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DEALING WITH A MEAN NEIGHBORHOOD DOG

Dogs are a lot like people; some of them are shy; some of them are playful; some of them are nice; some of them are as curious as a nosey landlord; some of them are not friendly at all. If you have a mean dog living across the road or down the street from you then it can make your daily walks and outings a little less pleasant. Dealing with a mean neighborhood dog involves staying away from him as much as possible and, if all else fails, speaking to the owners about controlling the animal.

Mean Dog Behavior

One of the things you need to ask yourself is this - is the dog's behavior threatening your safety at all? Most mean dogs are locked up so that they cannot actually reach the people walking and driving by. Mean dogs may bark or growl when you walk by which can be terrifying, especially for young children.

However, as long as the dog remains on his own property and is not able to attack or bite, then there are no laws being broken. If the dog is chasing people down the road or has bitten a walker in the past, then there is a big problem and you may need to get the police or animal control involved.

There is a good chance that the dog may not be mean but is just provoked by something that you are doing. If, for example, you are walking too close to the yard, the dog may just be guarding his territory. Try walking on the other side of the road and see if this helps.

If you are walking your own dog, there is a good chance that the dog is acting viciously because he doesn't like your dog. Again, some dogs are better at handling other animals and people than other dogs. Staying away from the dog as much as possible will ensure that you are not bothering him and he is not bothering you. Warn your children to stay away from that part of the street to also avoid any traumatic incidents and nightmares about the mean neighborhood dog.

While blaming the dog is the easiest way to handle the problem, you don't actually know why the dog is acting out. Some dogs don't like certain people. Perhaps he was abused as a puppy and is now really weary of strangers; perhaps he has been bred to look after his owner and his house, no matter what. As mentioned above, not all dogs are social creatures and it's not fair to punish the dog just because his personality is not perfect.

Talking to a Neighbor about their Dog

Often a mean dog owner doesn't even realize that his dog is a problem. If, for example, the owner is at work during the day, he may not even be aware that his dog spends his days barking and howling at people, cats, birds and anything else that crosses his path. You may want to talk to the owner about the behavior of the dog. Pick a time when you know they are home, such as on the weekend and politely let your neighbor know that the dog is quite vocal and is a little terrifying.

In some instances the neighbors may be perfectly aware that the dog is mean. In fact, some people prefer to a mean breed for protection and for other purposes. Other neighbors, however, may not even realize that the dog is acting out when they are not home. The neighbor may be apologetic or he may get when you mention dealing with a mean neighborhood dog. After all, some people, like their dogs, are just plain mean.

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