to keep pestering them about my concerns over their dog.

The dogs bark and react to everything and I don't see much done in the way to keep their dogs excitement from escalating. 3 weeks ago we were outside and my neighbor brought her dogs out for a walk, as they were coming back up the driveway I asked if I could finally meet her girls. She told me sure, though they may jump. I began to walk near them and as I got close enough, Eva lunged and grabbed my arm. I was luckily wearing a sweatshirt, so I was able to get my arm out of her mouth, though she kept hold of the sweatshirt. My neighbor was able to pull her away. After we each went back inside, she came back down to check on me...while Eva broke skin and bruised me pretty good, I wasn't bleeding so I didn't go to the doctor. Had I not had on the sweatshirt, I would have needed a trip to the hospital. We discussed that I was no longer comfortable with her dogs and definitely didn't want them running loose in the yard anymore. My neighbors seemed apologetic and willing to comply my request that the dogs be on a leash or a tie at all times.

That being said, Eva now barks aggressively everytime I am outside with my new foster dog...well actually, even if the dog is not out there. She puts her face right up to the screen of the window and does not take her eyes off me. My boyfriend was taking the garbage out and the husband upstairs had the dogs out and Eva was straining on her leash lunging after my boyfriend. She is a big, beautiful, strong girl...if she wanted to get out bad enough, she could jump right through that screen. They have a deck with stairs that they use as their primary means of entry that they just keep blocked off with a baby gate, that again, Eva could jump in a heartbeat.

I don't know what to do. I don't want to strain the relationship between my neighbors and I, we live out in the country and they are our only immediate neighbors. But I no longer feel safe being outside in fear that if the dogs are out and our neighbors aren't paying close enough attention, that she'll jump out and charge/attack us. I would really love some suggestions from fellow dog owners on how you would want to be approached given this situation. Thank you for taking the time to read this novel.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Keep A gun or A seasoned game dog handy. That's A loaded weapon.
I had the dog you described, Eva. It went on me during feed and water. I let it finish the meal get A drink and pee, and summarily dispatched it. The man who's dog it was called me later that day, as I was keeping some of his young prospects, which this dog was one. I told him the story. He didn't miss A beat. He then said, passing right over the whole ordeal, " so, I guess you got A collar that needs another dog"? I said we'll,,, yeah,,, he said he would be there in an hour.
I got no more to say about that.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i would've done the same,
and yes theres always a collar that needs fillin,

its not that i dont keep the bad, i'm just making room for the good.

i would report the dogs twice, third time.

my mr. glock 40 is gonna want to get involved,
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You seem very educated and I commend you on assessing the situation so cordially. Since your neighbors seem to be good people and you seem to have rapport with them, I would again politely voice your concerns to them. Let them know that you have experience with dogs in general and that you love bully breeds and would like to help the situation! Your kind delivery in proposing this may actually leave your neighbors open to your guidance. A lot of people will not go out of their way to ASK for help so possibly offering will open up new doors for both parties involved.

Explain the concerns to them (your foster pup and you and your bf's safety) and come up with a plan! Whether it be de-sensitizing/CAREFULLY socializing the pups or simply making sure they are contained and their "out in the yard" schedules do not match yours etc...

Whatever the plan, I suggest asking them if they will allow you to help/give suggestions. After all....that may be exactly what they are looking for. Most people just get frustrated when they cannot handle/control a situation so proposing help may well........help.
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You need to suggest they get the help of a trainer to evaluate the dog. It may be just a fear based aggression and not a true human aggression. HA should never be allowed, if it is HA the dog should be put down immediately. But Fear based aggression can be easily fixed with a good trainer. Aggression issues should always be taken care of by a professional.
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Old 06-28-2013, 04:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
 

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Thank you so much for the feedback given so far.
I've spoke with my neighbors on 3 different occasions in regards to my concerns over Eva. The first time was immediately after I was bitten. The second was the next day when I asked that the dogs always be kept on a leash /yard tie & no longer be allowed loose outside when we are home. And the 3rd was a few days later after my manager at the dog daycare facility I work at saw my arm and insisted that I find out if the dogs are up to date on vaccines. Again, my neighbors are nice people and have complied with my request. I've seen them be more diligent in correcting the constant barking out the windows at us too. So here are my concerns:

How do I let them know that I'm still worried about Eva's behavior...specifically when they are both not home and their windows are open. Yes, they are on the top floor, but she could easily jump through the screen and onto the roof over the door and down to the driveway/yard. I know that maybe this seems like a stretch, but Eva gives a hard stare the whole time we are outside and barks aggerssively, butting her head into the screen, especially when my neighbors aren't home. I've seen a past roommate's american bulldog from jump off a second floor porch to chase a squirrel and didn't miss a beat. Eva has the same build of an american bulldog and may even be a mix...these are athletic dogs capable of such feats. They also leave the girls out on their deck/porch with only the babygate keeping them from going down the stairs...they are not on a leash when they are up there and the owners are not always out there with them. Am I just being overly cautious now that I've been bitten? Is it out of line to again mention my observations/concerns?

The last time I talked to my neighbor, the wife, she was more defensive regarding Eva. She claimed that they have never had this problem before and that when they go to the vet or have been boarded, they've had no issues with the girls meeting strangers. It didn't occur to me at the time, but both of these examples are off of their home territory. I think that since the dogs don't seem to have strong leadership at home, they are claiming this territory as theirs, and we are not welcome. My boyfriend & I are both dog savvy enough to know not to make hard eye contact or other minor actions to provoke a dog. How do you talk to people about their dogs behavior when they think that their dogs don't have a behavior problem?

I should also specify that it's really not both of their dogs. The other dog, Diamond, seems more mellow and only follows along in the barking. I haven't seen her lunge on her leash at people or come barking at us through the window or porch. In fact, when I've seen my neighbors walking their dogs and Eva gets into her excited fits barking at us if we are outside, Eva will often turn on Diamond and start scuffling with her.

I know I'm babbling on, I guess I'm hoping the more details I can offer, the easier it will be to let me know your thoughts on how to spark another conversation with our neighbors effectively...where they won't feel attacked or a need to be defensive, but will listen to my concerns. I just want to be able to enjoy being outiside of my home with no fear of a dog breaking through any barriers.
Thanks again!
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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How do I let them know that I'm still worried about Eva's behavior...Eva gives a hard stare the whole time we are outside and barks aggerssively, butting her head into the screen, especially when my neighbors aren't home. They also leave the girls out on their deck/porch with only the babygate keeping them from going down the stairs...they are not on a leash when they are up there and the owners are not always out there with them. Am I just being overly cautious now that I've been bitten? Is it out of line to again mention my observations/concerns?

The last time I talked to my neighbor, the wife, she was more defensive regarding Eva. She claimed that they have never had this problem before and that when they go to the vet or have been boarded, they've had no issues with the girls meeting strangers. It didn't occur to me at the time, but both of these examples are off of their home territory. I think that since the dogs don't seem to have strong leadership at home, they are claiming this territory as theirs, and we are not welcome. My boyfriend & I are both dog savvy enough to know not to make hard eye contact or other minor actions to provoke a dog. How do you talk to people about their dogs behavior when they think that their dogs don't have a behavior problem?

I should also specify that it's really not both of their dogs. The other dog, Diamond, seems more mellow and only follows along in the barking. I haven't seen her lunge on her leash at people or come barking at us through the window or porch.
Ah the ole "they've never done that before" excuse and mindset. I know my Luna is not DA but I still wouldn't put it past her that she wouldn't scuffle if it came to it....and she's the most aloof, sweet and calm puppy ever!

There's multiple problems here with your neighbors and their lack of control with Eva (and Diamond who is merely following her pack leader Eva). Staring out the window and barking aggressively is NOT OK. Leaving a baby gate on a porch is NOT OK. This is an accident waiting to happen due to negligence. It sounds like EVA is the pack leader in the house and the yard her territory. The neighbors obviously have zero control at this point even though they think they do. My recommendation is as follows:

I would approach the husband (it seems the wife is already defensive and ignorant) and in a non-confrontational delivery, tell him you would really like to sit down and talk as you value them as neighbors but do not feel safe. Let him know your concerns (EVERYTHING YOU JUST POSTED HERE) do not censor but do not imply his dogs WILL hurt someone/someone else's dog (even though you know they will). Tell him the porch containment is NOT IDEAL nor OK and propose suggestions (A short, safe tie-down to the building/deck?) Also explain to him that the mere fact that EVA BIT YOU for WHATEVER REASON (stress that the REASON to WHY she bit really doesn't fu^&in matter) is VERY concerning and that you/your pup really need to feel safe in your apartment, yard and surroundings. Basically the aim of the convo is to a) bring to light that this IS AN ISSUE and b) it needs to be addressed and action needs to be taken. Again, tell him you are willing to help and offer suggestions but if NOTHING is done to change then you will have no choice but to move onto further ramifications.

If he gets nasty or is not taking you seriously then I would say that should be your last straw. You have, to date, already attempted to help the situation and talk with them about it so if they are going to stay ignorant or not DO SOMETHING about your concerns then honestly, AC or law enforcement needs to get involved...and tell him that.

Personally I have always been told that I am a "nice" person and that I am "rational" but if I was in this situation, a situation where I honestly felt in danger and uneasy then I would be rather blunt.

Quick story. I live in a condo complex. I am cordial acquaintances with a lady and her 10 year old son who are always outside when I am walking Luna. They LOVE Luna....they have a 3 year old English Bulldog who was NOT socialized AT ALL with other pups. Every time we walk by their condo (ground floor) the Bulldog goes NUTS and aggressively barks and tears shit up on their blinds. You can hear the lady scream at him. Luna just looks at me like "Wtf is this dudes deal" lol. Anyways, quite a few times when we are on a walk we cross paths with the lady and her Bulldog. She KNOWS her dog is a di^k but is one of "those" people who truly can't accept that her dog is aggressive and can't have friends. So although she let's Luna and I pass, she sometimes motions me over to bring Luna over to her dog so they can meet. Every time I tell her I don't think it's a good idea. In addition, this lady can't really control her Bulldog when he's on a rampage trying to get at something. I've seen him pull her and she almost fell on her face. I just KNOW he is going to get away from her one day and Luna and I are going to be standing right there. I have ZERO fear of dogs...even the biggest most rabid dogs I do not see as a threat to me personally as I feel dogs (and animals in general) are not really strong or powerful enough to maim me to a point of helplessness. Sure I might get bit but if I get bit that dog is not going to like what happens to it immediately thereafter. I have no problem kidney shot-ing or punting the fu&^ out of a HA dog or a dog that attacks my dog. I boxed in circuts for 3 years so I know how to cause damage fairly quickly. Point I'm making here...is that there are times to be nice and times to be blunt...you've been nice, now be blunt.

People take kindness for weakness no matter where you live, identify it and escalate the situation appropriately.
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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People take kindness for weakness no matter where you live, identify it and escalate the situation appropriately.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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i used to think the same way, but i got a little 32lb alligator, that no human being would stand a chance against,

once she hits you once your gonna be opened up then she's comin again, when she gets another hold, she;ll shake that out to get another hold and your done.

any other breed of dog i would agree, but not an apbt,

once you see what a conditioned dog can do i promise you would re-assess your ansewr,

i aint talkin about some mix breed cur, i'm talkin one youy got to kill to stop
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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And surfer, the good lord knows, theirs been some fine dogs put to A dirt nap over A bite.
I was A bit misunderstanding of it at first. It was 1980 when I saw it take place. Until it was explained to me, like your saying, the full potential of A small dog, I got it.
And I still get it.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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i used to think the same way, but i got a little 32lb alligator, that no human being would stand a chance against,

once she hits you once your gonna be opened up then she's comin again, when she gets another hold, she;ll shake that out to get another hold and your done.

any other breed of dog i would agree, but not an apbt,

once you see what a conditioned dog can do i promise you would re-assess your ansewr,

i aint talkin about some mix breed cur, i'm talkin one youy got to kill to stop
Eh....at the end of the day both that alligator and conditioned apbt are going lights out before me. Self-preservation and adrenaline mode enabled and say bye bye, and it most likely wouldn't be pretty if it came to the point of me trying to "stay alive". Been there (not with an animal)

There's a reason we're at the top of the food chain as humans....
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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that tells me you've never been an actual witness to what can happen.

you m,ight think your the toughest person to walk in 'shoe leather'

and you very well might be, but i've seen with my own eyes the damage a conditioned hound can do one you got to killed to stop

maybe with a weapon, bare-handed you dont stand a chance,

fighting for survival or not
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:41 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Ive had HA towards me many times over the years from many different breeds(none from any kind of pit FWIW), and 99% of the time its the owners who I want to smack. With proper training the majority of any kind of dog will be submissively associative towards humans. In the rare case that genetics OR purposely trained HA occurs the only logical outcome is to put the dog down, and in the latter case again smack the owner.

The only exception to that rule is LEO dogs IMO. I have personally dealt with one dog such as this and I tend to think of them the same as our soldiers who come back with severe mental problems. They still served and I dont think that they should just be put down.


To the original poster, you have obviously tried the talking route with your neighbors already, and it sounds like they need to be smacked. That being said if youre not comfortable about possibly getting physical with the neighbors and dont want to persue this legally, then I suggest you and your hubby keep something to protect yourself with on your persons at all times because thats a ticking timebomb waiting to happen....
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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OP, any update??
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