Dogs and the Portuguese

Dear Editor,

For one year now, we have had a problem with a neighbour’s dog. They are Portuguese, we are English. We have lived here full time for six years with no previous problems. However, just over a year ago a dog (a Golden Retriever) appeared.

From that time, every time we open a window or open a door, the dog barks. Every time we come out of the house the dog runs over to the fence and barks continuously.

The neighbour also started to let the dog run free along the public road outside our houses.

The dog then starts barking and chasing everybody who passes. This includes the local shepherd who appears to be a family friend!

I am a keen cyclist and the dog also started to chase me on my bike. At this I made a very strong complaint to the neighbour who just shrugged her shoulders.

Our houses are not close together, in fact they are more than 50 metres apart but the land is adjoining.

I have complained to the neighbour (who speaks no English) and subsequently to her daughter who speaks some English and I have some knowledge of Portuguese. A degree of understanding was achieved. But the problem still remains.

It turned out that the daughter owns the dog but does not live with her mother. I said the dog needs training -she said she cannot afford the cost. But she can afford to buy a pedigree dog. Doh!!

I have been to Loulé GNR who were not interested and said contact a dog charity in Lagos. I have contacted the Canil do Loulé who said they only deal with paperwork and today July 27, I contacted SEPNA who said they do not deal with animal problems.

This seems to be in contradiction of Christian Mertens’ letter of June 24 this year.

So what is it with the Portuguese and their disconnection with dogs and who do I contact to resolve the problem?


Editor’s note: Dear Peter, thank you for your email. I’m afraid I would have to suggest that you insist with the GNR. The problem here is the people, not the dog. They have to take responsibility for their pet and train it. I recommend your complaint is directed at your neighbours and how their lack of civic duty is affecting your life. The GNR may respond quicker.