I have two dogs and a big back yard, and my neighbor also has two dogs. For a long time, when ever I've been playing with my dogs in the back yard, one of their dogs whines because it wants to play. Several months ago, she dug under the fence in various places along the fence line. My neighbor is lazy and did nothing to prevent it (he does not train her or even take her on walks, so naturally she wants to come over to my yard because she is bored). To remedy the digging, I put cinder blocks along most of the fence where she was digging under. It worked for a while, but then last week she managed to jump over the fence while I was playing. My two dogs were out with me, and she got in a fight with one of mine and injured her. Since then, the dog is very determined to come over now that she knows she can jump the fence. My neighbor is in denial that she is jumping, even though I have personally witnessed it two times now. I told him several times that she needs to be taken out on walks so she is not so bored. Anyways, it's gotten so bad now that I can not let my dogs out in the yard without their dog coming over. Just now, I let my male dog out and was playing fetch, and within one minute I saw their dog jump over the fence. She got in a fight with my dog, but luckily my male is a bigger and he put their dog in its place and I was then able to tie her up. My other female dog is still recovering from her injury. I am afraid to let her outside because of their dog, but she is very depressed from sitting inside.

Does anyone know what kind of legal action I can take (in California) to resolve this? Talking with him has gotten nowhere - he clearly does not care and won't listen to my suggestion to either put her on a long leash in the backyard or to keep her in the house. Am I allowed to take their dog to animal control if she comes into my yard? Can I get their dog taken away from them? I feel sorry for their dog because it's not her fault - she is bored and neglected and her owner is irresponsible. She also has behavioral issues which will only get worse. She is young still so with training she could be a great dog, but her owners are setting her up for failure. What can I do?

  • Is there no animal welfare society you can contact? It sounds as though her needs are not being met.
    – Piper
    Apr 6, 2015 at 23:58

3 Answers 3


Not sure how your relationship with your neighbor is, but maybe you could even get them to solve this problem together without them having to admit mistakes? After all it would be advantageous to both sides. Just try suggesting something to solve this problem no matter how or why their dog ends up in your garden. If using a leash or containing their dog sounds wrong to them, it might be hard to get them to do so (just think about them telling you to no longer play with your dogs in your garden as an alternate solution).

I don't know the dogs' actual behavior other than what you've written, but usually dogs (or animals in general) won't hurt each other unless trained (whether intentional or not) to do so.

From your description your male dog already dominated over the neighbor's dog at least once. So maybe you'd be able to let them establish this relationship, i.e. the neighbor's dog submitting to your male dog (during controlled meetings, i.e. having your neighbor come over, etc.) and you as well.

Leave your own female out of the equation for now (since she's essentially competition). Once the neighbor's female knows her place, reintroduce your other dog.

Over time you should be able to work this out, especially considering the other dog is still very young. Ideally you might even be able to work out some solution where you could put a gate in your fence so the other dog can come over playing. I don't think your dogs would mind her joining in (if the whole "pack" structure is taken care of) and your neighbor would have some time off as well.

I'd always consider it as the very last possibility trying to get dogs taken away, based on circumstances. Sometimes people just don't know any better and don't want to admit it. Just try to trick them into improving and avoid them having to admit having made a mistake in the past.

  • 1
    Good advice for an harmonious neighborhood. To have a long time problem with your neighbor have bad influence to your daily life and relocation is far away. And OP has a good position if one day needing "help" from this special neighbor... Additional point: Maybe there is some person who is interested in walks with your neighbors dog (i.e. me: fulltime job but dog enthusiast). If insurance questions are cleared, this may be a good chance for this dog. Apr 29, 2019 at 11:35

It sounds like a dangerous situation. Fyi dogs will hurt each other even if they are not trained to do so. If they are not socialized they can be a big problem. They will keep coming into your yard and may even become aggressive. If you talk to your neighbor and they won't do anything , I would warn them that next time their dog is in your yard you will call animal control to take the dog away. It doesn't sound like they care so maybe they need to know you are serious. Other then putting up a stockade fence unless yoyr neighbor does something nothing will work


You should have a local animal control to come get the dog. Plus, report the dig to the police. You should be able to sue and recover vet costs from the injury from your neighbor.

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