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Concerns about safety of neighbours dog

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by DogGirl, Aug 27, 2013.


  1. DogGirl

    DogGirl PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,

    I have a neighbour who has 3 dogs and I am concerned about the safety of one of them. I don't really know the owner but on the couple of occasions I have spoken to her she has told me that one of her dogs is a German Shepherd x Staffy x Pitt Bull. I know Pitt Bulls are illegal but didn't really take much notice at first as it was just a young 8 month old dog and I had no reason to be concerned.

    Roll on about 6 months and this dog now troubles me. These are my reasons for concern.
    1) The dog sits at the side of the house in a small yard, with the door to the house open, but no one is supervising it. It has jumped over the low gate and had a go at my dogs when I have been walking past the house with them on two occasions now. Luckily my dogs didn't have a go back so I was able to keep him under control whilst I shouted for the owner to come and get him.
    2) Also, their house backs onto a large field where our children play with their friends. During the school holidays the dog has jumped over the fence again, into the field ran around barking and growling at all the kids and scared them. This has also happened twice now so they are now not allowed to play in the field.
    3) The dog has escaped several times and on one of the occasions I asked if they needed any help finding the dog. The owners teenage daughter said "no, don't approach him, he's nervous of strangers". So we have an out of control dog that is nervous of strangers running around lost! Great.
    4) Yesterday I saw the owner's son (who looks about 11) walking the dog. He was struggling to control him as he was pulling. The boy yanked him back several times trying to get him to stop pulling and then kicked him. When I have spoke to the boy about the dog before (The dog actually belongs to the kid and he does all the walking and training) he said that his Mum used to be a dog trainer, and you need to show a dog who's boss! This sounds really scary to me, and i'm worried about this boy using these training methods with a dog like this.
    5) When talking to the owner about our dogs she has said that this dog is scared and hides under the table when in the house. I'm not surprised as they are using physical ways to train him. There are 5 kids in that house and i'm concerned that one day this scared nervous dog is going to lash out.

    I have phoned the dog warden on a couple of occasions, and nothing has been done. This is making me wonder if i'm just worrying for nothing and being a nosey neighbour. What do you think? Are my concerns justified? The only aggression I have seen is towards my dogs, and I know that doesn't necessarily mean he will bite a child. But the dog is out of control, and he is handled in a less than ideal way (usually by a child), using physical punishment. In my eyes this is an accident waiting to happen.

    I have been a bit of a coward and not said any of this to the owner. They are known to be a bit of a dodgy family and know they are involved in some things they shouldn't be. I keep out of it as I don't want to get involved as I don't want neighbours with a vendetta. The dog warden has been involved and I know they are annoyed about that (they don't know who called them), so I don't want to start a war and cause any trouble for my family. We like where we live, but it's just this dog that concerns me.

    What can I do? Is there anything I should do seeing as it's not actually hurt anyone?

    Thanks
     
    #1 DogGirl, Aug 27, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  2. sezeelson

    sezeelson PetForums VIP

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    Your concerns are absolutely justified and I agree this dog is big risk not only to you but to his young owner, everyone else adult or child.

    I have a German shepherd X staffie and he is extremely sensitive to punishment. When I rescued him he was a nervous wreck, petrified of human contact/presence and would quickly snap or attack me if I pushed his boundaries. This was all because his original owners where shouting and smacking him for misbehaviour, this poor dog didn't know his name nor 'sit' so clearly never had positive times with them.

    He is nervous of strangers he absolutely will bite an adult or child if grabbed, manhandled or threatened and as he is already nervous it won't take much to trigger it.

    If they've had this dog since a pup then yes their actions and 'methods' of raising him have caused the nervousness around people. He will never trust humans unless things at home change :( poor thing!

    In this case I wouldn't recommend going to them directly as they are bound to get angry rather then listen and will probably throw this "I used to be a trainer" back at you.

    It's a crime for a dog to be dangerously out of control and there are usually bi-laws etc. making it crime for them to be loose and offlead so make sure you call the police every time you see them loose. Also contact the RSPCA (or equal to if your in USA) and continue to contact the dog warden every single time they cause a problem to anyone.

    Sadly, it almost always takes a series of complaints before it ever gets investigated and even then it might equate to nothing as with a story recently where two? Dogs where not kept in doors securely and ended up killing more then 1 cat. These owners where even labeled 'responsible'.

    Make sure you keep yourself and your own pets safe, sadly there is nothing immediate you can do unless the dog actually bites someone :(
     
  3. DogGirl

    DogGirl PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks. I was wondering if I was being too sensitive about the matter, but I have the same feelings as you.

    When I was speaking to the owner a while ago she said that she got him from a guy who breeds/trains fighting dogs (don't know why she told me these things!). She believes that she has 'rescued' him and I suppose he is better off. He was about 4-5 months when they got him. But it doesn't sound like a good situation and as far as i'm concerned it's a ticking time bomb.

    I don't walk my dogs past the house anymore as I'm scared he'll jump over the gate again. The kids would like to play in the field with their friends, but I just don't feel it's safe now.

    I've called the dog warden again today about seeing the child kicking him. The poor thing flinched when the kid went to kick him so he must have known what was coming. I don't blame the kid at all. He is actually very mature and believes he is doing the best for his dog as his dog trainer Mum has taught him how to train a dog. He could do really well doing some work experience at a rescue or something with proper advice.

    The dog warden doesn't seem concerned though. As far as they're concerned the dog hasn't hurt anyone (not that I know of), and it's basic needs are being met (food, water, shelter). They have given some advice about it jumping over the gate, but there is no action that can be taken. I hope i'll never have to phone them to report an attack, and it's a shame that this is the only thing they seem to listen too. :(
     
    #3 DogGirl, Aug 27, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  4. sharloid

    sharloid PetForums VIP

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    It's not suprising the dog has turned out that way with owners like that. If you can't trust your own humans to not hurt you then you're surely not going to trust strangers. It looks like a disaster waiting to happen and I feel sorry for the dog to be in that position.

    It seems like the owners need sorting out, though I doubt highly anyone, like the police or dog wardens etc would step in until it is too late.

    EDIT: Huskybob here, seems Sharloid signed me out and her in while I wasn't looking :)
     
  5. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    If the dog has jumped the fence and threatened the children playing in the field you have every justification in making a complaint. In fact how will you feel if you dont call the police about it and the dog bites a child.

    There has been a similar incident near me. Dog jumped fence and nipped child and the mother said if it happened again she would call the police. Sadly it happened again a few days later and the child is badly injured and in hospital.

    The dog has been put to sleep and no doubt the owner will be prosecuted.
     
  6. DogGirl

    DogGirl PetForums Newbie

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    That was the reason why I called the Dog Warden in the first place. I can just about handle the dog jumping over the fence and having a go at me and my dogs. I understand that accidents happen and maybe they just needed to secure him a bit more. But then when the incident happened with the kids and that was the last straw as no attempt has been made to secure the dog in the home. It's a shame that the dog warden isn't taking it more seriously, and the police don't want to know as no one was hurt.

    I don't think the owner will take a different approach to training either, as she used to be a trainer and she said that she knows dogs. It's really frightening to think how this dog will turn out, especially as she has so many children living in their home too. I don't know what I can do. I sort of feel like it's non of my business as I am just a neighbour, but can't help but feel this is going to end in disaster. I will keep reporting what I see and hopefully something will be done before it's too late.
     
  7. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    It is not right that your children are at risk. I would go back to both dog warden and police and make an official complaint. I think the children only have to be in fear of being injured and obviously the dog is out of control.
     
  8. DogGirl

    DogGirl PetForums Newbie

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    Yes they were scared. Our kids live with two big strong dogs so are used to big dogs, but they were scared enough to climb up a tree until it was returned home.

    I feel like I should speak to the owner myself, but they're not the sort of people who'd take kindly to me mentioning anything, and then they'll probably realise it was me who called the dog warden. I don't think that will go down well, and I have to live on the same street as them.

    I don't even know what I want to happen to be honest. Ideally this dog would be better in the hands of an owner who will be kind to it and show him that not all people will hurt him. I don't want to see him put to sleep as it's not his fault he is the way he is. Just needs a more careful owner. But then if he was taken away the kid that he belongs to would be devastated as he loves his dog, but at least he wouldn't be at risk. There's no good outcome really.
     
  9. Goldstar

    Goldstar PetForums VIP

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    What an awful situation to be in. I hope things are sorted out.

    Can't help but feel so sorry for the dog in question, some people shouldn't have dogs :mad:
     
  10. lilythepink

    lilythepink PetForums VIP

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    I would think the dog owners will prob work it out who complained.take it nipping over and having a quick word with the owners isn't an option?

    The genetics of this poor dog and with such poor owners sounds like an accident waiting to happen.
     
  11. lilythepink

    lilythepink PetForums VIP

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    I would have had to do something too.......can't have any dog no matter how big or small out of control and terrorizing kids like that.
     
  12. Prowl

    Prowl Guest

    Can you get to know the dog so you can gage his character a little better?

    Its hard to tell when a dog is nervous but I would be more concerned that boy has a dog with pit ball which is illegal. His mother used to be a trainer and is encouraging bad training habbits or the boy has miss understood what being firm means.

    I hate the terms being firm and showing the dog who is boss because so many people miss understand the phrase and miss use it.

    Did you tell the warden the dog contains pit ball? I would have thought the warden would be over like shot.
     
  13. lilythepink

    lilythepink PetForums VIP

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    Wasn't Huddersfield where the latest dog attack was? If it was, I would have thought the dog warden and police would have been round there already?

    My dogs are placid and very used to kids...I still wouldn't let my dogs behave like this.

    This family sounds just wonderful.
     
  14. Prowl

    Prowl Guest


    Are you sure the dog is not just getting excitted about the kids in the field and wants to play with them?

    Though I aggree the dog should not be running up to children. I just get the feeling that if the dog had any ounce of aggression something would have happened all ready.

    Is it possible for the children to meet the dog and to know the dog so they arn't scaired when the dog goes in the field.

    It is a concern that the dog is nervous has broken loose, the owners make no efforts to get the dog and the dog is allowed to run around people making people feel frightened.

    Nervous dogs can bite out of fear so its important that no passers by attempt the grab the dog as that kind of action would provoke a bite in a nervous dog.
     
  15. lostbear

    lostbear Bear right at Newcastle . . .

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    My heart always sinks when I meet these "I know what I'm doing, I used to be . . . ) people. It generally means that their minds are completely closed to any suggestions that aren't their own. Plus - used to be a dog trainer - what does that mean exactly? Is she qualified to train a dog? Or has she just picked up a few tips of some cr@ppy TV show, and passed these on to other people and therefore considers herself a 'trainer'?

    Even if she believes in 'firm' training methods, as far as I'm aware these do not (or ought not) to include beating, kicking or terrorising a dog - that's just cruelty and you can dress it up as much as you like, but that's all it is.

    Sooner or later this poor animal is going to make a savage attack on another animal or a child. It doesn't have to be being aggressive - if it's chasing frightened children, the prey drive will kick in and over-excitement and adrenaline will do the rest. It needs as many people as possible to contact the police, dog warden, write to councillors - anything to draw attention to this behaviour. Are the parents of any of the other children who play in the field likely to support you by making a complaint?

    I would also point out that if it is out without being under control, and often alone, the odds are that it is defecating everywhere and no-one is cleaning up. (In fact, I would be tempted to fib, and say I'd observed that happening). Maybe they'll do something about that.

    Sadly, whatever action is taken this poor dog is going to suffer. But at the moment he's just a pup still - when he reaches his full size and strength, that is going to be a VERY dangerous dog if something isn't done now.
     
  16. Owned By A Yellow Lab

    Owned By A Yellow Lab PetForums VIP

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    Think I'd be tempted to try and liberate the dog and hand it to a rescue... Poor thing, being kicked :mad:

    Yet another example of a potentially decent dog being let down by his humans, his owners. And yes very nerve wracking for you being so close - why should you fear for your dogs just because this family can't be bothered to treat their dog kindly and train him properly???

    Please let us know what happens ?
     
  17. Prowl

    Prowl Guest

    Not sure if you mentioned all ready this would be worth contacting the RSPCA and The Mayhew and Battersea I believe they have collections officers and are able to remove dogs from situations such as this.
     
  18. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

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    I can't believe that this is a dog dangerously 'out of control in a public place' and a place where children play yet the police aren't taking proper action.

    Phone 101 the non emergency service, tell them you're not happy that children are being frightened by this dog, in a place where children have every right to play and you intend to contact your local MP as to why no one is acting to prevent a possible tragedy - or upholding the dangerous dogs act. Outrageous!!!
    Definitely e mail your MP, after all they set the rules in the DDA and I'm certain will be interested in this.
     
  19. SleepyBones

    SleepyBones Banned

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    The normal experience then.

    The only practical thing which I can suggest is to keep your own dogs out of the garden until this is well & truly sorted, havent seen his dog or yours but its such an unstable situation right now at least they will be out of it.
    .
     
  20. Wiz201

    Wiz201 PetForums VIP

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