Pet-iquette: My neighbor’s barking dog

by EPI Staff on March 8, 2011

Q: The dog next door barks really early in the morning, and the owner leaves him yapping in the yard while she’s at work. What can I do?

A: Here’s your script: “Jane, I’m worried about Atlas. I don’t think that you’re aware that he barks his heart out while you’re away.” Or “Atlas wakes us up every morning like an alarm clock.  But on weekends we’d like to be able to sleep later. Is there anything you can do to keep him quieter? We’d really appreciate it.” If this doesn’t help, see if your other neighbors are also bothered, and if so, send a note from the group. A complaint from more than one person may persuade the owner to rectify the problem. Your last resort is the police. Many communities have an ordinance about nuisance barking, which is sometimes classified as a misdemeanor. Some areas even offer a type of “barking dog complaint packet” that spells out the protocol for taking action.

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Lin March 8, 2011 at 2:43 am

Don’t forget the local humane society, especially if he is left in the yard during harsh weather conditions and/or without food/water.

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Jerry March 8, 2011 at 3:33 am

Skip the second suggestion. If your neighbors are not bothered by the barking and don’t want to join your campaign, it makes it very difficult to go to the police later without alienating others in the community. (Regardless of how you phrase your request for assistance, they will think you acted without their permission if they refuse you and you go to the police anyway.)

Tell your neighbors once that you don’t like the dog barking; if they blow you off, tell them you will go to the police and/or file a complaint in circuit court for nuisance; then follow through on your complaint.

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Jody March 8, 2011 at 11:56 am

If you have a homeowners’ association, check the association’s rules — some groups do have regulations regarding outside animals. I think that a polite word with the neighbors should be the first step (Jerry’s advice seems a bit harsh); secondly go through your homeowner’s association; last go to the police. The owners may not realize the dog barks all day.

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Kristen March 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm

This came at the perfect time! I have been debating what to do about this very problem. Add the fact that I have a baby and his window is right next their fence. I have wanted to knock on their door when he wakes up crying from his nap because of the incessant barking. We sometimes throw chew bones over the fence to occupy them (there are two dogs) for a little while. I doubt much will be done though because the dogs are left outside all the time in a small pin with very little attention. I guess you never know until you discuss it with the owners.

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Sara Z March 8, 2011 at 3:35 pm

If they rent, after going to them, go to their landlord. I was miffed when my neighbor went to my landlord before coming to me. My dog (not the ones I have now) got out of the house one day while I was at work. He spent the entire afternoon in the yard barking. My boyfriend at the time got home before I did but didn’t tell me that the dog had been out. The next day I got a call from my landlord. All I could think was, why didn’t the neighbor just come tell me? It was the first time it had happened, but now she had sullied my good name to my landlord. Make sure you talk to your neighbor first, then the landlord (if applicable), then the police.

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Camille March 8, 2011 at 5:36 pm

What we did wasn’t PC, but it worked….. A few years ago we got new next door neighbors. They had four dogs. One of the dogs especially would bark for hours the just-to-hear-himself kind of bark all night long into the wee hours of the morning. What we did, again, not PC, we started yelling at the dog to shut up on a regular basis, loud enough for the owners to hear. Took three days and the owner started keeping them in the garage at night.
Thank goodness my dog isn’t really barkey….I would be mortified.

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Catherine July 10, 2012 at 9:26 pm

I have lived next door to my neighbors for over 4 years. They have four dogs that they keep inside in a very small mobile home (animal abuse if you ask me), but every time they let them out they all bark, bark, bark–especially if I am out in my yard. It doesn’t matter if I’m grilling, trying to eat out on my deck, work in my yard. . .they just bark and bark so that I don’t want to even try to be outside. I have tried to be kind, not so kind, and finally threatened to call animal control. They finally come out each barking session to call the animals in but by then my nerves are shot and I don’t even feel like continuing my outside activities. Do you have any suggestions? When I have talked to the owners, all they say is that they (the dogs) have to go outside to go poop. I talked to an animal control officer who told me that they don’t have to bark to go poop when they go outside. I don’t like being on bad terms with my neighbors and have tried to talk to them. Guess what they said? “We were here first.”

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Elizabeth July 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm

I think your opinion of abuse is not far off. The dogs bark because they are kept in an overly confining space most of the time, and so they have a lot of nervous energy (and might even be the dog version of crabby) which they expend by running around and barking. Most likely they are never walked and never have any exercise, contributing to the problem. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about this. Dogs bark. Especially in a group. As long as the neighbors bring them in within a reasonable amount of time, and they are waking you up at night, I think they are within their rights. However, there are things you can do: make friends with the dogs. Play with them, throw a ball around with them (so they get some exercise – a tired dog is a quiet dog), give them some treats (if they know and like you, they won’t bark at you like you’re an intruder in their domain). Overall, I would just say to try and take some pity on them. They are not well cared for, and this is the root of their behavior. Perhaps you can encourage your neighbor to let the dogs out more frequently when you’re at work and less frequently when you’re outside?

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Jon May 30, 2013 at 2:32 pm

So Catherine is supposed to “feel the dogs pain”?! No way. This is NOT Catherine’s problem, plain and simple. Make up one excuse after another for the dogs’ behavior if you want, but in the end it’s a total violation of Catherine’s rights to some peace and quiet on her property that she is paying for.

It is NOT Catherine’s duty to try to give these dogs treats, play with these dogs or befriend these dogs. Rather it is the dogs’ owner’s responsbility to keep the dogs quiet. Regardless if the owner uses a bark collar, rewards, obedience training or whatever is NOT Catherine’s responsibility. I’d call the cops on these people. We shouldn’t have to just live annoying dogs barking incessantly at us every time we try to enjoy time in our yards.

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Jeff March 22, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Get an ultrasonic “bark-stopper” that detects barking and aim it at your neighbors yard so that when the dogs bark it goes off…it wont take long to train them.

If they are too far away, then you could offer to buy collars that operate the same way (about $15 a piece)

Finally, keep complaining to the authorities and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself or you will go through life as a pushover.

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Winifred Rosenburg March 22, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Those devices cause pain for the dogs and are cruel. Inflicting pain on innocent creatures is the height of rudeness.

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james June 8, 2013 at 5:56 am

The bark-stop collars or similar electronic devices don’t cause the dogs pain, its causes an irritating sound that is inaudible by humans.
I think your getting confused with the shock collars. They not considered in-humaine. I don’t think its up to the neighbour of a dog owner to supply or pay for these devices – perhaps letting them they can purchase one for a decent price ? I just don’t understand peoples ignorance and how they can be happy knowing that the pets they are supposed to care for are clearly unhappy and are causing other people problems.

Winifred Rosenburg June 8, 2013 at 9:55 am

Yes, they are cruel. How would you like it if someone made an extremely high noise every time you spoke? Also some people can hear them and it will be cruel to them as well. My husband is currently pursuing a masters in animal behavior. He and all his professors say that negative reinforcement, in addition to often being inhumane, is never as effective as positive reinforcement. If the dog is barking a lot, it’s probably not being treated properly already. Don’t make things worse by torturing the dog when the owners should be held responsible.

Some Guy June 8, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Maybe it is cruel. That’s not James or Jeff’s problem. If the dog owner does not have the common human decency to take proper care of their dogs, then anything is fair game. Humans who pay for property have rights. Dogs do not.

It is appalling the irresponsibility of dog owners who think that everyone is amused by their little fluffy’s constant barking. Further I cannot understand why people buy a dog and then chain it up outside and completely ignore it. Why bother getting a pet if you can’t take care of it.

Winifred Rosenburg June 8, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Would you say the same thing if we were talking about children? They don’t pay for property either. If someone were neglecting their children, you wouldn’t suggest hurting the children to get them to stop crying. You would call the police (I hope). So why do the same standards not apply to innocent animals?

Brad June 15, 2013 at 3:23 pm

My neighbor has a German Sheppard with a bark that can wake the dead. I’ve spent several nights awake at 3am, turning on televisions, radio’s and earplugs. I have talked to my neighbor to no avail. I don’t want to give anyone the wrong idea, I love and have pet’s but honestly people – let’s make the distinction between human and pet. First of all, a dog doesn’t have to work for a living to provide for is family and when I can’t sleep at night, that puts my job in jeopardy. Having said that, I don’t care if the device causes discomfort or pain. Still I think the best solution is to give the owner a little jolt each time the dog barks.

V. T. Reynolds March 9, 2011 at 3:08 am

It has been my experience that any dog, with proper exercise and training, will not bark incessantly, even while the owner is away. However, it has also been my experience that most dog owners do not exercise their dogs sufficiently, nor do they discipline them sufficiently (similar to child owners in the U.S.), and therefore you have your current dog problem. You can always try to share with your neighbor the idea that at least an hour of exercise per day (i.e., real walks/migrating, NOT just running around in the yard) plus consistent discipline and training for their dog would help prevent the animal from barking, but I have also found that telling a dog owner how to “raise” their dog is as productive as telling a parent how to “raise” their child. However, if you are on good terms with your neighbor, it can’t hurt to share how you feel with this person and share this info with them (I always get the Ceasar’s Way book for friends who have unruly dogs – they don’t always read it or prescribe to it, but at least I did my part, and it’s a start for you – good luck!)

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Shelby March 9, 2011 at 9:21 pm

I had a similar problem with a neighbor a couple of years ago. I asked if there was something they could do about the problem, but they basically told me that “that’s what dogs do – bark,” so I followed a friend’s suggestion and purchased “bark box.” They are devices (often shaped like a birdhouse or something similar) that emit a high-frequency pitch when a dog barks. It’s completely humane (I’ve used it with success for my own dog), and was extremely effective. I just mounted one facing toward the neighbors fence and the barking stopped after a week or so. Good luck!!

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Pitney March 12, 2011 at 7:47 am

This modern era dogs are used as passive-aggressive, anti-social weapons: what bullets are to guns, barking is to dogs. Barking kills–a slow, painful death from a million bee stings. Communities should focus on the root cause of the conflict between barking dog and innocent human: the barking is the root cause. It’s the BARKING that’s the source of the conflict. The source of the conflict is not the barking-sufferer’s REACTION to barking, whatever that reaction may be. Chronic barking is molestation. The party at fault is the household with the barker(s). It doesn’t matter what the sufferer-of-barking does to try to get the barking to stop–they feel desperate because they’re not getting support from the outlying community to get the barking stopped. I’m not talking about partial-barking stopped–I mean 100%. The barking-sufferer has a right to enjoy his or her patch of real estate unmolested by barking. The barker needs to get gone.

Why do dogs get more rights than people? In a conflict between one person and a dog, the human should win out every time. Human rights trump dog rights. Who is it who pays the mortgage or rent? Not dogs. Barking is a serious offense: barking makes people–literally–insane. Chronic barking causes the barking-sufferer to not be able to meet his obligations in paying the mortgage or rent and put food on the table. People, obtaining dogs, who like to have their “own petty egos stroked,” are clueless as to what it takes to truly care for a dog. Being the guardian of a dog is a lifelong commitment–it is similar as caring for a human infant–dogs cost money and take time–done properly–lots of both. Leaving dog(s) in a yard unattended and unloved is a hazard to anyone not the owner who is within earshot of the barking. A barker is a menace. A barker is a health hazard. A barker is an “ignored” dog–it’s time we see chronic barking for what it is: ANIMAL NEGLECT. Animal neglect has serious consequences! Things have to be done, by the community, on behalf of the barking-sufferer, in its laws, fines, punishments, jail-time, impounding dog, or seizure of dog-owner’s vehicles.

Communities should give power to law enforcement to seize yard barkers without the dog owner’s knowledge, impound the dog(s). Or 6 months in jail. Or a US$1,000 (GBP£700) fine.

Dog-haters are made, not born. Residents become hostile after years of their communities having more sympathy for barkers than for barking-sufferers, communities who spit on human need for peace and quiet where they live. Having dogs growing up, I used to like dogs. No more. I now loathe dogs. Barkers are REALLY, REALLY bad public-relations for canines in general. Barking gives the whole canine species a bad reputation. Responsible dog owners should pressure “arrant dog owners who condone chronic barking” to STOP THE BARKING.

You know, how would you feel if you went to poop in your own toilet, the next-door neighbor’s dog heard you from outside, barked continuously 5 feet from where you’re doing your business? How would you feel if you put a dish in the microwave oven, the other next-door neighbor’s dog heard you from outside, barked continuously 5 feet from where you’re trying to eat a pleasant meal? How would you feel if the phone rings, answer it, the next-door neighbor’s dog heard you from outside, barked continuously 5 feet from where you’re trying to have a conversation where you yell into the phone “I can’t hear you. What’d you say?” How would you feel if the only place you could sleep was on the floor in a closet located on the other side of the house? (This really happened.) And finally, how would you feel if this went on, day and night, for five years? Answer honestly, because you would not have had a good night’s sleep in five years. How would YOU feel?

Mediation implies there is something to mediate, as if with chronic barking there is middle-ground or compromise. Dogs have no business around human dwelling areas. Sorry, but I’m not going to compromise my physical need for a safe and sane soundscape around my home. The dog leaves.

Dogs are “guests” and as such, must behave. If dogs don’t behave, banish them.

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J August 18, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Amen! Amen! Amen! I am in the middle of this with my neighbors and their dog. They are frequently not home in the evenings and on weekends, and the dog barks for hours at a time in the evening. I have asked them politely. I have asked them desperately. All I get from them is excuses, and now they are hostile towards me and my infant daughter. The city has a process for dealing with this, but it requires that at least two other neighbors join my complaint. This all started while my husband lay dying of cancer. They think their dog (and any deterrent its barking provides to would-be intruders) outweighs my and my daughter’s need for a quiet home life.

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Xis July 20, 2012 at 6:28 am

Well said! Maybe it’s time for cities to adopt NO DOGS ordinances. Yes, there are lots of responsible pet owners with well behaved dogs, but the irresponsible owners have ruined it for everyone. The people who let their dogs bark are the same ones who think it’s fine to defy leash laws because their dogs are special, and more important than other human beings. A law against dogs in the city might also reduce the number of piles of dog feces found in city parks.

On many occasions I have talked to neighbors with barking dogs, or asked strangers to leash their dogs. Without exception, the response has been disrespectful or even abusive and hostile. This has made me question the wisdom or safety of approaching the dog owner myself. I have experienced one instance of neighbor retaliation because I was naive enough to approach the neighbor personally.

Yes, I think it’s fine to ask once if you think you can safely do so, but beyond that it’s not the barking sufferer’s responsibility to manage the behavior of the dog or its owner. I have no interest in training or playing with my neighbor’s dog.

I see no reason not to call Animal Control right away. In Minneapolis where I live the only thing that happens is that the dog owner gets a letter saying that someone has complained, and telling them what the law says about barking. I can call again six weeks later and they will send a second letter, but the next step of the city driving by, hearing barking, and issuing a ticket almost never happens. Calling Animal Control has about the same impact on the owner as me going and talking to them, except that they don’t know for sure which neighbor it was who called. If I talked to the dog owner first, and then they get the letter, they are going to assume it’s me.

In any case, if I have talked to the owner myself or have had Animal Control send them a letter and then the barking continues, at least I know that the owner knows their dog is disturbing someone and has chosen to allow it. I feel no twinge of remorse when I decline to pursue a friendly relationship with that neighbor.

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Mike O March 14, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Loud neighbors are unfortunately a problem for a lot of neighbors. The best way to deal with a bad neighbor is to simply communicate the problem to them directly. Approaching the loud neighbor one on one in a respectful manner will usually give you the best results. If you’re not a fan of confrontations or don’t want them to know it’s you that’s upset, then there’s a website that will send them a letter about the problem for you, http://www.yoneighbors.com. Good Luck!

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mona June 3, 2012 at 1:05 pm

I have barking dogs all around me.It’s mostly a problem when I want to do stuff in my yard.It’s not early morning or late at night,but it drives me nuts.Once you let your neighbor know it bothers you and you call the police you have to live by a neighbor that hates you.I say just call the police,don’t warn them.They most likely know the dog barks a lot.

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kristiiina June 17, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I have called the cops twice, they came out… The next morning, the damn dogs were still barking! That night, they were still barking. If cops don’t work, HOW THE HECK DO I GET THEM TO QUIT THEIR DOGS FROM BARKING!? I”M GOING INSANE!!!!!!

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Rebecca July 11, 2012 at 8:54 am

I rescued a puppy last year, who unfortunately had the tendency to bark at everything on this earth, due to his background. One easy suggestion I read was to take a soda can and put a few coins or pebbles in it — when the dog barks, you shake the can, and the noise distracts them, esp. since they don’t like it. At the same time, you say loudly and firmly, “NO” or “NO BARK.” It really does work.

(Yes, I know that it’s not your job to train someone else’s dogs, but if you get desperate enough, you may want to try. This is really easy to do.)

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AJ July 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I have a neighbor who has 4 dogs on his property confined to 4′x4′ cages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They bark at all hours. Once they see me out in my yard, all 4 of them start barking for the entire time. After one sleepless evening I called my neighbor and politely asked him if he could do something about his dogs barking. He told me he could not control it and that I should deal with it or move. I tried to put one of the Ultrasonic anti-barking devices up for the dog closest to the fence, however the guy put a barrier in front of it. I have called Animal Control. The guy simply told Animal Control that only 1 of the dogs barks and it is only for a few seconds when somebody comes to his house and that seemed to be good enough for AC. My only recourse now is to save up some money to get a lawyer and pursue in court as moving is not an option in this economy.

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Elizabeth July 18, 2012 at 2:08 pm

I wouldn’t discount going back to Animal Control or the local Humane Society. You may have to be a bit of a “squeeky wheel,” but it really does sound like abuse (or neglect). I’m sure the noise is awful for you, but imagine being one of those dogs! You’d bark too if you were imprisoned, neglected, frustrated, un-exercised, and received no attention or affection. Shame on your neighbor. Why do people even want dogs if that’s what they do to them?

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Ashleigh July 18, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Maybe try calling animal control back when they’re having one of their barking fits and going outside so that they can hear that it is not, in fact, one dog only barking for a few seconds. I also agree with Elizabeth on the fact that it really does sound like abuse. Are all 4 dogs in the same cage or do they each ahve their own? Either way, 4×4 cages outside all day, every day do not allow the dogs the movement they should be allowed.

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S.Savage January 16, 2013 at 10:05 pm

I have the same problem x 2. The neighbors to the right of me have a dog tied up right next to our property line. There is no fence in between. Luckily, I can get him to shut up after a few minutes. However, there is a house to the left of mine but it’s not next door. It’s a little further back than all the other houses on the road & their dog is tied up in the back yard. I never see it get any interaction with people so I know the poor thing is bored. This causes it to bark every time I’m outside. It’s so far away that I can’t talk to it or throw a chew toy to it. If I said anything to them or do a noise complaint, they’d probably be the type to just shoot it (yay, rednecks!). :sigh:

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Alison Shawcross May 4, 2013 at 1:28 am

Yeah, it is 6-20am and my neighbour’s dog is yapping as usual. It happens most days at this time – and throughout the day- I work a lot from home. The dog is not distressed and I get on well with my neighbour. I just wish that dog would shut up! I am an animal lover – I have a cat – but this is ridiculous. What do I do?

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behaviour dog training May 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm

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judy May 8, 2013 at 12:42 pm

well…at least it has helped me to read of some others who have the same problem as i. this is my 2nd neighbor with barking dogs. my first one was worse. he has since moved but he kept 2 dogs in his back yard in cages. they barked every night of course, cuz that’s what dogs do….i complained to him…he just got angry, i called the dog officer, he told me i had to call the police every time i heard the dogs bark. i know the police have more important things to do so this was very stressful for me…but..this was the procedure in my town. i suffered this for 7 years…probably about a year of calling the cops…finally the dog officer gave them a court summons…and he moved.
neighbor #2…has lived in my neighborhood as long as i have….and i in the past had complained to her about his dogs….after he moved she decided to breed dobermans…she doesnt leave them out all night but lets them out around 10:30pm waking me from a sound sleep and leaves them out barking incessantly for about 45 minutes…i CANNOT go through the stress of going through the town procedure again…i love animals and have had dogs of my own in the past..but it is no wonder why sometimes people get hurt over things like this…i have come to the conclusion that 80% of dog owners are selfish ignorant idiots!

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Jon May 30, 2013 at 11:25 am

I went through something very similar about ten months ago with my neighbor. Their dog, which they kept in a kennel in the yard, would start barking at about dusk and not stop. After the second straight night of this behavior, I walked outside to see what was going on one night just in time to see my neighbor leave his front door and walk right past the dog barking incessantly in its kennel. The neighbor (and dog’s owner) did NOTHING to discourage the dog’s barking, got into his pickup, and drove off.

I immediately called the police department’s non-emergency line and explained my situation. The police directed me that contacting them was the correct step, and further that barking dog’s past curfew time is a violation of city noise ordinance. The police were at the neighbor’s house within ten minutes issuing a warning. Over the next two to three weeks, I had to make at least two more calls, but the police showed up every time and eventually the dog disappeared.

Yes, people often go for walks through town on nice summer evenings and dogs will bark. It is their instincts to let their owner know that something strange is happening.
It is completely crossing the lines of respect and courtesy to own a dog that routinely barks, and barks, and barks into all hours of the night. This contributes to unncessary sleep deprivation for those of us with social lives, families, and jobs, which can impact one’s moods, relationships, and performance at work.

If your neighbor cared two cents about you and your privacy he or she would shut their stuipid, neglected dog up and stop thinking the dog’s behavior is cute and normal. Call the police immediately and let them deal with your rude, selfish, inconsiderate neighbors and their stupid dogs. If your neighbor is inconsiderate enough to let their dog wake you up anytime at all, you are not out of line by taking action to stop it. Your neighbor has no right at all to be offended by you asking him to put an off switch on his dog’s vocal cords (by the way, they do make such a thing–it’s called a bark collar and it does wonders). The REALLY funny thing is, 90% of these dog owners will get offended if you suggest their dog needs to be quieted. It’s like their dog has every right to bark, and we are supposed to deal with it. Last time I checked the dogs weren’t paying property taxes needed to keep the city’s infrastructure up. Sorry, people take priority over dogs any day of the week in my book.

My wife and I have dogs, but this notion that any kind of behavior out of dog is ‘cute’ or funny is complete BS. If you’re not going to train a dog and/take precautions to be respectful to your neighbor’s privacy, either move to the middle of nowhere with no neighbors or don’t have a dog at all. I’m sure you don’t start up a large, logging-sized chain saw at 2:30 a.m. and wake up your nieghbors; they can return the favor to you and be courteous and mindful of their dogs.

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Anna July 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm

I am at a coffee shop right now because I have been driven from my apartment by a non-stop barking dog! Needless to say, I am livid.
I’ve talked to my landlord. He says he’ll talk to dog owner. Bark, bark, bark, 5-6 hours straight.
Called animal control. They will send the letter, but say it is squarely on my landlord to do something. Woman says dog is usually so quiet. Ha! Only when it’s not alone – duh.
I have lived in this building for six years and do not want to move. The new people behind me moved in two months ago and then got the dog, because every single mom’s boyfriends think she needs a pit bull or something. The dog probably got booted from the boyfriend’s apartment for barking. She can barely feed herself and son. This is a security building in a decent neighborhood and has never had any violence incident. Landlord didn’t even rent to the damn dog.
Barking goes on and on. I don’t want to wear earplugs; I want to leave my windows open on nice days; I don’t want to run the A/C because of the dog and it’s dumb-ass people. This louder-than-loud dog is right on the other side of a wall from me and can also bark directly into one of my windows. I want to kill something – and I’m a pacifist and a vegetarian! Barking noise makes people crazy.
Thinking about getting a bicycle horn and honking it non-stop out the window in their direction. I’ll bet the landlord and the police would be there in less than 20 minutes on a noise ordinance!
Think I’ll leave this hard chair in the coffee shop and go look for that horn. See? Barking dogs make people CRAZY.

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Jon July 30, 2013 at 11:56 am

Somebody named Pitney on this forum said, “Dog haters are not born, they are made”. I can’t agree with that statement enough, and I feel for the lady sitting in a coffee shop because she can’t enjoy the privacy of her own home that she is paying for.

To state, as people like Winifred says, that it is cruel for people to use bark collars and ultrasonic bark detectors to enforce their RIGHT to peace and quiet as taxpaying property owners is completely rediculous. Apparently there are highly educated acadamiacs out there with the opinion that it is cruel and unusual to put a bark collar on a dog. Newsflash: not all of us in society are dog whisperers, nor do we even care to be. We go to our jobs every day, work our 40 to 50 hours every week, and deserve the right to a quiet neighborhood and enviornment more than a bunch of neglected dogs have any rights to bark and totally violate our quiet enviornments. Yes, I used the work ‘right’ to a quiet neighborhood because the law protects this right in most cities across the U.S.

Dogs barking with no intervention or correction from the owners is noise pollution. It might be easier for the dog owner to not intervene and correct the behavior but it is still noise pollution. If I route the septic system at my lake home down to the lake, I am guilty of polluting the lake and ruining the pristine lake environment for other tax-paying citizens that have the right to enjoy this lake. The proper authorities would shut down this septic system in a second, fine me, make me install a new system, and probably make me pay restitution for damages to the lake–and all very appropriately.

If irresponsible, lazy, selfish dog owners won’t correct the animal’s behavior, police departments should have every right to confiscate the animal and work with animal control or the local humane society to find the dog a suitable home. The dogs should be registered by local government, and law enforcement should have the right to put down repeat offending animals.

If this concept comes across as cruel, don’t think it isn’t happening already. Case in point, if my dog is chasing whitetail deer, the local DNR conservation officer can drive to my house, call the dog or entice it with a treat, shoot the dog deader than a door nail, get back into his truck and leave. It’s as simple as that. I have seen it happen. The dog is jeopardizing a resource that people value and the State protects, so state law dictates that conservation officers can deal with the dog accordingly.

The right to a quiet neighborhood is also a law-given right much like the law protects our natural resources like the whitetail deer population, bald eagles, and pristine lakes. It is not a privilege or something we must only treasure as homeowners at those precious times when our neighbors’ dogs aren’t ruining the peacefulness of a quiet Sunday morning or keeping us at 11:30 p.m. on a weeknight when we have to have be up at 6:00 a.m. to get ready for work.

I urge everybody that is having problems with barking dogs to stand up for your rights. Contact law enforcement so they can deal with irresponsible, selfish pet owners and ultimately get you the respect and quietness that you have every right to having.

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Vanna Keiler July 30, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Wow, this is some long thread on dog barking! I would like to throw in my two cents: I agree with most of those commenting here that it is EXTREMELY poor etiquette, nay, it goes BEYOND poor etiquette, when one’s comfort in one own’s home in compromised to the point of sleeplessness or repeated stress by another neighbor.

Whether it is a neighbor’s dog constant or regular barking, or Jiffy, the neighbor’s famous bunny (for example) who is entered into the Guiness Book of World Records for the loudest perpetual screaming: noise is noise and excess is excess in a residential neighborhood.

What has been proposed is an initial confrontation with the neighbor, to politely request something be done about the noise. Many people are reluctant to take this first step, naturally because of the potential for retaliation or bodily harm. Most of us do not know our neighbors very well. The next suggested step is to approach the homeowner’s association, or go directly to the police/Animal Control and determine what they can do to intervene. The third suggested step, especially for homeowners, is to contact a lawyer and go to court.

I think these steps would have been completely unnecessary if the dog owners took responsibility for their pets. As many have suggested, the animal could not possibly be happy with constant barking. I believe “Pet Etiquette” is in order here, and as good neighbors we must exercise as much restraint in our households so as not to inconvenience our good neighbors (barking dogs, spotlights, gunning the engine at night). For, if we are to get along and be perceived as civilized residents, we must not cause others undue stress when we can help it. This is the basis of basic etiquette: consideration of others. I have been lucky to have neighbors behind me who have (humanely) trained their dogs never to bark, and the neighbor adjacent to me, who’s dog continued to bark in the Spring when she was not home, made arrangements eventually to move it to her family’s yard where it would receive much needed attention in the day. Baby steps, people, in showing consideration for your fellow human beings. This is what etiquette is all about.

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Barking Dog Neighbor August 15, 2014 at 1:40 pm

I’ve had a continuing issue with my neighbor’s barking Yorkie for a couple years now. Animal Control is useless in my city. Our association has contacted this neighbor & things have gotten better. But the thing that persists is that 99% of the time, when I go out the front door of my condo & the dog is out there, sitting with my neighbor, I get barked at. It just happened this morning. My hearts races each time this happens, because it happens when I don’t expect the dog to be there. So it’s as if I have to discreetly look out to see if if the dog is there (which isn’t always possible from my vantage point) in order to go out on my own front area. I am so fed up with this & there really is nothing else I can do about it (sans moving). What a shame to be in a position where you can’t enjoy your outside area spontaneously! And very inconsiderate of neighbors like this.

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Alicia August 15, 2014 at 2:06 pm

if 99% of the time the dog is there perhaps you would be less startled if you assume the dog is there instead of assuming the dog is not there.

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Vanna Keiler August 15, 2014 at 4:02 pm

If it’s unbearable to you and happening more than 3 or 4 times a week, I would go back to the association and tell them the dog is giving you a heart attack (not literally) and disturbing your peace of mind, whenever you or visitors try to leave your house. Whether they can immediately resolve this or not, at least they will have it on record that the pooch is still barking at you. What worries me about scenarios like this, is that sometimes people who are not pet owners are exposed to irresponsible pet owners and end up with negative attitudes about the animals themselves, which is unfortunate. Be an animal advocate by being a responsible, considerate neighbor!

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