Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

mykidsrmyjoy

Neighbor with pit bull-WWYD?

Recommended Posts

We have 5 children who play outside regularly. Our yard is not fenced in, but does have some sparse woods that run along the property line separating our yard from the neighbor's yard. Our children have been taught to stay in our yard and not wander off or go into the woods.

Our neighbor, who is an elderly man in his upper 80s, recently had a caregiver move in with him, which is fine, except that she also brought her pit bull with her. I have seen this dog wandering around in the neighbor's back yard, and heard the caregiver calling it repeatedly to come back. I have also seen her walking a good distance behind the neighbor's house to bring the dog back to the house.

I was not home this afternoon, and my husband told me he went outside and found the dog at the swing set in our back yard which is a few yards from our back door. Thankfully none of the children were outside, but this is very disturbing to me. What do we do? Contact the caregiver in person, talk to the elderly neighbor (I really don't want to burden him with this), or do nothing and hope for the best? I don't want to be overly paranoid about this, but given the reputation of these dogs, it's hard not to be concerned. WWYD?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd check the local ordinances and enforce them, but I'd also fence my yard.  I wouldn't want to bet my kids' safety on someone else following the rules perfectly every single time.

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of the sweetest dogs I've ever met were pits and pit blends though they were accompanied by their owners. That being said, I would be leery of any strange dog, especially one on my property. I've known mutts to chatter their teeth and growl at children, warning signs not to be ignored. I would let my neighbor know I'm not comfortable with the dog off leash and would report the dog every time it appeared unattended.

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The dog was not aggressive at all. The dog walked away when DH went outside. I don't know what the leash laws are, but we aren't in the city limits, so I wonder if that makes a difference.

 

As far as fencing our yard, as much as I would love to do this, it just isn't feasible right now for various reasons. I wish we could, though!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of the sweetest dogs I've ever met were pits and pit blends though they were accompanied by their owners. That being said, I would be leery of any strange dog, especially one on my property. I've known mutts to chatter their teeth and growl at children, warning signs not to be ignored. I would let my neighbor know I'm not comfortable with the dog off leash and would report the dog every time it appeared unattended.

 

Yeah, to me this has nothing to do with the dog being a pit bull but rather being allowed to go off its property unleashed/unattended.

 

There are lots of pit bulls in our neighborhood. They are sweet dogs.  But there is a leash law and most dog owners abide by it.  (The ones who don't, don't have pit bulls anyway.)

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The breed of the dog is not relevant. It does not sound as though the caregiver has properly trained the dog.  I would find out what the leash laws are and then speak to your neighbor about enforcing them. A loose dog is a danger to itself and others.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't worry about the dog being a pit if it hasn't shown any aggression toward you or your family. But I would go over and ask the caretaker to please make sure the dog stays in its own yard.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, most people aren't good at reliably identifying pits - and anyway, pit bulls are generally very people-friendly. (This makes sense. When you're wading into a pit after a dogfight, you don't want a hyped up animal biting you.) The issue with them is stupid people who chain them and abuse them to make them vicious.

 

However, I'd be concerned about a large, unattended dog wandering loose. That's not good for you, and it's not safe for the dog either. Find out what the law is, and tell your neighbor - the caregiver, I mean - that if you see the dog unattended again, especially on your property, you'll haul it down to the nearest animal shelter.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

do you have animal control in  your area?   it's been in your yard - even if it's not fenced.  at least here, they don't care if the yard is fenced.  the owner is responsible to control their dog.  that means fencing their yard, kenneling it, or whatever.  loose dogs can be picked up.  the dog is loose.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, and I accept that my view might be somewhat irrational but I've seen more than one person bitten by a pit or a pit mix, I'd not let the kids outside alone until the dog was controlled or gone, and I'd cut back to rice and beans for as long as it took to pay for a fence.  I'm sorry about your situation :(  We had a similar one when DD12 was 4.  Ruined our use of our yard and we moved shortly thereafter; the neighbors' dogs were both pits, and unattended (they didn't live there most of the time, but the dogs were always home and had a holey fence which they escaped daily).  They were trained to be aggressive with strangers, though.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps try to make friends with everybody at this point. Introduce yourself and kids to caregiver and dog. Compliment dog. Ask what kind of dog treats dog likes. Let kids feed it under supervision. Maybe offer to get one of those long, staked-in dog runs, but try to do that with no I'll feelings. That would give you a place to walk dog back to if you find him/her in your yard.

 

Basically so far the relationship is ok, try hard to keep it positive, because even with a fence there is a decent possibility you would be in uncomfortable situations with the dog at some point.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with becoming friendly with the people and the dog but I wouldn't start off by offering to buy something to help contain the dog.  The dog owner needs to be the one to take steps to secure his pet.  If he/they won't, and there aren't any laws to force them to, you might have to put up a fence, so be prepared for that possibility.  Check your laws!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree that dog doesn't sound aggressive, and the breed wouldn't bother me one bit, but still, it needs to stay in their yard! If they don't have a fence they need to at LEAST be out with it supervising but really they need to have it on a leash. Even if it is the sweetest dog on earth it could accidentally hurt your kids if they are running and playing and it gets excited and jumps up on them. 

 

I'd knock and say, "Hey, wanted to tell you how gorgeous/handsome your dog is, and it seems super sweet, but I thought you should know he's been leaving the yard and coming into our play area. My kids aren't really used to dogs, so if you could keep him on a leash I'd appreciate it. Thanks!"

  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First thing I'd do is research the leash law in your county.

 

How I would proceed would depend a lot on what it says.

 

Although it's probably not a mistake to go and meet the caregiver and talk to her about it. But I'd personally want to be "armed" with knowledge of the law first. 'Cause let's face it -- a person who lets her dog out in a new area w/o supervision isn't the most conscientious owner by a long shot.

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would put up a fence and be done with it. I wouldn't rely on local ordinances or laws to prevent the problem. In my area, animal control takes a very long time to respond, and usually no assistance available on the weekends. And yes that particular breed makes nervous. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would call the police each and every time the dog was loose. 

 

Before there is another incident (as in, ASAP), I would bring a plate of baked goods over . . . and firmly but gently tell the caregiver that they cannot have a dog loose in the neighborhood, and that it's frightening, and that they must have their dog leashed at all times. Keep it short and sweet. Then, proceed to call the cops each and every time . . . as there is little chance they will comply with your request . . . and, take pics when the dog is outside their property off leash . . . to show the police . . .

 

I would not involve the elderly neighbor. They don't need the stress. 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go over and talk directly with the caregiver. The dog needs to be leashed when outside, period.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would speak with both the caregiver and the property owner. This may be something you'd rather not bother the elderly neighbor with, but he needs to know if a dog is running loose on his property, and leaving the yard posing potential risks to others. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had some neighbors with an aggressive German Shepard.  It kept getting out.

 

My other neighbor (elderly man but certainly not feeble) was growled at IN HIS OWN YARD, by the dog.

 

He went over, and in no uncertain terms, told the owners that if that dog ever came in his yard again and growled like that, he would shoot it and that he had already checked the laws in the area and he would be in the right.  He had grandchildren who visited often and he would not allow them to be worried about a dog attacking them in their own grandparents' yard.

 

The owners took better care of the dog from then on.

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't want anyone's uninvited dog in my backyard. Simply for the waste problem if nothing else. I agree that I would talk to them first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would call the police each and every time the dog was loose.

 

Before there is another incident (as in, ASAP), I would bring a plate of baked goods over . . . and firmly but gently tell the caregiver that they cannot have a dog loose in the neighborhood, and that it's frightening, and that they must have their dog leashed at all times. Keep it short and sweet. Then, proceed to call the cops each and every time . . . as there is little chance they will comply with your request . . . and, take pics when the dog is outside their property off leash . . . to show the police . . .

 

I would not involve the elderly neighbor. They don't need the stress.

Your last comment makes no sense. Who do you think the police will speak to when they follow up on the call?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would call the police each and every time the dog was loose. 

 

Before there is another incident (as in, ASAP), I would bring a plate of baked goods over . . . and firmly but gently tell the caregiver that they cannot have a dog loose in the neighborhood, and that it's frightening, and that they must have their dog leashed at all times. Keep it short and sweet. Then, proceed to call the cops each and every time . . . as there is little chance they will comply with your request . . . and, take pics when the dog is outside their property off leash . . . to show the police . . .

 

I would not involve the elderly neighbor. They don't need the stress. 

 

Sorry, but this may be factually untrue.

 

It really does depend on the leash/animal containment law (or lack thereof) as well as any law(s) regarding nuisance animals, etc. That approach would net zero results in my county as there is no leash law and the law as far as nuisance animals, etc. is relatively weak (IMO). Repeated phone calls to the sheriff's department would in all likelihood at most result in the caller getting a visit from a deputy to educate them on LEO's lack of ability to do anything. I understand my county is probably much more the exception than the rule, but before taking any action it really would be a wise thing to read up on local laws.

Edited by Pawz4me
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would check on the law and speak to the caregiver immediately.

 

We've had problematic dogs in the neighborhood (fortunately not in a couple of years now). I call the owner first if I know the number. If I can't reach the owner, animal control is the next call. They will keep a dog if they have to come out about it three times; and the officer advised me that I have the right to use force if a dog is behaving aggressively toward us on the sidewalk or on my property. The animal control officers make sure dog owners know this when they have to come out, and owners normally prefer to be more careful rather than risk losing the dog to the county or having it shot by a passerby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You will have to fence. They know you have children, and they know the dog isn't under control. They don't have any intent to keep dog under control. They will be pleasant and agreeable, but they won't do anything.

 

Its also in your best interest to call animal control and see if its up to date on its shots. Everyone in your household should be current on their tetanus immunizations.

Edited by Heigh Ho
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your last comment makes no sense. Who do you think the police will speak to when they follow up on the call?

 

Wouldn't the owner of the home be liable if the dog harmed someone?  Since the dog would be living in his home?  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, but this may be factually untrue.

 

It really does depend on the leash/animal containment law (or lack thereof) as well as any law(s) regarding nuisance animals, etc. That approach would net zero results in my county as there is no leash law and the law as far as nuisance animals, etc. is relatively weak (IMO). Repeated phone calls to the sheriff's department would in all likelihood at most result in the caller getting a visit from a deputy to educate them on LEO's lack of ability to do anything. I understand my county is probably much more the exception than the rule, but before taking any action it really would be a wise thing to read up on local laws.

 

That's terrifying. So someone could have an aggressive dog wandering around and noone could do anything? Is there any animal control at all? Would they do nothing if it was wandering through the neighborhood? Also what about just plain old property rights - in a situation like OP's you would have no recourse to the dog coming onto your property? If so that seems really wrong.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wouldn't the owner of the home be liable if the dog harmed someone? Since the dog would be living in his home?

Yes, exactly. Calling the police will not keep the elderly homeowner uninvolved, nor will it minimize his stress.

Edited by Word Nerd
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's terrifying. So someone could have an aggressive dog wandering around and noone could do anything? Is there any animal control at all? Would they do nothing if it was wandering through the neighborhood? Also what about just plain old property rights - in a situation like OP's you would have no recourse to the dog coming onto your property? If so that seems really wrong.

 

 

Yes, we do have animal control but for the most part they're useless to the point that I don't really know what, if anything, they actually do. I know multiple people (including a former neighbor and my brother) who over the years have encountered wildlife they were sure was rabid and the typical AC response is "Can you just shoot it and bury it? And hey, maybe you could let your neighbors know just in case anyone came into contact with it?" I kid you not. When you deal with that kind of stuff aggressive dogs don't seem like much of a concern.

Edited by Pawz4me
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, exactly. Calling the police will not keep the elderly homeowner uninvolved, nor will it minimize his stress.

 

If the police are called to a household consisting of an elderly person and a caregiver I'm not sure it's a given that they will ignore the caregiver and demand to deal with the elderly person, just because he's the homeowner. It's the caregiver's dog after all. But in any case I honestly wouldn't be too concerned about other people's stress levels in this situation. I'm not saying be mean to an old man but all this stuff about be sure not to bother him... offer to pay for equipment... bring baked goods... present it as sweetly as possible..... they are not doing you a favor by controlling their dog. That is their duty. As far as interaction with the elderly gentleman, I don't know how frail he is. That's a judgment call, but presumably if he has been living independently up to this point he has some level of agency in the decision for the person and their dog to come there. You do need to know the law, and obviously coming at it with a really negative attitude would be counterproductive, but I would not tiptoe around this.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the police are called to a household consisting of an elderly person and a caregiver I'm not sure it's a given that they will ignore the caregiver and demand to deal with the elderly person, just because he's the homeowner. 

 

It's not a given that they will only deal with the caregiver either, which is the assumption I was addressing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, if the homeowner is fit to deal with it he should deal with it. That's a judgment call on the cops' part as well. I just don't think the fact there's an elderly person in the home means OP should be shy about this - though I would speak to the caregiver personally before involving the law.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, we do have animal control but for the most part they're useless to the point that I don't really know what, if anything, they actually do. I know multiple people (including a former neighbor and my brother) who over the years have encountered wildlife they were sure was rabid and the typical AC response is "Can you just shoot it and bury it? And hey, maybe you could let your neighbors know just in case anyone came into contact with it?" I kid you not. When you deal with that kind of stuff aggressive dogs don't seem like much of a concern.

 

This comment reminded me of the day we moved into our house: a county official came by to welcome us.  He told me that "Things aren't done here like they are done in the city where you came from.  If you see an animal on your property that isn't yours, don't call the sheriff, get out your gun and shoot it because the sheriff won't come out for stuff like that."

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Learn what the law is in your area, so you have that knowledge.

 

Then talk to both the caregiver and the elderly neighbor.  The neighbor needs to know because it is his home and his caregiver. The caregiver should also know because it is his or her dog.

 

If your area has no leash laws and the dog is nice, what you say would be different than if you learn there are leash laws, or if the dog has acted aggressively.

 

Among other things, I would ask if the dog has had rabies shot up to date.  My son got bit by a neighbor dog and this was an issue.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some people are just used to dogs that stay around, so they don't bother to leash them.  The dog of course doesn't know about property lines  even if he stays close to the house.

 

I would be concerned about kids even with a very friendly dog, though, as sometiimes dogs can become very excited when kids play and may try and join in in a way that isn't great for kids, though it would be fine for other dogs.

 

I'd just try and mention this to the dog owner, and see where it goes from there.  I wouldn't be worried about the breed, I like pit bulls myself.  But they are larger and can knock a kid down.

Edited by Bluegoat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You will have to fence. They know you have children, and they know the dog isn't under control. They don't have any intent to keep dog under control. They will be pleasant and agreeable, but they won't do anything.

 

Its also in your best interest to call animal control and see if its up to date on its shots. Everyone in your household should be current on their tetanus immunizations.

What exactly does tetanus shots have to do with this situation? I am very confused.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you or your kids get bitten, tetanus is the biggest risk. Always is, with bites.

Ok I feel stupid. I had no idea of that. We don't have dogs and are around them very little. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many people don't know that! I've had more arguments than I can count on this subject. So many people think that tetanus is somehow connected with rust. If your puncture wound didn't come from something rusty, you can't get tetanus! The truth is that tetanus is widespread in our environment. Any puncture wound can expose you to the disease. Your best bet is to keep your vaccinations up to date and practice good hygiene when you get a small wound.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many people don't know that! I've had more arguments than I can count on this subject. So many people think that tetanus is somehow connected with rust. If your puncture wound didn't come from something rusty, you can't get tetanus! The truth is that tetanus is widespread in our environment. Any puncture wound can expose you to the disease. Your best bet is to keep your vaccinations up to date and practice good hygiene when you get a small wound.

Good idea to kepp mmunization records in your go pack. You don't want to be searching while the victim is waiting or in transport, and there is no guarantee your dr's practice will be the one treating.

 

Also have police dept number if that's where animal control is based. You will need the dog's current immunization status, here the officer has to get the paperwork, verify it matches animal, let victim know, and file.

 

Also know there is a good change of deep scratches to go along with the bite if its shorts or swimsuit weather. Be up on your first aid training.

Edited by Heigh Ho

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also would tell the caretaker that if I saw the dog in my yard again I would shoot it, and that the local laws would be on my side. At least outside of city limits.  In city limits (where firing a gun isn't legal except in cases where you're in immediate danger) I would tell her I would call animal control, who would fine her for letting a dog wander every time it did, and if it acted aggressively at all the city would have the dog put down.  Harsh, but a dog owner's convenience isn't worth risking the safety of your kids, and a lot of dogs that aren't aggressive towards adults are to children.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also would tell the caretaker that if I saw the dog in my yard again I would shoot it, and that the local laws would be on my side. At least outside of city limits. In city limits (where firing a gun isn't legal except in cases where you're in immediate danger) I would tell her I would call animal control, who would fine her for letting a dog wander every time it did, and if it acted aggressively at all the city would have the dog put down. Harsh, but a dog owner's convenience isn't worth risking the safety of your kids, and a lot of dogs that aren't aggressive towards adults are to children.

This is what my husband wants to tell her, but I really want to resolve this without creating enemies, if at all possible. But at the same time, it is very frustrating that people will keep these potentially dangerous animals and then allow them to roam around.

My husband and some of the children were riding our golf cart the other day when a different dog in the neighborhood lunged and growled at them. He is really wanting to get me a small BB pistol to keep on hand for dogs like that, but I just really dislike guns. I wish people would keep their dogs contained!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, saying you'll shoot the dog seems a pretty high bar before you've even had a conversation.  You don't even know this person's background.

 

There are lots of dogs, especially in the country, who just stay out around the yard much of the day.  Thery don't run away, they don't bother anyone. 

 

That may be what this person is used to. 

 

If you think the owner will tend to downplay the possibility of a problem on the dogs end, say that the kids are not reliable around dogs, will potentially be too rough or hurt him. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't read all of the responses.  Do you know if there is a leash law?  Know your laws first and then find out how to act.

 

Any loose dog can be a threat.  My pit is a complete marshmallow.  He has never as much as growled at a person and all kids are amazing friends in his mind.  Don't assume that pit = bad dog.  If you are concerned about a loose dog and you have a leash law, talk to your neighbor's caregiver, explain your concern and the law and kindly tell them that you will call animal control if he is on your property again. Don't mention the fact that the dog is a pit.  That doesn't matter.  It will only escalate the situation unnecessarily.  To some people, it would be like saying that you don't want a man of a certain racial profile around your house but if it was a white man, you would be fine.  This is a heated, controversial subject (whether pits are profiled by breed) that is sometimes equalled to racial issues.  Just don't go there.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have owned pit bulls and I agree they are and can be very sweet dogs. However, I am leery of ANY unattended dog off of a leash especially an unfamiliar one on my property.  Dogs are territorial and anything with a mouth can bite. They can develop a pack mentality when in groups of two or more, though a single dog can bite just as easily. Just recently two dogs killed a woman in our neighborhood.  ******link removed for privacy******  My children were playing with those same dogs the day before and they were sweet as can be. 

Edited by Excelsior! Academy
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to clarify a few things: My husband nor I would ever shoot a dog that just happened to wander into our property, unless it was attacking us or one of our children. My husband was not suggesting we shoot the dog unless we warn the caregiver first, but I am not comfortable with that idea and think there are other ways to deal with this situation.

The leash law for our county is that the owner must contain the dog in his or her private yard or have it on a leash when it is off of private property. That is pretty cut and dry and definitely in our favor.

At this time, we cannot put a fence up, for various reasons. I think with this particular dog situation, the best thing will be for us to talk to the caregiver, explain our concern in a cordial way and see what happens.

You say shooting a dog with a BB gun is a terrible idea. What would your suggestion for defense be for a mom out on a walk with five small children? Not trying to be snarky, I'm really wanting suggestions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...