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Old 06.09.2019, 12:05
meloncollie meloncollie is offline
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Re: Dogs roaming free

While Swiss dog law sounds pretty tough when you read the text, enforcement is local - and thus depends on local attitudes and resources. Where there is no public or political will, or little in the way of resources, you might find that complaints fall on deaf ears. Or you might find that enforcement is not even-handed; the book may be thrown at person A while person B gets a wink and a nod.

One of the surprising things I have seen here is that while Switzerland is the 'land of rule makers' it does not mean that this is the land of rule followers. Often those who are most adamant about enforcing rules against others are themselves the worst scofflaws. Rules and regs that one does not personally agree with are flagrantly flaunted, all the while post-it notepad at the ready, in case someone else steps one toe over the line. The rules apply to them, not to me.

It sounds like the dogs-should-run-free guy is one of those types. And these types can be very difficult to handle.

Add in the mix whether or not the dogs-should-run-free guy is connected in the village. He is a local business owner after all...

What I am trying to get at is that Mr Dog should probably think twice before making an official complaint, as he doesn't want to spark a Nachbarkreig - because his dog could become the victim.

The dogs-should-run-free guy has already hinted at this, with his comment about 'preventatively' reporting Mr Dog's dog for leash-aggressive behavior. If the guy is holds a fair amount of local power, tread very carefully. When accusations are made or rumors started involving a large dog and children, however specious, things can go very bad very quickly.

Sure, this is not the way the world should work... but it's the reality many have to live with.

I would try all other measures first before bringing officialdom into this. And before taking steps I'd make sure I fully understood the 'way things really work' in the village.


Were it me, I would concentrate on ignoring the guy, keeping my dog far away. Walk a different route or at a different time if possible, keep well away from the guy's property.

A different situation, but when the Belltie was learning not to share his thoughts and opinions incessently on our walks, I ended up driving him to an isolated area and then walking. There was no way to avoid walking by neighbors who would not have appreciated his barking, so I took more extreme measures. Mr Dog might have to do something similar - at least until things calm down.

Another step might be to bring Mr Dog's trainer into this. Perhaps engage the trainer for some one-to-one lessons in the form of walks together. The trainer can offer suggestions as to how to handle the neighborhood dogs - and can serve as an authority resource if the neighbor starts on his dogs-should-run-free rant. Often an authority figure will be listened to, even by such closed-minded folks as the neighbor.

And if you are not yet involved in a Hundeschule, Mr Dog, this is a good reason to do so. You need a support group/network - what better place to start than the Hundeschule. A local trainer will also have a finger on the local pulse, and be well placed to advise you as to how to handle neighborhood issues.

I'm so sorry you are going through this.

And a final thought: Many dog owners find that the only solution to diffiucult neighbors is to move. Is that a possibility, even in the long run?
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