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Advice: Friend's dog attacked neighbor dog

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
UGH! This is a hard situation and I don't know what to tell her. Hoping some of you wise women have dealt with something similar.

(sorry, this got long)

Friend has a 3 yr old German Shepherd. Good dog, great around kids. They have an invisible fence (no physical fences allowed) and he's done great with it. Kids can run in and out of the yard with no problem. They are experienced dog owners and he's well behaved.

Enter, their neighbors.

Their neighbors had a dog who died this summer because their kids let the dog in the van (yep, neighbors allow their kids to play in their vehicle), van was parked in the driveway and kids forgot about the dog, parents didn't realize the dog was in the van and they all left. Dog died in van.

Neighbors just got TWO dogs. Adopted two (2 & 4 yrs old, one 50 lbs, one 25 lbs) dogs 2 weeks ago. Kind of a spur of the moment decision. They had wanted a Weinaramer then found out about another dog for adoption, got there and there were two dogs so they took them both. Not a lot of advanced planning or thought into adding these dogs.

Yesterday my friend was in the house and heard the neighbor yelling "no" at her dog. My friend got outside to see her dog sitting in the middle of her yard. Her neighbors 25 lb dog was back in neighbors yard but had been bit. To the tune of 18 stitches and a $350 vet bill.

According to the neighbor the 25 lb dog ran into my friend's yard and her German Shepherd "attacked" it. Now, we don't know how the dog ran into the yard (barking and growling?) but we do know neighbor let her dogs out rather unsupervised. Friends dog has never been agggressive towards people or dogs before. Friends dog did not chase neighbors dog but just sat there after the bite.

Neighbor is mad. Friend is upset. Friend has offered to split the vet bill and has a trainer coming over this morning to work with her dog. Friend offered to split the trainer with neighbor so neighbor's dogs could be worked with as well. Neighbor refused. So far, neighbor has shown no interest in preventing this again beyond telling Friend to get control of her dog. Neighbor has an invisible fence but it is broken. According to my Friend, Neighbor has the fence company coming out to fix it but, well, then you actually have to TRAIN the dogs to use it right.

Friend is concerned that if this happens again it is going to be bad for her German Shepherd. Yet, Friend has no way to prevent the neighbor's dogs from coming into her yard again.

I have no idea what to tell her. I just cannot believe her neighbors got more dogs and then pretty much let untrained dogs outside with no fence. It just makes no sense.

If anyone has read this entire thing, thank you! Any advice? Anyone BTDT?
post #2 of 11
I dont know...most likely the best bet is to just not let the GSD out without supervision.

Make sure, if you can, that she is using a good trainer. So many trainers end up making dog aggression worse! A behavoirist is usually your best bet, or a trainer who uses conditioning and desensitization, not a trainer who uses tools like ecollares, prongs, etc which tend to make the aggression worse.
post #3 of 11
I think your friend is being quite generous; if I was in that scenario I don't think I'd be paying any of the vet bill - same as if our neighbors' cocker got loose yet again, came into my yard like he usually does, and by some fluke one of my dogs bit him (unlikely but they do have teeth) while on their tethers.

That being said, I do not generally leave my dogs outside unsupervised (i.e. I'm either out there or within earshot inside) because of all the things that can happen to a dog without a physical fence to protect them. If I were your friend, I'd be keeping the dog inside unless I was out in the yard myself to keep the neighbor from putting my dog in that situation again. I'd also consider calling animal control any time I saw the neighbor dogs off the property.

I second Nicole's suggestion about finding a good trainer - you do NOT want someone using corrections with this dog; your friend needs someone who is primarily positive reinforcement based. A place to start would be the APDT Trainer Search - it's not fool proof as some trainers are listed on there that do use punishment based methods, but it's a good clearinghouse of trainers, a majority of which are posive reinforcement based.
post #4 of 11
Crashing, as I'm not a pet owner right now.... but if someone else (or other animal) runs into YOUR property, don't your animals have the right to defend it? It was obviously the neighbor that wasn't controlling her animals, not your friend. I don't get why she'd be responsible for anything. If the neighbor doesn't want her dogs to get attacked, she shouldn't let them run around on someone's else property.
post #5 of 11
I think its not really clear...I have heard stories of it going both ways...but ususally if both dogs are "loose" the aggressor (or who they think is) is blamed and held accountable. Some seem to consider them dangerous dogs regardless of what the circumstances are....like if a burglar breaks into your home and your dog bites them, sometimes you are held accountable
post #6 of 11
But both dogs weren't loose. The friend's dog was "contained" on her property with the invisible fence.
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by changingseasons View Post
Crashing, as I'm not a pet owner right now.... but if someone else (or other animal) runs into YOUR property, don't your animals have the right to defend it? It was obviously the neighbor that wasn't controlling her animals, not your friend. I don't get why she'd be responsible for anything. If the neighbor doesn't want her dogs to get attacked, she shouldn't let them run around on someone's else property.
That's how it is here. If a dog goes onto someone else's property, they can be picked up by animal control.

We had to go through something similiar this summer, but in our case, the neighbor understood that we weren't really at fault, her dog was and let it go.
post #8 of 11
I don't think your friend owes them anything. Their dog left their property, too bad for them. Sorry, but i have no sympathy for that stuff. And I think it's sick they were allowed to adopt two dogs after leaving one in a car so long it DIED. WTH. Anyway, your friend's dog was properly contained in his own yard, the neighbors are at fault for letting their dog run around unsupervised.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBomb View Post
I don't think your friend owes them anything. Their dog left their property, too bad for them. Sorry, but i have no sympathy for that stuff. And I think it's sick they were allowed to adopt two dogs after leaving one in a car so long it DIED. WTH. Anyway, your friend's dog was properly contained in his own yard, the neighbors are at fault for letting their dog run around unsupervised.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your opinions.

I believe she is thinking of offering to pay half as a good will gesture towards keeping peace with the neighbors. I think she's concerned that they have already started spreading stories about how *awful* her dog was.

Any idea of what she does from here on out? Yes, she is keeping her dog inside right now unless she's out but heck, I know my dog would be pretty tired of that after half a day. He likes to nap on the deck and just hang out.
post #11 of 11
Dealing with neighbors is always tricky but since they refused an offer for trainer to work with their dogs at half the price and their fence is not working right, to protect my dog in the future I would:
a) only allow my dog outside with direct supervision
b)have a talk with the neighbors about dogs staying in their respective yards and the fact that I do not like uninvited dogs in my yard
and if they don't do anything about it:
I reset flags where fence line is supposed to be and get pictures or video of neighbor's dogs in my yard.
c)contact local Animal Control people. For the first time they will just get a warning. In my experience it is enough for people to get their dogs under control.
I know it is not a neighbor friendly plan but if they are clueless about their pets only thing I could do is protect my dog from being blamed dog agressive and put down.

Friend of mine had a boxer that lived peacefully with their other dogs until one day she attacked their 16yold mix breed. The mixed breed died several days later from sepsis (not directly from it's wounds) in the vets office. When it happened only grand ma was home, she didn't know what to do and called AC. They got the boxer and had it put down despite the fact that no one pressed charges and it was a fight between two family pets.
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