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Hello,

I have recently moved into a house in which I rent a room from a landlord who also lives there with a dog.

When I came to visit before moving in everything was fine. But when the landlord went off to work and I was alone in the house...I couldn't get out of my room without the dog growling and barking at me. So the landlord has been keeping the dog in his bedroom during the day.

The issue is that now the landlord is telling me that he wants his dog to "roam free" and that the dog is sensing that I'm fearful and that all I need to do is change my behavior around it and show that I am dominant.

I did at first tried to take it on walks but it hasn't been successful in changing his behavior around me when the landlord isn't here. Also, if I happen to leave my bedroom door open, it will often go in there to pee on the carpet.
Once during the evening, I was petting the dog and it tried to bite me (it missed me).
Usually the dog is loving to me when the landlord is around but when this happened, the landlord apologized but said that he couldn't afford a pet trainer. This occurred a month ago.
Now the owner announced to me that he wants his dog to be able to "roam free in the house" and that I need to show "dominance". That's not an easy task when the dog looks as though it could attack me if I dare walk by him to get to the kitchen. The dog is a boxter - about 35 lbs.

Any advice?? I don't want to get attacked. Many thanks!
 

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Hello,

I have recently moved into a house in which I rent a room from a landlord who also lives there with a dog.

When I came to visit before moving in everything was fine. But when the landlord went off to work and I was alone in the house...I couldn't get out of my room without the dog growling and barking at me. So the landlord has been keeping the dog in his bedroom during the day.

The issue is that now the landlord is telling me that he wants his dog to "roam free" and that the dog is sensing that I'm fearful and that all I need to do is change my behavior around it and show that I am dominant.

I did at first tried to take it on walks but it hasn't been successful in changing his behavior around me when the landlord isn't here. Also, if I happen to leave my bedroom door open, it will often go in there to pee on the carpet.
Once during the evening, I was petting the dog and it tried to bite me (it missed me).
Usually the dog is loving to me when the landlord is around but when this happened, the landlord apologized but said that he couldn't afford a pet trainer. This occurred a month ago.
Now the owner announced to me that he wants his dog to be able to "roam free in the house" and that I need to show "dominance". That's not an easy task when the dog looks as though it could attack me if I dare walk by him to get to the kitchen. The dog is a boxter - about 35 lbs.

Any advice?? I don't want to get attacked. Many thanks!
Is moving an option?
 

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I wish I could move but I'm in between jobs. Not sure how long it will take me to find a new one... If the dog did bite me in the landlord's absence, would the landlord be liable? How does that work?
Just trying to figure out what I should say to the owner in my defense- I'm not a dog trainer and I don't feel like I show particular fear until I back off when it gets really aggressive about its territory. Yes, the dog should roam free but I also don't think it's a good idea to act as if nothing was going on and "force my way" to the kitchen or the rest of the house- in the hopes that the dog might just see me as "dominant' and therefore back off.
 

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I wish I could move but I'm in between jobs. Not sure how long it will take me to find a new one... If the dog did bite me in the landlord's absence, would the landlord be liable? How does that work?
I'n the UK and maybe the laws on this are different. Here, dogs which behave dangerously may be seized by the council dog warden, and their owners prosecuted.
 

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It shouldn't be your 'job' at all to deal with someone else's dog.
Even if it is 'your behaviour' it's not your job to deal with the dog...and the landlord is not around, so has no idea what is really going on.
If something ever happens, your landlord will be in a whole lot of trouble. Unfortunately, it's the dog and you that will suffer. The dog more so, because even you do get bit, most bites are minor and will heal. I've been bit by a dog, and it hurt, and it was inconvenient to go the hospital and get treated and stitched, and I had a bruise and a scar, but would MUCH rather get bit again than have a dog that bites.
Soooooo... since it sounds like you are stuck, try to make friends with the dog. Drop treats (peices of hotdog go over well) on the floor, avoid direct eye contact (do not STARE at the dog). Staring signals danger to a dog. Animals that stare want to attack, so when dogs get stared at they feel themselves in danger and might do something about it.
Try to act casual (not dominant), and it's okay to look, but just not stare. Talk to yourself, or the dog, about something happy and nice (to change your tone and body language), and see if that works.
But, your landlord is being VERY BAD, VERY IRRESPONSIBLE, both to you and his dog.
I hope things can work out, or you can get out of there quick.
 

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Totally agree with @Artdog. Your landlord is a douche.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Besoeker and Artdog,

Thanks so much for your replies :)
Yes, I am going to give the dog a chance and try to take it on walks again...I do like everything else about living here.
But just to let you know, I do throw treats at it (which it completely ignores unfortunately) and know not to stare... I just don't know what I'll do if those additional attempts don't work. I guess I need to figure out what the laws states in a landlord vs tenant+dog situation. I don't think it's my responsibility...but have no clue (I'm thinking I might call Animal Control- maybe they know the legal issues). Maybe the dog could roam free with a muzzle on?? OR I walk around with a stick lol...
 

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You are in a situation that with no one doing anything to resolve, will end badly. IMO your best bet would be to move, sooner rather than later. If that is not possible, you and your landlord need to sit down together to come up with a workable resolution, that is acceptable for both of you. Other than your moving, the only thing I can think of, might be your landlord getting a trainer involved. Your moving, or a trainer are the only two acceptable solutions I can see.
 

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Hi Laco,

Thanks for your input.
Yes, the landlord wants to sit down with me and discuss it in the hopes that I let his dog roam free during the day. If he doesn't give me a choice and the dog continues- I will have to move out eventually :-(
 

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If the dog bites you, whether in the presence or not, the owner is responsible. Try to get video of the dog's behavior in case you have to go to court. This would be reason to break a lease if you have one.
 

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If the dog bites you, whether in the presence or not, the owner is responsible. Try to get video of the dog's behavior in case you have to go to court. This would be reason to break a lease if you have one.
The renter has a duty to mitigate in this circumstance. He should talk to the owner and present an immediate choice: release from the lease, the owner locks up dog and does not let it roam, or renter calls animal control. The animal control step will leave a paper trail so that if renter does move out, lease will not be enforced.
 

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The renter has a duty to mitigate in this circumstance. He should talk to the owner and present an immediate choice: release from the lease, the owner locks up dog and does not let it roam, or renter calls animal control. The animal control step will leave a paper trail so that if renter does move out, lease will not be enforced.
Agreed.
 
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