Dear Paws to Talk,

I patrol my yard (If I don’t do it who will) to keep other animals and mysterious humans out. The other day the neighbor dog hopped my fence, stole my toy and then hopped back into his yard. He has done the same thing 3 times. How do I settle this with him?

 -Betty the Boxer

Howl Betty,

I hate when someone comes into my yard without my approval like the gardener or the mailman. Just like you, I take my patrolling duty very seriously. Although I must admit, part of the time I am on patrol, I relax in my favorite bush while keeping a lookout. Who says you have to run around the whole time in order to keep your yard safe?

Your neighbor sounds like a mongrel. First, I suggest you go up to the fence and bark all your anger out at him. Let it out. You’ll feel like trotting around the yard after that.

However, you can’t control what he does. Instead of being furious when he is in your yard and stealing toys, you should expect it.

I think he is doing this because he wants to play. If you greet him with a growl he will probably keep antagonizing you. So the next time he picks up a toy in your yard engage in some tug of war. Fight for your toys. Maybe you will have a good game? Maybe he will be a good companion? Make the best of this bad situation. If that doesn’t work then call the German Sheppard at the local police station and let a professional handle your neighbor.  Good luck.