For 40+ years we've helped over 300,000 dog trainers just like you!

Learn more about Leerburg

$6.99 Flat Rate Shipping

Learn more
Ask Cindy Our Newsletter Free Catalog

Leerburg Dog Training Blog

The best source for dog training news, tricks and treats, right from world class leaders in dog training.

The best source for dog training news, tricks and treats, right from world class leaders in dog training.

When Should You Call The Police About Your Neighbor’s Aggressive Dogs?

A couple of days ago Cindy got an email from a women who is seriously concerned about her neighbors aggressive dogs (see the email below). She asked for advice on what to do.

Having been a K9 handler for 10 years I have a pretty clear idea on a protocol to follow. I also served as an expert witness for the prosecution on a murder case in Kansas in which a pack of 4 Rottweilers killed a 9 year old boy. The owner was found guilty and spent years in prison.

The basic concept of what to do starts by contacting the owner of the aggressive dogs. On a good day the owners take measures and the threat is over.

Unfortunately more times than not the owner comes up with excuses. i.e. my dog would never bite, my dog accidentally got out it wont happen again, etc etc Thats where I mention how concerned I am. I would tell the owner if their dog bites, your going to sue him and if you sue him he will lose his home owner insurance.  Of course after that statement there won’t be anymore Xmas presents coming your way. But do you really care? I would’t.

The next step, is if this is a rental property you need to contact the home owner. If you don’t know who that is, go down to city hall and ask the register of deeds. If you can find out what bank has leans (loans) on the property you threaten to contact the bank. Trust me, banks understand the seriousness of potential law suites.

Let the owner know of your concerns, in writing. If there is resistance, tell him he has a legal responsibility to solve this problem. nIf you have to write a letter, send it certified mail.  In fact at every level correspondence needs to be with a certified letter.

Certified mail takes on a level of seriousness.

At that point, and if you have time,  you need to start to take photos and videos of the dogs acting inappropriately. Make a written log with dates and times.

Next call the police. Tell the responding officer  exactly what you concerns are. Tell him the times and dates these things have happen, if it is a reoccurring issue. If it’s just once incident, that doesn’t matter. Most importantly tell him you are seriously concerned about the safety of you and your family.

Get the officers name and badge number. If possible get his business card and phone number. Ask the office if he will give you a copy of his incident report. This is where you will get a sense of  how serious he is taking problem. If the officer resists, it is time to go up to the next level and you need to tell him.

Ask for the name and contact information of his supervisor.  Be polite, but firm.  The officer needs to know you intend to take this issue as far as it is necessary until you feel the problem is solved. Don’t make this about revenge or punishment, make it about safety for you, your family and your dogs.

Now, if the supervisor does not co-operate, then its time to go to the Chief of Police, or the County Sheriff.

Tell the chief or Sheriff that you are going to go to the District Attorney and the Mayor and/or the president of the city council.

When you o to elected officials, be polite but let them know how serious this is and if you don’t get their help in finding a solution you intend on going to the news media.

Elected officials listen to issues that may cost them votes.

Odds are at one of these levels your going to get help.

If anyone questions the seriousness of a dog bite have a look at the photos people have sent me. The majority of these are bites on owners trying to brake up dog fights, or photos of children getting bit. A warning – some of these photos are graphic and disturbing.


Here is the email that resulted in me  writing  this BLOG POST:

I just moved to a new rental where the neighbor shares the yard with me. She has a 8 month old pitbull and I have a Rottweiler mix. The other girl on the property has 3 dogs. The pitbull attacked one of the 3 dogs last week and would not let her go. The owner finally got her loose and she, the owner had to get stitches and her arm is really bruised. The dog lived, but her neck was very swollen and she is still having a hard time swallowing. I am afraid for my dog and the other dogs. The owner of the pitbul got a shock collar but the dog still runs around freely and can come into the house I live in through the doggy door. Do you have any suggestions on how I can approach these 2 women and knock some sense into their heads?





  1. Avatar
    Barbara C Glancy
    November 16, 2017

    With all letters and photos make sure you know what chain of custody is. Always do your do diligence to protect yourself,your family and your dog and property. Do diligence is the single most important thing you can do. Know your dog,. Look for living conditions where the landowner is aware that by renting multiple units out to multiple family types with dogs he could create a toxic cocktail that he is ultimately responsible for,

  2. Avatar
    November 21, 2017

    or lock the doggy door? problem solved

  3. Avatar
    May 29, 2018

    I have a question that relates to this subject matter. I’m aware you were in law enforcement so you might be the best person to ask.

    In the past I’ve been out with my dog and have been approached by dogs not on a leash. That’s a major annoyance to me if they aren’t trained. On one of these occasions a dog attacked my dog.

    At what point am I justified in using levels of force and what to do after an incident where force was used? Are there any tools you suggest for stopping an aggressive dog or stopping dog fights? I was told OC spray was a great option.

  4. Ed Frawley
    Ed Frawley
    May 30, 2018

    OC does not always work. I carry a very STOUT walking stick. Dog owners who do not have the correct training on how to safely break up a dog fight put themselves at great risk to physically try and break up a fight. Thats exactly what you tell police if you need to need to whale the devil out of a dog that tries to attack your dog. If you question my statement of the danger of dog bites go to my web site and search on DOG BITES. I have hundred of picture people like yourself have sent me of their injuries they got breaking up fights.

  5. Avatar
    June 2, 2018


Sorry, comments are closed.

20% off Select Michael Ellis and Ed Frawley DVDs, streams, and courses good through Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 11:59 PM CT