'No Dogs': Man Backed for Keeping Neighborhood Kids & Pets Out of Pool

Members of a popular internet forum banded together in defense of one homeowner who explained why he no longer lets the children in his neighborhood use his swimming pool.

In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/Legitimate-Impact253 (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said he and his fiancée previously encouraged the use of their pool but detailed how a suspected dog-related incident brought that to an end.

Titled, "[Am I the a**hole] for not allowing neighborhood kids [to] use the pool?" the post has received nearly 7,000 votes and 1,000 comments in the last day.

Writing that he and his fiancée moved into their current neighborhood just last year, the original poster said the couple learned they would soon be welcoming their first child, and decided to install an above-ground pool.

Noting that the "neighborhood kids were very happy," the original poster also said the couple implemented one steadfast rule: no dogs in the pool.

"I told them no dogs were allowed in the pool as the lining was fragile and could break," he wrote.

However, after recently opening the swimming pool in preparation for this summer, the original poster said he observed an issue with the pool's liner.

"This year, I opened the pool and the kids used it while we were away," OP wrote. "When we got back, I noticed the water level was low and tried to refill it."

"I saw a good size tear on the side and got it fixed," OP continued. "The kids came over the next day with a labrador retriever wanting to use the pool and I told them that the pool was closed."

Soon after breaking the news to the neighborhood children, the original poster said he and his fiancée were confronted by their parents, who insisted the pool be re-opened immediately.

"I come home and see a few of the neighbors arguing with my fiancée," OP wrote. "I walk over and everyone starts talking about how I hurt their kids' feelings by not allowing them to use the pool."

"I explained what happened and why I had to close the pool," OP continued. "A few of them start laughing and demand me to [re-open] the pool."

For pool owners—and their neighbors—a private place to swim can mean the difference between staying cool and a couple of months at the mercy of a sweltering summer sun.

But private pool politics can get tricky and often result in neighborhood confrontations, like the one described by the original poster.

With issues of liability looming over many pool-related decisions, especially when children are involved, it can sometimes be easiest to keep a backyard swimming pool entirely private, with nobody but the homeowners allowed inside.

Yard Blogger, an online advice platform for homeowners, says that might be easier said than done. Instead, it is recommended that strict pool rules are implemented, and enforced.

However, when those rules are ignored, Yard Blogger suggests erecting a fence around the pool, as well as a pool cover to prohibit unwanted access entirely.

Swimming pool
Members of Reddit's r/AmITheA**hole offered advice to one homeowner who said the neighborhood children damaged his pool. K_Thalhofer/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Throughout the viral post's comment section, Redditors were adamant that the original poster attempted to set rules, and reacted appropriately when those rules were broken. Redditors responding to the original poster also scoffed at the notion that the neighborhood children deserved pool privileges because their feelings were hurt.

"[Not the a**hole]," Redditor u/Heard_Photograph9572 wrote in the post's top comment, which has received nearly 12,000 votes.

"Who are the neighbors to DEMAND that you open the pool?!" they questioned. "I surely hope you strictly enforce the no dog rule."

In a separate comment, which has received more than 4,000 votes, Redditor u/AaeJay83 offered a similar response.

"Seriously? The entitlement is ridiculous," they wrote. "OP, you should never let them use the pool especially unsupervised...if [parents] want their kids in a pool they should buy their own."

"I have no idea why anyone feels they/their kids should have access to your pool whenever they want," Redditor u/Undecidedbutsure added.

Redditor u/MySquishyFishy, whose comment has received more than 1,600 votes, warned the original poster of the dangers of letting neighborhood children use the pool and encouraged him to take more precautionary measures.

"This whole scenario is an insurance nightmare," they wrote. "Never never NEVER let anyone use your pool, especially when you're not home."

"Tell them no one uses the pool anymore...then install cameras and a pool cover," they added.

Newsweek reached out to u/Legitimate-Impact253 for comment.