Neighbor's Dogs Digging Under Fence and Getting Into My Yard


How can I keep the neighbors 2 dogs out of my yard? They keep digging holes which gives them access to my yard. I have talked to them about it and they have done nothing to stop it. I was almost attacked along with my child and they don't seem to care. Is there anything I can do?

By Ericka from Antioch, TN


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By Jill 4 738 01/26/2011

I would do several things. I would definitely call the police on the non-emergency line, and ask for their advice. If you have a lawyer, you might ask the lawyer to write them a letter asking them to keep their dogs better confined. Keep meticulous records of incidents and what actions you have taken. You should take photos, too.

I would also buy fire crackers and wait until the dogs are digging and throw them at the holes where they are digging. The point here is not to hurt the dogs, but to scare them. You could also get one of those noisy air horns and blow it as close as you can safely get when they are digging. If you or your husband are handy, you could run a strand of electric fencing along the bottom of the fence. Then, of course, you have to keep your own child away from it. You might fill balloons with a water/ammonia mixture, and put it in the holes, and when they dig, it will pop the balloons and they'll dislike the smell. If you know someone with a lot of rose bushes, put any clippings you can get in the holes they dig.

Big jars of red pepper flakes from the dollar store might deter them a bit; but you would have to replace them after every good rain.

If you know anyone who can give you large rocks, you could line your side of the fence with the large rocks, and push any into the holes they dig. If you make digging at your side of the fence "not worth it", maybe they will go to the other side.

You could turn a hose on them, as well, as they dig. This time of year, they may not like the cold, wet. I hope your neighbors take more responsibility for their pets. It's not the dogs' fault, but you need to feel safe in your own yard!

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By rose 2 14 01/27/2011

Take pictures to document and then call the dogcatcher. The dogcatcher wouldn't catch the dogs here, so I went to the fiscal court meeting. The judge/exe, the county attorney, the entire board and the guy in charge of the pound were all there. Those dogs were picked up that afternoon. Later I was approached by the owner and she was upset. I told her fine, get the dogs back and we would go to small claims court and $1500/dog every time they messed in my yard, it would put her butt in a sling. The dogs did not come back.

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By Leigh 5 31 01/27/2011

You could put a row of cement patio blocks along the fence line. They won't be able to dig under them.

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By Vicki 24 428 01/27/2011

I agree with applejack about this. Get aggressive, before your child or someone else's gets hurt or worse. If they are renters, contact their landlord. You could try jilson's great ideas and then get in touch with the city/county if none of that works. It sounds like the dogs are bored. If they are mistreated or neglected in any way, I am sure you have plenty of legal recourse.

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By Grandma J 54 1,041 01/27/2011

Simply calling the city hall for the city manager is a start. Filing a complaint with the police department is another and if you have a humane society, inform them and ask for suggestions. THis will document it as a call for help from you that will be good if you get to charges.

The suggestion of taking photos is great.
Do not tolerate any one else's dog in your yard. Another thought, contact your home owners insurance to see what suggestions they have as well. The more you know and let know the sooner and faster the problem gets solved.

I was with the HS for many years and found this was great tips given.

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You've got alot of good advice here so use it all! Especially go and report to as many agencies as possible and keep notes and copies of all the complaints and reports! Chances are one or all of the agencies will make contact with them with a warning so ask for copies of that follow up information too!

Oh, and find out through all of the agencies if there has ever been any sort of previous complaints about those people and/or dogs because that will help you too!

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By Pam Griffis 10 102 01/28/2011

Do your neighbors not realize that this is a lawsuit, along with criminal charges, just waiting to happen should anyone in your family be attacked by these dogs! I would remind them of this. Like the others I would contact every city agency there is, but sometimes their hands are tied until the dogs are actually in your yard. We had some neighbor's dogs that did this. Fortunately, they were good neighbors. They dug a trench along the fence and filled it with cement.

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By Candy Killion 10 408 01/28/2011

Ericka, I see that you're in Antioch and also see that means that you're under Nashville's jurisdiction as far as animal control laws go. Check this link (it outlines Nashville animal ordinances):


You have been more than patient with these neighbors. Them permitting their dogs to enter your property falls under permitting their animals to "be at large", same as if they opened the front door and let them run all over the neighborhood at will. I'd call Animal Control and tell them what you've told us. It can't hurt.

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By SANDI 2 101 01/28/2011

Why is it some folks can't control their pets? I agree photos, or even a video of the dogs in your yard should help to do the trick. Good luck to you.

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By Mary 5 51 02/02/2011

Dogs will be dogs. However, they would not be digging their way into your yard, if a) there is something they want to get away from or b) there is something they want in your yard.

Spend the money to put cement or concrete blocks below the fence as suggested above. Dealing with some neighbours is like dealing with squirrels, you just cannot win the battle. So why cause yourself more stress.

No one ever promised that like would be fair.

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By NEWFIEGIRL 8 426 10/07/2012

I really do feel sorry for you. Try and block off all access to your yard except one. Have some-thing handy to stop their escape back home and call your local council and ask the Ranger to collect them. The owners will have to pay council pound fees to have them released. Good luck.

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