How to Confront Your Neighbhor About His Dog

Kate the Peon has an issue:

I need to confront my newish neighbor about something and I am a chickenshit. I’ve only met him once and don’t remember his name.

I have seen a dog cage in his garage (where he never parks his car) and believe he is cooping his dog locked in the cage, in the hot garage, at night when Neighbor is gone. My problem is that his garage is directly next to and below my bedroom, and I hear the dog whining and barking for hours at a time – at my bedtime, I might add.

I have witnessed Neighbor doing things (repeatedly parking on the street in front of the “no parking on the street” sign; letting his dog into our open backyard to poop, and not cleaning up after him) that leave the impression he doesn’t so much care about others or want to do what’s right. I don’t want to judge him, but he looks like a wannabe hardass. My heels and I are intimidated.

I think it’s only fair to talk to him personally and give him a chance to fix this himself, but I am worried about what may happen afterwards if he doesn’t. How would you suggest I go about resolving this?


Don't talk to your neighbor. He knows it isn't right to leave his dog shit in the yard, so asking him to please pick it up isn't going to do you any good. I would file a complaint with the HOA about the poop and about the noise.

Regarding the cage, if the conditions are inhumane, then what he is doing is illegal. I would call animal control or the local police department and ask them about which agency handles this type of report. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that putting a dog in a cage is not inhumane by itself. Our dog was crate-trained and was perfectly happy in her crate for hours at a time. So, as I said, if the conditions around crating the dog seem inhumane, then I would definitely report it to the authorities.

Pets Are Overrated

I am not an animal-lover. I love our dog. She is sweet and a good companion, but if I knew she was going to a loving home with proven dog owners, I would have no trouble parting with her. Honestly, the only upside to having a pet, for me, is that I am not worried about intruders when my husband is out of town. The dog wouldn't protect me from an intruder but she would definitely provide advance warning. That one benefit will never outweigh the negatives for me.