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Woman Balks After Neighbor Insists She Limit Her Dogs’ Time Outside Due To Skittish Rescue Dog

Woman playing with large dog.
Nevena1987/Getty Images

The best part of finally buying your own home is being able to do exactly what you want with it.

Unfortunately, the one thing you cannot control about your newly purchased home is who your neighbors are.

While sometimes your new neighbors turn out to be lifelong friends, other times they prove to be anything but neighborly.

Redditor ReactiveDogthrow was dismayed to discover that their new next-door neighbor possessed two rather large, and rather loud, dogs.

Primarily owing to the fact that the original poster. (OP) was the owner of a rescue dog who was easily terrified by other dogs, particularly big ones.

In order to make sure their own dog could enjoy their backyard in peace, the OP made a proposition to their new neighbor.

A proposition she flatly refused.

Wondering if they were being unreasonable, the OP took to the subReddit “Would I Be The A**hole” (WIBTA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“WIBTA to insist my neighbor keep a yard schedule?”

The OP explained how after their neighbor’s dogs made it impossible for their own dog to enjoy their backyard, they proposed what they felt was a more than reasonable solution.

“For background I have a severely reactive rescue dog.”

“She’s terrified of other dogs and freaks out majorly when she sees them or hears them.”

“My partner and I have been working with our vet and a behavioral trainer and we’ve made some progress, but my dog is still not truly comfortable anywhere but her own yard.”

“A new lady just moved in next door, and she has two big dogs.”

“They seem like nice dogs, they are quiet and she works with them a lot.”

“The problem is that she works from home full time, and her dogs are always outside.”

“She doesn’t leave them there for hours or anything, but I never know when she’s going to let them out or for how long.”

“She also spends a lot of time out there with them after work and on weekends.”

“I can hear her training and playing fetch or she’ll have them out with her while she’s doing yard work.”

“To be fair to her, she trains them and she doesn’t let them run up on the fence, and if they do bark, she makes them go inside.”

“They’re still out on the other side of the fence though and my dog is now scared and reacting in her own backyard.”

“When my dog starts carrying on, she is the one who has to go inside.”

“She already can’t enjoy walks and now she can’t even enjoy being outside.”

“I asked my neighbor if she’d consider a schedule for the dogs so that my dog can enjoy her yard too without the neighbor’s dogs freaking her out on the other side of the fence.”

“She was polite about it but said no, she bought the house with the yard for her dogs, and they use it.”

“She said she’d be glad to tell me when she’s leaving with them for a period of hours, but otherwise she’s not going to change what she’s doing day to day.”

“So nothing changed and her dogs get plenty of outdoor time and mine gets none except for the stray times when she takes one of her dogs to a training class or takes both of them for a hike.”

“I’m really upset and want to insist that we adopt a schedule so that my dog can have some outside time too.”

“My dog does not get the same opportunity as her dogs, not even close.”

“Her dogs have free access five days a week, weeknights, and weekends.”

“My dog only gets outside time now when she says she is leaving for a class or a hike.”

“If I let my dog out to sun herself at 10:30 on a Tuesday, sure enough, it won’t be five minutes before she’s letting her dogs out and then my dog freaks out and has to come in.”

“She is not getting anywhere close to what they are getting.”

“The fence is a privacy fence.”

“My dog freaks out when she can hear and smell the other dogs as well as see them.”

“She can’t see these dogs but she knows they’re there.”

“WIBTA if I insisted she work with me to adopt a schedule that’s fair to all the dogs?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

The OP received little to no support from the Reddit community, who unanimously agreed that the OP was the a**hole for trying to get their neighbor to set a schedule for her dogs.

Everyone agreed that the OP’s neighbor was already being more than accommodating, and this was a problem that was solely the OP’s to solve, with many even suggesting that if they were so uncomfortable by their neighbor’s dogs, they should probably consider moving.

“YTA!” Who do you think you are to demand such a thing from your neighbor?”

“Move somewhere with a more private yard or build a fence.”

“Your dog is your problem, nobody else’s.”- AryaStark1313

“How could you force her to follow a strict outdoor schedule when she’s already refused?”

“This is totally unrealistic.”

“Perhaps you need to look for a home in a more remote location where you have no neighbors.”-Alibeee64

“Imagine being the lady next door & buying/renting a house with the perfect backyard for your 2 dogs.”

“Only to find out she lives next to OP and needs to restrict her own backyard usage.”

“OP, the problem here is your dog.”

“The onus for figuring out a solution is squarely on you.”

“The lady next door doesn’t necessarily have to work with you.”

“She is entitled to use her own yard as she sees fit.”

“Your dog is the issue.”

“YWBTA.”- BeeYehWoo


“You decided to adopt a reactive rescue dog, knowing very well you’ll have ton of work to do with her.”

“YOU made that decision.”

“Not your neighbor.”

“It’s your job to make this dog comfortable, and your neighbor shouldn’t have to suffer for your decisions.”- MaybeAWalrus


“You asked.”

“Accept her response.”

“You don’t get to police what people do on their property.”- GreekAmericanDom

“You would like the world around you to adapt to your dog.”

“The world has agreed to give you notice, not good enough.”

“You insist it be done according to your demands.”


“Your dog can have all the outside time it wants.”

“Theres a fence.”

“If you need a fence with a sound barrier, have one installed.”- pottersquash


“Why do people feel entitled to do these things?”

“You chose to get a ‘severely reactive rescue dog’.”

“Your neighbor chose to own two dogs that are ‘big’.”

“You are by your own admission effectively barring her from her own yard through your choice to get a dog that ‘starts carrying on’.”

“It’d be very nice of her if she accepted your schedule for when she is allowed to take her dogs outside, but she has absolutely no obligation to.”

“It’s her yard.”

“She’s not being a nuisance.”

“By your admission she seems to train them very well and she already agreed to some degree of accommodation.”

“I don’t know how you approach it but this is why people should make absolutely sure they have considered all contingencies when adopting a dog, especially a ‘severely reactive rescue dog’.”

“General principle here: you can only be truly generous with your own time and effort.”

“If you offer your partner’s services to a third party thus volunteering them, you are not being generous.”

“Similarly, if you adopt a dog with problems to be generous/kind to animals, but you use your choice to do that to demand that other people make sacrifices, you are not being generous at all.”

“You can’t just volunteer neighbors into your mission to rescue a likely-abused dog.”-He_Who_Is_Person


“Your neighbor has every right to have her dogs in the yard whenever she feels like it.”

“You will need to train your dog better or move somewhere with no neighbors.”

“What you are asking is unreasonable and not her issue.”- Eliza-Day


“She’s already agreed to accommodate you to a degree, you cant insist anything, it’s her yard.”

“She is doing absolutely nothing wrong.”- jrm1102


“Your dog is the problem here.”

“It’s selfish of you to ask her to change her normal, appropriate behavior for your problem dog, and it’s absurd for you to insist.”

“Re-home the dog, or re-home your family with the dog.”- Kufat

It would be one thing if the dogs of the OP’s neighbor were persistently invading their backyard, and posed a serious physical threat to their dog.

But, with that clearly not being the case, not to mention the fact that the OP’s neighbor has even made sure to control her dogs in consideration for the OP, forcing a schedule upon her is going one step too far.

Leaving one to wonder if the Reddit community is correct, and the best thing for the OP to do is to find another home.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.