Saturday, September 14, 2013

Neighbor dogs, continued

Mrs ERJ reported back.  She scored it a partial success.  The neighbor admitted his dogs were getting to be a handful, and that this was the third time this month that somebody had complained.

He advised us to carry dog biscuits and to pitch a handful up onto the lawn every time we passed.  He also advised that we hold our arms straight down by our sides and to not move them.  He advised that we not turn our backs on them and that we not speed up or slow down our rate of travel.  He advised that this is common knowledge on how to deal with aggressive dogs.

He knows he has aggressive dogs.

Mrs ERJ asked why the dogs were out.

The neighbor replied that they had rolled in something and smelled bad.

At this point in the story a twinge of guilt started seeping into the back of my head.

A different neighbor and I had been discussing this very problem about 10 days ago.  The four Labs had entered his yard, chased down his dog and chewed it up.  So I shared with him one of those gems of wisdom that I had gleaned off the internet.

"The key to managing a neighbor's problem dogs is to change it from your problem to his problem."

A thread on 24hourcampfire about three years ago chewed on the problem of a Rottweiler that took huge steamy dumps in a 24hourcampfire guy's yard.  The guy had a 18 month old daughter who toddled about the yard and he had visions of her swan diving into a Cleveland Steamer.  Discussions with the neighbor had not resulted in the neighbor controlling his dog.

If I remember right, EH76 advised that a pile of greasy roadkill becomes irresistible doggy perfume in about a week.  The dog will roll in it and then, ever desiring to improve their master's life, will transfer that perfume into the living room shag carpet.  EH76 advised that raccoons are most desirable due to the greasy/stringy nature of their decomposition but that any pile of miscellaneous roadkill or carp carcasses can be made to serve if one adds about a gallon of cheap salad oil to the top of the pile.

"The key to managing a neighbor's problem dog is to change it from your problem to his problem."

In short order, the neighbor will figure out how to keep his dog out of your yard.

I thought nothing more of the conversation.

Until today.


  1. It doesn't take a gallon of oil. A pint or so should be sufficient.

    Question: Do you have livestock laws in your area? Around here, dogs count as livestock.

    1. Yes we have laws that require one control their dogs. The dog catcher is a part time position and not very reliable. I had social discussions with the dog catcher (who is not all that fond of me) in a social venue. He told me that credible allegations that dogs are out running deer, for instance, are a minimum of $1000 costs for the dog owner. Costs likely vary by state.

      I have been told that serious dog bites can tally up $35K. My guess is that his home owner's insurance has the ability to apply much leverage to this problem.

      Another ugly fact is that a significant portion of the family income is derived from the in-home daycare. Problem dogs can pose a significant impediment to retaining one's license.

      The neighbor who's dog was chewed up tried the civil approach first. He went and talked to the neighbor. That did not work. Clearly the problem is escalating.

      My guess is that some day soon four dogs will run out the door and only two will come back.


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