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Weird Neighbor!!!

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Irishgrrrl

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OK, so today at lunchtime, I came home (as usual) to let my dogs out. I let them out into our yard (which is fenced) and they "do their thing" and then come back inside a few minutes later. Our Great Dane, Caesar, was laying down in the grass and *almost* got up by himself, but just couldn''t quite make it happen, so he needed me to come help him. I walked out into the yard to help him, and before I even got to him, I heard someone say "Hey, did you realize that one of your dogs is really really mean?"

I was like, WTF? I looked up and to my right, where the voice was coming from. The girl who lives in the top floor apartment of the apartment building that sits catty-cornered behind our house was standing on the steps that go up to her apartment. I wasn''t sure I heard her right, so I said "Huh?" (I know, I''m SO eloquent! LOL!)

So she repeated herself: "Did you know that one of your dogs is really really mean?"

Me: "Oh, really?"

Her: "Yeah, whenever we''re walking up the steps to our apartment, he barks and growls at us. It''s the black one with the white tummy." *

Me: "Oh, well, yeah . . . um . . . they''re a little weird about strangers sometimes."

Her: "We never mess with them or anything, we just say ''hi, puppy'' and he''s like ''GRRRR!''"

Me: "Oh."

Her: "OK, thank you!"

* We actually have two dogs that are black with white tummies, so I''m not sure which one she was talking about . . . I only know that it couldn''t have been our Dane.

So, it was just a really weird conversation. I have literally NEVER spoken to this woman before. She and her husband moved into that apartment pretty recently. They''re newlyweds (I think) and they don''t have any kids. I just don''t really get why she referred to my dog as "really really mean"? OK, so they bark at you . . . they don''t know you, and they can see you from inside our yard. They''re dogs . . . they bark! It''s not like they bark constantly while they''re outside . . . she made it sound like they ONLY bark when they see the neighbors going up the steps (which are right next to our yard). Also, the yard is fenced the whole way around with a six-foot-high privacy fence, so it''s not like the dogs can get out of the yard. In fact, the dogs can''t even SEE anyone standing on the ground outside the fence because the fence is too high. They can only see the neighbors when they''re walking up the stairs to their apartment.

I guess I just don''t get what the issue is here? And what exactly are DH and I supposed to do about it? Strange . . .
 

elrohwen

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Haha. My first impression is that she doesn''t know much about dogs and probably thinks it''s unusually mean that your dog is barking, rather than normal. I guess just try to be nice to her and hope she leaves you alone. If you''re feeling really generous, maybe you could bring her in to meet your dogs (assuming they wouldn''t mind meeting her) and show her that they''re friendly even if they like to bark when they see her.
 

Irishgrrrl

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Date: 3/9/2009 8:43:30 PM
Author: elrohwen
Haha. My first impression is that she doesn''t know much about dogs and probably thinks it''s unusually mean that your dog is barking, rather than normal. I guess just try to be nice to her and hope she leaves you alone. If you''re feeling really generous, maybe you could bring her in to meet your dogs (assuming they wouldn''t mind meeting her) and show her that they''re friendly even if they like to bark when they see her.
Ya know, El, I thought the same thing! She must not know much about dogs. And I did consider inviting her to meet them, but she seemed pretty intimidated. Also, I had never spoken to her before today, so I didn''t really feel comfortable having her like COME OVER! LOL!


Maybe if they live there for a while longer and if DH and I run into them here and there, we can ask them to come and meet the pups. The funny thing is, all three of our dogs are total attention hogs whenever we have company over! They will like ASSAULT you as soon as you sit down on the couch! You MUST pet them! LOL!
 

elrohwen

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Haha, your dogs sound awesome. If she does hang around and you run into more than once, I''d definitely invite her into the yard at least. It would be a good education for her that dogs just like to bark at people, but it doesn''t mean that they''re not friendly. And maybe if your dogs got to know her, they wouldn''t bark as much? I dunno about that though ... our dogs knew our neighbors very well, but enjoying barking at them from the backyard just for the fun of it


It kind of boggles my mind too when people aren''t familiar with simple dog things. I guess we don''t realize how natural our relationships with them are until we see someone who has no idea what typical dog behavior is! Maybe she''s a cat person
 

AmberGretchen

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Those sound like normal, healthy, friendly dogs to me. Your neighbor sounds like she could benefit from some time spent around such dogs, getting to know what they are normally like and what is and is not "mean" behavior
 

somethingshiny

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The only thing I can think of on behalf of your neighbor is that she may be afraid of dogs. Maybe normal behavior frightens her and she just wanted you to know. But, the other thought that came to my mind is that she might be playing you for an eventual "incident". I''d be wary of her just in case.
 

Irishgrrrl

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El ~ Yeah, I think our kids would bark at them anyway, even if they did know them. They absolutely LOVE our next door neighbors (who love them back and ALWAYS give them treats over the fence! LOL!) and they bark EVERY time they see them outside. I think they just like to hear themselves bark!


Amber ~ I totally agree . . . she just seems to not know what "normal" is. When she used the phrase "really really mean" I was afraid she was going to tell me that one of our dogs bit someone or something like that! To me, barking doesn't qualify as "really really mean"!


Shiny ~ You know, that crossed my mind too. DH wants to get "no trespassing" and "beware of dog" signs to hang on the fence so that people have fair warning that we DO have dogs and that they WILL bark at you. Also, I'm not totally sure that one of the dogs WOULDN'T bite if a stranger reached into our yard. Maybe we should get some signs . . . it probably couldn't hurt!
 

joflier

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Maybe she''s afraid of dogs? I only suggest that, because I have an aversion to dogs. Especially mid-large size dogs that bark. Even if its well intentioned barking, it can sometimes just freak me out. (unpleasant childhood experiences) But i also know my fear isn''t always rational, so I just try to steer clear. Maybe she has something like that and just equates barking with mean?
 

Irishgrrrl

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Date: 3/9/2009 9:34:22 PM
Author: joflier
Maybe she''s afraid of dogs? I only suggest that, because I have an aversion to dogs. Especially mid-large size dogs that bark. Even if its well intentioned barking, it can sometimes just freak me out. (unpleasant childhood experiences) But i also know my fear isn''t always rational, so I just try to steer clear. Maybe she has something like that and just equates barking with mean?
Yeah, Jo, I guess that''s possible. And all of our dogs are pretty big. (ESPECIALLY Caesar! LOL!) I guess I''m just wondering why she said anything at all? It''s not like DH and I can really do anything to stop them from barking at her and/or her husband. She wasn''t rude about it at all (more like she just wanted us to be aware), but I was kinda left with the impression that she wanted us to DO something about it. I don''t want her to be uncomfortable, but I don''t know what to do!
 

purrfectpear

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Barking dogs = normal doggie behavior

Giant dogs that are chest high going Grrrrrr = potential anxiety to people


I happen to know that most Danes are really sweet, but I can imagine that a 100lb. dog will garner a healthy amount of respect from a lot people.
She probably got a little freaked when she realized that if they stood on their hind legs they can look over a privacy fence
 

joflier

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If she says anything again, I''d just let her know that their both really sweet dogs. They just like to bark at folks.
 

Irishgrrrl

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Date: 3/9/2009 9:48:26 PM
Author: purrfectpear
Barking dogs = normal doggie behavior

Giant dogs that are chest high going Grrrrrr = potential anxiety to people


I happen to know that most Danes are really sweet, but I can imagine that a 100lb. dog will garner a healthy amount of respect from a lot people.
She probably got a little freaked when she realized that if they stood on their hind legs they can look over a privacy fence
LOL! Yes, Caesar (our Dane) is a big boy . . . a VERY big boy!


But, unfortunately, Caesar''s hell-raisin'' days are very much over. He''s eight years old now (which makes him a senior citizen in Dane years), and he normally goes to the *other* side of our yard, does his business, and then finds a nice sunny spot to lay down. He doesn''t frequent the corner of the yard in question at all.

From what she told me, the culprit was "the black one with the white tummy." We have two dogs that fit the description, but our Dane is grey with black spots, so it definitely was not him. It must have been either Biko or Turbo, both of whom are MUCH smaller. They''re both black lab mixes, and Turbo is the larger of the two . . . she weighs about 75 pounds or so and is about knee high on me (I''m 5''4"). On her BEST day, she still couldn''t see over the fence . . . although God knows she''s tried! LOL!


Biko is our liittlest guy, and he probably weighs about 60 pounds. He''s a little shorter than Turbo is, and he is a TOTAL sweetie-pie . . . I don''t think he''s ever met a person he didn''t instantly love!


I really just can''t imagine them growling at anyone . . . barking yes, but growling??? I really, REALLY don''t think so. I''m pretty convinced that she''s exaggerating, although I have no idea why she would do that. Takes all kinds, I guess!
 

Irishgrrrl

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Date: 3/9/2009 10:41:55 PM
Author: joflier
If she says anything again, I''d just let her know that their both really sweet dogs. They just like to bark at folks.
Yeah, I wanted to say something like that this afternoon, but she just REALLY caught me off-guard! Maybe I''ll supply her with a box of Milk Bones and then she can make friends with them! LOL!
 

Miranda

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Haha - Yah, ditto what PP said. Big dog making ANY noise = Scared people. Some people are much more sensitive to big dogs than others. For example, my neighbor has a huge Rottweiler who growls and barks at anyone taking a walk near our houses. It doesn''t bother me at all, I know this dog is a sweetie pie. AND, I have always had and always will have huge dogs. It terrifies another one of our neighbors, though. Her daughter was almost bitten (her hubby reached across at the last second to move the dog and he got the bite) by a big dog recently. Naturally, she is now scared of big dogs. Who knows why your neighbors reacted so strangely. Maybe she was just trying to make conversation...In a very strange way, LOL

How is the big hunk of love, Caesar?!
 

joflier

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Date: 3/9/2009 10:51:06 PM
Author: Irishgrrrl

Date: 3/9/2009 10:41:55 PM
Author: joflier
If she says anything again, I''d just let her know that their both really sweet dogs. They just like to bark at folks.
Yeah, I wanted to say something like that this afternoon, but she just REALLY caught me off-guard! Maybe I''ll supply her with a box of Milk Bones and then she can make friends with them! LOL!
Not a bad idea. Or ask her if she wants to meet them and make friends. That way they can get to know her and won''t seem so "mean".
 

FrekeChild

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Date: 3/9/2009 8:43:30 PM
Author: elrohwen
Haha. My first impression is that she doesn''t know much about dogs and probably thinks it''s unusually mean that your dog is barking, rather than normal. I guess just try to be nice to her and hope she leaves you alone. If you''re feeling really generous, maybe you could bring her in to meet your dogs (assuming they wouldn''t mind meeting her) and show her that they''re friendly even if they like to bark when they see her.
Dogs = territorial
And territorial creatures don''t want you on their territory. So they bark.

Silly girl. My dog is only 40 pounds and doesn''t really bark at much, but when she does, she sounds like a BIG DOG because her bark is so deep. However, she, like your dogs, is more likely to tackle you because she wants to be pet and cuddled than to try and hurt you.

What a weird conversation though. If anything I''d say, "Hey, your dogs bark at us when we go up the stairs. Just thought you should know!!!!"
 

Irishgrrrl

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Miranda ~ Yeah, I might be intimidated too if I wasn''t used to being around dogs (especially large dogs), but I don''t think I would have said anything to the dog''s owner. That''s just me, though! And I can totally understand how having a bad experience with a big dog would make you afraid of them. I guess I don''t see our two lab mixes as being "big" since I''m so used to Caesar''s huge self! LOL! I thought it was odd that she was complaining about one of the "little" guys . . . I would think Caesar would be more intimidating, just due to his huge size! I had to laugh the last time we took him to the vet''s office . . . he was NOT the biggest dog there for a change! There was an ENORMOUS bull mastiff who was checking in just as we were checking out at the front desk. His name was Angus. (How cute is that?!?!) Well, Angus slipped his collar and came walking right up to me! Of course, since I''m a dog person and I''m used to big dogs, that didn''t bother me and I had fun playing with him for a second. But I can TOTALLY understand how that might be intimidating to someone else! Caesar is doing good lately, BTW . . . although he did make quite the mess in the kitchen while I was in the shower this morning. Nothing like scrubbing poop off my kitchen floor to get my morning of to a good start!


Jo ~ If I run into her in the future, I think that''s what I''ll do. It''s SO easy to make friends with our dogs . . . just bring them food! LOL!


Freke ~ Yeah, I thought the conversation was definitely odd. Like Miranda said, maybe she was just trying to make conversation and didn''t really know what else to say? Who knows! I''m like you . . . if I were to say anything at all, I would just let the owner know that the dogs were barking, and not call them "really really mean" (which is just a touch offensive if you ask me)!
 

crown1

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i understand that you love your dogs and don''t understand the comments the new neighbor made. i think that given the amount of threads we have here on barking dogs it is understandable. some people simply find dogs barking next door annoying and or intimidating.

the neighbor told you your dog was mean hoping for some relief, either from the barking or the fear of them,in my opinion. you posted here because you could not understand why she would say such a thing. i really did not find the neighbor''s comment that bad. i would probably have said i was sorry and tried to be friendly in some other way. she told you they had tried to say hi puppy which leads me to believe they don''t hate dogs.

i really don''t think you should be offended looking at it from an outside perspective. she did not call a landlord or the law she told you personally. knowing it is bothering a neighbor maybe you should look at the amount of outside time they have and pay attention to their barking since others may find it annoying. i would not give them food to give the dog to make friends with since there was a recent story here where someone was told to give cheerios and it did not end as they wished. i would just try to be more mindful of the dogs possibly annoying neighbors and deal with it myself.
 

tlh

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Do you let your dogs run off the leash in a shared-community space? I know that we have leash laws where I live, and a lot of people let their dogs run off the leash and it does bother me, because I have an aggressive dog. He is not mean, but the illness and the drugs make him grouchy - and unapproachable. We keep him on a leash, but those dogs that are free, run up to him and get him on the defensive. I get scared sometimes when dogs come running up because I DONT KNOW the other dog. I am not scared of dogs, but I have seen my dog in "attack mode" over food and things, and he is a good dog, but the image was terrifying. I was never afraid of dogs until I saw what they are capable of.

My only thought is that if she is afraid of dogs, seeing dogs running off leash, barking could be really scary... esp if the dog is quite large.

What is strange is that she said "one of your dogs is mean"... meaning that one is nice? I don''t have any advice.. it is just strange... and maybe you guys will talk it out.
 

Bliss

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Yes, that is strange! We are dog lovers, too. It's very strange, some of the friendliest dogs that owners swear would never ever harm anyone can go after certain people. Maybe it's their body chemistry or whatever. Anyway, my mom has a neighbor who has a SWEET golden retriever. Always barks at her when she walks her dogs or is alone. The dog is sweet to me when I visit. Anyway, one day the neighbors left the gate open and the dog came out and BIT my mom twice. She had to go to the hospital. So it can happen. And maybe the neighbor is just scared...

I also had a friend who raises German Shepherds. Really sweet, intelligent dogs. He was mowing his lawn and for some reason, the dog attacked him. To this day, he has no idea why that happened and he has raised this dog from when he was a little pup. I guess sometimes things set dogs off, some dogs never ever harm anything or anyone... and if you're unlucky, some dogs just snap or something. It is rare, but it happens. They are big animals, after all.

Anyway, if your dogs are contained... I have no idea why she'd feel the need to tell you one was mean. Maybe she's afraid and interprets the lunging or barking as trying to get at her?
 

Irishgrrrl

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Date: 3/10/2009 11:02:43 AM
Author: crown1
i understand that you love your dogs and don''t understand the comments the new neighbor made. i think that given the amount of threads we have here on barking dogs it is understandable. some people simply find dogs barking next door annoying and or intimidating.

the neighbor told you your dog was mean hoping for some relief, either from the barking or the fear of them,in my opinion. you posted here because you could not understand why she would say such a thing. i really did not find the neighbor''s comment that bad. i would probably have said i was sorry and tried to be friendly in some other way. she told you they had tried to say hi puppy which leads me to believe they don''t hate dogs.

i really don''t think you should be offended looking at it from an outside perspective. she did not call a landlord or the law she told you personally. knowing it is bothering a neighbor maybe you should look at the amount of outside time they have and pay attention to their barking since others may find it annoying. i would not give them food to give the dog to make friends with since there was a recent story here where someone was told to give cheerios and it did not end as they wished. i would just try to be more mindful of the dogs possibly annoying neighbors and deal with it myself.
I really didn''t think her comment was "bad" . . . just odd under the circumstances. All three of our dogs are healthy, well socialized, properly vaccinated, have current dog licenses, and they are contained safely inside our fully-fenced yard behind a solid six-foot fence. They don''t spend much time outside at all . . . they only go out to potty approximately five times per day and they''re only out there for a maximum of about ten to fifteen minutes at a time. They very rarely bark, and when they do, we put a stop to it immediately (usually by making them come inside). Also, we do keep an eye on them while they''re outside and neither DH or I have ever seen any of our dogs bark at these people. I guess I''m just not sure what more we can do? I really didn''t feel the need to apologize to her, because I don''t feel that we have done anything wrong.


TLH ~ Our dogs are NEVER off leash unless they are in our yard, behind the aforementioned six-foot privacy fence. I totally agree . . . letting a dog run loose is irresponsible and dangerous. On the rare occasions that our dogs leave our yard, they are attached to a leash with a person on the other end at all times. And I don''t blame you at all for being scared when a loose dog who you don''t know runs up to you . . . you never know what kind of dog you''re dealing with! That''s enough to make anyone a little nervous!


Bliss ~ That''s what I thought too . . . it seems odd that she would feel the need to say that one of our dogs is "really really mean" when they are completely unable to get to her, and all they''ve done is bark and growl according to her. It also seems odd that DH and I were unaware of this. If it''s as big of a problem as she made it out to be, I would certainly think that DH and/or I would have seen them doing this, but we never have. I''m not saying that I think she''s lying, but I think there might be a good bit of exaggeration going on.
 

Italiahaircolor

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Kill em'' with kindness.

Seriously.

Next time you''re out and see her, invite her down to meet the dogs. Introduce her to the puppies, and show her they are harmless and just protecting their yard. Let her pet them and even hand over a treat she can offer to the dogs. Soon they will become friends and warm up to each other.

A lot of people are scared of dogs, esspecially big dogs...and although I''m not sure how big the "black and white" ones are, Great Danes are huge. If she''s scared of dogs even a little barking may make her fearful and think they are "really, really mean" when in reality they aren''t.

Let all parties involved butter up to each other...and soon they will be thick as thieves! Heck, you may even have a built in free dog sitter!
 

Irishgrrrl

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Date: 3/10/2009 2:14:34 PM
Author: Italiahaircolor
Kill em'' with kindness.

Seriously.

Next time you''re out and see her, invite her down to meet the dogs. Introduce her to the puppies, and show her they are harmless and just protecting their yard. Let her pet them and even hand over a treat she can offer to the dogs. Soon they will become friends and warm up to each other.

A lot of people are scared of dogs, esspecially big dogs...and although I''m not sure how big the ''black and white'' ones are, Great Danes are huge. If she''s scared of dogs even a little barking may make her fearful and think they are ''really, really mean'' when in reality they aren''t.

Let all parties involved butter up to each other...and soon they will be thick as thieves! Heck, you may even have a built in free dog sitter!
Oh, that would be WONDERFUL!!! I only hope it turns out that well, Italia!
 

tlh

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Date: 3/10/2009 1:05:49 PM
Author: Irishgrrrl
I really didn''t think her comment was ''bad'' . . . just odd under the circumstances. All three of our dogs are healthy, well socialized, properly vaccinated, have current dog licenses, and they are contained safely inside our fully-fenced yard behind a solid six-foot fence. They don''t spend much time outside at all . . . they only go out to potty approximately five times per day and they''re only out there for a maximum of about ten to fifteen minutes at a time. They very rarely bark, and when they do, we put a stop to it immediately (usually by making them come inside). Also, we do keep an eye on them while they''re outside and neither DH or I have ever seen any of our dogs bark at these people. I guess I''m just not sure what more we can do? I really didn''t feel the need to apologize to her, because I don''t feel that we have done anything wrong.


TLH ~ Our dogs are NEVER off leash unless they are in our yard, behind the aforementioned six-foot privacy fence. I totally agree . . . letting a dog run loose is irresponsible and dangerous. On the rare occasions that our dogs leave our yard, they are attached to a leash with a person on the other end at all times. And I don''t blame you at all for being scared when a loose dog who you don''t know runs up to you . . . you never know what kind of dog you''re dealing with! That''s enough to make anyone a little nervous!
Gotcha.

Your neighbor is crazy.
 

Bliss

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I think Sup-A granny needs to step in... LOL.

Usually dogs are lunging because they want to lick you to death. LOL. Maybe Sup-A granny can explain that dogs bark kinda like people talk.
It''s how they communicate!
 

Irishgrrrl

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TLH ~ LOL! I''m afraid you might be right!


Bliss ~ Supa Granny should DEFINITELY step in! There''s really nothing Supa Granny can''t fix! LOL!
 
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