My suburban neighborhood has about 80% dog ownership, but most dog owners don't have fences. I don't either.
My across-the-street neighbor "Abby" and I have been becoming friends. It started over a previous puppy that didn't work out. We talk several times a week, and usually spend an evening or two a week over wine and conversation.
Abby now is selling her house, and had a showing yesterday. I was mowing the lawn, and my dogs (I have 3, two adults and a pup I'm raising as a therapy dog) were all secured by leashes to something sturdy, even though I was taking a break to talk to another neighbor.
The prospective buyers exited the house, whereupon the child (a boy of about 8) screamed, "Daddy, dogs!" and hid behind his father. Please know that they were across the street, the three dogs were secured, they weren't barking, and there were three adults in my yard, easily able to protect the child (or the dogs). We thought it was a little bit odd that the child reacted that way.
Fast forward to this afternoon when I get a frantic call from Abby asking me to put up a fence as soon as possible. The realtor told her what had happened, and she kept saying I needed to put up a fence, that the sale of the house had to go quickly/smoothly, that she didn't have the money for a drawn out stay on the market, she'd already bought another place, etc. I explained that the dogs had been tied up, hadn't even barked at the prospective borrowers, and that the child had overreacted. She replied that she was coming over in an hour to talk about it.
As I did yard work with my dogs once again secured (trying to make my yard look good for Abby's perspective buyers), all I could think of was that I couldn't let Abby's panic become my responsibility. I can deal in facts, I can deal with feelings, I can try to reassure her, but her fears are not my responsibility to fix. She's a grown woman of 45 (and not without means by any means.)
What is a reasonable way to approach, tactfully and without damaging the friendship, the problem of a neighbor demanding that I put up a fence so that her house will be more attractive to potential buyers?
Edited to add: I have a large corner lot facing South. Abby has a regular lot facing West (towards the side of my house, with a good view of all of it, including what is my "back yard".) Abby, my neighbor, is the one doing the asking, but probably at her agent's suggestion. No, I'm not obliged to put up a fence (if dog owners were, 80% of the houses would have fenced yards.) and front yard fences aren't allowed in our neighborhood. Only backyard, and she does have one of those (as well as a dog.) The yards that are fenced in this neighborhood are most often those with pools.
I don't want the expense of a fence (the HOA has regulations about the kind of fence that can be put up), and, of course, they're expensive. Think $8K without landscaping. Also, it makes my yard less useful for exercise, as it cuts off both sides of the house, and there are setbacks.
Edit #2: I took @Catija's approach and there have been no further problems. She lets me know when there's a showing, and at that time, I keep my yard dog-free (although the tennis balls should give it away.) Things have been fine between us, as before.