Neighbors' Pesky Dogs and Invisible Fence

May 29, 2019
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I'm not sure if this is the right forum to post this, but I'm hoping to reach people who have some insights on aggressive neighborhood dogs.

First of all, I live in the sticks. It's all country out here--winding, rural roads, tons of livestock and dogs (usually fenced in, thankfully). The rules, I think, are a lot more lax than you'd find in a suburban community. Anyway, over the last year, our new neighbors installed an invisible fence for their two dogs. The problem is, the fence comes right up to our driveway (which we have to walk when we take our own dog out; or if we need to check the mail). Well, whenever we are walking or driving down our driveway, both dogs charge us, aggressively barking and baring their teeth. One of them--thankfully the less aggressive one--can actually cross our driveway, and will, if we back away. He seems fearful enough to keep a distance, but I'm pretty sure the other one would go for the throat if given a chance. This is frustrating for two reasons: (1) it works up our 90 lb GSD mix, who is good but definitely reacts to two dogs charging us (we don't want to have to break up a dog fight between a bunch of large dogs); and (2) it's honestly scary and stressful. As someone who had been attacked by a dog as a child, I get very frightened. I drive the car to just get the mail and will often drive the car down the road to take our GSD for a walk. I know it sounds silly, when they haven't yet actually attacked us, but it just seems like such a distinct possibility should the invisible fence ever malfunction or they simply get ramped up enough to ignore it.

Further, I'm worried about our chickens. They are in a very secure coop and run with an apron fence, but I'm always worried for the day the dogs might get out of their fence (it happened once with the less aggressive dog but the owner realized immediately). We don't have electricity outside so I'm not sure how to best secure them in case the dogs do get out one day when no one is around.

We are thinking about politely asking then neighbors to bring in the invisible fence radius by at least a couple feet. Is that fair? How can I be most diplomatic? I really don't want to start beef with neighbors--IMHO it's always best to stay on neighbors' good sides, especially out here where people play by their own rules. Also, I'm worried that if they did bring it in, the dogs would be so used to the old radius they'd bust through it anyway, and it actually might cause more of a problem.

Any thoughts, suggestions, insights, experiences are much appreciated!
 

Bigtom Turkey

Crowing
Nov 29, 2020
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First of all I can see how that would be a very stressful situation for both you and your dog. I have tried using an invisible fence for my 115-120 lb dog and he ran right through it!
so the fact that the are using it for two big dogs that are seemingly very aggressive make me worried for you safety.
Try talking to them make a cake or some cookies and take them over and have a nice talk (be nice but firm don't let them walk all over you) tell them your fears and hope for the best.
maybe try taking a quick video of the dogs as you try to get the mail? then they can sse how you could be afraid. Past that idk technecly they are on there property so... I am afraid there is not much you can do :idunno
 

Geena

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Aug 17, 2014
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You sound more than fair to me! Personally, I wouldn't put up with that situation at all, it's dangerous. I would speak to your neighbors ASAP. You're right in that the dogs might just run right through it if the boundary changes. I know it's not your responsibility, but for your own safety is there any way you can put up an actual fence in that area?
 
May 29, 2019
665
1,112
221
First of all I can see how that would be a very stressful situation for both you and your dog. I have tried using an invisible fence for my 115-120 lb dog and he ran right through it!
so the fact that the are using it for two big dogs that are seemingly very aggressive make me worried for you safety.
Try talking to them make a cake or some cookies and take them over and have a nice talk (be nice but firm don't let them walk all over you) tell them your fears and hope for the best.
maybe try taking a quick video of the dogs as you try to get the mail? then they can sse how you could be afraid. Past that idk technecly they are on there property so... I am afraid there is not much you can do :idunno
Thanks for your input. We agree, trying to ask diplomatically may be the best choice. Sigh. I hate confrontation, even if polite.

One of the dogs can and does cross our driveway. Luckily it's the less aggressive one. Not sure if he's on a different fence or what. But he's fearful so he'll only cross if we give him a wide radius (which we usually do, we barely use the driveway now unless in a car).

They've seen how the dogs are and have been out when they charge but don't correct them. They used to yell down "be nice" but seem to have given up on that. I mean it never worked anyway lol.

We once visited with them to be neighborly and they had to have the aggressive dog by its collar the whole time until they decided to bring him in. He was lunging at us and growling/frothing at the mouth the whole 20 minutes. They joked that when their mom in law stayed over he didn't stop growling at her the entire time. I don't think the dogs have ever been trained/socialized at all.

Video is a good idea!!
 

Bigtom Turkey

Crowing
Nov 29, 2020
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Sigh. I hate confrontation, even if polite
Same, some times though you have to put you needs over your want's.
We once visited with them to be neighborly and they had to have the aggressive dog by its collar the whole time until they decided to bring him in. He was lunging at us and growling/frothing at the mouth the whole 20 minutes. They joked that when their mom in law stayed over he didn't stop growling at her the entire time. I don't think the dogs have ever been trained/socialized at all.
I would not be surprised, when you have a big dog like that you need to socalize them from a young age. I have a GSD lab mix and I knew he would be big and in charge so once a week I took him to the feed store with me b/c some times you have to.
 
May 29, 2019
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You sound more than fair to me! Personally, I wouldn't put up with that situation at all, it's dangerous. I would speak to your neighbors ASAP. You're right in that the dogs might just run right through it if the boundary changes. I know it's not your responsibility, but for your own safety is there any way you can put up an actual fence in that area?
Sadly, no. Our driveway literally is right up against their property line and also runs adjacent to another neighbor's front lawn, who already has a (decorative) fence up. That other neighbor's driveway branches off from ours. Hard to describe, but it wouldn't really work :(

We could fence in a portion of our yard to help keep them out, I suppose (though it wouldn't work for the driveway area). We live in a weird little triangular nook. Gotta love it!

Thank you for your ideas. We will have to mull over fence strategies. We are thinking about talking to them but don't trust they'll train their dogs to adhere to a new radius, so not sure what they can do. It's clear the dogs had never met anyone besides their family and are not trained at all (not to sit or anything). I think they're just let out in the yard during the day or in a crate inside.
 
May 29, 2019
665
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Same, some times though you have to put you needs over your want's.

I would not be surprised, when you have a big dog like that you need to socalize them from a young age. I have a GSD lab mix and I knew he would be big and in charge so once a week I took him to the feed store with me b/c some times you have to.
I know you're right. I just feel like a fish out of water out here. My husband and I are Yankee suburbanites who now live in rural VA countryside. We love it, and we do love the people down here, but definitely stick out like a sore thumb. We're worried about coming off judgmentally, I guess.

I agree with you about it being a responsibility to adequately socialize and train dogs, especially large dogs who can have built-in tendencies to be territorial/protective. We did the same with our GSD mix, taking him to Rural King and Home Depot and all, making sure he met all kinds of people and animals frequently since a puppy. Because of that, he is confident, and so excited to meet other people and pets (okay, sometimes obnoxiously so, but I'll take that over aggression). The neighbors dogs seem fearful and that's what scares me--I feel that fear-based aggression is dangerous. And the fact that it doesn't seem the most aggressive one knows how to read situations, even if the owner is present and attempting to diffuse him. Anything other than his people are a threat.
 

deidreg

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I know you're right. I just feel like a fish out of water out here. My husband and I are Yankee suburbanites who now live in rural VA countryside. We love it, and we do love the people down here, but definitely stick out like a sore thumb. We're worried about coming off judgmentally, I guess.

I agree with you about it being a responsibility to adequately socialize and train dogs, especially large dogs who can have built-in tendencies to be territorial/protective. We did the same with our GSD mix, taking him to Rural King and Home Depot and all, making sure he met all kinds of people and animals frequently since a puppy. Because of that, he is confident, and so excited to meet other people and pets (okay, sometimes obnoxiously so, but I'll take that over aggression). The neighbors dogs seem fearful and that's what scares me--I feel that fear-based aggression is dangerous. And the fact that it doesn't seem the most aggressive one knows how to read situations, even if the owner is present and attempting to diffuse him. Anything other than his people are a threat.
Oh, I understand the culture dynamics going on! I lived in Richmond for two years and was always the "damn Yankee".

I agree taking them some treats, or fresh eggs, and asking if they're open to moving back the invisible fence line is a good way to go. The fact you've chatted with them before, so this won't be your first conversation, also helps. Don't judge their lax attitudes, perhaps be a bit self-deprecating. "I get startled by the dogs coming so close. Would you be open to moving back their invisible fence a few feet?"

I know others may think this approach is wussy, but I also know the importance of keeping the peace. And to southern BYC members, please don't take offense. I know many Yankees who moved south and love it! Richmond just wasn't for me.
 

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