Ask the Hairy Dogfathers: Unleashed Dog a Neighborhood Menace

A reader writes in about her pet peeve – her neighbor’s unleashed dog is wreaking havoc on walks and leaving a mess in its wake. The Hairy Dogfathers know just what to say to curb this nasty habit.

Hi Hairy Dogfathers,

Can you help me with what to say when asking a neighbor to keep her dog on leash and to also clean up after him? It’s really driving me nuts!

Aside from the city ordinances on both issues, it’s really challenging whenever we run into her. Because her dog is off leash, he comes charging up to my dogs, which makes both of them go extra nuts, and the dog ignores her if she tries to call it away from us! It’s even worse when my toddler is with us ­ then I have two dogs going bonkers and a crying kid. I am scared my kid is going to be bitten. The neighbor also does not clean up after the dog; I have cleaned up her dog’s poop several times now.

She seems completely passive about the whole thing, and I’d like to say something before complaining to the building manager or something more extreme.

Signed, At the End of My Leash

Related: Poetic Poop

André says:

Sounds like you have an unpleasant situation which could easily get out of hand. First thing to think about is how and when to approach your neighbour regarding this. Clearly when you are running into them with your own dog or child you have enough to worry about, and even if you have a speech prepared, you are bound to pepper it with some flowery language. If you like this person, one idea would be to invite them and their dog for a playdate at a local dog park, that way they can both be appropriately be off leash and burn off some steam, while you and the neighbour can have a heart to heart. If you would rather not be too friendly, write your neighbour a note about your concerns; the best part about this strategy is that others have surely noticed and she likely won’t know the note comes from you. In terms of what to say: based on your message to us I think you already have that figured out, just make sure you convey it in a straightforward way. There is no benefit to using flowery language because chances are they have heard it before and haven’t been reading between the lines.

Related: Bad Manners At The Dog Park

Kevin says:

Oh that’s ugly! My vote is go straight to the building manager. This person is clearly a nuisance and hopefully if enough people complain they will give her the boot! Be clear with the building manager that all of the other dogs you encounter are under control, and that people are cleaning up after their pets.

In the meantime I suggest putting in some extra time with your dogs, so they have more self-control, even when other dogs do not. Let us know how this gets resolved!

Hairy Dogfathers
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