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Dog owner with 'reactive' dog gets shut down by neighbor for suggesting 'yard schedule.'

Dog owner with 'reactive' dog gets shut down by neighbor for suggesting 'yard schedule.'


Sharing a fence with a neighbor can be sitcom levels of cute. You can peek over the fence like Wilson from Home Improvement and share life stories and tips. But it can also be a hassle when you have different schedules and the proximity impedes your ability to live freely. This is where tensions can simmer and sour the situation altogether.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a dog owner asked if they were wrong for asking the neighbor to keep a yard schedule so their dogs could all get outside time without distress.

They wrote:

WIBTA to insist my neighbor keep a yard schedule?

For background, I have a severely reactive rescue dog. She's terrified of other dogs and freaks out majorly when she sees them or hears them. My partner and I have been working with our vet and a behavioral trainer and we've made some progress, but my dog is still not truly comfortable anywhere but her own yard. A new lady just moved in next door, and she has two big dogs.

They seem like nice dogs, they are quiet and she works with them a lot. The problem is that she works from home full-time, and her dogs are always outside. She doesn't leave them there for hours or anything, but I never know when she's going to let them out or for how long. She also spends a lot of time out there with them after work and on weekends.

I can hear her training and playing fetch or she'll have them out with her while she's doing yard work. To be fair to her, she trains them and she doesn't let them run up on the fence, and if they do bark, she makes them go inside. They're still out on the other side of the fence though and my dog is now scared and reacting in her own backyard. When my dog starts carrying on, she is the one who has to go inside.

She already can't enjoy walks and now she can't even enjoy being outside. I asked my neighbor if she'd consider a schedule for the dogs so that my dog can enjoy her yard too without the neighbor's dogs freaking her out on the other side of the fence. She was polite about it but said no, she bought the house with the yard for her dogs, and they use it.

She said she'd be glad to tell me when she's leaving with them for a period of hours, but otherwise, she's not going to change what she's doing day to day. So nothing changed and her dogs get plenty of outdoor time and mine gets none except for the stray times when she takes one of her dogs to a training class or takes both of them for a hike.

I'm really upset and want to insist that we adopt a schedule so that my dog can have some outside time too. WIBTA if I insisted she work with me to adopt a schedule that's fair to all the dogs?

Edit so to clarify: My dog does not get the same opportunity as her dogs, not even close. Her dogs have free access five days a week, weeknights, and weekends. My dog only gets outside time now when she says she is leaving for a class or a hike.

If I let my dog out to sun herself at 10:30 on a Tuesday, sure enough, it won't be five minutes before she's letting her dogs out and then my dog freaks out and has to come in. She is not getting anywhere close to what they are getting.

Edit again the fence is a privacy fence. My dog freaks out when she can hear and smell the other dogs as well as see them. She can't see these dogs but she knows they're there.

Internet strangers gave their two cents on the scenario.

GreekAmericanDom wrote:

YWBTA. You asked. Accept her response. You don’t get to police what people do on their property.

He_Who_Is_Person wrote:


Why do people feel entitled to do these things?

You chose to get a 'severely reactive rescue dog'. Your neighbor chose to own two dogs that are 'big'. You are by your own admission effectively barring her from her own yard through your choice to get a dog that 'starts carrying on.'

It'd be very nice of her if she accepted your schedule for when she is allowed to take her dogs outside, but she has absolutely no obligation to. It's her yard. She's not being a nuisance. By your admission she seems to train them very well and she already agreed to some degree of accommodation.

I don't know how you approach it but this is why people should make absolutely sure they have considered all contingencies when adopting a dog, especially a 'severely reactive rescue dog.'

General principle here: you can only be truly generous with your own time and effort. If you offer your partner's services to a third party thus volunteering them, you are not being generous.

Similarly, if you adopt a dog with problems to be generous/kind to animals, but you use your choice to do that to demand that other people make sacrifices, you are not being generous at all. You can't just volunteer neighbors into your mission to rescue a likely-abused dog.

VenomBeagle wrote:

I say this as the pet parent to an extremely anxious beagle, YWBTA. I get it, but it’s your dog. It’s on you to figure this out without asking other people to change how they live their lives.

As for your edit: That is the laziest excuse I have ever seen for not properly giving your dog outside time. You can also take your dog on walks/hikes. Also maybe spend some time with your dog outside in the yard. If you are a source of comfort for them it may help to be around while they are out in the yard.

cleanpage4adirtygirl wrote:

YTA. and also delusional. What exactly did you think gives you the power to dictate how someone uses their own yard? I see your predicament and I see why you're frustrated but unfortunately that doesn't somehow crown you king of the neighborhood.

Acrobatic-Cover2712 wrote:

YWBTA. Your dog’s issues are not her problem. I’m a trainer. This is a pretty easy fix. If your trainer hasn’t been able to fix this problem in under two weeks, you need a new trainer. Feel free to message me if you want recommendations of a good trainer near you.

Clearly, OP is TA and isn't doing what they can and should do to improve their dog's quality of life.

Sources: Reddit
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