Post # 1
Our neighbor has grandkids who visit them everyday. It is not a secret that the parents abuse drugs and that both kids have disabilities relating to the mom smoking crack during her pregnancy.
I have two dogs that stay in my fenced in yard that their younger boy likes to play with. I don’t mind him interacting from his side of the fence but he has been coming into my yard and let the dogs out twice (I had to chase one down the street!)
Darling Husband and I agreed that a lock on the gate was a good idea. Yesterday, however, the boys father told us he thought it was rude and lifted his child over the fence to play in our yard. Darling Husband and I were flabbergasted! We watched from the other side of the yard, not knowing what to say.
Any suggestions? I’ve just never encountered something so crazy!
Post # 3
I would tell him that you’re not comfortable with his grandkids in your yard playing with the dogs unless supervised by you or Darling Husband. I’d then go on to say that if the kids want to play with the dogs, they should ring the doorbell and ask if that’s okay before entering your property. If he protests, I would just say something like “Listen, I’ve tried to be really polite, but I don’t appreciate your grandchildren in my yard without our permission and we tried to give you the hint politely by locking the gate. Please respect our privacy and our property.”
Post # 4
Did the boys’ “father” or “grandfather” lift him over the gate? That makes a difference to me. If it is druggie dad doing the lifting, then leave the gate locked and go talk to Grandpa. If Grandfather is doing the lifting, then have a conversation with him that goes something like “I know the boys really enjoy playing with the dogs. I was SO SCARED the other day when Puppy got out, so we’ve decided to keep the gate locked. I appreciate the Boys only playing with Puppy through the fence from now on.”
Post # 5
I think you need to have a verbal conversation with them. Explain to them that you feel obligated to monitor the behavior between the dogs/children and would feel the need to continue to monitor the behavior to feel secure. Also, the child allowed the dogs to escape.
They need to firmly understand that lifting the child over the fence into YOUR yard is a violation of property and is trespassing and will not be tolerated.
If it were me, I’d be pissed…if the child is too rough with your dog and he/she snaps they will likely demand the dog be put down, or the dog will get hit by a car if it gets loose. I wouldn’t tolerate this ONE bit.
If they still don’t listen then you can get the police involved, or keep the dogs inside while the children are over.
Post # 6
With the liability issues the way they are these days, I would follow up an in-person discussion with the neighbour, by sending a written recap of our conversation and keep a copy. If those children are injured by your dogs, it would be nice to have some documentation of the steps you have taken to keep the kids out of your yard.
Post # 7
The next time he does it, I would call the cops. End of story.
Post # 8
It’s the dad that lifted the boy over the fence. I’m not on good terms with the grandfather because he too has zero concept of privacy. There were multiple incidents of him looking into the windows and asking inappropriate questions. I’m nervous that the boy came into the yard also because we have a hot tub. It has a heavy cover on it but I don’t want him to get into it somehow and drown. Just a crappy situation all around 🙁
Post # 9
Yikes! I second what mwitter suggested – if it happens again call the police, especially since you aren’t on speaking terms with the creepy grandfather.
Post # 10
Put up no tresspassing signs and call the police next time. If anything should happen you would be held liable.
Post # 11
Document every conversation. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to them, write a VERY polite letter about your concerns and what you are willing to permit (if anything). Honestly just fingers through the fence unsupervised is a bad idea. Little fingers look like treats and it just takes one chomp in some states and your dog is euthanized.
If they will not listen to ground rules on your property, call the local police and report trespassing and harassment of your dog.
Post # 12
Totally speak to the grandparents about it. It’s not only rude for the kids to come into your garden without yur permission, but if, god forbid, the dog bites them, then you will be held responsible.
Post # 13
we had the same issue.. our neighbor kids used to come in our yard all day and play with our dog… at first we thought they did then one time we caught them in our back yard when we got home.. My husband asked what they were doing the boy said “My grandma said we can come and play with the dogs” Mind you the grandma wasn’t even around. My dogs dont bite, but you never know if the kids accidently hurt them they may bite… So my Darling Husband told her he doesn’t mind the kids playing with the dogs when one of us is home but he doesnt want them when we arent around. They used to get the dogs all hyper and then leave and the dogs would jump the fence to follow them..
I would be extra careful especially since you said about the hot tub obviously they arent playing close attention and you never know if they got curious and tried to play around it even though its covered its kind of better to be safe then sorry.
Post # 14
You definitely need to put something in writing regarding this incident and/or have some kind of record of calling the police if this happens again. If those kids get hurt trying to get in your yard, get hurt by the dogs (even by their own actions), or get hurt in your hot tub, you will be sued. Even if you “win,” you’ll be out all of the legal fees. You don’t deserve to lose money over irresponsible actions by another, but it happens reasonably often. Even if you keep a notebook documenting problems with the children and this incident, that will be something to fall back on for your own defense.
By putting them over your fence, they are committing a crime. You politely asked them not to trespass, so you’ve done more than your part. If it happens again, call the police. If you constantly cave and look the other way, they could easily win in a lawsuit against you since your actions revealed you weren’t serious about protecting your property from their misuse when you knew they were misusing in a way where they could be at risk. It’s not fair that the blame can fall to you in a lawsuit, but fair is not the legal standard for negligence.
Post # 15
Call the cops. I wouldn’t even speak to them. They are trespassing.
Post # 16
@bakerella: That. I wouldn’t present it as an issue of property or privacy or manners, I’d make it a safety issue. I trust my dog 110% but it doesn’t matter, he will never be around another person’s kid unsupervised. I mean, just because he would never hurt a child or snap doesn’t mean that he LIKES his snout and tail grabbed.