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Hello!

This is my first post and I made an account for this question alone, but I am sure I will have more down the line!

My fiancé and I just moved into a duplex, and our attached neighbors are really nice. It consists of a husband and wife, with two young children.

All my dogs love people and are child friendly. We've noticed over the past six months of living here my 2 year old female pit bull does NOT like our male neighbor.

He'll simply come out to garden in the backyard and has complained about her growling at him. Me and my fiancé are both floored because she has never growled at anyone. We don't even know what her growl sounds like!

We honestly can't tell if he is over exaggerating or what. We have a chain linked fenced backyard so we let them all run outside to be free and do as they please. The times we have stood outside and watched them with the neighbor they'll sit by the fence and watch him or carry on playing with no noise.

Now my youngest pit bull we have noticed starts barking at him. Once again, my dogs ignore everyone else and don't mind anyone else in the family. It's only the husband. He is bringing out behaviors in both my pit bulls I have never seen. (I have seen Steele bark at him, but still never seen Rosie growl.)

I've seen a few threads and read a few things that maybe they are picking up some vibe from him? They can sense his dislike of dogs? Maybe he is antagonizing them when I am not looking? Kicking the fence, yelling etc. I'm almost tempted to buy one of those outdoor cameras for $200 just to see what his happening.

We're getting really tired of the complaints every other week telling us that "such and such dog did this". My fiancé's office is downstairs right by the backyard and leave the window open to listen and says he doesn't hear anything, and if any of the dogs do bark we promptly bring them inside.

My dachshund mix barks at everything, BUT she has never barked at him (only at the mower when he is mowing and we bring her inside.)

So what are you thoughts? Why is my people loving female pit bull "growling" at ONLY him? And now why has suddenly my pit bull puppy joining in and barking at him? Should I be listening to them? Should I be weary of my neighbor? Maybe I should just have him interact with them more, give them treats so they associate good things? (I also have a theory that he is a pitbull racist, since he has only complained about my two pit bulls, and made a comment about us owning a pit bull since we moved in. Should I hide my children, are they aggressive, have they ever bitten someone, etc.)

We've just moved in so we really don't want to move. We've had trainers come and it's hard to train something when no one sees the behavior.

Don't know what to do so I am hoping someone out there has had a similar experience :) In the words of Bill Murray "I’m suspicious of people who don’t like dogs, but I trust a dog when it doesn’t like a person."
 

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Are you allowed to put up some kind of privacy fencing?
It must be difficult to know if this man is telling the truth , if this were me I'd set up a camera and film him just to check.
 

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It's possible he could hate pitbulls. That being said, I would take the better safe then sorry route and when the dogs are outside, you or your partner be outside with the dogs. If you can't supervise them for what ever reason, bring them back inside and take them out again, especially since you don't know how he's like.

If you have neices and nephews who are young, have them come over sometimes and have them play outside with the dogs. Seeing the children play with the dogs might have him change his mind about your pitbull. (Not about pitbulls in general, but at least he will see that yours is a perfect example of the breed in personality and traits.)?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've looked into the chain link slats and you can still see between them. It's also only a 4 foot high fence so to any extent they would still be able to see him.

The most I sit and think about it I am contemplating a camera.

That is a good idea! I actually moved next door to my parents (they are in the duplex unattached next door) so the people that owned the house before us had kid. The father was a police officer and my dogs have played with his kids. They only had nice things to say about my dogs. Which is why it blows me away that the neighbor is acting this way. He was good friends with the previous owner so he should know these things!

Thank you all for your thoughts thus far!
 

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Side Note: We do own the house so we are allowed to do whatever we want. A wooden privacy fence is on the budget for future purchases (1-2 years). We just need to do something now to tie us over till then.
 

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Side Note: We do own the house so we are allowed to do whatever we want. A wooden privacy fence is on the budget for future purchases (1-2 years). We just need to do something now to tie us over till then.
I think until then a camera might be a good idea. Even if your neighbor isn't causing it, you might be able to see what goes down as your dog starts barking. Good luck!
 

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Side Note: We do own the house so we are allowed to do whatever we want. A wooden privacy fence is on the budget for future purchases (1-2 years). We just need to do something now to tie us over till then.
Check out your garden centre , you might be able to get cheap screening made of brushwood or cane to attach to your link fencing.
 

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Until you can put up the screening, I'd not allow the dogs outside unless you or your husband is outside supervising. For your dog's safety and to keep the peace with the neighbor.
 

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I'd be curious to know exactly what is going on and get a camera set up. I'd also supervise outside time just to be on the safe side.
 

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I would teach your dog to trust your neighbor.

1. Have your neighbor throw treats at her from a distance, even when she is growling. Your dog will realize that the neighbor is good.
2. Gradually decrease the distance by getting closer and closer and still continuing throwing the treats.
3. Have the neighbor pet the dog instead of giving treats all the time. Yes, treats sometimes but not all the time so the dog doesn't get so used to getting treats all the time.
 

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Listen to your dog!!! Supervised time outside is always a good idea but what really concerns me here is that growling isn't a normal behavior for your dog especially at people. To me this seems like there is something about your neighbor that your dog doesn't like and I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. Not sure if trying to get your dog to be friends with the neighbor is a good thing for you.

In the Q&A portion of Ann Rule's book, The Stranger Beside Me, she is asked if there was ever anything that gave her an idea that there might be something wrong with a man that she volunteered on the suicide hotline at night with by the name of Ted Bundy. She admits that the only warning that she ever had before his arrest is that her little dog that she took with her and loved everyone but ALWAYS GROWLED at him when he leaned over her desk.

One of my highly socialized elderly dogs has alerted on 5 people in her 10 years and has never been wrong.

ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR DOG!!!
 
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