Losing my patience with neighbor's dog....


Free Ranging
Mar 29, 2019
Northern Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
I live on a lake. We (the neighborhood) get lots of visitors in the summer, especially around the 4th of July. One family of visitors is here this year with a couple of their dogs. Unfortunately, either they must think that being at the lake they can let their dogs run free, or maybe they live somewhere the dogs are never supervised. At any rate, they have an older female chocolate lab that has been coming on my property and sniffing around the chicken coop and run. She is in bad shape, limping really bad with bad hips, and can't even run.

First day, she came over, sniffed around a bit and went back home. Second day, yesterday, she came back and started testing the chicken run fencing. At that point, I went outside and walked her back to the family and asked that they please keep an eye on their dog because she was getting too interested in the chickens, and "dogs will be dogs" and I would hate to see any animals hurt. OK, they said they would keep her close to home.

Yesterday evening the old chocolate lab was back and had managed to stick her head through part of the chicken run fencing. This time, I put her on a short rope and walked her back to the family. I told them that their dog was back checking out the chickens, but this time she had broken part of the fence and had gotten her head through part of it. I asked them again to supervise their dog before bad things happen. I told them that the fence had been partially broken, but that I was able to fix it. However, their dog was getting smarter on each visit and I really did not want see any animals harmed. OK, they said they would keep the dog in their yard.

Today, this morning, their dog was back walking the chicken run fence line, looking for any weak spots. Once again, I grabbed my short rope and was going to walk her back. However, by the time I got outside, the dog had gotten into my garage and was checking out my chicks in the brooder. She had knocked over a bunch of stuff and broke my chick waterer with glass mason jar. So, I had glass all over the place. I went to put the rope on the dog, but she limped ahead of me and I just followed her back to their home. Again, I asked the mother to please watch their dog because now she was going into my garage where I have small chicks in the brooder and she had broken one of their waterers.

She offered to pay for the damage, but I said I was not so concerned about the broken jar, but really would appreciate if they kept a better eye on their dog because things are continuing to get worse with each visit. Of course, she promised that they would watch their dog and that the kids must have left the door open.

I am posting this because I want dog owners to know that they need to be responsible for their pets. If that dog actually gets inside my chicken run and kills my chickens, or into the brooder in the garage, the chicks and chickens cannot just be replaced with money. Although I only paid $15,00 for my new baby chicks, I have put in lots of time with twice daily feedings for over 6 weeks, not to mention the feed and bedding, and everything else to brood them. More importantly, these baby chicks are the ones I am counting on to provide my family with eggs this winter. I cannot get more chicks locally until next spring.

I really get along good with my summertime neighbors, and I hate to think that something could really go bad with their unsupervised dog during their vacation. As much as I value my backyard flock, I also value a great relationship with my visiting neighbors that we have built up over many years. Anyways, just a mini rant today to get things off my chest. I am currently watching my birds like a hawk to keep them safe. I have always said my greatest predator concern is neighborhood dogs. So far, my fencing has held and kept the visiting dogs out. But, a returning dog gets smarter with each visit, and that concerns me when the adult owners of the dog don't seem to take their responsibility very seriously.


May 30, 2022
Sweet gentle Labs will kill chicks and chickens. They killed mine. Maybe you should ask the kids to come over and you can show them your set up, let them hold a chick. Send them home with a dozen fresh eggs. They don't understand about being careful with gate or door, but I think if you engage them they will feel more responsible.


Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
May 3, 2009
New Jersey
Sweet gentle Labs will kill chicks and chickens. They killed mine.
Once upon a time while we were on vacation, my animal caretaker found my pens destroyed, and most of my birds killed. The culprit, a black lab, was glad to see her. The dog had an ID on its collar. My caretaker called our animal control agent, and he came and seized the dog. Turns out it was the second time the dog had done this. He asked me to file a complaint so that the dog as a 'repeat offender' could be seized and rehomed.


Stand up for what's right!
Jan 4, 2019
My Coop
My Coop
One time, my neighbor up the street a ways was with friends outside in the backyard and wasn't keeping an eye on her dog, a red lab named Clifford. He's a wild thing and is still a puppy (not a year old yet). He came down to my house FOUR TIMES that evening. (Luckily didn't show too much interest in the chickens).

The first time, I grabbed an extra leash and walked him home.
The second time, I grabbed the same leash and walked him home again.
The third time, I brought him straight to the owner and alerted them that he was repeatedly making trips down to my house and that I would appreciate it if they kept a better eye on him.
The fourth time, I marched him back to the house and told them that I was going to put him inside and to please leave him there until they had time to watch him.

I make day visits to Clifford (and his uncle Zeus) sometimes when his owner is at work, so I know him pretty well. Besides, he is ridiculously cute!!

Coops Dad

May 10, 2020
too close to Waco, TX
Next time, bring him back and tell the owner "you know, I keep blocks of rat poison around because of the chickens and feed. Your dog managed to find a block but I think I got it away from him before he ate any. Now that he knows where it is, he might go straight for it next time."

My neighbor's dog broke into our back pasture 4 times in the course of three weeks- it was 5' goat fence topped with 2 strands of barbed wire but he found a weak spot and was able to push his way under. In those 4 visits, he killed over 14 chickens, IIRC. The owner said his dogs always had free reign of the neighborhood, never bothered anyone (found out that it killed their own chickens and chewed the ears off their goats), it wasn't fair to keep them penned up all day, etc.

He even told me that Texas doesn't have a leash law. I called the sheriff for advice and she told me there's no leash law, but there is a "dog at large" law. If the dog harasses or attacks people, pets or livestock, the owner can be cited with no further warnings. She told me to skip all that, though, and just shoot the d****d thing. Perfectly legal.

After the fourth time, I went to have a face-to-face chat and made it crystal clear that if his dog came on our land again, I would shoot it dead on the spot. He decided it was more fair to keep the dog penned up all day than to dig a hole for the family dog.

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