Fear is not something that can be easily resolved. Depending on the severity of fear, it can even be classified as a full-blown phobia. That said, the subject of some fears or phobias are unavoidable. There will come a time when we will have to deal with these fears.
One such unavoidable fear is the fear of animals, specifically, dogs. Even if it’s just a fear toward a specific dog—like your neighbor’s, for example—it’s still a source of major inconvenience. Not to mention the amount of stress you’ll go through each time you encounter it. I mean, it’s your neighbor’s dog. There’s no way you can avoid it forever.
Why are you afraid of the neighbor’s dog?
To fix this problem, first, figure out why you’re scared. If it’s a phobia, then all I can recommend is therapy. But if it’s because of something more specific, and perhaps less deep, then I can offer a bit more help.
Are you afraid because the dog is aggressive? Or does the dog’s hyperactive behavior make you nervous? Maybe it’s the dog’s loud bark that bothers you so much. Again, you must answer this question so you can work on a solution.
Should I let my neighbor know his dog scares me?
Should you let them know that their dog is frightening you? Of course, you should! They must be made aware of the situation. Although unlikely, it could still be possible that they don’t know about their dog’s scary tendencies. Even if you don’t have a good or existing relationship with your neighbors, you still need to let them know.
Talk to them and express your concerns. If they’re good neighbors, they most likely will take action. They could sign their dog up for behavior management or obedience classes. The dog’s behavior won’t immediately show any change. Give both the dog and your neighbor some time to figure things out.
Am I the cause of the dog’s aggression?
If the neighborhood canine consistently acts up in your presence only, it’s not hard to wonder this. Ask yourself what you could possibly be doing that makes the dog tense up.
There are only a handful of reasons that could be the likely cause. An example of this could be your pet. If you have your own pet (dogs, cats, etc.), the neighbor’s dog could be sensing their scent on you. Your pet’s smell is probably triggering your neighbor’s dog into becoming territorial, which then leads to the barking and aggression towards you.
How do I deal with a scary dog?
You’re probably tired of jumping every time you try to leave your house. You’re done with being afraid to come and go because of the scary snarls and barks from the neighbor’s dog.
Here’s what you can do.
- Befriend the dog. I know battling the fear will be hard, but this is the most effective route to go. This will not be easy to do; in fact, this is the hardest alternative to this problem. If you have a good relationship with your neighbor, ask them to slowly introduce you to their dog. This way, you both can get familiar with each other. Only do this in a safe setting. By safe setting, I mean the dog is on a leash, maybe even muzzled, and your friend is able to pull the dog back if need be.
- Assert dominance over the dog. If the friendly method is impossible, show the dog who’s the boss by establishing “dominance”. Don’t visibly display your fear when approached, and always keep calm. This method is essentially “fake it till you make it”.
Do I report my neighbor’s scary dog to animal control?
I’m all for diplomacy when dealing with neighborly problems, but these problems can’t always be fixed by talking. If you’ve exhausted all other alternatives with no result, you have no choice but to hand this issue over to animal control.
An aggressive animal is unfit for any neighborhood, and a pet-owner who cannot control their aggressive pet does not deserve to have said pet. This is especially the case if the owner does not know the reason behind their dog’s aggression. Keeping up your current situation of being in constant fear is cruel to both you and the dog involved. Once all else fails, animal control is your best bet in resolving this matter.