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How do you feel about neighbors interacting with your dog?

9541 Views 40 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  MaddieTheDog
A couple of days ago, Zero was barking his head off. Normally he doesn't bark unless the neighbors golden retrievers are loose again or he's playing with the Vizla that lives behind us. I looked out the window to see if the goldens were out again (because I was going to go talk to their owner about it) and discovered he was barking because the neighbor was walking up to my fence. I was curious why she was approaching my fence as it didn't seem she had any reason to do so. She leaned over the fence and started petting my dog (which I didn't have a huge problem with), and then she started feeding him something. I was not pleased with her feeding my dog, but now wonder if I might've been over reacting a bit. This neighbor is the nosy neighbor on the block, not the malevolent one (he lives across the street from her) and I don't think she's trying to harm my dog. I'm just a little ticked at her feeding him without even talking to me.

Fast forward to two days ago. I come home from running errands. I park in the garage and walk by the fence to get to my house. My dogs were out in my yard and they normally bark when I come home. I don't think this is too abnormal of a behavior for a dog. They bark until I'm inside and continue to bark for 2-3 minutes afterwards. Then they go back to what they were doing before I showed up. I make it a point to ignore them completely while they're barking. Once they stop, I'll let them inside, feed them, go out in the yard with them, whatever. On this day, I did walk outside while they were barking. I found my neighbors behind me in their yard bbq'ing and yelling at my dogs to stop barking. The dogs were completely silent when I drove up to the house and only started barking when I pulled into the garage. This really, really ticked me off.

Where do they get off yelling at my dog who had been barking for less than two minutes and only because I had come home? They're gonna scream at my dogs while they're Vizla is the most fearful and under-socialized mutt I've met. I walk out into my yard and their dog goes ballistic, but if I approach the fence, he runs for his life with his tail between his legs. I can't be in my backyard without their dog going nuts. They had obviously been hanging out in theirs with no problems from my dogs until I came home yet they're yelling at my dogs to shut up.

How do you feel about neighbors feeding your dogs or screaming at them?
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I don't have your exact problem, but I'd try to talk to them nicely. Like "those darn dogs, blablabla.." and see if you can reach some sort of understanding. See if it's possible to make friends with their dog, and them with yours, so that there is no barking when people are outside.
i would not allow the feeding....i don't care what they're like (nice or buttheads) they have no business giving them food....i would politely explain to them that my dogs cannot have many foods b/c of allergies (whether they had food allergies or not) and that, if given the wrong thing it could kill them....if i saw them do it again then i might use a different tactic, but i'd try the nice approach 1st....

as for the barking, if you're gone, how do you know they had not been barking at the neighbours b/4 you got home?

see, neither of these things would happen for me to begin w/ cuz my dogs would never be outside (i don't care if i have a 6-8' high privacy fence) w/out me out there w/ them except maybe to go potty.....
I don't have any neighbors, but if I did, I would be very uncomfortable with them (or anyone) feeding my dogs. I would try the nice approach, too. But as far as yelling at my dogs, if they were barking, for whatever reason, I would totally understand them yelling at them to be quiet.
I think any unsupervised interaction, positive or negative, is problematic.

The last time I left Esther in the yard (outside the kennel run) when I wasn't home, I ran a ten-minute errand on a nice day. My neighbor, a dog-lover, leaned over the fence and took a tennis ball offered by Etsher and threw it. Esther returned it a couple times to be thrown - each time with increasing enthusiasm.

On the 4th or 5th return, it became obvious to my neighbor that Esther was planning on jumping the fence - which she could certainly do. However, at the last moment, she thought better of it and crashed through the fence instead.

When I got home, my neighbor had Esther on a leash, awaiting my return and the repair of my fence.
I wouldn't mind the neighbors tossing a bit of food over the fence.. As long as they asked me and it was something I approved of.

My neighbors dog GSD used to bark at me often when I came out back, I went over to the fence and petted it, and eventually trained it to stop barking when I told it to shush.

I talked to them about it and they didn't mind, they asked me if the dogs bothered me barking and offered to keep them in of they did. I told me it was no problem if they didn't mind me making friends with their dog.

Their other dog is a little toy pug or something, it barks incessantly for hours on end at times, especially when put out back at night, but it's bark is so quiet you can hardly hear it.

I don't leave mine out all day, or all night, so I don't have a barking issue with them.
as for the barking, if you're gone, how do you know they had not been barking at the neighbours b/4 you got home?
I've been home sick a few times before and had the dogs in the backyard because I was too sick to deal with them aside from feeding them. They never barked all day.
My dog George had a hard time with my next door neighbors when we first moved in & he'd bark at them a lot. But the neighbor asked if he could throw milk bones over the fence for him in an effort to get him to be more accepting. The neighbor actually had to go out & buy the milk bones as they've never had a dog.
I had no problem with that at all. However, that can actually make a dog bark more for the attention, which did eventually become the case with George & I would often hear the neighbor yelling at him to shut up. Then I just had to be sure to call George in whenever he'd start barking. I do find it pretty irksome when neighbors or others yell at my dogs, but I can also see their point, so I just call the dogs in.

It does bother me a lot if a stranger walks up to the fence & tries to feed my dogs something - thus the tall privacy fence along the alley.
You could try attaching a sign to the fence if you don't want people feeding them.
Our neighbor across the alley has a cute dog & I've asked if they mind if I give him a treat now & then & they're fine with that. But I ALWAYS feed him from down low thru the chain link, rather than making him jump up by feeding him from over the fence.
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Scenario # 1 would never occur because everyone is a bit cautious (GSD) in the first place and those who know my dog actually sometimes take her out if I need someone to and I leave them dog treats for the process (and they always give her too many LOL). I had 5 neighbors (rural) but one of them is in hospice and her house will soon be 4 sale (who knows who will move in). When I get new neighbors, they will be trained and I won't hesitate to use + punishment... or is it negative punishment? I will intervene b4 there is any food transfer.. but they have to be deep into my property for that to happen.


As to the barking.. it sounds like your other neighbors are not very dog smart (a lot of owners are not.. and many hit their dogs etc. and think they are training them). I don't have that trouble because my dog is crated when I am not home inside. She is only in her yard when I am home and then not very much (when I vaccuum the house.. she hates the Sears Vaccuum, but does not care about the Shop Vac.. I can vaccuum her with that and she thinks it is a game... go figure!).

You don't know w/o a camera etc. if your dogs bark when you are at work and they are out alone. Maybe they DO bark some of the time when you are not there but are silent when you are.

That being said, my dog ignores commands given by other people. I have enough trouble getting her to do what I ask.. and her deafness with strangers Approaches legendary status.

Let anyone touch her to discipline her... They will quickly find out My dog won't bite but I will.

This is all probably TMI and not helpful.. but there it is.
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Maybe because your neighbors were out bbqing and your dogs had something to say. Totally different scenario when there are actully people out enjoying their yards.. Dogs do tend to want to join in the festivities.

I dont want anyone to feed my dogs..but yelling at them to shut up is ok by me. Because they do shut up when given the quiet command. Well.. all except for Iris.. shes my problem child.

I live rural and my neighbors are not very close to me. But if i did have neighbors that I can see into their backyards..I wouldnt leave them outside unsupervised...
I have no issue with my neighbours telling my dogs to be quiet, if they needed to. I never leave my dogs outside alone though, to many people that will steal them, school across the street so tomany kids that cold torment them, not to mention they are only small dogs and my oldest boy has no hair so he burns easily etc etc.

The feeding would tick me off to no end though, I do NOT feed my guys tables scraps at all. I would worry about what they were being fed and if it was safe etc etc, many people do not know what can be toxic to dogs. Quincy wouldn't accept it anyway, he's my shy boy and doesn't respond to other people with food, but he would take from Ruby. Ruby,well, what can I say, she is a 6 month old puppy and loves everyone, and assumes that each and every person in the world loves her back lol. she would have no issue taking food.
I've been home sick a few times before and had the dogs in the backyard because I was too sick to deal with them aside from feeding them. They never barked all day.
Had the neighbors been out bbq'ing then?

I would be ticked about someone feeding my dog something I didn't approve of stranger or not. Without a doubt.
I would get in the face shouting at anyone who fed my dog anything. My dog is never ever EVER outside unsupervised, though. In order to feed my dog, you'd have to break into my house or walk right up and feed him in front of me ;)

As for barking, my dog doesn't bark (he's a Whippet). Ever. He is nearly 12 and we've never heard him bark. I didn't teach him not to- he and all of the Whippets I know just don't bark except maybe in play sometimes. But, if anyone shouted at him, I'd be upset. That said, if I had a dog that did bark, I would make sure to keep it indoors and not allow it to bark. I do hate barking, and my neighbor's dogs bark at me every time I go out in *my own yard* and I think that's very rude. I should be able to weed my own flower bed without someone elses' dogs barking at me while I'm on my OWN property.

I shhh their dogs (I know yelling won't work) and I have sprayed them with my hose before when I just lost my temper when I was nine months pregnant and really didn't feel like being barked at every time I stepped outside. I have also reported two different dogs to animal control numerous times because their dogs bark every time any of the neighbors even just go out to their cars. VERY annoying.
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Feeding would royally tick me off. Lucy is prone to allergies, and Ursala has a sensitive tummy.

As for neighbors telling my dogs to shut up, I wouldn't mind too much. Lucy is a bit of a problem child and barks incessantly whenever children or other dogs walk by. Ursala, thankfully, isn't much of a barker.

...touch wood...


Also, because I just read through all the posts...

As for barking, my dog doesn't bark (he's a Whippet). Ever. He is nearly 12 and we've never heard him bark. I didn't teach him not to- he and all of the Whippets I know just don't bark except maybe in play sometimes.
Of course I end up with a yappy one. LOL!...She ran headfirst into a wall as a puppy. D'you think that might have knocked a screw loose? :p
I don't let anyone feed my dogs unless I say it's okay. People who try to feed my dogs without asking are banned from feeding my dogs, even if they ask me next time LOL I've had a couple of parties at my house and I've learned the dogs have to either be right with me the entire time or locked away because no matter what, at least one person decided to be ignorent and feed them even after I ask everyone not to. I haven't had a party in a long time though :p

As for yelling... I yell at my neighbors dogs. We don't live in the suburbs, so it's pretty rare we interact with the neighbors or their dogs unless we're going for a walk. But any dog that comes out at me I tell it to go home or be quiet etc. I don't yell at them meanly, just enough to stop any problems from happening so we can continue on our way (most people don't fence or tie up their dogs in my neighborhood).
I have an elderly neighbor who complains about my dogs all the time. A few times, she complained that when they pooped by the fence on her side of the yard, she could smell it from her back porch. We do pick up our dogs' poo, but we are not standing there to catch it before it hits the ground... Anyway, we decided to put up a temporary fence to keep them from that spot so we could train them to poo elsewhere. Mia, my troublemaker, would sneak over to the other side and play over there. We were trying to remedy this when one time the neighbor came outside while Mia was on the wrong side of the fence and fed her ham. First of all, we do not feed our dogs things like that. Secondly, she was basically training Mia to ignore the fence we put up for her benefit!! Grrr...
I haven't seen a lot of responses on the petting and I'm curious. No one feeds my dogs but quite a few come up to pet them and that gets under my skin sometimes.

Rone - the playing fetch bothers me too and Toby could also jump the fence if he wanted and I think sometimes he gets encouraged to.

Re: The Barking - I wouldn't want someone yelling simply because that won't help, but if your dogs are a nisance than someone has to do something; ideally that's the owner. I've been tempted to stop my neighbors yappy little dog from barking all day and not by yelling......JK. ;)
I have neighbors who scream at my dogs a lot. Even if they are just standing there looking at them they will scream at them to "git" as they say around here or to get in the house. I went out one day and my neighbor was out talking to some people near my fence and I politely went up and with his gesture told him to "git" he looked at me like I was insane but he hasn't yelled at my dogs anymore. But there are others who will yell if my dogs bark even though theirs go insane when I go anywhere near the back of my fence. It was funny to me but not to my family lol.

As for feeding I do not want anyone I don't know to feed my dog unless they ask me. But this is only because I have had more than once of my dogs poisoned when I was younger. The kids around here will come up to the fence and ask if they can give them a treat which I give them to give the dogs.
I've been home sick a few times before and had the dogs in the backyard because I was too sick to deal with them aside from feeding them. They never barked all day.
but that doesn't mean that they weren't barking at them or something else on this particular day....just b/c they don't bark when you're home doesn't mean they don't when you're gone....and they know even if they don't see you around....

in that instance i might have gone to the fence and asked them if the dogs had been barking the whole time you were gone and if they were tell them you'll keep them in when you're gone so as not to disturb them....might get the point across about their own dog...
If I caught a neighbor leaning over the fence feeding my dogs "something" I would have been out there so fast s/he wouldn't have known what hit them, and explained to them like a child that you never pet a dog you don't know, without the owners permission, or feed someones dog without their permission. Any thing outside her structured diet results in a hospital stay and could kill my mutt, so I'm extremely defensive about it. I don't allow my dogs alone in the yard because they are all houdinis and bark and squirrels, but luckily we live on an embankment high up from the street. You'd have to be 20 feet all to lean over our fence.

And yelling at the dogs? I would ask them in what world does that solve any thing? That's only going to rile my dogs up more.
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