How To Have Conversations with Neighbors About Their Barking Dog

September 9, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Ingrid Saunders
Many people deal with dogs barking in their neighborhoods! Even the best neighborhoods have dogs that can create excessive noise that will begin as an annoyance that will interrupt your day, and in worst cases, your night. There are four different ways to handle this type of problem.

Talk to your neighbor. Now, this can sound like the worst thing possible to do. If this is the option you choose, be calm and respectful. A nice way to approach this delicate subject with your neighbor is to tread lightly and explain that you are having a hard time getting rest at night because of “the dog’s name,” if you know it. One tired neighbor went to his neighbor’s house and was petting the dog asking the dog “what are you barking at, buddy?” It was a light approach to a hard situation and the pet owner acknowledged the trouble, saying he would keep the pup inside at night. This is the preferred way to deal with neighbors that have a barking or noisy dog.

Mediation. Neighborhoods or communities with multiple homes may end up with a situation where there are lots of dogs and lots of barking. Have you ever gone on a walk and alerted every single dog on the street, and each dog started barking? That is a lot of noise! Mediation may be an option if there are enough complaints. A small claim clerk’s office can give a referral or your local district attorney’s office may be able to give the name of a mediation group to help work out a neighborhood plan. The goal for this is to work on the real issues and suggest compromises that will help eliminate the problem.

“The goal for this is to work on the real issues and suggest compromises that will help eliminate the problem.”

Ordinances. If you live in the city, it’s a good idea to see what the local animal control ordinances are. Most cities have a limit on the number of dogs per household and some cities have breed restrictions. This is very important information to know. This is also an alternative option to “talking to your neighbor”. You never know – you might be able to resolve the issue without animal control being involved. Note: if you are moving into a city, check the animal control ordinance laws to be sure you are within city limits.

Authorities. Calling the police is going to be the last option if speaking with your neighbor or mediation didn’t work. The police are not generally prioritizing barking dogs, but the police can speak with your neighbor. Maintaining a good or peaceful relationship with your neighbors is the ideal situation here.

Barking dogs can be a huge annoyance, but dealing delicately with a situation like this is the best way to work on maintaining a good relationship with neighbors. Sometimes, the owners of these canine barkers don’t know how to fix the problem and are looking for solutions to help eliminate the barking too.


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