I hate to gripe about petty matters on the forum, but I think this may actually be a more serious matter than I would like to make it. If you disagree, please accept my apologies and ignore this post. Or better yet, convince me otherwise in the comments.
Earlier today, my wife watched as one of our neighbors (I won't name names) attempted to open our back gate and put her dogs in our back yard for what I presume was an impromptu play date. She did not succeed (the back gate is a little complicated), so no harm no foul. I am a little concerned though that this may be regular behavior (last week our dogs got loose while we were not at home). Should anyone feel that this is appropriate, please know that we do not feel similarly. There are a number of reasons why we feel so.
1. It is trespassing (and against the law) - based on the recent crime incidents, I feel that it would only be right to report the activity to the authorities, whether I know you or not.
2. There is a dog poop epidemic, and surely were your dogs to eliminate in our yard, I would need to clean it up. It is only respectful that you not soil your neighbor's property.
3. Liability - Not that my dogs are aggressive, but they are territorial (like any dog) and introducing your dog to my property without my presence is a bad idea and could lead to you or your dog being attacked. Or worse, my dog being attacked. I will not be paying any veterinary or medical bills in this instance.
4. My dogs could get out. That means that what was a fun little experiment is now a neighborhood problem and considering our proximity to high traffic streets could result in a much more severe situation.
I consider myself to be a friendly neighbor and I am happy to have our dogs play with one another, but please do not initiate this kind of activity without me being present.
On a related note, I have noticed a few dogs being walked off leash through the neighborhood. Again, being the neighborly sort, I am not going to start stating leash laws and take away the freedom and fun of what are clearly well behaved dogs. I would only ask that you carry a leash with you so that in the instance that I am uncomfortable with your dog around me, my family or my pets, you are able to help out and keep things under control.
Thanks for hearing me out. I know I am not a perfect dog owner, but I try my best to respect my neighbors and their property. Please do not hesitate to let me know if there is any problem with my dogs or the way that they are managed.