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Old 13.01.2021, 15:53
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AITA: Dog vs Neighbor

I have an neighbor that I don't see eye-to-eye with. I've done my best to go down the amicable route, but now need a second opinion.

Background: I have a dog, who is 4 years old. He's a aussie, absolutely adorable. He's had some issues (he was mistreated as a puppy, my partner got him when he was 8 months old as a rehome), was diagnosed with ADHD and a thyroid problem. That said, with some fairly routine training he's gotten very good. He doesn't bark (except when the postman comes or at the border, he really doesn't like people touching his house or his car), and gets along with other dogs, as long as he can greet them. If he's held away (on a leash), he gets very vocal , pulls, lunges, etc - but only to go greet the other dog. As a result, he needs a confident walker to handle him, as when he lunges, 25kg of mass can cause quite a transfer of momentum We are working on this now with my mother (who also has a dog).

I walk him every day in the morning (a short walk about 20-30 mins), and then in the evening a longer walk. During the day if I'm not at home, he stays at my mother's place (two floors up - with her dog), and has free access to the garden (he "talks" when he wants to go into the garden - which sometimes is every hour if he hears people on the street - he loves running alongside them inside the fence). He also has several toys which he likes, and plays with moms dog when he isn't sleeping. My partner used to take him for long walks during the day (she doesn't work), but she's out of the country for a while thanks to COVID. My mother tried chipping in by taking him for walks, but given her age, I would rather she doesn't in case he pulls her over.

In the meantime, I'm looking for a dog walker to do an hour a day, but in the sticks (near Lenzburg) where I live it isn't the easiest to find someone who can walk a dog that isn't the easiest to handle (obviously have a post on petsitting24). Either way, he's never left alone (except for maybe a hour here or there when I bring my mother to a store or something like that), and always can run around the garden with the other dog if he wants. He's come to my office for work on some occasions when mom couldn't look after him (to the great amusement of my colleagues - turned out no-one got any work done, and he got LOTS of cuddles and attention).

Issue: My neighbor (who I've had issues with in the past - she wasn't particularly friendly when I moved, and on one occasion complained to my partner that our "blinds are always closed", and this "looks suspicious" (we have blinds facing the street on the ground floor, and keep these closed to prevent her seeing into the house). Anyhow - she's stopped me yesterday and gave me a 15 minute lecture on how aussies are not house dogs, and he needs to be chasing sheep for 3 hours a day, and would report me to the authorities and they would take him away.

This has caused me to freak out a bit, didn't sleep all night, and now trying to figure out what to do. A few questions:
1. Is she right? AITA? Am I mistreating him?
2. What is the chance that he gets taken away? How does that work? Do I get a warning first? I would rather change job/country before losing him... He's my world, and I have no idea how I would cope without him.
3. Does anyone know of a walker in Lenzburg/Wohlen who can handle a slightly more challenging dog? Cost isn't a factor, as long as the person is insured and knows what they are doing.
4. Comments, thoughts? What should I do? I bought this house because of the garden, so he could run around; but now I'm really doubting the decision...

Last edited by Spinal; 13.01.2021 at 16:41.
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