How to Deal with your Neighbor’s Aggressive Dog (5 Vital Tips)

This blog post will answer the question, “How to deal with your neighbor’s aggressive dog?” and cover the following topics: what the prudent things one should do when around an aggressive dog; how one scares an aggressive dog; what one should do when bitten by a dog; what one’s rights are when bitten by a dog; how one keeps a dog stay calm, and what the most aggressive dog breeds are. 

How to deal with your neighbor’s aggressive dog

You can deal with your neighbors aggressive dog by doing the following:

  • Taming the dog
  • Staying calm and composed
  • Talking to the owner
  • Keeping evidence
  • Calling animal control

Dogs are probably the most genuine animals there are. There is nothing more fulfilling and relaxing than being greeted by your dogs’ rapidly-wagging tails when you get home from work or school. These lovely furry creatures shower their unconditional love unto you, especially when they sense you feel sad or angry. These very reasons prove just how they are dubbed the man’s best friend.

However, not every single one of them can exactly be friendly and capable of manifesting unconditional love to you. All of us have come across dogs that display absolute aggression given the right circumstances. Some could go on barking endlessly, and some chase you until you reach a dead-end (yes, just like what happens in the cartoons). It can be very tricky to handle a situation where you face dogs with this kind of hostility, let alone LIVE NEARBY a dog with this kind of hostility.

But before we get into addressing the dilemma of dealing with loud-barking, hysterical, aggressive dogs, it is important that we, at least, realize what dogs’ thinking processes are. Of course, we were always taught to stay calm and composed when around stray dogs. Well, this is because they sense fear, and when they do, they will possibly attack and aggress toward you.

Now, how exactly do you deal with your neighbor’s aggressive dog? The list below will try to comprehensively help you answer this question. Follow these steps and the results could quite literally save you!

Taming the dog

As previously mentioned, dogs smell fear. If you, at least, display a small pint of fear around a dog, it will aggress toward you and possibly even attack you. 

However, if it senses that it can make a friend from you, it will eventually act mild around you, and who knows, you might end up looking forward to seeing and petting that dog when you come home from work. 

You can pet it on the chest, the shoulders, or on the base of its neck. DO NOT touch its head, ears, legs, paws, tail, and on the muzzle. They dislike being touched on these spots. This article elaborates how to make a friend out of a dog by petting it.

Staying calm and composed. 

Most dogs will bark endlessly at strangers, some dogs will chase them until they reach a dead-end. It is important that you read the dog and understand what behaviors make them do these things. Learn how you can calmly and slowly move away from the dog. Act as unintimidated and as uninterested as possible, like the dog is invisible to you. DO NOT run away from the dog. For them, this is a sign of play and they will want to chase you. This article takes you through the steps on how you can behave as calmly as possible when around an aggressive dog.

Talk to the owner. 

Calmly explain your concerns to your neighbor and the dog’s owner and detail how it makes you uncomfortable that their dog displays extreme aggression toward you. You can do this at a time when their dog is non-aggressive, perhaps when it is sleeping, eating, or any other time when it is not on its “hysterical barking” mode. The owner may or may not be aware that their dog is aggressive to strangers but that is not the point! The main purpose of going to your neighbor to lobby your concerns is accountability. You want to let them know that you are holding them accountable if there ever is an accident that involves their dog.

Keep evidence. 

Try to take pictures and videos that show the dog’s aggressive behavior. You can also write in a notebook details about your recurring encounters with the aggressive dog, but be as objective as you can. These pieces of evidence will help prove your point when everything goes worse.

Call animal control. 

If you have talked about your concerns about the aggressive dog to the owner, and the owner has not done anything to address this problem, you can reach out to animal control and elaborate to them your concerns instead. Try to be as comprehensive as possible. Talk about how the dog’s hostility is a threat to your life, and anyone else in the neighborhood. If you have taken pictures and/or videos that show the aggression of the dog, that would help prove your issue to them. Encourage other people in your neighborhood to talk to animal control too, especially if they share the same concerns with you. If the agent you talked with in animal control does not seem so bothered with it, you can opt to reach out to their supervisor. Try to be as comprehensive, calm, and composed as possible.

It will take time for the owner or animal control to address this issue completely. These tips below will try to help you overcome your fear of aggressive dogs while appropriate measures are being discussed by the animal control team.

Call the police.

If the animal control has not taken the appropriate measures and solutions to address your concern, you may direct your complaint to the nearest police station. You may tell them that you have already talked to your neighbor, and the animal control about this problem, but either of them has not made amends or at least tried to solve the problem. 

Again, it does not help if you yell at the police just because you are angry. Always be as polite and courteous as possible in comprehensively explaining the issue you have. It also will prove your case if you show them the evidences (photos, videos, and notes) you have taken. 

How do you scare an aggressive dog?

It will be weird to carry around these things but if your life is on the line, who cares about what’s weird and what’s not? If the dog continues to bark and chase after you even after you have acted as uninterested and unintimidated as possible, according to Whitney Lowell, these three things can be your next resort to scaring the dog.

  • Repellent Spray
  • Walking Stick 
  • Air Horn

Repellent Spray. 

You can use this to spray a dog 10 feet from you. These are not harmful to dogs but they are not 100 percent effective as well. Buy a spray that is made of citronella, rather than the human-grade pepper spray because pepper is too strong to a dog’s eyes and nose and will cause it injury. You can buy this type of spray in most, if not all, local pet stores.

Walking Stick. 

A cane, a large stick, or an umbrella can be a deterrent for all dogs, not just aggressive stray dogs. If you swing any of these toward them, they will move away from you. However, if they do not move away and continue attacking you, you can use these for defense as a last resort.

Air Horn. 

Dogs have sensitive ears. Loud noises and high-pitched sounds will startle a stray dog as he comes near you on your walk. Carrying an air horn with you can be helpful around stray dogs because this can distract the dog, even just for a second, and once the dog has been distracted, you can try to slowly walk the other direction.

What am I going to do if a dog bit me?

Let’s say all comes to worst and the aggressive dog has bitten and wounded your leg. Of course, we won’t hope this happens but if this does happen, it will be convenient if you know exactly what you should do to at least alleviate the pain. These steps should help you ease the pain.

  • Apply first aid. 
  • Seek help from a physician. 
  • Report the incident. 

Apply first aid. 

First, wash the wounded area with soap and warm water. Second, stop the flow of the blood in the wounded area by pressing over it a clean cloth. Next, apply an antibacterial ointment to the wound. Then, cover it with a sterile bandage.

Seek help from a physician. 

If the bite is severe, immediately call for an ambulance rather than personally driving to a doctor. Ideally, all dogs should be up-to-date on their vaccinations but we do not know this for sure, so go straight to a physician if you suspect the bite is serious. Detail what happened to your physician as they may suggest giving you a tetanus shot to prevent the wound from getting worse or causing an infection.

Report the incident. 

Contact your local police or visit the nearest station to where the dog attack happened. Explain to the officers how you would like to file a report of the dog attack. This may not be necessary if the injury is minor but you will never know the severity of the injury until after observing the wounded area for a few days. This is why it is important to take photos that may serve as pieces of evidence that prove how detrimental the aggressive dog is to the neighborhood.

What are my rights if a dog attacks me?

It is nice to be well-informed about what you can do before and after a dog attacks you but it is always better if you understand your legal rights as a victim of a dog attack or a dog bite.

The legal actions will depend on a few things. First, it will consider the severity of the attack. Is it only a minor injury? Is the injury serious? You have the option to report, or not report, a dog attack incident depending on the severity of the injury. Of course, if the dog bite is serious, you should have the right to file a lawsuit against the dog owner. Second, the legal actions will also depend on the state where the dog attack incident took place. Different states impose different laws regarding dog bites.

Generally, the dog owner is automatically held liable for the damage and injury caused by the aggressive dog. This overview details the Connecticut law on liability for dog bites.

Can you calm an aggressive dog?

Yes, you absolutely can! Just never panic when faced by an aggressive dog. They sense fear and if you show exactly this emotion, they will really attack you. Here are four tips to calm down a growling dog:

  • Stay still. 
  • Do not make eye contact with it. 
  • Do not bare your teeth. 
  • Tame the dog by speaking softly. 

Stay still. 

Never turn your back and most important of all, DO NOT run away. Move slowly away from the dog and do not make sudden motions that might make the dog even angrier.

Do not make eye contact with it. 

The dog will see you as a threat if you do this and could worsen the issue at hand. Try to seem as uninterested as possible, like the dog is invisible to you.

Do not bare your teeth. 

You might think that if you smile it could ease the anger of the dog and it might, all of a sudden, decide not to attack you. Well, you are wrong. The dog will interpret your “smile” as if you are gnashing your teeth aggressively and will see you as a threat.

Tame the dog by speaking softly. 

Do not shout or threaten the dog with loud voices as this may cause them to react more aggressively. Instead, try to see it as a friend and speak with a soft and slow tone. It might just likewise see you as a friend.

What dog breeds are the most aggressive?

You already know the nuts and bolts of how to react when an aggressive dog is present. Now, it can also be helpful that we learn about what dog breeds are inherent with aggression. This is a list from a study compiled by Sheila Brown from PetHelpful.

  1. Chihuahua
  2. Dachshund (Standard Smooth)
  3. Chow Chow
  4. Doberman Pinscher
  5. Dalmatian
  6. Rottweiler
  7. Jack Russell Terrier
  8. German Shepherd
  9. American Staffordshire/Pit Bull Terrier
  10. Siberian Husky


The chihuahua is the smallest dog breed in the American Kennel Club. Consequently, they are known as the smallest dogs in the world. They can come in just about any color: solid, marked, and splashed.

Chihuahuas hate strangers! They bark often and are even considered elite in alert-style watching.

Dachshund (Standard Smooth)

Like the Chihuahua, the Dachshund can be any color, and can come in both short ang long hair. The Dachshund is susceptible to the small dog syndrome, which means that their small size is made up by their large attitude. In other words, be extra careful with a Dachshund.

Chow Chow

The Chow Chow has a long, thick coat that comes in red, black, blue, cream, and cinnamon colors. They have a dominant personality and will assert themselves most of the time. There is a reason why they are not recommended for first-time dog owners, and it is not because they are kind dogs.

Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman has a thick, glossy, short-haired coat that comes in red, black, blue, or fawn colors. Dobermans are a very intelligent breed and are usually used as guard dogs or police dogs. They have a very strong, protective instinct towards their masters, but if raised with strong leadership and good owners, they can get along with children as well as other dogs.


The Dalmatian has a short, dense, glossy coat that is white with either black or brown spots. Dalmatians need to be socialized at a very early age to avoid developing behavioral issues.

The other dogs that made it to top ten of the list above are:


Jack Russell Terrier

German Shepherd

American Staffordshire/Pit Bull Terrier

Siberian Husky

This video should help detail the most aggressive dogs there are.

An aggressive dog can easily be the root cause between neighbors. It is therefore wise to address this issue as diplomatic as possible. This can be done by calmly explaining to your neighbor how you are harmed by their aggressive dog. Avoid being mean and try to be as objective as possible.

If you have talked to your neighbor about this issue for multiple times already and they have not done anything to solve this, that is when you should reach out to animal control and deliberately talk to them about this.

While waiting for them to take appropriate measures, inform yourself about what you should do to avoid a dog attack, and what you should do after being attacked by a dog. Being knowledgeable about these tiniest bits could literally save your life, so it is important to stay fully informed.


This blog post answered the question, “How to deal with your neighbor’s aggressive dog?” and covered the following topics: what the prudent things one should do when around an aggressive dog; how one scares an aggressive dog; what one should do when bitten by a dog; what one’s rights are when bitten by a dog; how one keeps a dog stay calm, and what the most aggressive dog breeds are. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to Deal with Neighbor’s Aggressive Dog

What can I do about my neighbor’s aggressive dog?

If you or anyone in your family is seriously threatened by the aggressive dog, make the appropriate measures by filing a report to an animal control agency or the police. Encourage neighbors who have had the same bad experience as you have to file complaints too to strengthen your complaint. 

What to do if an aggressive dog approaches you?

Keep yourself as calm as possible, and move away from the dog as slowly as possible. Act as if you are uninterested and unintimidated of the dog. DO NOT run, scream, or yell at the dog. Make your tone of speaking as soothing as possible while you move away from it. NEVER make direct eye contact with it for this may prompt the dog to aggress toward you. 

What can I do if my neighbor’s dog keeps coming into my yard?

Talk with your neighbor who owns the dog. Be as polite as possible in explaining your concerns about the dog. Ask your neighbor to make appropriate measures to solve the problem. You can ask them to contain the dog, or to clean up your yard after their dog has dirtied it. If the neighbor has not done the measures you wished they had, you can just build a fence that obstructs their dog from entering your yard instead. 

What qualifies as animal neglect?

Animal neglect happens when an animal’s caretaker or owner fails to provide it with its basic necessities, such as, food, water, shelter, or veterinary care sufficient for its survival. If the animal suffers terribly, whether deliberately, or unintentionally, that can be categorized as animal neglect. 

How do I get my neighbor’s dog to shut up?

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make that pup clam up and get the peace and quiet you need without being a jerk.

  1. Talk to your neighbor first.
  2. Block the dog’s view, make friends and be present.
  3. Use a dog whistle or sonic training device.
  4. File a formal noise complaint.


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