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Hello, DogForum. It's been a while.
*Sigh* Where to begin?

I think I've posted on her a few times about my situation, but as this morning (and all night last night) I was dealing with the same issue I've been dealing with for YEARS with my neighbors' dogs, I have to vent and get some reassurance that I'm not crazy.

I'll try to keep it brief. Long story short, I live on a 7.5 acre piece of property with a horse barn, pastures, and my house and yard areas (non-pasture). The property WAS part of a larger parcel that belonged to one of my neighbors. I've been here for 16 YEARS, however, so it's not like I just moved in. Over the years, the former owner's daughter has moved onto the place, she married, and her husband's parents live in another household adjacent to the property. All of these folks have horses too, and their horse barns are located on one side of my farm while they live on the other side. So they have to pass my farm whenever they go to the horses which is quite often. All of them have multiple dogs as well.

As long as I've been here, I've dealt with their dogs (and sometimes horses) coming onto my property. Two of their former dogs (both dead of old age now) even killed one of my old barn cats right here. Anyway, the current "pack" of dogs has been a nuisance since the daughter and her husband got an Australian Cattle Dog named "Annie". Annie has, for whatever reason, decided she HATES me, my dogs, my property in general. Since becoming an adult dog, she has continuously trespassed on my property, chased and harassed my dogs, and has even stood at the steps of my front porch (which is quite a distance from HER property, completely out of sight, and barked at and harassed ME. She even comes (as she did last night) to my fence/gate across my driveway (erected because of HER) and barks incessantly all hours of the night, waking up my dogs, who in turn wake me up because they hear her out there. She now has a beagle sidekick who has followed her lead and on occasion a few other dogs from the other two households join in and I have a literal pack of 4-6 dogs at my gate, barking, snarling, snapping, and lunging at my two dogs who are, understandably upset and trying to protect their property.

I have done EVERYTHING to try to resolve this issue without involving animal control (or a gun!). I've walked the dogs back to my neighbors' house on more than one occasion, spoken with them about it more times than I can count. I've built additional fences, put up the gate WELL inside my property line and around a bend out of sight of their house so that MY dogs don't provoke by being in their sight. It doesn't matter. They come rushing all the way from their yard, around the bend of my driveway and a patch of woods and lunge at my fence/gate mere yards away from my house, barking and growling. I've tried being nice to the dogs, and when that didn't work, I've resorted to taking a lunge whip from the barn and chasing them away.

Well, a few weeks ago I had been home sick, and I lost my temper when five dogs were at my gate trying to fight with one of my dogs. My other was tied near the barn, because I try to keep him away from the "fray" as best I can. Anyway, I screamed some not so nice things, and immediately the neighbors started calling their dogs.

As with every other time I've directly confronted them about the dogs, I've had several weeks of peace. They've kept the dogs contained or a watchful eye on them. However, I've noticed this time that at least one of them has a very cool attitude towards me now, as if *I* have done something wrong by screaming at her dogs (and HER, I suppose, but DANG! It's been YEARS of this crap!).

Well, also like every other time, it seems that stretch of peace is once again at an end. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. for at least the past 2 years (that's how long I've had Winston and it's been going on since before he came) it seems they keep the dogs controlled for a few weeks to maybe a month and then it starts back over again. And it will ramp up until I have to confront them again, and they'll keep the dogs up for awhile (proving they CAN if they just WILL), and then they start slacking up again.

Last night from about 10pm through to 5am this morning, the main offender, "Annie" was at my gate barking nearly every hour on the hour. I got practically no sleep, because when my dogs (in the house with me) would hear her, they'd wake up and bark. So when I let them out a little after 5am (as usual), I went with them because I knew she was out and would doubtless be at the gate as soon as she realized my two were out there. Sure enough she AND the beagle were at the gate and it was "game on" with them trying to fight my dogs before I could get there. I yelled and hollered (they mostly ignore this until I get close enough to the fence/gate then they leave). I have no idea if the dogs' owners hear, I doubt it. They seem oblivious to their dogs and when I mention these incidents to them they look positively bewildered. "They WERE??" (ahhhhh!!!!)

So, because I'm "friends" with Annie's owner on FB, and we've communicated via inboxing on there before about the dogs, I promptly went inside and typed out a message imploring her to do something about her dogs. I thought about mentioning it being the "final straw" and that I was going to have to call Animal Control if she couldn't contain the dogs, but I didn't. I've known these people for a LONG time, and used to be quite friendly with them, but their @#$%! dogs have nearly driven me bonkers. And I'm not perfect, my dogs have gone off my property in the past, but I have always FIXED that issue when it arises and they do NOT leave my property now.

I just want to have peace on my own property and for my neighbors to take responsibility for their dogs. Am I being unreasonable? Because they all act like I'm some kind of ogre.

Typing this out, I think I've probably ranted about all of this before several times, so I'm sorry if I've repeated myself a lot. Ugh. It's just so frustrating. I don't understand how people can just let their dogs continually trespass on someone else's property and harass them??? It makes no sense to me.

So, should I just call Animal Control if it happens again and explain the situation? I can't promise the dogs will even be out if AC was to come out and investigate. Sometimes they are put up, sometimes they are out on their own all day and night. Can an AC officer just stop by and tell the there has been a complaint and warn them that if there are further complaints they will face consequences? I don't know. I've never called AC before.

Okay...this wasn't brief. Any words of wisdom from anyone who managed to read through all of this are greatly appreciated.
 

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Honestly you've been much nicer than most people would have been. I do NOT put up with other peoples dogs on my property, especially if they're harassing. Personally, I would have shot them with a BB gun or pepper sprayed them long ago. I would absolutely go to the police or animal control next time, you've put up with this for way too long.
 

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I would call animal control. I think you've been patient long enough. Good luck to you, that doesn't sound like a fun situation at all!
 

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There's a saying that if you act like a rug, people will walk on you.
These issues involve your rights as a homeowner, your happiness and sanity and the well being of your dogs.
Personally, besides making police/animal control reports I would have an attorney write these people a letter stating that further trespass and damage will be met by legal action. You can call law offices first and get an idea of the cost of such a letter, call several offices because different lawyers have different rates, but for just a letter the bill shouldn't be too outrageous.
And for follow up I would report and file a written complaint to both the police and animal control for every single trespass/dog issue after that and keep that paper trail in a special folder. I don't know your financial situation, but these days, some cameras especially game cameras are not too spendy, and will help as records of trespasses. Do not go on FB, you want to stand up for your rights, not incite a lot of drama that will make you anxious and will not help.

If you give them an inch you have no one to blame but yourself if they take a mile.
 

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@Lucille has some good ideas.

My advice is to keep it simple. Talk or message or write a letter to your neighbors. Say, "hey, I like you guys and I know it's challenging for you to keep your dogs confined, but this has been going on for too long and my dogs are in danger. This is my property and I don't want your dogs on it. I have taken action to try and keep them away, but you have not. From this point on, if they are on my property I will involve the authorities."

Set up those cameras for proof, and call AC/the police/a lawyer, whatever you decide. Give them one last, straightforward, warning and then get the law involved.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, since posting this morning, I've spoken with the dog's owners. They are out of town, and had left the dogs in the care of the husband's parents. The parents have a very nice backyard with excellent fencing, and the dogs have been up there with their dogs. Until last night, when it seems they put the dogs back in the owners' backyard (with no one home) which the Australian Cattle Dog can escape from and routinely does. That's why she was down at my place.

Here's the thing though. My blood pressure has been through the roof since the phone call BECAUSE the wife (whom I've known for many, many years and always gotten along with) is in the background (husband on the phone with me) SCREAMING at the top of her lungs "TELL HER NOT TO CONTACT ME ANYMORE!! I'M SICK OF IT!!!" At which point the husband calmly relays for me to call him from now on as his wife is getting upset.

Oh really???? SHE'S upset?? I could not believe it. HER dogs on MY property and she's upset at ME?? I kept my temper contained and had a good talk with the husband who was very understanding and apologetic, though still trying to make excuses somewhat. He said, "We're doing the best we can." Ummm, no you're not. This has been an issue for nearly the entire 16 years I've owned this property (since before the husband was in the picture).

UGH. At least the dog is now contained at his parents' place, and they know the deal. It bothers me that I'M getting yelled at and am painted as the "bad guy/girl" here because I dare to complain about this.

The husband said, "I don't want to get rid of her, but if I have to I guess I will." I've heard this sob story/pity party before when I've complained, and over two years later we're still having the exact same issues.

I guess if there are further issues I'm going to have to either threaten to call animal control or just do it. I absolutely HATE having bad feelings with my neighbors. I really do. And I told him that. I really like them, and honestly, I don't EVER bother them. EVER. I'm a private, somewhat reclusive person and I go out of my way to make sure I'M not somehow intruding on or bothering my neighbors.

*sigh* It's frustrating. Thank you guys for your support. At least I feel like I'm in the right here. And I have been a "rug" for too long, which is why I think the wife is so upset now...because I'm being more confrontational and not just rolling over and taking it. She knows she's wrong and she doesn't like it.

Simple solution: If you're "sick of" me complaining about your dog being on my property...KEEP IT OFF MY PROPERTY!!

*deep breath* Okay. I feel better. LOL.
 

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Threatening to call animal control over and over and over again is ineffective. It actually breeds disrespect because your neighbors know after the first 5 or 10 times you threaten but don't follow through you don't do what you say you are going to do.
It's exactly the same as telling a dog to 'sit' 20 times.
 

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Threatening to call animal control over and over and over again is ineffective. It actually breeds disrespect because your neighbors know after the first 5 or 10 times you threaten but don't follow through you don't do what you say you are going to do.
It's exactly the same as telling a dog to 'sit' 20 times.
Oh, I've never threatened to call animal control before. In fact, I actually pointed out to him on the phone that I haven't and that I didn't WANT to. If I ever do threaten it, it will be because the next time the dogs bother me I'm calling AC instead of the owners. I promise you that.
 

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Your best bet is going to be to film the dogs being a nuisance, harassing you and your dogs, and being aggressive. Get a few days worth so that you can show it's a consistent pattern of behavior, save any FB messages you may have that request the owners contain their dogs, and then call animal control and report the dogs. The other thing you can do is simply catch the dogs and drive them over to the shelter and let the owners go pick them up. Calling animal control will likely only have them contact the neighbors and neighbor may or may not obey the warning. If you go the shelter route they'll likely have to pay a fee to get the dogs out and sometimes hitting the person in the pocketbook speaks loudly then verbal warnings.
 
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Your best bet is going to be to film the dogs being a nuisance, harassing you and your dogs, and being aggressive. Get a few days worth so that you can show it's a consistent pattern of behavior, save any FB messages you may have that request the owners contain their dogs, and then call animal control and report the dogs. The other thing you can do is simply catch the dogs and drive them over to the shelter and let the owners go pick them up. Calling animal control will likely only have them contact the neighbors and neighbor may or may not obey the warning. If you go the shelter route they'll likely have to pay a fee to get the dogs out and sometimes hitting the person in the pocketbook speaks loudly then verbal warnings.
Yeah. Unfortunately they seem to either come in the middle of the night, or when I'm outside and don't have my phone with me. I can never predict when they're going to come onto my property, and by the time I see them, the fight through the gate/fence is happening and my main thought is to stop the fighting and chase them away. There's no way they'd let me get my hands on them, they bark and raise heck at me just like they do my dogs and if I approach them they run.

Hopefully it's going to get better. The people I bought my farm from are moving away and the dogs' owners are moving into their place which is still right beside me, but situated differently and actually a longer trek for the dogs to make it to my driveway gate. However if they go through the woods they'll be at my back door in my backyard. I'm thinking I'm going to have to put some fence back there to deter that from happening. But the place they are moving into has established pens and runs with good fencing, so hopefully the dogs will be contained better.

It sucks because this dog situation is literally the ONLY problem I have with these people. They are good neighbors otherwise. And I know they're "trying" but my gosh. How many years does it take? When I learned my dogs were visiting their yard at night and barking, the next DAY I nipped that problem in the bud. I fixed it well enough that a year later they asked me if I still even HAD the dog because they hadn't seen him.

Anyway, thanks for the tips. Finger crossed it's going to get better. I mean, if they have to get rid of the dog, I hate if for them, but if they think that's their only option because they can't contain her, then maybe that's what they should do.
 

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In my area of Idaho...the common solution is the 3 S rule.
Shoot
Shovel
Shush

Needless to say, in the countryside around here not a lot of dogs go roaming.

It's amazing though how many people move here from a populated area where they would Never let a dog run loose, but think that now that they are in the country, that their dogs can just run loose.

They don't think/nor care about other people's livestock, dogs, or kids. Their neighbors always warn them that their dogs are at risk of being shot...but every year there is at least 1 irate letter from a dog owner who's mad because some rancher shot their dog....and there 'ought to be a law' etc...

I feel bad for the dogs, but also bad for those who have lost pets (just like you and your cat) due to roaming dogs. One year here, 3 dogs were shot on Sunday, when the family came home from church and found the new neighbor's dogs had got to the rabbit hutch and ate the feet off the daughter's 4H bunnies. The dad shot all three dogs right there by the rabbit hutches.

Eight bunnies had to be killed to end their suffering. The neighbor had been warned numerous times by other neighbors to keep their dogs confined...and in the end 2 families had heartache and hard feelings over the situation.

Given the issues at trying to get animal control over there when needed...
Maybe you should start phoning your neighbors every single night the dogs are barking near your home and tell them to get their butts up and come collect their dogs. If that doesn't work...go to their home, with a pot and pan and bang on it until you get them up....to go and get their dogs. That might impress upon them you are fed up with it all.

Stormy
 
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go to their home, with a pot and pan and bang on it until you get them up....to go and get their dogs.
I think that might invite a different type of shooting.
I like Rain's idea of bringing them to the shelter.
Here where I am, the cost of getting one's dogs back from the local shelter rises quickly and substantially after the first time.
 

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Hot tape on THEIR side of your fence? Since you said your fence is well within your property boundaries I would imagine this would be ok legally, but make sure first. That would at least deter their dogs from running your fence and trying to fight with yours, and a kinder alternative than shooting them with any sort of projectile (though in many areas, you would be legally permitted to do so, and no one would blame you if they were harassing you, your pets/livestock, or destroying other property). You could probably leave it turned off after they've encountered it once or twice, though you might need to turn it on occasionally as a "reminder" if they get brazen again. FWIW you could probably instead use a hose or sprinkler to deter them, just locate it in that area and turn it on when they get close, but the hot wire can run all the time without your input and is a little more firm of a deterrent for most dogs- ACDs tend to be pretty tenacious. You could maybe try hanging tarps or privacy screening/slats over the fence to block the visual stimuli between the dogs- they may not be as inclined to visit if there's nothing to see when they do, but there's no way to know without trying it.

I would maybe impress upon the owner if you speak with them again that it's not necessarily the dog that is a problem, but rather the fact that the dog is continually on your property being a nuisance. It will still be a problem if they give Annie away and get another dog that does the same.

If you call animal control, I would first take time to video/photograph the dogs behavior/encroachment for a period of time (a week or two at least) so you can show that it's a continual problem. Also save any printed/electronic communication you have with them so you can demonstrate that you have been more than reasonable and they are still resistant to being responsible.

Sorry that you're dealing with this, and sorry about your poor cat :(
 

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I think that might invite a different type of shooting.
I like Rain's idea of bringing them to the shelter.
Here where I am, the cost of getting one's dogs back from the local shelter rises quickly and substantially after the first time.
I was half joking half serious about that.

I too agree with Rain about taking them to the shelter and making them take time and money to go get their dog back.

But...on the other hand, now that you've yelled, horse whipped and chased the dogs off in various ways...will they allow themselves to be caught by you?

I really do hate the idea that you are having to spend all the time, money (if say like purchasing a hot wire for your fencing) in trying to get those dogs off your property.

If you, for years, have had to listen to their dog just outside your fence line barking at your dogs, or your house... surely they can put up with a few nights of pots and pans clanging to get them up it they don't answer their phone every night the dogs are there and come and get them. lol. (I have a mean streak...sorry...not really that much though :p )

Stormy
 

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I was half joking half serious about that.

I too agree with Rain about taking them to the shelter and making them take time and money to go get their dog back.

But...on the other hand, now that you've yelled, horse whipped and chased the dogs off in various ways...will they allow themselves to be caught by you?

I really do hate the idea that you are having to spend all the time, money (if say like purchasing a hot wire for your fencing) in trying to get those dogs off your property.

If you, for years, have had to listen to their dog just outside your fence line barking at your dogs, or your house... surely they can put up with a few nights of pots and pans clanging to get them up it they don't answer their phone every night the dogs are there and come and get them. lol. (I have a mean streak...sorry...not really that much though :p )

Stormy

Gretchenpc says that she can't get close to the dogs to catch them. What I'd resort to is setting up some live traps and trying to catch the dogs that way. The problem is that it can take days to catch the dogs, unless they are out all the time, and in the meantime she may catch some other critter. The other problem is that it's only likely to work once and maybe only one one of the dogs. Dogs once caught are not likely to be caught again, and if a dog sees a dog get trapped it may avoid a trap.

I like the banging pots and pans idea, but then I've given serious consideration to having Zody practice "speak" outside my neighbors bedroom window at 2 or 3 AM when the guy has spent half the night walking past my windows and causing Zody to bark. I guess I also have something of a mean streak... at least I rarely follow through on the stuff I think up:p
 
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I also have to wonder about food baited live traps. ?

Even if they work...the neighbors might sue for recovery of shelter fees or other fines and the time to go get their dogs from the shelter...they could claim that their dogs were lured off their property by the smell of food in the cages.

Be just the thing someone who's in the wrong and doesn't want to admit it would come up with...

It's unlikely to happen, but still.... just a thought.

Stormy
 

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I laughed out loud at the banging pots and pans because I've thought of that too! LOL!
I've cooled down a bit today. Yesterday with all my pent up frustration I did even more work on my place to ensure that my dogs will stay put. That's one of the things that bothers me too. Mine used to run out the back of my property, ducking under my hot-wire pasture fences to chase the neighbors when they'd go by with their dogs running along. I've pretty much got that stopped, but Winston occasionally gets so worked up by the dogs and the golf carts or 4-wheelers going passed that despite extra lines of fence, he'll still scoot under, even taking the hit from the fence and go after them. So I installed yet MORE lines yesterday and a new fence line in an area that had been needing some attention for awhile. I feel pretty good about it. He hasn't gone out to chase them in a while, stays on the inside fence line of the pastures far away from where they are traveling and barks and runs, but hasn't gone under the fence, so I think I've got him. The last thing I need now is for one of MY dogs to go running off my property chasing them. Though technically the area they travel IS my property and they have "right of way" on it to access their horses, just as the dirt road/drive to my driveway is technically their property but i Have "right of way" on it. Their dogs chase my truck when I come down the driveway and my dog occasionally chases them when they go down the path behind my pastures. I don't care if their dogs chase my truck on the driveway, but I dislike my dogs doing the same out behind my pasture.
Anyway, it has been absolutely quiet around here since this all went down yesterday. Silence. The dog owners are back home, but I haven't heard a dog bark once. And maybe I'm projecting on him, but Winston just seems more at ease. Instead of charging out the door barking and expecting there's going to be a confrontation, he's going out quietly, playing some Frisbee, following me around the property and barn, and coming back inside and snoozing happily.

I know my neighbor is angry at me, but oh well. It's a small price to pay to have peace and quiet in my own home and on my own property.
 
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