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Issue 974

Sam Mazzotta

Rambling Dog Raises Neighbor’s Hackles

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: My neighbor’s dog routinely gets out of their house and runs around in our yard. He is a huge mixed-breed who looks kind of like a pit bull. He hasn’t acted aggressively, though. That’s one issue, but my other problem is that we are adopting a puppy from the shelter soon. Does the neighbor’s dog present a danger to my puppy? — Claire T. in Columbus, Ohio

DEAR CLAIRE: Years ago, my neighbors had a black Lab, “Terry,” who was great friends with my hound dog mix, Pharaoh. Terry was allowed to roam as he pleased, and his favorite thing was to lift the latch on my backyard gate and let Pharaoh out so they could ramble the streets together. I loved that they were friends, but I didn’t like having to go and find them constantly.

Roaming dogs are always a reason for concern, even if they seem friendly. If you and your neighbors are on good terms, talk to them and ask if there is a solution to their dog wandering into your yard. You’ll probably need to put up stronger fencing, unless the fence is on their side — and that enters the whole realm of property lines and who fixes what.

It’s up to you whether you want to let them know you’re getting a puppy. If you’re on good terms, and they’re willing to work with you to fix the issue with their dog, you can suggest introducing the dogs to each other after your new puppy has had his shots. This should be done with both you and your neighbor present, and with both dogs on a leash, just in case one of the dogs becomes aggressive.

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