Things are hopping in the neighborhood with new neighbors and new problems. Some are hard to believe.
With three dogs, the youngest (6 months old) with reactivity issues (which usually show up at about 5 months), I thought it best to go ahead and get that fence. It was put up 6 days ago.
My dog's reactivity takes the form of fear aggression: when he's afraid, he barks or lunges and barks (no bites... yet). I have a trainer, I consulted with a dog behaviorist, and my dog "Bob" is a lot better with people, but he is still reactive to new dogs. What a relief to get the fence! No more pulling the leash out of my hand and chasing after a jogger! No more wrapping a leash around my waist now every time I take him out!
My new next door neighbors have two dogs ("Yesss!!!", I thought to myself.) When they moved in (about a week ago), I went over and introduced myself (my dogs were inside), made a bit of small talk, offered to help in any way I could, etc.
Two days ago, new neighbor "Ted" is out with his dogs in his yard. "Cool," I thought, I'll introduce my dogs! I put a leash on "Bob" and headed into my yard. As soon as "Ted"'s dog (about 30 pounds heavier than "Bob") sees "Bob", he starts barking, which sets "Bob" off. He yanks the leash out of my hand and flies towards the fence, barking like a crazed animal.
Now, the fence wasn't cheap. It's a metal fence, 4.5" tall, with (metal) balusters 3 7/8" apart. (The 'hood HOD allows only two types of fence, this and vinyl.) So I was apologizing for my dog's barking as I ran after "Bob".
Then something unbelievable happened.
"Bob" pushed and twisted and got through the fence! "Bob" is not tiny; he's a 40 pound, muscular dog now. And this furry Houdini is barking in "Ted"'s barking dog's face. And "Ted" is (understandably) swearing at me, and I (understandably) am frantically trying to open the (unbeknownst to me; it was a new fence) locked gate and get to "Bob", because unlike him, I can't squeeze through it. Finally I figure it out, grab my dog (who is no longer barking or snapping, but is now smelling "Ted"'s dog's butt and acting 1. like a normal dog and 2. like nothing out of the ordinary just happened. I, on the other hand, am falling all over myself apologizing, swearing at the fence, apologizing again, swearing at my now sweet dog, and babbling like an idiot while "Ted" turns from red to a normal color (I am still beet red with embarrassment.
I would like the neighbors to think well of me. Though I apologized profusely and said I'd look into what could be done to the fence to prevent this from happening again, I think more is needed.
What can I do to underscore my apology to "Ted"? Flowers? A bag of dog treats? A BarkBox subscription?