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Discussion Starter #1
(I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the right section...)

I just need to vent to people who understand.
We have new neighbors moving in next door and I just had to deal with another wonderfully favorable reaction to Gunner. Those just never get old, ya know? lol.

I had the boys out in the backyard, playing, when they decided to come into their backyard to play with the ever-so-cute screaming child that will be living there. From what I could tell, it was the woman who bought the house and another woman, probably just helping her move in. Well, that house had been empty for a good six months and the dogs weren't used to seeing or hearing people over there, so of course, Gunner went up to the fence and barked. Not even a particularly menacing bark - just more of a "Hey. Wow, there's people over there." I called him, he came right back over to me and I heard the one (who probably, hopefully isn't living there) say to the other one "Oh, great. A German Shepherd. You're going to have problems with THAT." I bit my lip and didn't let on that I heard her, because what would have come out of my mouth at that point would not have been nice. I did hear the other woman say something to her, real quiet, so I couldn't make it out, and the other one responded "I don't care. I don't like those things. They're a tragedy waiting to happen." Ugh!!!! Luckily, they went into the house right at that point and I didn't have the chance to go off. I was about ready to.

Now I'm debating if I should catch the woman who lives there when she's outside (without that other exceedingly charming woman) and tell her that Gunner is quite friendly - he might bark occasionally but just ignore him, he won't bother you, etc., etc., etc. Or just figure "the **** with it" and not bother. I really hate having to explain that he's friendly. It feels too much like I'm having to apologize for, or justify, having a Shepherd and it irritates me to no end.

What would you all do? Approach them, or just let it go?
 

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If it were me I would start nice as pie. "I would like to introduce my family, including my dog Gunner. We are all nice, and none of us bite unless you are doing something you're not supposed to on my property. He is trained, loves kids and is never left outside unattended." and leave it at that. I am so lucky, my neighbors live my dogs. The older couple behind me runs out to see them anytime she can, and the ones next to me have two beagles that my dogs like.
 

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Ugh! sorry that the response was so negative.

I would not let it go. I think I would use the opportunity for a lil' edumacation

I would go visit to say "welcome" to the neighborhood etc. and help her understand that Gunner is a great dog, who is well behaved and that you, his owner have control over him. Also helps them to know what not to do, to trigger herding behavior or throwing food scraps over the fence etc.

Good Luck.
 

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Go greet your new neighbors and don't mention the rude comment. If they say something about Gunner then you can reassure them.
 

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You could do a 'hey, welcome, glad to have you' and then conversation could naturally turn to Gunner, b/c who wouldn't want to talk about him (am I biased?) and you can go from there.

What silly comments though.
 

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I would ignore it. It sounds like the "friend" here was the instigator and maybe your new neighbor is okay. I'm sure that your dog will show your new neighbors what great dogs GSDs are. Unfortunately a lot of us get that reaction from neighbors who think that all GSDs are vicious dogs.
 

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I would take the whole family, including Gunner, and go meet the new neighbor. Introduce yourselves, talk to her a bit, and just keep it casual.

It sounds to me like the neighbor's friend is the one who doesn't know anything about German Shepherds, not the neighbor herself. Remember, you didn't hear what she said, you only heard what her friend said. For all you know, she could've said, "I always liked German Shepherds" or "I grew up with Shepherds."
 

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if i read your post correctly, both comments were made by woman #2 and the comments seem to indicate shes not the one moving. woman #2's second comment seems to indicate that woman #1 said something to the effect of not being worried about it, either that or something like "keep your voice down, that lady can hear you."

i think it would be perfectly fine to just strike up conversation with her the next time she is out and Gunner is out. just introduce yourself and squeeze Gunner into the conversation. i think most people like dogs and if she comes to realize he is friendly she will have no problem with him. even if she has a preconceived notion of gsd's i still think knowing the dog will make her comfortable with your dog. he's obviously ok with kids, so thats a good thing. if she dislikes dogs altogether then that could be another story. i just think the odds probably wont swing that way. she's probably going to be a fairly permanent fixture, so imo i would want to ease her mind if she does have any preconceived ideas.

is it likely than Gunner will bark excessively at the neighbors or is it likely he will get used to their presence and just go about his usual business? maybe the barking was more bothersome than anything. i think excessive barking bothers people more than what breed a dog is.
 

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Heres a story for ya, maybe it will help. The house next door, like your situation was vacant for several months. So when me and sarge were out he took over both front yards, actually my son lived next door on the other side so sarge had all 3 front yards to run and play in.

OK, One day the lawn guys were at the vacant house getting ready to mow. My wife didnt know they were out there.( SARGE HATES MOWERS) Shes going out to get the mail and takes sarge along. He goes out first just as the guy starts a weedeater!! Hes fairly close to our house.

Sarge charges the guy and the guy freezes in his tracks. Sharge is barking at the weedeater, not the guy but he dont know that. My wife recalls sarge and he returns with no real problem except he scared the ever lovin crap out the lawn guy. He reports it to the lady that owns the house that we have a vicious dog.

Heres your fix for your problem..

A couple move in, I see the guy out front so I walk over and introduce myself. We'er talking and I explain I have a wife and a shepherd named sarge. The guy says....I ve heard about that dog!!!... I said really, what have you heard. I heard he was mean and goes after people and I should be careful of him. So I asked him..do you believe everything you hear??? He says nope.

I asked, would be willing to meet sarge and make up your own mind. He said he would. So I told him when he comes over just pet him. So I went to my front door and let sarge come out. He followed me over to the neighbors house off leash. He walked over and sniffed his leg. The guy petted and knelt down and talked to sarge.

Sarges tail was wagging and loving every minute of it. So now what do you think?? Is this a dog you think you have to worry about. He explained that the landlady had warned him about the dog. So I explained to him why she thinks sarge is vicious.

He actually thought it was funny. And from then on when we were out front the neighbor would call sarge over, sarge would prance over there and guy gave him treats and would play with him while we talked.
 

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Ugh - you all just made me glad I live in the country.
My neighbors are all really super nice and not very close.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You're so lucky, Kodee. I would LOVE to live in the country. The 'burbs really aren't my thing! lol. Just wish I would have figured that out before I moved here...!

roxy - no, Gunner's not one to bark excessively at neighbors. Once he sees them a couple times and gets used to their voices and their scent, he realizes that it's okay, that they're supposed to be there and pretty much ignores them. He's more interested in chasing his ball than anything happening on the other side of the fence. Now if they laugh real loud or something, or if the kid screams, he'll bark once but that's about it. If I tell him to 'nevermind' he quiets right down.

butch - you had me cracking up with that story. I would have paid money to see the look on that lawn guy's face. lol. Hope he had an extra pair of shorts in his truck.

But yeah, I think you guys are right. I really don't want to get off on the wrong foot with these people. I know how bad it is when you have problems with a neighbor and that's the last thing we want. And it really seemed like the obnoxious one was just visiting (~hoping and praying~) so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. I'm sure I'll see her outside tomorrow, and when I do, I'll take the boys out for their walk and stop and introduce us. I don't think I'll even mention the overheard comment. I'll just let her meet Gunner and see what a big dufus he is. Hopefully, that'll take care of any ideas she might have about living next door to Cujo. LOL.
Wish me luck...!
And thanks guys!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That went well. It's going to be fun living next to these people.
I hadn't seen them around since the other day, so I hadn't had a chance to walk out front with Gunner and introduce him properly. Yesterday, I was out in the backyard with him and Riley, waiting for them to do their business when I heard them closing car doors and whatnot over there. I'm thinking 'Good - as soon as they're done, we'll go for a walk.' Well, I made the mistake of turning my back to that side of the fence for a minute so I could clean up after Riley, when all of a sudden I hear this low growl and see a black blur out of the corner of my eye. I turn around and here is this woman, hands on top of our fence, trying to lean up over the top of it to peer into our yard. Gunner, apparently, didn't care for that and was just sort of dancing around, barking and growling at her. I got over there, got him away from the fence and she says "The kids lost their frisbee. I thought it might have come over here." I told her it hadn't and she looks at Gunner and says "He can't jump this fence, can he?" I'm trying to keep my jaw off the ground at this point, trying to guage just how stupid this woman actually is, but I managed to tell her "He won't. You might have noticed, even when provoked, he won't jump ON it, let alone try to jump OVER it." I went on to tell her that, believe it or not, he's actually very friendly when properly introduced and asked if she'd mind if I walked him out front so he could meet her. She gave me a nervous laugh and said "No, that's okay. Just as long as he won't jump the fence..." I, again, assured her that he won't and told her that even with the fenced-in yard, he's never, under any circumstances, out there unsupervised. I did tell her that I wouldn't recommend her little kids putting their hands through the fence, or anything like that, as he's never been tested in that particular situation. I said that I really don't think he'd bite - he just makes a lot of noise - but I can't be 100% certain. She gave me the "Oh - no, no... they won't." Not two hours later, I see the little boy standing on OUR driveway, right in front of our gate, hands on it, watching the dogs. Parents nowhere to be seen.

So this is going to be great. Apparently, she isn't willing to work with me, at all. She won't let me properly introduce him to them and she obviously won't watch her kids, either.
Like I said, Gunner is NOT a biter, but he didn't like her leaning over our fence, so I don't really know what he'll do if her kids stick a hand through the fence.

It just scares me because she seems like the type who is going to make things very difficult for us, then complain about our dog.
What would you do in this situation??
 

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Your dog was doing what comes natural for the breed, protect its territory. Now they need to see the kinder,gentler part of the breed. Walk your gsd outside often until they meet up with you and properly introduce them. It sure wouldnt hurt to make welcome to the neighborhood cookies to bring over there too. Moves are stressful, maybe shes up to her neck in boxes and could use a break. Think positive!
 

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Oh boy..........

My nieghbors are moving (THANK GOD) with thier snappy and barky Sheltie and Pomeranian. The down side is who knows who bought the house and what or who they have. At least I know this devil, frustrating as it is. They leave thier back door open 24/7 so the dogs can come in and at will so every time I let mine out thier's run out to fence and start barkfest. I cannot hardly sit out in my yard because of it.

Something to consider....... erect a wooden 6 ft privacy fence along any area that the kid can stick his hands through. Even tho you think Gunner would not nip, you can never be sure. Don't temp him or put him in that position. Even tho you were outside with them you saw how quickly it can turn when Gunner barked and growled at he lady by the fence.

Hope this situation improves.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Originally Posted By: ZeusGSD Sorry, everything sucks about this situation.
LOL. Yeah, that's pretty much what I'm thinking.

That's not a bad idea, Kathy. I think we might have to check into that. We have the 5ft shadow box type now, and the openings are just wide enough for a little kid to get a hand through. And if the parents aren't going to watch the kids, I guess all I can do is take precautions and make sure that Gun is never put in that position.
Good luck with your future neighbors! Hopefully you'll fare better than we did.

Mom usually parks right in front of our gate (where the kid was standing) so she said that the next time she sees him over here, she's going to hit the panic button on her remote, from inside the house, and set the car alarm off. She figures that might scare him bad enough to keep him in his own yard. LOL. I wouldn't actually let her DO that, but I did think it was funny. (Evil, but funny...)
 
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