My neighbor has a dog that I feel is a danger to my dd. Am I right to be worried? How proactive should I be? Advice gratefully requested. I have 2 dogs, but I'm no dog expert.
The story: Neighbor "A" has two sheepdogs. (Old English, I believe). One of the sheepdogs is confident and friendly. The other is hesitant and a bit fearful. I'll call him "C". C has never been aggressive or threatening to adults, that I've seen.
A frequently has the dogs off lead in her front yard, which means they roam the general vicinity within a few houses and across the street. She gardens and the dogs wander. This is usually at least once a day, often for hours. [The dogs poop on my lawn, but that is a different rant!]
The dogs had been around dd here and there since she was a baby. Not a lot, but some. I like A quite a bit. One day when I was in her back yard with dd, who had recently learned to walk, Dog C came up behind dd and snapped at her back. The dog didn't make contact, but it was a "sneak threat." Dd was doing nothing to threaten the dogs in any obvious way. I scooped dd up and C circled me, trying to get near dd.
Since then, Dog C will come at us if he sees dd. He will leave his yard and come into ours if dd is on the ground. This scares the
out of me. Dd likes to play in our front yard, but I have to be hyper vigilant that the dogs aren't out. I can't see A's yard from my door, or much of my lawn. Dd likes to run out the door when we're leaving, and I am freaked out that one day she'll run into our yard and Dog C will run out and get to her before I do.
Today we were out playing, when A came home. She came out to garden and let the dogs out. (I've let her know C scares me, but she has downplayed it). Grrrr. C came over to check out dd, who I scooped up. A invited me and another neighbor in to see her new painting. I went, but I was totally tense because of the dog. I kept dd on my hip, and C tried to approach us at least 4-5 times. I'd shift my body, A would notice and tell him to back off, he'd approach in again a minute later. Dd got frustrated because I wouldn't let her down, and started to flail her arms. Dog C began growling at us from behind A. At that point I said we were leaving since dd was unhappy and so was the dog. A said, "Oh he always barks when people leave" as I moved towards the door. [Yes, the dogs bark when someone leaves, but the dog was growling at us! Before we tried to leave!]
The complicating factors are this:
1. I like A and I don't want to ruin a friendly relationship
2. When A first moved in (dd was a newborn) my dogs got angry, escaped my yard, and attacked her dogs in her yard.
One of my dogs was the only dog to be wounded, but it was MY dogs attacking hers. She was very gracious about it, and we built brand new fences to keep our dogs contained securely.
3. My male dog is known as an unfriendly dog, which he is. She quizzes me about how he is with dd and worries what would happen if he got loose. (He would rather run than fight. It was my female who started the fight and took the wound, as the smallest dog.) In her mind *I* have a dangerous dog, and her dog is not a threat. Sigh.
Also I say my female started the fight, but all the dogs had fence fought before the break out fight. Who knows who "started" what? My female thought she had a baby to protect. Maybe she was right.
I was mortified at the time it happened.
So ....... long useless story to ask: how much of a threat is this dog? Do I need to ask her not to let him roam? Or to ask her to put him away when I'm out? Obviously I am within my legal rights, as off leash dogs are against the law where I am, but I feel embarrassesd and bawk-bawk (chicken) to ask her not to let Dog C roam. It is obviously a big part of her life to have the dogs out with her. Her two cats are a part of the posse, too. It would be very cute if I weren't afraid.
Or, are herding dogs a little weird like this? Is the obsession a sheepdog thing? The snap a herding move? I am not okay with her dog herding my kid, and I have no plans to let dd near the dog, but do I need to be sick with worry?
Ugh. Why am I so chicken about this?