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Old 10 February 2016, 06:27 PM
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Darth Credence Darth Credence is offline
 
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Default Weird dog encounter and I'm not sure what to do

OK, this is odd, and it has been bugging me. I'm not sure what, if anything, to do, so I am asking the animal lovers here for an opinion.

First, background. The house next door to us is a rental without a fence surrounding it. The newest people living there have been in for about a year and a half. They have a big Great Dane who they sometimes tie up in the back yard. It has a very long leash, so it isn't in a small area. This still bugs me a little, but that could be just me. At one point last winter, the temperature was in single digits (F), and the dog was left outside. When I took my dog out back, I noticed it out there looking distressed. We went over and told them, and they weren't happy but they brought the dog in.

Over the last year, I have 'talked' to the dog quite a bit. If I go out and do anything in the back yard, he will bark at me. I ask him how his day was, and just generally try to soothe him so he will stop barking. By the end of summer, he would look at me when I came out, give one woof to acknowledge I was there, I'd say hi, and we'd go on about our business.

On to the thing. On Sunday, I was on my computer playing something. My wife heard a scratching noise at the front door and went to check it out. She opened the door, and there was the dog. He tried to push his way in. While DW loves dogs, this big of one freaked her out a bit and she shut the door and came to get me. I opened the door, and he was still there trying to come in. So I walked out and shut the door behind me. The dog sat and looked up at me, so I gave him some ear scratches and looked for a tag to call his people. No tag, but I knew he was from next door. I tried to lead him, but he pulled away and scratched to get in our house again. So I finally went next door and told the guy the dog was on our step. He followed me over and tried to take the dog home. The dog struggled against him, and would not move off the porch. I lent the guy a leash, and he was able to get the dog to go home.

So, my question. Is there something going on with this dog that needs to be addressed? It wasn't as cold as it has been, but it sure wasn't warm. I don't know if the dog was outside and just wanted somewhere warm to go, or if he wanted to come play with our dogs, or he just thought we might have some food, or what. I certainly don't want to get in the middle of their business, but I also can't shake the feeling that something wasn't quite right with the dog.

Advice?
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  #2  
Old 10 February 2016, 06:35 PM
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crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
 
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Isn't it illegal to tie a dog up anymore?
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Old 10 February 2016, 06:42 PM
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Little Pink Pill Little Pink Pill is offline
 
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Is your dog a female in heat, by any chance?

Also, how does the dog's weight look? Can you see if he has consistent access to water?
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Old 10 February 2016, 06:44 PM
overyonder overyonder is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
Isn't it illegal to tie a dog up anymore?
Depends where.

Quote:
Salt Lake County, Utah
June 5, 2010

8.08.130 – Tethering of dogs—Restrictions.

A. It is unlawful for an owner or handler of a dog to tether a dog in any manner that would cause injury or damage to the dog, or when restriction of freedom of movement would endanger a dog. A tether must be of sufficient length to provide the dog with adequate space. Each dog tethered in violation of this section shall constitute a separate offense.

B. It is unlawful for an owner or handler of a dog to tether a dog for longer than ten hours within a twenty-four-hour period. Each dog tethered in violation of this section shall constitute a separate offense.
(Ord. No. 1663, § III, 1-5-2010)
OY
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Old 10 February 2016, 06:49 PM
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Dogs are highly social animals. It sounds as if this one spends a great deal of time tied up outside alone, with nobody giving him any attention. In addition to quite possibly often being too cold or too hot, he may also be terribly lonely. You talked to him. You made friends with him. I suspect he's decided that he'd a whole lot rather live with you than with them, and is trying his best to move.

-- there's some possibility that there's something specific wrong over at the neighbors' house, or wrong with the dog, that the neighbors either aren't aware of, or are aware of and don't care about/possibly are causing. But it might be lonely dog. A lot of people don't realize that they really do need companionship.

Can you talk to them about this? Can you also check about the dog's diet, and whether he's shown any symptoms of illness?
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Old 10 February 2016, 08:52 PM
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Darth Credence Darth Credence is offline
 
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CH and OY - we checked on that when they first moved in, and I don't think they fall afoul of any laws here. The tether gives it the ability to go almost anywhere in the yard, and while they may have gone over the 10 hours out of 24 requirement, I certainly don't know that for sure. He is never left out all night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
Is your dog a female in heat, by any chance?

Also, how does the dog's weight look? Can you see if he has consistent access to water?
My dog is a 13 year old spayed female, so that's out.

As to the weight, it looks fine. During the summer there was always a bowl of water out, but I was never sure if it was full. It hasn't gotten above freezing for a while, so if he is outside now he certainly doesn't have easy access to water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Dogs are highly social animals. It sounds as if this one spends a great deal of time tied up outside alone, with nobody giving him any attention. In addition to quite possibly often being too cold or too hot, he may also be terribly lonely. You talked to him. You made friends with him. I suspect he's decided that he'd a whole lot rather live with you than with them, and is trying his best to move.

-- there's some possibility that there's something specific wrong over at the neighbors' house, or wrong with the dog, that the neighbors either aren't aware of, or are aware of and don't care about/possibly are causing. But it might be lonely dog. A lot of people don't realize that they really do need companionship.

Can you talk to them about this? Can you also check about the dog's diet, and whether he's shown any symptoms of illness?
I doubt if I can talk to them about it, but I will try. I'm not looking to take their dog away from them (although if they don't want it around, I would take him), I just want to make sure he is OK. My first thought was that he wanted to come and visit the people who talk to him, and I was happy with giving him some scritches behind the ear while he hung out for a bit. When he struggled against going back, I started to worry. I've had dogs get out and go visit the neighbors, but I've never had one not immediately return with me when we found them.

I will ask them whether they have noticed any problems with him recently. I hope that they are willing to talk. Thanks, all, for taking the time here.
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Old 10 February 2016, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
When he struggled against going back, I started to worry.
That would worry me also. Did he seem to be afraid of the person who was trying to take him back?
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  #8  
Old 10 February 2016, 10:31 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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I think he's likely telling you that he's tired of being a backyard ornament.
SOME breeds may do OK as working outdoor dogs in a pack environment (some scenthounds, huskies) or as full-time livestock guardian dogs.

Danes are not one of those breeds. Most likely, he picked up on your sympathy and friendliness towards him and decided to see if you would help him out. I'm guessing, as they don't have a leash, poor guy never gets walked and it seems like he doesn't have much interaction. Also, Danes are NOT suitable to be left outside for extensive periods unless they have warm shelter. I would call AC the next time it's below freezing and he's out for more than 30 minutes.
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Old 10 February 2016, 10:55 PM
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Darth Credence Darth Credence is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
That would worry me also. Did he seem to be afraid of the person who was trying to take him back?
He didn't seem afraid, like I would expect if they were abusing him. He just seemed like he wanted to be where he was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryda Wong, EBfCo. View Post
I think he's likely telling you that he's tired of being a backyard ornament.
SOME breeds may do OK as working outdoor dogs in a pack environment (some scenthounds, huskies) or as full-time livestock guardian dogs.

Danes are not one of those breeds. Most likely, he picked up on your sympathy and friendliness towards him and decided to see if you would help him out. I'm guessing, as they don't have a leash, poor guy never gets walked and it seems like he doesn't have much interaction. Also, Danes are NOT suitable to be left outside for extensive periods unless they have warm shelter. I would call AC the next time it's below freezing and he's out for more than 30 minutes.
I don't believe you meant it this way, but now I feel like I've let the poor guy down for not taking him in somewhere warm. I hope he is doing OK, and I will definitely not hesitate if I see something in the future. I'm also going to try and mend some fences with the neighbors and see if I can get them to talk about the dog.
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Old 11 February 2016, 01:00 AM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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I think you should ask if you can take him on a play date to the dog park.

I know, you really should not take dogs you don't know well enough, but it sounds like he really needs the attention and socialization.
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Old 11 February 2016, 01:40 AM
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Lainie Lainie is offline
 
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Or for a walk. You could spin it as a way of getting more exercise for yourself.
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Old 11 February 2016, 05:46 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
I don't believe you meant it this way, but now I feel like I've let the poor guy down for not taking him in somewhere warm. I hope he is doing OK, and I will definitely not hesitate if I see something in the future. I'm also going to try and mend some fences with the neighbors and see if I can get them to talk about the dog.
No. I didn't mean it that way at all. If anything, the fact that you are concerned means that you are not letting him down at all.

I agree about asking them if you can take him for walkies. That's a great idea.
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Old 12 February 2016, 04:14 AM
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I understand your concern, DC. I had a similar situation with a neighbor, though the neglect was much more obvious in thatcase. I think it would be a great gesture if you offered to take the poor fellow for walks with your own dog.

Did the dog respond well when your neighbor walked him back on the leash? I only ask because taking a Dane for a walk that has had no leash training might be an "interesting" experience.
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Old 12 February 2016, 02:53 PM
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Darth Credence Darth Credence is offline
 
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I've tried stopping by their house the last two days when I've been walking my dog, and they haven't answered the door. I have no idea if they weren't there, or if they just don't want to answer for me. I'll keep on trying, though.
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Old 13 February 2016, 02:19 PM
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Good luck, to both you and the dog.
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Old 17 February 2016, 07:36 PM
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Darth Credence Darth Credence is offline
 
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Thanks, all. I have not been able to get a hold of the neighbor to take the dog for a walk, but I have seen him starting to walk the dog on a regular basis. I'm going to chalk this up as a win for the dog, because at least he is getting attention and walks from his people.
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  #17  
Old 17 February 2016, 08:25 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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YAY! that is excellent news.
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Old 19 February 2016, 07:18 PM
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DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
Thanks, all. I have not been able to get a hold of the neighbor to take the dog for a walk, but I have seen him starting to walk the dog on a regular basis. I'm going to chalk this up as a win for the dog, because at least he is getting attention and walks from his people.

That's good to hear! You got to him!
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