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I'm hoping to get suggestions on how to deal with a situation with my neighbor. We adopted a 10mo from a breeder at the end of December. He was in a kennel all that time, so very anxious about everything. He was well cared for, but not well trained. We have worked with a trainer and he has come a LONG WAY from when we first brought him home. He is great with my children, 4 and 10. He is very protective of his home and my children. We always educate anyone who tries to approach him about how to greet a dog and have never had any issues with him.

Yesterday, my 10yo was walking him in a common area in our subdivision. We have only lived here for 7 months. One of our unfriendly neighbors walked by and Vader barked at her and pulled my 10yo to the ground. The neighbor proceeded to yell at my daughter that if the dog came near her, she would shoot it. My daughter came home hysterical.

This morning, the neighbor confronted my husband about the incident saying that if she ever saw the dog out of the yard off leash (of which he NEVER is!) she would shoot it and that our dog is vicious! She claimed to have contacted the sheriff already and that we needed to get our dog under control.

Sorry, this is a little long! I have no idea what to do now. We walk our dog everyday. He is friendly with all of our other neighbors and their dogs. We feel we have done a pretty good job socializing him. Usually when he does bark, it is more of a "don't come near me" bark as he stands right beside me.

Any thoughts on this? I don't want this to escalate with the neighbor, but we are contacting the sheriff ourselves to see what our rights are. I also don't want my dog to escalate with her and lead to a bite situation.
 

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While I'd continue walking the dog on lead, I'd hesitate to allow the 10 year old to walk him since she apparently cannot keep him under control.
 

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a 10 yr old should NEVER be walking a 70+ pound german shepherd alone. thats just asking for trouble. can you walk your dog on another route that doesnt go past this ladies house? when you're dealing with crazy people all reason go out the window.
 

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I wouldn't mention who you are to whomever you talk to or mention the incident happened to you if you call the Sheriff....Make it a hypothetical like I am thinking of getting a GSD and from what you heard from another neighbor with a GSD they had a problem. What are my rights etc if something were to happen. Stuff like that. If she did contact the Sheriff nothing came of it because nothing happened that would concern them yet....

Make sure you never let your 10yo walk Vader (that's a great name) alone. I would have went off on that neighbor but that's just me....Be civil and firm at first but make sure they understand in no uncertain terms your family won't be bullied and they won't stop you from walking Vader. Once they know you are worried it's only gonna get worse. Tell them your GSD won't ever get lose but if anything ever happens to him on your property. They are suspect number one and there will be **** to pay. Tell them they had better never ever set foot on your property....

My Kaos was very friendly. But I never wanted to walk him in my development because of idiots that just don't like big dogs. I didn't want to ever have to go off. That and I just never really wanted to walk in my development. There were better places. (That's gonna continue when my 6 month old Havoc is grown). I did however walk him on the sidewalk leading from the development and out down a road past a church. But everyone knew I had a GSD and that he was friendly. A bunch had petted him. They would always see me heading to the bike-path or on it. I never wanted to take a chance. That and I didn't want anyone blaming him for other dogs going on their property. I am lucky as my house is only one house away from crossing a street getting to the bike path. There is a woman with a female GSD that does have to pass a bunch of houses to get to the bike path. She has never had a problem...... If I ever get lucky and hit the lottery first thing I will do is get a house on many acers with no neighbors in site.....

Good luck...
 

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If a 10 year old obviously failed to control a large dominant-breed dog that displayed aggression toward me during the fail, I would have reacted similarly to your neighbor, and I'm someone who's owned, fostered, and been around, big/dominant dogs his whole life. You have a responsibility to the public to keep your dog under complete control at all times, and you did not fulfill that responsibility. Your dog has the capacity to inflict serious bodily harm to your neighbor, and the displayed aggression understandably scared your neighbor who doesn't know if the dog is just bluffing or about to attack. She may have children of her own for whom she's concerned.

Your neighbor's response can be considered a wakeup call that might prevent a real problem for you and the dog down the road, or you can try to convince yourself her reaction is unreasonable. Your dog, your call.
 

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Well first of all, don't let your 10 year old walk him. What kind of collar are you using for him on walks?

Second, get a vest for Vader to wear that has IN TRAINING on it on both sides so it's visible. Make sure he's wearing this whenever he leaves the house.

Third, start a paper trail. Contact the sheriff's department and let them know this neighbor harassed your daughter and you want to file a formal complaint. GET A COPY OF YOUR COMPLAINT!!!!! Start keeping a file of everything. You do not need to inform your neighbor of any of this. You just need to keep track of everything in case something does happen. With the paper trail and the neighbor threatening, they'd be suspect #1.

Fourth, a dog who is generally good with everyone else he meets, even after training, barking at someone.... there's usually a reason. She may have looked at him threateningly, looked at your daughter in a threatening manner, made a threatening gesture, etc. Honestly, I think if he's been good with others but barked at this person, I'd really question why. People who don't like dogs usually give off bad vibes.
 

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@kzoopa is right. Your neighbor not only threatened to destroy your property (dogs under law are considered property), she harassed a 10 yr old. I can understand if she was a little freaked out and snapped at your daughter, but a decent adult would have seeked you out to apologize for yelling at your daughter. Everyone has already stated that your 10 yr old is way too young and unfortunately you put her in that situation. You live and learn. I would file a complaint. I would contact the sheriffs office or go down and speak with them. Ask them if your neighbor did complain or if it was a bluff. You might find out some interesting facts about your neighbor.... Like they call on a monthly basis about someone else who wronged them. always good to have a relationship w/ local enforcement.


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@kzoopa is right. Your neighbor not only threatened to destroy your property (dogs under law are considered property), she harassed a 10 yr old. I can understand if she was a little freaked out and snapped at your daughter, but a decent adult would have seeked you out to apologize for yelling at your daughter. Everyone has already stated that your 10 yr old is way too young and unfortunately you put her in that situation. You live and learn. I would file a complaint. I would contact the sheriffs office or go down and speak with them. Ask them if your neighbor did complain or if it was a bluff. You might find out some interesting facts about your neighbor.... Like they call on a monthly basis about someone else who wronged them. always good to have a relationship w/ local enforcement.


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this is good advice, but please make mention to the cops, that a "shooting" was threatened
 

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Well first of all, don't let your 10 year old walk him. What kind of collar are you using for him on walks?

Second, get a vest for Vader to wear that has IN TRAINING on it on both sides so it's visible. Make sure he's wearing this whenever he leaves the house.

Third, start a paper trail. Contact the sheriff's department and let them know this neighbor harassed your daughter and you want to file a formal complaint. GET A COPY OF YOUR COMPLAINT!!!!! Start keeping a file of everything. You do not need to inform your neighbor of any of this. You just need to keep track of everything in case something does happen. With the paper trail and the neighbor threatening, they'd be suspect #1.

Fourth, a dog who is generally good with everyone else he meets, even after training, barking at someone.... there's usually a reason. She may have looked at him threateningly, looked at your daughter in a threatening manner, made a threatening gesture, etc. Honestly, I think if he's been good with others but barked at this person, I'd really question why. People who don't like dogs usually give off bad vibes.

I also wanted to add to file a separate complaint since she harassed your husband as well.
 

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this is good advice, but please make mention to the cops, that a "shooting" was threatened

couldn't agree more.
 

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Sounds like you are training diligently and know that your dog doesn't have stellar nerves and needs to be managed correctly/appropriately. So, just take this as a "lesson learned," don't let the kids walk to dog alone, and just keep working on the training. I don't know what to say about the police. If you haven't been contacted then nothing came of it (he did only bark), I may contact to let them know about a neighbor that went a little nutso on my daughter. If I was the neighbor I would have been a little shaken, definitely would have found you, and given YOU a strong talking to about putting your daughter and myself in that situation.

Look at it this way, at least the woman made a stink (and she did NOT threaten the child, she said she would defend herself from a dog attacking her...then went overboard and said she'd shoot it if it was off leash somewhere....but again, I don't know your neighborhood, I don't know if there is livestock around, what kind of trouble the dog could have gotten into etc....). If she hadn't made a stink, maybe you wouldn't be as diligent about not letting your child walk to dog, and the next time he could have pulled the leash out of the girl's hand and gotten a bite. You just never know.

Good luck!
 

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" He is very protective of his home and my children. We always educate anyone who tries to approach him about how to greet a dog and have never had any issues with him. "
If I was out walking in my neighborhood, and an out of control GSD(or any other large dog) pulled a child to the ground and was acting aggressive to me I would not be pleased. I wouldn't have yelled at the child, but would have been very angry with the parents. Since you say this dog is is very protective of his home and the children, it's hard to say how very threatening this dog is to others in the neighborhood. She also may have said things in the heat of the moment that she didn't mean, I certainly would have reacted strongly to this situation. I would not have threatened to shoot him, but would have probably called animal control or the police if he acted this way again.
 

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If a 10 year old obviously failed to control a large dominant-breed dog that displayed aggression toward me during the fail, I would have reacted similarly to your neighbor, and I'm someone who's owned, fostered, and been around, big/dominant dogs his whole life. You have a responsibility to the public to keep your dog under complete control at all times, and you did not fulfill that responsibility. Your dog has the capacity to inflict serious bodily harm to your neighbor, and the displayed aggression understandably scared your neighbor who doesn't know if the dog is just bluffing or about to attack. She may have children of her own for whom she's concerned.

Your neighbor's response can be considered a wakeup call that might prevent a real problem for you and the dog down the road, or you can try to convince yourself her reaction is unreasonable. Your dog, your call.

First off, I do agree that a 10 yr. old should not be walking a dog of this age or size by themselves. Puting the dog as well as yourself and others at risk.

But and it's a resounding disagreement that the neighbor conducted themselves in the presence of a child appropriately in my opinion. The dog was acting instinctively at someone they seen as a threat. I don't care what anyone says, I've had dogs all my life mostly GSD's, and I'm 44 yrs. old and dogs KNOW people. They can sense fear and people who just don't like them. They had no right to threaten to SHOOT the dog let alone saying this in the presence of a 10 yr. old kid. Sorry thats B.S.! They should have went straight the the parents to vent thier concern and file thier own complaint with the police.

As with every situation, you have to be there to see and experience just what happened. Unless you were there, it's speculation. What led up to this encounter? Did the neighbor make a move at the dog or kid? They may have not realised they did anything wrong. But it gives them no right to say what they said in the presence of a child whether the dog was "acting vicious" or not.

I do not know the laws and rights where they live, but to me shooting a dog or any animal is a criminal offense in itself I believe in my local it is an offense unless your life is threatened, and this doesn't mean barking at you or growling at you. It means your being attacked. I would take this person at thier word and take them seriously. I would also file a complaint of my own to make sure the local law enforcement knows this person is armed and has threatened to use dealy force in the presence of a child, to a child. What people fail to realise who are not familiar with shooting, bullets once released from a gun no matter if he hit the dog or not can ricochet in any direction once they strike internal organs or bone or something in between the target and the gun that is not seen at the time of the shot. If your kid is walking this dog and it does this again and this neighbor shoots the dog, your child could very easily be struck by a ricochet. This could escalate into a serious situation.

I would let the neighbor know, the dog will be leashed off property at all times, and in the presence of an adult. I would also let them know if this dog winds up dead in my backyard, I'm comming to visit you with law enforcement and that I have filed my own complaint with the police. The key word in this paragragh is "backyard" or really for that matter on my property. People have been known to exact thier own corporal punishment on animals via poisoning. It's very easy to do and if they have threatened this dog, I myself would keep this in mind.
 

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I would never allow a child to walk a large breed dog. That's an accident waiting to happen.
 

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Sounds like you have a neighbor with dog phobia and the dog definitely picked up on the fear. Our immediate neighbors don't like dogs but would never make such a threat. As others advised I would report the threat to the authorities.

When my kids were younger they used to babysit our neighbor's Rottweiler until he fully matured and started to act protective, he was over 100lbs and although very gentle with my kids, there were 10 also, our neighbors knew our daughters could not handle a large dog like that.

I wondering if you and your 10 year old can work with a trainer one on one. After all, she will grow and in a couple years may be able to handle your dog better. My adult daughter is petite and has a weak right side. She walks our dog with a prong collar, a regular leash and a tab leash for close control, plus our dog has an emergency down. Something like this may work for your daughter.
 

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I do think that your neighbor over reacted in some part by calling the Sheriffs Dept & also should NEVER yell at your child (take it up with you), but at the same time your neighbor is correct about it being very irresponsible letting your 10 year old take your dog out alone. As dog owners we have a huge responsibility to control and maintain our dogs for our own family's safety, the dog's safety, & the safety of others.

No matter how much training a dog has, it is still a dog, & especially when it comes to kids, they can be unpredictable. And your dog is only a puppy! My son (who is 10 now) was a baby when I had my previous dog and I had the dog professionally trained, and my dog was always good, could walk off leash & listen, but when I took my son out in a stroller with us, he became even more protective than he already was with me. I could imagine what would happen if my son now would be out walking the dog alone. The dog would never let anyone near him. And you need to take into consideration that GSD are notoriously protective by nature, so letting him out alone with your child is not a good idea.

Your dog or worse your daughter could have been seriously hurt. What is the puppy saw a squirrel & tried to take off after it? Your daughter could be seriously injured, & the dog could wind up running off & getting injured or killed. My 10 year old is almost as big as me I am won't be letting him take our new dog out alone. It's just irresponsible
 

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If the dog barked at me and pulled the child down I would be ticked too. I might say a few things to the child, to the wife, and to the husband too.

The dog is an adolescent and you are not managing him properly. You need to train the dog and have the child train the dog, and go out with the the child, and not let the kid out there with an adolescent male GSD that she cannot control.

The anger in this thread for the victim is appalling. She did not say she would shoot the child, she said she would shoot the dog. It was a warning. A strong warning. A warning that OBVIOUSLY needed to be strong. Because, how hysterical will your daughter be if this woman DOES shoot her dog as it is barking and rushing toward her?

Man up. Take responsibility for allowing an incident that does not do any of us any good, and make the changes necessary to ensure that nothing of the kind ever happens again.

Oh, and go apologize to your neighbor for disturbing her wa.

This woman was doing nothing wrong, and a great big German Shepherd barks at her and drags a little kid right off her feet while trying to get to her. That's disturbing. She deserves an apology, not police reports and complaints.

She did not walk up to your child and slap her face or smack her face into the wall. She told your daughter to get the dog under control because if it does that again she will shoot it. If she said it with anger, or with a few choice words, well oh well! I might say a few choice words too if a huge GSD came at me like that.

Time to go back to training classes.
 

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I wouldn't allow a 10 year old to walk the dog either. I also wouldn't threaten to shoot your dog if something like that happened, especially if it was a child. I'm sure your daughter was scared enough to begin with The neighbor wasn't being rational and could have handled it a little better.
 

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I wouldn't allow a 10 year old to walk the dog either. I also wouldn't threaten to shoot your dog if something like that happened, especially if it was a child. I'm sure your daughter was scared enough to begin with The neighbor wasn't being rational and could have handled it a little better.
I would not have threatened to shoot the dog either, but I'm not afraid of dogs. I would have helped the child with the dog and made sure she was ok, but again....I'm not afraid of dogs. If someone has a fear of dogs they will speak out of fear.

As I said above, I would not allow a child to walk a large breed dog. Especially an untrained one. That is what caused this situation and it could have easily been avoided. The fault is with the dog owner.
 
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