How to approach neighbors about their barking dog? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 01-03-2010, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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New neighbors moved in next door to us a few months ago. They have a chihuahua that barks incessantly, and I can't take it anymore. They apparently leave for overnight or weekend trips and leave the dog home by itself, with free access to a doggie door. It comes out at 6:30 every morning and barks its head off, then runs inside and barks, then runs outside and barks, etc., for about an hour, then is quiet for a couple of hours, then does it all over again, all. day. long. It also barks incessantly at us every time we go into our backyard.

It's really ruining our days a lot of the time -- it wakes our kids up at 6:30am, wakes my daughter up from her naps, prevents my son and I from using our yard while my daughter is napping because I don't want to set it off and have it wake her up, etc. It completely blows my mind that my neighbors apparently think it's perfectly fine for their dog to just yap all the time and disrupt everyone -- they're aware that it's a barker, because it runs outside and barks at us (and the wind, and leaves, and everything else) even when they're home (they do call it inside, but somehow it never occurs to them to close the freaking doggie door, so it comes back out again after 10 seconds even when they are home).

Also, we're going to be putting our house on the market soon, and potential buyers will have to walk right past their yard to get to our door, surely setting off the barking and possibly affecting their decision about whether to make an offer.

So anyway, I'm done listening to this crap -- how do I bring it to their attention? Ugh, I hate that other people are allowed to be thoughtless jerks, but I'm afraid of looking like the bad guy for calling them on their rude behavior.

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#2 of 7 Old 01-04-2010, 12:46 AM
 
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As a dog owner and a neighbor of other dog owners whose dogs also bark I thought I would pipe in. Talk to your neighbor and let them know the dogs are disturbing your children's sleep. Especially if the owners are gone they may not be aware of the extent of the problem. Our dogs got a lot more barky once we had kids and we didn't know how bad the problem had become (since we were gone while they did it) until our next door neighbors let us know about it kindly. We appreciated knowing and were able to (mostly) deal with the problem. It is super annoying to live next to barking dogs. I also know there are a lot of inconsiderate dog owners out there. If they don't respond to your concerns at that point I would take action by calling the city, but at least give them a chance to alter their ways.
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#3 of 7 Old 01-04-2010, 01:15 PM
 
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I took a box of Girl Scout cookies as a peace offering when I told my neighbor that their dog was driving me absolutely freaking insane. I also timed it so that the husband would be home. I wanted him to know that she was leaving his dog outside all day long.

Unintended consequence--neighbors had a fight & then they put a bark collar on the dog.

At least she doesn't bark *all* day now.

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#4 of 7 Old 01-05-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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Ugh, I so feel your pain! In my old house we had a neighbor dog that was kept outside almost all the time, and it did this constant high-pitched yelp all day, every day, starting when they let it out around 7am. Oh man, I HATED them. The options I considered were:

-Mail them an anonymous letter, kind yet firmly worded.
-Get one of these things and hide it in my backyard: http://www.ultimatebarkcontrol.com/ds_pro.htm
-Somehow get their phone number so I could call when they were out of the house and fill up their answering machine with their dog's barking. (Okay, this one was more a fantasy of mine....)

The last time I heard that dog, I was out mowing while it stood by the fence, just yelping its fool head off at me. I didn't see anyone around, so I turned off the mower and started screaming at it. I mean, I just lost it, which is very, very rare for me. Well, when I stopped, I heard someone in their backyard (!!!) who was hidden from my view call to the dog and take it inside. Whoops! They moved a few weeks later. I'm sure that was a happy coincidence, and not because of the crazy screaming neighbor lady! I didn't say anything that bad during my tantrum, I swear.

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#5 of 7 Old 01-05-2010, 08:02 PM
 
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We are going through this same thing, except I am the owner of the barking dog. We have taken her (the dog) through training & she is not responding. We have gotten nasty notes, horrible emails & phone calls from our neighbors.

The biggest problem for me is that we only let her out of the house at certain times (after 7am, around lunch time (noonish), afterschool & before bed. It is VERY rare that she is out past 830pm. Obviously, if she needs to go out to potty, we let her out to potty. BUT the incessant barking even drives us, the owners, crazy. Our other dog doesn't bark hardly at all.

We are at the point of getting a shock collar for her, but I like the other device that was posted instead. I think we'll look into that.

We don't know what to do about it either...

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#6 of 7 Old 01-05-2010, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray's Mommy View Post
We are going through this same thing, except I am the owner of the barking dog. We have taken her (the dog) through training & she is not responding. We have gotten nasty notes, horrible emails & phone calls from our neighbors.

The biggest problem for me is that we only let her out of the house at certain times (after 7am, around lunch time (noonish), afterschool & before bed. It is VERY rare that she is out past 830pm. Obviously, if she needs to go out to potty, we let her out to potty. BUT the incessant barking even drives us, the owners, crazy. Our other dog doesn't bark hardly at all.

We are at the point of getting a shock collar for her, but I like the other device that was posted instead. I think we'll look into that.

We don't know what to do about it either...
You could take her out for potty breaks on leash. That's what we did with our dog for the past 6-7 months because we wanted to keep our grass nice for selling our house. So we took her for leashed walks to potty -- we got a long retractable leash so that she didn't feel like we were hovering right over her while she was trying to do her business. And we would spend time with her in the backyard so that we could correct her if she tried to pee in the grass, and could take her for a walk instead. It was kind of a pain to have to take her out that often instead of just opening the door, but we managed for 6+ months, and I'm sure you can appreciate how disruptive it is for your neighbors. All of our neighbors' dog's barking is happening during what I guess is semi-"reasonable" hours, but it's still a huge disruption and drives me crazy.

I know it must be awful to be the owner of an incessant barker too -- we're very aware that we just plain lucked out in getting a dog who wasn't a barker, it wasn't that we were superior owners or anything. But ... agggghhhh, I just want it to be quiet for a while. In any case, it's helpful to hear feedback from people who own barky dogs, so thank you.

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#7 of 7 Old 01-06-2010, 01:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray's Mommy View Post
We are going through this same thing, except I am the owner of the barking dog. We have taken her (the dog) through training & she is not responding. We have gotten nasty notes, horrible emails & phone calls from our neighbors.

The biggest problem for me is that we only let her out of the house at certain times (after 7am, around lunch time (noonish), afterschool & before bed. It is VERY rare that she is out past 830pm. Obviously, if she needs to go out to potty, we let her out to potty. BUT the incessant barking even drives us, the owners, crazy. Our other dog doesn't bark hardly at all.

We are at the point of getting a shock collar for her, but I like the other device that was posted instead. I think we'll look into that.

We don't know what to do about it either...
As an owner of a barky dog I sympathize. Chaos is a norwegian elkhound mix and every breed description I read says they pretty much bark for a living.

We solved it by only letting the dogs outside with supervision - that way if she starts barking we can react. Usually if it's a strange dog or person on the property I praise her and then tell her to be quiet. If it's a squirrel and she won't stop barking she gets brought inside. Barking like that is a self-rewarding behaviour unfortunately.
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