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I have a chihuahua she is not even a year old and is about 4lbs, my kids adore her and she is like my child. But there is one issue, my neighbor. My 3 year old daughter does not understand yet that the dog cannot be let out without leash, so she will open the door and call the dog to go out and play with her, I really do try to watch and make sure she dose not do this. Well the dog runs next door if the neighbors are out and starts barking, and I immediately run out after to grab the dog. the first time I went to court my 3yr old went over to apologize for letting the dog out and in tears begged the neighbor not to get our dog taken away. But the neighbors insist on going to the police station every time to file a complaint. The dog has only gotten out 4 to 5 times. the neighbor has claimed that my dog has tried to eat her infant child, and that my dog had its mouth open when it was barking. and the few times that my dog has gotten out the neighbor has kicked it (yes kicked my dog so hard I had to take her to the vet, her rib was cracked) and has thrown objects at her. And they wonder why when my dog is in the back yard it barks when she sees them. Today I got my 3rd summons to court because I was in my back yard and my dog was on the leed while I was doing yard work, apparently this complaint was because my dog barked at her and had every intention to attack. My dog A.) was on a 30 ft leed, B.) she was in my back yard. C.) she could not have even gotten to the fence and if she could have, I doubt my dog could jump the 8ft to get over the fence on the leed that cannot reach the fence to begin with. Because this is my 3rd summons I could have my dog taken away, and my kids would be devastated. At this point I am even scared to walk my dog, I have resorted to putting pads in my house for the dog to do its business. Its to the point where this is harassment and I don't know what to do about it. I have paid over $400 in fines, and I can't even take my dog for a walk or have her outside for the kids to play with. Shes a hyper dog and needs the exercise. Any advice?
 

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Yes, lock your door so your 3 year old cant open it. That is extremely dangerous for both your child and your dog.
 

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Put a lock high enough up your door so that your child can't open it. Also, put a door alarm on (really easy to find - there is a part that goes on the door and a part that goes on the frame so whenever the door opens, an alarm sounds) so if she manages to get the lock open anyway, you'll know every time the door opens.

Could you also file a countercomplaint against your neighbor for harassment?
 

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To the op , this is clearly a case of someone that knows how to work the legal system and is building a case history to fortify any future complaint. I would do whatever step it takes to stop dog from getting outside unsupervised as you are now armed with knowledge and insight as to what kind of person you have for a neighbor.


Best , oldhounddog
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks for the advice. But my point was that my dog is not "vicious" and has not tried to harm anyone, she just barks a lot and I am afraid that they will put her down. The neighbors a completely over exaggerating what happens. The dog gets out and it barks. I has no intent to harm them, but when they start kicking it and throwing things at her then yes she will try to bite. The judge the last two times dismissed the case because it was so petty and my dog is so tiny its almost impossible for her to harm anyone. I can't even walk my dog without it being an issue.

Put a lock high enough up your door so that your child can't open it. Also, put a door alarm on (really easy to find - there is a part that goes on the door and a part that goes on the frame so whenever the door opens, an alarm sounds) so if she manages to get the lock open anyway, you'll know every time the door opens.

Could you also file a countercomplaint against your neighbor for harassment?
I am not sure if I could do a countercomplaint, but I can try.
 

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Thanks for the advice. But my point was that my dog is not "vicious" and has not tried to harm anyone, she just barks a lot and I am afraid that they will put her down. The neighbors a completely over exaggerating what happens. The dog gets out and it barks. I has no intent to harm them, but when they start kicking it and throwing things at her then yes she will try to bite. The judge the last two times dismissed the case because it was so petty and my dog is so tiny its almost impossible for her to harm anyone. I can't even walk my dog without it being an issue.



I am not sure if I could do a countercomplaint, but I can try.
It doesn't matter if your dog will bite them or not. Your dog is still harassing them. Its your job to manage you dog and your kids. Lock the doors, put an alarm of the doors, put a baby gate up, whatever. If you are outside, manage your dog. If it starts barking, try to make it stop. Distract it with a chew, or something very tasty to occupy it. If that doesn't work, put the dog in the house. Yeah, it sucks for the dog, but it won't give your neighbors anything to complain about. If they keep pressing charges on you that aren't valid (which they shouldntt have anything to try to file against you if you managed your dog properly) then file harassment charges.
 

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Again you guys are missing the point. I have a fenced in back yard. Animal control has told me my dog can bark all it wants when it is in my house or on my property. As far as my child goes she does not get out the house unsupervised, when she does go outside with her brothers she sometimes takes the dog with her. My child is allowed outside i shouldnt have to gate my doors and put extra locks. She knows when she can and cant go outside.Again not the issue here. The issue is that my dog, husband and kids should be able to go in the backyard and play without an issue. If the neighbor didnt come to.the fence and complain that my dog was outside then it would not bark at her. I can't even take my dog outside. My dog doesn't even have to do.anything for them to complain. I just have to walk out my door with her. If you have no advice for my and if your gonna tell me how to.raise my kids then don't reply. I have raised three kids. And the person who is complaining isn't really my "neighbor" its my neighbors mother who is there all the time.
 

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This situation has mushroomed.

I would hire a good dog trainer. That will help when you go to court. You could consider taking a letter/evaluation from the trainer with you. (But I am not a legal expert!) Plus, you want your sweet pup to learn not to run outside when the door opens. Next time he may run into the street.

I've had success training my dog to not run outside until I give her permission, and to stop barking when I tell her too. I have a really sweet dog too, but she's an excited, high energy dog. Many people see hyperactivity as aggression, and they are wrong. I do not want my neighbors jumping to conclusions like that. It is my job to protect my dog.

Most places have noise ordinances. Where I live, a dog cannot bark all it wants.

I don't know if it would help or not, but I would try discussing the issues with the neighbor in a calm way. You have to live next door to them.

Wishing you luck with this.
 

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It might be worth your time to talk to your neighbor about his (or her) mother. Something I would do right away is send a certified letter to them. Tell them you really want to have your dog behave in a way that doesn't disturb them but aren't sure exactly what is the main issue. Ask them what the solution is. What they want.

This letter is not simply a neighborly gesture. If you have a (or multiple would even be better) certified letter showing how you are trying to work with them it will be a huge asset to your case. If they ignore the letter, "judge I have gone beyond my duty in an attempt to satisfy my neighbors. They haven't even given me the curtesy of a response. They clearly seak no resolution and I would ask you dismiss this frivolous complaint immediately." if they do respond with an unreasonable response, "your honor, I made a neighborly gesture beyond my duty in good faith to try to satisfy my neighbors complaints. As you can see by the unreasonable reply she sent me I have no choice but to realize she doesn't want resolution. She just wants to complain."

Please be aware im not in any way a qualified legal expert. But this is what I would do.
 

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Again you guys are missing the point. I have a fenced in back yard. Animal control has told me my dog can bark all it wants when it is in my house or on my property. As far as my child goes she does not get out the house unsupervised, when she does go outside with her brothers she sometimes takes the dog with her. My child is allowed outside i shouldnt have to gate my doors and put extra locks. She knows when she can and cant go outside.Again not the issue here. The issue is that my dog, husband and kids should be able to go in the backyard and play without an issue. If the neighbor didnt come to.the fence and complain that my dog was outside then it would not bark at her. I can't even take my dog outside. My dog doesn't even have to do.anything for them to complain. I just have to walk out my door with her. If you have no advice for my and if your gonna tell me how to.raise my kids then don't reply. I have raised three kids. And the person who is complaining isn't really my "neighbor" its my neighbors mother who is there all the time.
The issue, as I see it, is that you have psychotic neighbors from whom you need to protect your dog. I agree with the others, put a lock up high where your toddler can't reach. It sucks and we all "should" be free to do exactly what we want but the reality is often the opposite. I want to be free to go hiking by myself but I won't risk it because there are psychos who prey on solo women. Sucks but I don't care to risk it. You need to access what you're willing to risk.
 

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I agree with getting a trainer. Perhaps work towards earning a CGC.
As for the neighbor, if it were me, I would privatize the fence that runs along their property so neither one can see each other.
I would also get a video camera installed to record what exactly is happening. The videos should be helpful for any future complaints, as well as helping the trainer to view what's happening. I would start journalling everything as well.
I'm not sure how your dog got out of the yard or house where the neighbor would have access to kick her or throw objects, but you cannot allow your dog to get out and run off your property, period, under any circumstances. It's too dangerous for your dog.

While the kids can be outside to play, because of the circumstances, the dog should be supervised by you or your husband when the dog is in the yard - at all times.

I'm not saying you don't have valid points, but unfortunately, your neighbor has some serious issues. To not take appropriate steps could mean losing your dog. It's better to take extraordinary precautions until this is sorted out.
 

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Again you guys are missing the point.
No, the point is that the dog is getting outside. This is more of a person issue than a dog issue - a 3 year old cannot be expected to understand the gravity of the situation and the possible consequences of continuing to bring the dog outside, so YOU have to take control of where the dog is at all times if you want to prevent her getting outside into the yard and barking at the neighbors.

That means either changing how you supervise your children so they can't go outside and bring the dog with them (changing locks/baby gates as suggested in some of the above posts), or change how you supervise the dog so that the kids can't bring her with them when they go outside (tethering her to you or confining her in whatever room you're in). Yes it sucks that you have to change your routines and your lifestyle, but it's very unlikely that you are going to change the neighbor's behavior so the situation has reached a point where you need to change your own.

The only other option I can think of if you're unwilling or unable to change how you're doing things is to put a privacy fence on that side of your yard. The dog can still bark, but the people won't be able to egg her on and won't be able to actually see her or claim that they are in physical danger of being bitten like they would be through a chain-link fence.
 

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Again you guys are missing the point. I have a fenced in back yard. Animal control has told me my dog can bark all it wants when it is in my house or on my property. As far as my child goes she does not get out the house unsupervised, when she does go outside with her brothers she sometimes takes the dog with her. My child is allowed outside i shouldnt have to gate my doors and put extra locks. She knows when she can and cant go outside.Again not the issue here. The issue is that my dog, husband and kids should be able to go in the backyard and play without an issue. If the neighbor didnt come to.the fence and complain that my dog was outside then it would not bark at her. I can't even take my dog outside. My dog doesn't even have to do.anything for them to complain. I just have to walk out my door with her. If you have no advice for my and if your gonna tell me how to.raise my kids then don't reply. I have raised three kids. And the person who is complaining isn't really my "neighbor" its my neighbors mother who is there all the time.
No, the posters haven't missed the point. You asked for advice and they are giving you exactly that. If you aren't willing to keep your dog from getting loose or barking at the neighbors when the neighbors have gone as far as to PHYSICALLY HARM your dog and file police complaints, you should re-home the poor dog before your neighbor throws poison over the fence. With neighbors like this I sure wouldn't be letting my children outside without watching them. A three year old needs supervision regardless, they are not old enough to recognize a dangerous situation.
 
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