Living next to a dog that barks constantly can be an uncomfortable and irritating situation. After-all, you don’t want to have any tension with your neighbor and you would like to keep the peace amongst both parties. It can cause your bite to be worse then the dog’s bark. Incessant barking and howling can make peaceful, side-by-side coexistence hard. However, never fear. Here is a step-by step approach in dealing with a owner of a yappy pooch.
To begin, approach your neighbor in a calm, non-threatening fashion. It could be possible that the owner is not aware of the problem, especially if they work during the day. In addition, the dog could be barking for a valid reason such as a break-in to the home. By approaching them, you are giving them a chance to correct the problem.
If you do not have an amicable relationship with your neighbor or you feel uncomfortable addressing them face to face, then write a note and leave it on their door or in their mailbox. Make it short and sweet, to the point, “Dear Neighbor, I noticed that your dog has been barking throughout the day. I hope everything is okay.” Remember to point out the time and perhaps the days that you have observed this behavior. There could be a pattern developing. By doing this, the owner may get a better understanding or know the reason behind the noise (i.e.- the water guy comes every Tuesday morning.). If you are dealing with a difficult neighbor, it is best to send a letter and remember to date it. Keep a copy for yourself in order to track a paper trail in the event the situation gets worse.
If you don’t feel the problem was corrected after addressing the issue, send a second note or do another confrontation with a more direct and serious tone. Also, if you happen to live next to renters, you may want to contact the landlord and make them aware of the issue. The second letter could read, “Dear Neighbor, for some reason your dog continues to bark everyday throughout the day. Please correct the problem as soon as possible.” If you have a friendly relationship with your neighbor, do some research on the Internet regarding dog trainers in the area or humane collars to cease the problem. This way, when you approach him or her you can say, “I heard of this product, the Premier GentleSpray Citronella Anti-Bark Collar , it is less than $50 and it releases a spray that is humane and not harmful to the pet” or “I’ve heard of this great trainer. Here is his number.” By doing a little research, you have eliminated the time your neighbor would need to find a reference. In addition, your neighbor may feel less threatened. If however, you do not have an amicable relationship with your neighbor, remember to keep all copies of your letters of contact and write the times and days the problem has occurred on a calendar. Proceed to the next step.
The final step involves another party getting involved. If you feel the problem has not been rectified and your pleas have gone ignored, contact your local animal control shelter and file a compliant. Remember to have the pet owner’s address. They may require a barking log so all the times and dates you wrote down in the previous attempts to address the problem will come in handy in this step. Depending on your neighborhood, you may need another neighbor to also file a complaint. In minor cases, complaints can be anonymous however, for a more serious violation, you may need to provide your information and attend a hearing.
Once animal control receives a complaint, the pet owner will be sent a letter and required to control the situation. If you must call again to complain, your neighbor may be fined. In worst cases, a hearing may be held against your neighbor regarding the complaints and you could be called in for a testimony.