25 answers

Neighbors Dog

I live on a cul-de-sac which is so great for my 4 year old. He loves to play with his friends, ride his bike etc while I don't have to worry about cars racing down the street. HOWEVER, my neighbor loves to bring he dog down as well. Which is fine, but she does not keep him on a leash and he runs all over the place. Onto peoples yards, up to the kids.. Just everywhere. She is not aggressive or dangerous, although she does stand infront of you and bark.
needless to say, my son is not a fan of this, is afraid, and makes it so he doesnt want to go out and play. I do not have a dog, but aren't they supposed to be on a leash??? The owner KNOWS he doesnt like it. Its pretty obvious by the way he acts ..running into my arms....and she just tells him that the dog just likes to play. Personally, it bothers me even when we are not outside and see the dog running all over the street and all over my yard.
Sorry, I just think its rude!!
any suggestions? Should I call animal control??

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

thank you all for your feedback. I do want to approach the owner (who is nice) about this, however, if I do and nothing is done, she will obviosly know who called Animal Control.
However, if I don't say any thing, she will NOT know who called because alot of my neighbors are unhappy about her roaming dog. Personally, I would think common sense would tell her to put the dog on a leash.... My son is not the only one who isn't fond of her dog. And as other stated, God forbid, he bites someone. You just dont know!! Why would she take that risk??
My son actually does like dogs, but not a dog that runs like a bat outta hell at you while riding a bike and starts barking. I'd be scared too!
I'll keep you guys updated ;) thanks!!

Another update:
I decided to leave a note in her mailbox. As I stated, most of my neighbors are irritated with her dog running loose on their property so she will not know who the letter is from. I know it sounds cowardly, but I do not like to stir up trouble, especially with neighbors. I have not done so yet, but will be this week.
I'll update again! ;)

Featured Answers

Act now tell her to put lease on dog get other neighbors to back you you can never trust a dog. I was terrified of dogs when I was young neighbor let dogs out and they jumped me when i was 3 never forgot it. I as still not a dog lover 45 yrs later. Just because its a calm dog and other kids love him doesnt mean you have too!

I would try talking to the neighbor first. You are totally right. Dogs should be either on a leash or restricted to their own property, not free to roam. I personally love dogs, but am very respectful in that they need to be leashed for many reasons. I would be just as annoyed if my kids didn't feel comfortable playing outside because of this.
Good luck!

More Answers

Have you spoken directly to your neighbor yet. I think it would be more honest and respectable to have a conversation with her about it and ask her to keep her dog on the leash and then, if she doesn't respond to your reasonable request, you can call animal control. Personally, I love dogs and would encourage my son to learn to become comfortable with it and to handle it appropriately, but you are perfectly entitled to feel differently and to request that the leash laws be obeyed so that you and your son may enjoy your neighborhood in comfort.

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First, familiarize yourself with the town ordinances regarding dogs. There are usually rules about when a dog can be off leash and where, or under what circumstances. In my town, a dog may be off leash on its own property but cannot leave it's property unless properly leashed. In some areas, the dog can be off leash anywhere that dogs are permitted as long as there are no signs that specifically say to leash the dogs AND provided the dog is under "voice control." You should find out whether your town has a voice control clause and if so, ask the town to define voice control.

Additionally, there are usually regulations regarding how dogs may be kept outside of the home and how they should be leashed. Most people don't realize, but many towns list the maximum length of a leash that can be used for walking the dog through residential neighborhoods. Often, this maximum is 6 feet. This means that anyone who uses a retractable leash is often breaking town rules. You could use a longer leash on your own property, I use a 50 foot lead to exercise my dog on my property because we do not have a fence and she has poor recall.

First find out if your neighbor is breaking a rule, and if so, which rules she is breaking. I would then approach my neighbor with constructive ideas on how everyone can win in the neighborhood, but explain that your child is afraid of dogs and you would prefer that she confine her dog, when it is offleash, to her own property, and properly leash the dog when he leaves the property.

She may not cooperate. In a case like that, if the dog approaches your child on your property, you can call animal control. I have had to do it and my neighbor was cited, but she had four dogs, off leash, who consistently left her property to aggressively approach my dogs. The owners were hostile to my requests to properly confine the dogs and one day three of the dogs, the large ones, charged at my dogs across the street, off their property, in front of witnesses. I called AC and the neighbors were cited. Luckily no one was hurt. I don't have a lot of patience for people who falunt laws intended to protect public safety. "my dog is not aggressive" "He just wants to play" "He's friendly" are all really bad excuses for poor management of pets. Your dog may be friendly, but my dog isn't or my child is frightened. You are well within your rights to politely but firmly explain that you would be more comfortable if the dog were leashed.

1 mom found this helpful

I would ask the neighbor to control her animal. Then if she doesnt comply call animal control. I am an animal lover, but children are far more important than animals. There is no reason to have your son running from a dog of any size. The owner MUST respect your wishes and control her pet.

I just read your response to this post and I dont know why you are worried that your neighbor will know you called animal control. But if thats the case then call and have this situation ended asap, before a child is hurt.

1 mom found this helpful

Have you asked them to keep their dog on leash? I would. Either that or keep them off your property. I would do that before calling animal control. I have 2 dogs and I would appreciate the heads up.

I remember being a little girl and being afraid of our neighbors dog. I now have NO fear of dogs at all... my trick I learned as a little girl that holds true is to IGNORE the dog and pretend it isn't even there. I was only around 6yrs old, but remember my neighbor holding the HUGE pointer back as it barked and pulled on its leash. I walked right up to my neighbor's kids, standing tall and mentally telling myself the dog "wasn't there" and IGNORED the dog and it WORKED!

Different towns have different leash laws. I have a dog and in our town you do not have to have your dog on a leash if the dog is on their own property with someone there with it. I would not call animal control, that would just cause bad blood with your neighbor. I would first find out what the leash law in your town is then I would speak to your neighbor nicely and tell her that your son is afraid of the dog and does not want to be outside when the dog is. You could also inform her of the leash law what ever it is and tell her that if things don't change you might have to take it to another level and inform animal control. She probably just doesn't realize how you and your son really feel and once she is informed of this things will change. I know as a dog owner if someone just called animal control on me and my dog for being out in the yard without speaking to me first I would be very angry and upset. Are there any other neighbors that feel the same as you. If there are you might all want to speak to her together. I hope this helps you and good luck.

I am a dog owner and my guy is never outside without a leash. I have one that is 30 ft long that I use when we're hiking so he has a lot of run room. Unfortunately a lot of people don't realize that their dog isn't welcome everywhere. Several years ago I was knocked over from behind by a friendly dog who then grabbed the sleeve of my coat and dragged me 10 ft as the owner said "Oh he's just playing."

I would talk to the owner directly saying something like 'While I know your dog wouldn't intentionally hurt my child I need you to understand that my son is afraid. I'd like for you to put him on a leash so that he's not running all over my yard and running up to my son.' Be direct but be firm. If she wants to run her dog then she needs to fence her yard, take him to a dog park, or take him out in the woods for a romp. You are not unreasonable to request that her dog be leashed when out of it's own yard.

Hi J.,
If the dog comes onto your property, you are within your rights to say something to the neighbor and she has no right to be upset or angry. I think it's courteous to tell you neighbor that you are not okay with the dog being on your property and barking at your son so that he does not want to go out and play in his own yard, rather than just calling animal control. Either way, though, I would do something. You paid a lot for your house and your child should not be scared to play outside or be chased by/barked at by a dog

I agree it's rude for one to allow their dog to run fee on everyones property especially if the neighbors are objecting to it..
The law is different everywhere about leashing dogs and cleaning up after them. Call your dog warden, or police department, or town hall to find out what the law is about this in your community.
Knowing where you stand with the law, don't report your neighber until you have spoken to her about keeping the dog leashed and sure she's not willing to respect your request to keep her dog controlled on a leash. Once that is established, you have the right to report her to the dog warden.
However, Your neighber is probably right about the dog only wanting to play and be part of the fun the children are having. There's nothing more wonderful then children growing up with a great dog they can run and play with. Is it possible both you and your neighbor can both work with the dog and your child to over come his fears of the dog??? That way your child can benefit from growing up without fear of animals..

That fact is if the dog is kept on a leash or not, your child is still going to be afraid of dogs until you teach him differently. To your neighbor, this dog is her child, and part of the neighborhood as the rest of you are...wouldn't it be nice to all get along and play well together.

I would try talking to the neighbor first. You are totally right. Dogs should be either on a leash or restricted to their own property, not free to roam. I personally love dogs, but am very respectful in that they need to be leashed for many reasons. I would be just as annoyed if my kids didn't feel comfortable playing outside because of this.
Good luck!

ask her to hold the dog back on a leash when your son is out because the dog is scaring him and this doesn't make for a happy child. See how she responds.. ask anyone else if they have a problem too??


If your neighbor's dog is being allowed to run loose in the neighborhood, and is not being kept on a leash, and it is scaring your son, you certainly should inform your neighbor of this, and ask him to keep the dog leashed.

If you approach him politely with this request, and he still refuses to keep the dog leashed, then I certainly would call Animal Control and file a complaint!

Your son has a right to be able to play in his own yard without being harrassed or frightened by a dog who is running loose, even if the dog is just playing, and is not being aggressive.

And if the dog does become aggressive, and your son should get bitten, it could cause him to have a permanent fear of all dogs.

As a child, your son has a right to play and feel safe in his own yard, however, legally, your neighbor does NOT have a right to allow his dog to run loose if he is being a public nuisance, and is scaring your son, even if he is harmless. Also, if the dog should get over excited by children running around, and he should suddenly become aggressive, and one of the children should get bitten, then it will be too late, once the damage is done.

My advice would be to address this issue directly with your neighbor, in a nice way, and, if he still refuses to keep the dog leashed, or confine him to his own yard, then I would definitely file a complaint with your town's Animal Control Officer, who can force him to be responsible for his dogs actions, and keep him from becoming a public nuisance in your neighborhood.


Act now tell her to put lease on dog get other neighbors to back you you can never trust a dog. I was terrified of dogs when I was young neighbor let dogs out and they jumped me when i was 3 never forgot it. I as still not a dog lover 45 yrs later. Just because its a calm dog and other kids love him doesnt mean you have too!

I would not suggest going to animal controll. I think you have to tell your neighbor how you feel. Your son is fearfull and you dont want the dog around. You dont have a dog & really dont want hers around the yard either. If she doesnt respond respecting your wishes then yes I would call someone. Good Luck.

I personally am not a fan of dogs for several personal reasons. I am very allergic to them - so I never touch dogs. And, I was chased by a Great Dane when I was 5 and I never forget that. So big dogs do scare me.

When someone has a dog and I don't want it near me I just say that either I am uncomfortable because of the size of the dog or that I am allergic.

I've never met someone who doesn't understand either.

I think if you just tell the neighbor that your son and YOU are scared of the dog and can you please leash it, he/she will understand - I HOPE. No need to call the authorities at this point.

Also, when I am out in public with my daughter (who wants to touch all dogs she sees) I tell the owner that I am more afraid for the dog than for her because she is not used to being around animals - and the owner is then very aware and usually will either bend down to help my daughter pet the dog or will walk away from us. It works really well when I don't know how friendly a dog will be.

rather than call animal control or the authorities, why dont you just try to have a friendly conversation wtih your neighbor? explain that your child is afraid and that you are not comfortable with the dog running loose. Nicely remind your neighbor that there are leash laws and we he abide by them??

I think its incredibly rude and I think you need to voice that to the dogs owner and if she still continues then just say flat out that you will not be outside with your child when the dog is outside - you are not trying to be rude yourself but it is not fun for you or your child. I hate dog owners who don't think of anyone else!

I am an animal lover and have dogs, but mine are in our fenced in yard and when they are out they are on a leash. Like you, I don't like other dogs wandering around loose except when their is an agreement between 2 neighbors and the dog goes between both yards. Personally I have enough work cleaning up my own dogs business, I don't want to clean up someone else's. If I were you I would first talk to the other neighbors and then approach the one with the dog. If she continues to let her dog loose then I would contact the animal control officer. First and foremost protect your son.

Dear J.,

I know you have already updated us and what you plan to do but I want to add something. You already said she is nice. Like the other posts if you are a dog lover you can be quite clueless as to what is appropriate when your dog is in public. I would hope if she takes the dog to the park she has it leashed. This said just say to her I like your dog and I know the children would feel more comfortable if it were leashed as it frieghtens them and the kids are uncomfortable, period end of sentence. You sound like a nice person I'm sure you'll phrase your request nicely and she shouldn't be offended. And if she doesn't heed your request call animal control and who cares that she may know it was you. We are talking about your child here, you don't want him traumatized.
When I was 6 years old a family member had a Siberian Husky, beautiful animal but very aggressive. I got a vibe from this dog I never liked but the family member said it was all in my head. He let the dog loose when we were having a B-Day party in the yard for a cousin. The dog ran around, chased everyone, zeroed in on me stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on my shoulder push me to the ground and had his jaws open around my neck. My father pulled the dog off of me and nearly killed the family member whose dog it was. I am 43 and if I see an unleashed dog on the street or even behind a fence I will walk blocks out of the way to avoid it. If I meet new people and they invite me over to their homes I ask if they have a dog first. I don't wish this fear on anyone. Be strong protect your son first worry about your neighbors feeling second. A. B.

We have a neighbor like that, only this dog has already snapped at 2 children and bit one. I would say something nicely but be firm enough to get your point across. If that doesn't work then contact animal control. Maybe the dog just wants to play and doesn't do anything to intentionally hurt the children, but what if she scares your son while he's on his bike and he gets hurt. Good luck!

Your son has every right to be able to ride his bike and run free outside his own home. However a dog does not. Yes, a dog is required to be on a leash and I think this woman is being rude and inconsiderate especially when she can clearly see how frightened your child is. I own a dog and when people visit my home who are not fond of dogs I will put him in a separate room. I would first try to approach her nicely and ask if she could please put her dog on a leash. If she refuses then I would call the local police and let them ticket her for failing to put her dog on a leash. There are leash laws and she will be fined for not abiding by the law.

Check with your town and see what they say about dogs on leashes. Unless it's a dog run or your backyard, I believe they have to have their dog on a leash no matter how friendly. Tell them they need to keep their dog on a leash because you son is afraid.I have a neighbor whose child is afraid even if my dog is on a leash so I pick him up every time I see her. It's common courtesy.

A funny aside...I had my dog at a dog run. He did his business. I was standing right there, bag in hand to pick it up and a terrier came out of nowhere and ate it. The dog's owner then came over and yelled at me. "You didn't pick it up fast enough." I told her she should feed her dog before she brings him to the park. I find sometimes humor works.

There are pobably leash laws in your township, which you can check with the zoning officer. Our township imposes a $500 fine for dogs off the leash. I have a dog and would never dream of letting him go leashless. I even have a long tie out/tether to use if I just want to sit outside with him. I do it to protect my dog, because I don't want him getting hit by a car. Sure he just stays around me, but you never know when a dog can get distracted and run off after something or someone due to a sent or movement. You might want to invite your neighbor over and explain how frightened your child is and that you know the dog is friendly, but it could accidently knock your child down.

I agree with all the advice that you have been given but I would like to add that the behavior of the dog is not entirely friendly. Standing in front of a little kid and barking at it should in no way be tolerated by the owner. I have a 10month old puppy that a lot of kids want to come and pet. Because the dog has so much energy it is difficult however, because I have to make sure that she does not scare the kids. I hold her collar, make her sit or lie down and only when she is calm, I let the kids come up to pet her. And this is how the owner should handle his dog too.

Hi J.
She probably uses the dog as an excuse to come out and socialize with the neighbors. If she doesn't have children of her own, then her dog is her child and she is taking the "child" out to play with the other children.
The dog needs to be on a leash!
She would have the dog under such better control if she would do that. She has not taught her dog good social manners if she allows the dog to bark at children and scare them. If the dog was an actual child and acted that way, just think of the unruly kid you would have living on your block!!
Either tell her, "Your dog needs to be on a leash..It is scaring the children and I want it to stop scaring my son!"
Or yes, you can call animal control.
They will go to her door and asses the dog. Making sure it is not a threat to people and then warn her that the dog must be leashed at all times. If she doesn't comply, you can keep calling them, but they would have to be called to go out when she is out there and catch her doing so to fine her. If you are the only one having trouble with the dog, she will figure it is you that called.
Are you friendly with other neighbors?
Do they feel the same way?

I live in a townhouse develoment. We have leash law rules ourselves and there is a $250 fine the first time your dog is unleashed, unattended or poops and you do not pick up after it....stiff penalties, but there are still some that do not follow the rules even with these stiff fines in place. Some people are out right rude and defiant and feel they are above the law.

Your neighbor is probably just being social and uses her dog to do that. She probably thinks EVERYONE thinks her dog is so friendly and so cute! She hasn't a clue!!
Maybe you need to just "Clue her in".

P.S. I am moving from here and my new home is in a cul de sac too. I have seen other people with (BIG)dogs there and it is my fear that those dogs run loose also. I have a 20 month old daughter and a 7 lb dog. Believe me, I will NOT take any chances with either of them.
I am pretty assertive when I have to be.

At the very least, stick up for your son!!

Good Luck J.!!

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