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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We moved into this house about a year ago. We've always found our neighbours to be "special". They have a big fake rock that is situated on their side of the fence. When we first moved into our house and were out in our yard, they (the husband/ wife) would use it as a step stool to peek over the fence and see what we were doing! Just unannounced! We were never really that chummy with them...my hubby and I find them a bit "off". I was outside in my holey pyjamas one day and not really..err, dressed, and the husband just popped his head over the fence...talk about embarassing!

Anyways, my hubby and I kinda laughed about it...it was like the episodes of Home Improvement with the annoying neighbour. But now it's a problem. We have a dog now and with the warmer weather, their 2 KIDS are now standing on that stupid rock and peering over the shared fence into our backyard! Our dog starts barking at the sight of this. He is well behaved, doesn't react when when these kids are running around and screaming their heads off in their own backyard...but as soon as their heads peer over the fence, he loses it. I can control my dog when I'm there...but what if I'm not? We have a doggy door, and don't want him barking up a storm, annoying the neighbourhood, because of these kids.

If they hear us or the dog in our own yard, they are looking over the fence...besides them disrespecting our privacy, I don't want our dog to get riled up.

I've asked these kids to get off the rock already a few times. But they just keep doing it again. and again. and again.

Any advice on how to talk to the parents, knowing that the neighbours are well, these kind of parents? We are not chummy with the parents. The parents no longer stick their heads over the fence, just their kids.

PS. The fence is 6 ft high, so the rock they stand on is quite big. I don't think my dog would ever attempt to jump up and bite, and it would be high for him to reach, but I don't ever want to take that chance!
 

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Urgh. Neighbors can be the worst! I knew a woman whose neighbors would throw chicken bones over the fence at her dog while she was away!

I definitely think a talk with the parents sounds reasonable; you never know when people will be more receptive than you expect. Although, if you think it would be in vain maybe trying to work with the situation rather than against it would be in order? For the sake of peace in your neighborhood at least? If the kids won't stop bugging your dog, maybe you can make them feel all important by telling them they can "help" you train Fido. Just let them stand up there and be their obnoxious selves while you slowly condition your dog that the brats are not a big deal, and he gets treats for ignoring them. If you think they are mature enough, perhaps talk to them (with parents present!) and give them a bag of dog treats that they are allowed to throw to your dog. Tell them they are being so helpful by "rewarding" your dog while you are at work by throwing a treat to him if he is not barking. Of course this is very dependent on how much you trust these brats to not throw chicken bones or candy to your dog (if they are complete monsters they may start doing it anyway). Sometimes setting boundaries with kids is a bit like training your dog; use positive reinforcement and teach them to replace a behavior you don't like with one you do.
 

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These people do sound kind of whacky and would certainly make me uncomfortable. I think the best approach would just be a direct one. Next time you see either of the parents just casually mention that when their children look over the fence and stare at your dog, he barks a lot. Try to put it all on you, and say you don't want the dog to disturb the peace. Do your best to emphasize this is an actual problem. If your dog is friendly with kids (and they'll be good enough to do this) perhaps even say that if the kids are very interested in your dog, you would welcome them to come and say hello and pet the dog or throw a ball for him with you and one of the parents there. But that you please, just want them to not peek over the fence because it upsets the dog. That way you're not making it sound like you hate the kids, you're just pointing out this one thing that you want to stop. Does that sound doable?
 

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Everyone else is giving such nice advice, talking with the parents to resolve the situation. Here I am laughing at myself, I think I would just put a 3 foot fence extension to make the fence higher where the rock is.

Forget that. I would grow a whole hedge of thick bamboo! :D So they could never peek into my yard again without my knowing. I would be creeped out too. oh dear. xD
 

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Yeah......you're all nicer than I am too. :). Best case, I'd buy some tall evergreen trees and plant them along the fence. Most grow fairly quickly and are sharper so hard to just shove your face through.

I'd be sure to make sure your yard is secure too. These people sound awful and I wouldn't put it past them to mess with your dog purposefully.
 

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So long as the rock is there, their kids are going to stand on it, even if their parents have asked them not to. Either, ask them to move the rock so that the kids aren't peeking over or extend your fence upwards.
 

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I hope you can get your neighbours to be reasonable, but I would not be leaving my dog alone with them. Even if they have no ill intent, their behaviour is upsetting your dog, and if you can't get them to stop doing that (which would be nice, but unlikely), your dog is better off inside relaxing, and getting their fresh air and exercise with you.
I've never left dogs alone in a fenced yard (when I had a fenced yard) and they are just fine inside during the day. One of my dogs, Dynamo, needed to be crated during her young years and she was just fine too.
My current dog does not need to be crated, but he uses it anyway to chill (door open).
Poppykenna's advice, I completely agree with. If you can give your dog real privacy, that would be great, but not trusting your neighbours to behave, even better.

Edited to add. Newdoggirls simple solution is awesome too.
 

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I would talk to the parents. I don't know if this would be classified as a "peeping tom" but I am pretty sure there are peeping tom laws in most states. Worst case, threaten to call the police.

Adding on to the fence would definitely be a solution, and less confrontational, but it would be a cost to you.
 

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I don't know that the parents will stop the kids since it sounds as if the parents were doing the same thing, standing on the rock and peering over the fence, but you could try speaking to them. I'm not good with those situations, so not sure I would do anything but extend the fence. With razor wire. Just kidding...sort of...
 

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Honestly, if you don't care about having a relationship with your neighbors, be very frank. The fence is there because you don't want to be bothered when you're in your yard.

Funny story about neighbors looking over the fence. One day after work, I was in the pool in our (fenced in) backyard. The kids have these plastic toys that sink to the bottom and you dive to get them. They always leave them in the bottom of the pool and when I'm in alone, I put them on the edge so I don't step on them. Anyway, So I put on a pair of (kids) goggles and started going under and gathering all of the little toys. At one point, I came up and saw the neighbor lady looking over the fence. Haha I was like, "she probably thinks I'm playing with the dumb things wearing these GIANT face goggles" haha... she just wanted to know if I had seen her son, which I hadn't. We have a very good neighborly relationship so I didn't mind but I have no idea how long she was there trying to get my attention.
 

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I don't really have any problems with my neighbors except when the one whose house is above mine (I live on a hill) starts barking at my dogs. I could not figure out at first why they would start barking until I stood outside and heard him. I think he just gets drinking and does it. I only know him to say hello when he is waiting for the bus to take him to town and he always seems quite normal.

I just call the dogs inside and he loses interest.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thanks to everyone who responded. Some of your replies made me laugh...putting barbed wire on the fence; one can only dream, Lol.

I do have a wishful-thinking dream in which I break into their backyard and steal that stupid rock in the middle of the night. Hah! It just sits along the fence, and I'm pretty sure its only purpose is for use as a step! Grrr.

There was someone who suggested I keep my dog inside. Err, no... we purposely installed a doggy door so our pup could go out and relieve himself whenever he needed to...and preventing him from going outside while we are gone, even if for just a couple hours, would mean these neighbours would win. But it may be a short term solution until I get the situation with the kids under control.

I'll be going to the garden store and finding a hedge. The hedge would need to be at least 8 ft tall to keep the peepers out, so the hedge probably won't function for a few more years...it can't grow fast enough for me!

I'll also have a chat with the parents next time I see them. Wish me luck...
 

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Probably the most effective long term solution would be to either talk to them and get them to stop, or make the fence taller. You could probably train them quickly to stay down by running hot tape along the top of your fence, but I would imagine that's frowned upon in most residential areas- or so I'm told by family when I suggest using it in our yard ;). Perhaps one of those motion activated sprinklers? They supposedly work well for other "pests" :)
 

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Maybe a temporary extension of your fence to block views from the rock. Perhaps you could fabricate something from canvas, you only need it in place long enough to break the pattern. It doesn't even have to be attached to the fence, it could be a free standing shade awning/umbrella completely on your side.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Probably the most effective long term solution would be to either talk to them and get them to stop, or make the fence taller. You could probably train them quickly to stay down by running hot tape along the top of your fence, but I would imagine that's frowned upon in most residential areas- or so I'm told by family when I suggest using it in our yard ;). Perhaps one of those motion activated sprinklers? They supposedly work well for other "pests" :)

I like your motion activated sprinkler idea and think it's hilarious (and effective)! I mentioned it to the husband, and he blasted me for even thinking of watering little kids. Guess he's a kinder human than I am, lol. I had thought of it as a nice, light sprinkle. Oh well.
 

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Ugh, annoying neighbors are the worst.

I would suggest talking to the parents. Kids can be very annoying, and they most likely won't listen to you. Try being VERY frank with the parents, just flat-out say what you think, and that the fence is there for privacy purposes.
 

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Extend the fence and get a quick growing vine. Maybe something with thorns... Or not. I'm a very private person and this would drive me insane. I would also never let my dogs outside alone, too many things can happen. It's just not worth it to me. I think it's creepy that they have a rock there so they can peep over the fence.
 
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