By your own standards, your dog’s life may not seem all that stressful – after all, he doesn’t have bills to pay, does he? But when you apply the more scientific definition of the word – anything that alarms or excites him, triggering his sympathetic nervous system into action and flooding him with the “fight or flight” chemicals adrenaline and noradrenaline – you may be able to see how many seemingly unrelated things in his environment actually contribute to his “misbehavior.”
Dogs bark to communicate. If we start with that simple understanding, the idea of dealing with a “problem barker” becomes a whole lot easier. It changes our focus from doing anything we can to make the dog “shut up,” to figuring out what the dog is trying to say – so we can address his concerns, and finding more constructive and quieter ways for communication to occur. We’ve asked two canine behavior experts to step in and help us solve the barking problem.
Probably the most common complaint about dogs is the noise they make. The good news for neighbors is that usually problems can be resolved without resorting to legal means, through informal negotiation or mediation. And if that fails, there is almost always a law against noisy nuisance dogs. If you can't get these laws enforced to your satisfaction, you can sue the dog owner to get the nuisance stopped and to recover money damages. But substituting a major hassle with expensive lawyers for a small one with a bad-mannered spaniel isn't much progress. Lawsuits are especially undesirable when the other party is a neighbor after all, you'll still be next door to each other no matter who wins.
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