Features March 2011 Issue

5 Things to Do When a Neighbor Complains About Your Dog

Do NOT get defensive! The following are ways you can peacefully diffuse this potentially hostile situation.

[Updated October 11, 2017]

The natural thing to do when someone complains about your dog is to get defensive. “My dog? Causing a problem? How dare you?!”

Neighbor Complains About Your Dog

You can’t assume your dog has been a saint all day just because he’s asleep when you get home.

Don’t go there. Defensiveness exacerbates hostilities, escalates tension, and encourages your neighbor to make a mountain out of what you perceive to be a molehill. Remember, it’s all about perception, and your neighbor’s perception is his reality. Instead of being defensive, try these things:

1. Listen

Unless one of you plans to move, defusing the situation beats all-out war. Set defensiveness aside, and listen to what your neighbor says. Assume there’s some nugget of truth to his complaint. You need to find it, so you can figure out what to do with it. He says your dog barks all the time, underneath his bedroom window, and wakes him up. That may be an exaggeration, but chances are your dog is barking some of the time, especially if you leave her out in the yard, or if she has free backyard access through a doggie-door.

2. Empathize and Apologize

Without admitting guilt, empathize with your complainer. “It must be frustrating to have to listen to barking dogs when you’re trying to sleep.” Be sincere. Tell him you’re sorry he’s being disturbed by barking. Reassure him that you don’t want your dog to be a nuisance, and you want to help find a solution to his concerns. Ask him to bear with you while you work on the problem. Bake him chocolate chip cookies.

3. Investigate

Ask questions that won’t make your neighbor defensive. “Is there a time when it’s most annoying?” “Are there other dogs that are barking too?” “Other than giving up my dog, what would make you happy?” Set up a video camera or voice-activated tape recorder to document your dog’s activities when you aren’t home. Alternatively, take a day off and watch your own house from a distance, to see what goes on that might make your dog bark. Check the neighborhood to see if there are other dogs whose barking might be blamed on your dog. Ask other neighbors if they hear your dog, and if so, when and how much.

4. Be Legal, Be Considerate

Make sure your dog is currently licensed, and obey all local animal control laws. Maybe your neighbor is complaining because your dog runs loose and he feels threatened (even though you know your dog is a pussycat), or because you don’t clean up when you take her for walks. Those are legitimate grounds for complaint (as is excessive nuisance barking) even if your dog is a pussycat. You don’t want animal control to find you in violation of anything. Obey leash laws and scoop laws, and respect your neighbor’s discomfort with your dog – don’t let her off-leash even if you’re just walking out to your car. If she runs over to happily greet him, you’ll fuel the fires.

5. Take Action

Make changes to accommodate your neighbor and protect your dog. If his complaint is early-morning noise and she’s barking when you let her out at 6:00 am while you shower, alter your routine. Get up earlier and go out with her. Let her eliminate, then play with her. Keep her quietly occupied rather than leaving her to find her own entertainment. If it’s random throughout-the-day backyard barking while you’re away, bring her in and close the dog door. She doesn’t have to be outside all day. If things get ugly, leaving her out unattended exposes her to great risk from an irate neighbor. If necessary, pay someone to let her out for a noon potty break. If the complaint is about barking even when you are home, behavior modification is in order. (See “Modifying Your Dog's Barking Behavior,” July 2007). If it’s something other than barking, determine how you can modify the situation to mitigate the problem. Some examples:

-Your dog charges the fence. Your neighbor fears for his children’s safety. Make the fence solid, or put up an inner fence so there’s an “airlock” between dog and kids. See, "Solve Fence Aggression with a Better Designed Dog Fence," (April 2004) for more info on fencing.

-Your dog came over and attacked his dog. You think your dog was just playing, but whatever. Vow that your dog is never off her leash in your neighborhood. Even just walking to your car.

Keep your neighbor informed of your efforts to address his concerns. Document your actions in a journal in case you do have to face animal control. Ask your neighbor to let you know if he sees improvement – and document that. Save receipts for anything you buy to modify your dog’s environment. If you see your neighbor deliberately antagonizing your dog, document that with a video camera. Keep your dog safe. Be considerate. Keep baking chocolate chip cookies.

Comments (43)

We have a loving lab (small breed 50 lbs) who loves to be with us whereever we are. We have him hang out with us in our front yard when we are doing projects. He will lay on the grass and chew a stick. Sometimes he will wander into the next door neighbor's yard and we will immediately call him back, and he is obedient. We also love to throw a ball and have him play catch or retrieve it. I like to bounce the ball on the street. He enjoys chasing and catching the ball. He will always run right back to me and we don't allow him to take any detours and hang out on anyone's lawn. My immediate neighbors enjoy seeing our dog and he enjoys seeing them. We never let our dog wander and he doesn't bark except when someone comes to the door. Our next door neighbor will frequently allow her little doggy to come to play with our dog when he is in the front yard. All seems good right? We have one neighbor a few doors up who is triggered if she even sees our dog sitting on our lawn. She gets angry if she sees us playing with the dog and tossing the ball around. She came over yesterday after my dog followed my son out the door when he took the trash out and she happened to be outside. She stood at my door and yelled loud enough that her voice echoed in the street. She said that she has had to endure this dog problem for years! (Our dog is two years old) I asked her how exactly our dog has hurt her personally, and she complained about him playing in the street (we live on a very quiet street) and that she was afraid that her dog and our dog would fight. (I have seen her dog maybe twice in the three years I have lived here--she keeps them locked up and she keeps a muzzle on one of them) This neighbor is taking the fun out of having a doggy! It is my observation that people who own dogs shouldn't have to keep their dogs locked up in their houses and never bring them out! I have observed that the dogs who get this treatment begin to be aggressive. Why do we get pets anyway? The irony is that in our neighborhood up the street there are several families who do the same as we do, play with their doggies in the yard (without a leash ) and enjoy ! It makes me happy to see families and kids enjoying their dogs. It's why we have them and it is good for the dogs. Please note that I am 100% against irresponsible dog ownership-- wandering dogs, dogs pooping on others lawn and leaving it there, dogs barking like crazy all the time, etc. So, now I am faced with the task of making peace with this crazy neighbor. Going to take the receipt for the shock collar over to her, apologize again, and ask what else I can do to make her feel comfortable. Sheesh!

Posted by: whattheheck | October 15, 2017 7:56 AM    Report this comment

Before reading this, I must inform you, this is quite a rant........ Stored up over the years lol.
I live on 10acres in a semi rural area of Perth West Australia. My neighbours are very much horse and hound types and show little tolerance for animals other than their own choices. I had some geese for security while I was away at work during the day, which apparently were keeping the 30 something-year-old awake at night? Which I found interesting as they were closed in at night behind my house and couldn't hear them so I was 'encouraged' to get rid of them through a number of calls and complaints by them over several months. The mother of said child, called me one day and giggled as she asked me if I had eaten them. Anyone who has had geese (or just loves their pets in general) and not just heard the 'terrifying' tales about them, would know and understand that I found her manner and suggestion vulgar.
Now, onto the dog issue, I now have sheep on the property, again, not horses or house dogs. We also have a healthy supply of foxes and roaming dogs at night. So, after much research, I bought a Maremma just before the lambs were due to drop. I notified the neighbours, knowing that they are 'fragile of ear', gave the mother a brief run down of the temperment of the dog and what is to be expected of said dog. I also suggested a little reading to familiarise themselves should they be so inclined and stressed the importance of my introducing the dog to the occupiers.
I must add a note about Maremmas and other LGDs. they DO NOT act like other dogs, so don't treat them as such and don't expect them to do your bidding because you are human!
My dog, which I got as a 2mth old and is now 5mths old, has become familiar with her role and from 3.5 months old, has prevented further fox attacks. We lost 20 lambs before trying her out. It was a sleepless night for me as much as it was for her for different reasons. She is amazing and an absolute asset to the property. Needless to say, due to their absence, she is unfamiliar with them and they have decided to sell the property due to personal circumstances. However, they are in a mad rush to get things organised for a viewing this weekend and using machinery the dog is not familiar with and all the movement next door is, in her mind, not normal for next door. I am quite pleased that they have decided to sell, as long as the next person is not so narrow minded when it comes to understanding the nature of the beast, but when you get a call asking what the 'magic word' is to stop the dog barking and you remind them of why the dog is barking and no, it WON'T bite you unless you come into it's space and start attacking it or the sheep, you come home from work because they find it 'intolerable' when I have had put up with their dogs coming through the fence to check out my foul etc, let's just say, I hope the house sells quickly.
Although they own the place currently, they are not getting it in their heads, that they are being regarded as intruders and the dog is drawing attention to them until they go away. Great security, they don't see it that way. They want the dog kept away while the house is open which I am more than happy to co-operate with but I reminded them that it would need to be mentioned that there is a livestock guardian dog next door and she works at night. The only way she is going to not bark randomly throughout the night is if the foxes and strays are exterminated and people who roam at night stay at home in their own space. Which up till now, Miss 30 has called me several times over the years to mention she thinks someone is hanging around her house and can I see anyone? I also have security cameras. So at the end of the day, regardless if you live in a flat or on property, there will always be someone to complain about your dog because, it's simply not their dog and unless they are getting some benefit from that dog, it is automatically regarded as a nuisance.
Yes, this is coming across as a rant because it is!! I don't own a gun and nor do I want one, so the dog is it!

Posted by: aussielass66 | July 26, 2017 2:36 AM    Report this comment

If your neighbours dog barking is incessant - I suggest getting other neighbours to submit complaints to the council. The council has to take action if 3 complaints are made. Keep calling & emailing the council & upload any video evidence to your local MP & Mayor. If you are in close proximity to the dog barking the anti bark CD should work. There are also anti bark high frequency noise boxes you can put in your yard to stop dogs barking but the anti bark box needs to be in a certain proximity to the offensive barker.

If you are on the receiving end of dog barking complaints, buy your dogs an anti bark zap collar. These work very well & some zap collars are very effective for bad behavior problems too. I feel for those of you who are doing the right thing & are being harassed. Video evidence is your best bet there & testimonies from other neighbors. Anti bark zap collar sounds cruel but the zap is tiny. One of these collars stopped my dog running in front of a jeep when she was ignoring me, I was able to make her listen & stop. If you have no money to spare on anti bark devices, there are medications that settle, calm & relax dogs. These medicines are effective as the dog sleeps instead of nuisance barking. $20 buys about 20 tablets at the chemist & no script is needed. Vets use phenergan to sedate dogs. Call a vet or animal hospital to get the correct dosage for barky crappy behavior stopping medicine. Anti bark training did not work on my neighbours incessant barkers. One dog kept my neighbour awake so many nights that he fell asleep driving to work. By the time he went over to the barkers house he was furiously angry & screaming. Don't let it get to this point. If you are on the receiving end of this- do not interupt the screamer ( he will start over each time you interupt). After he has vented & got his anger out- you can tell him what you will do to stop the nuisance barking. This should ensure he never comes back. An anti bark zap collar can save you all this grief.

Posted by: Elljay | July 25, 2017 6:42 PM    Report this comment

Re: How I Got My Neighbor’s Dog To Stop Barking!

I recently had a really bad situation involving my neighbor’s dogs and their barking. I work at night and sleep during the day when people usually don’t pay attention to their barking dogs.

After weeks of not being able to sleep, I decided to check the internet and found a lot of people that recommended “The Barking Dog CD” or you can buy the downloadable mp3. The website is at antibarkingdevice dot com since they dont allow links here.

To make a long story short, I popped the CD into my CD player and the dogs stopped barking almost immediately. As on person stated “I almost fell out of my chair when the dogs stopped barking”. I totally agree with them. It worked like a charm.

This method should also work on your own dog if you are having problems with your dog. I certainly hope that I was helpful to you.

Posted by: Big TEX | June 15, 2017 1:38 PM    Report this comment

I've been living in this house for almost 3 years (renting in Hawaii unfortunately) but my neighbor's dog howls every hour until someone comes home. The dog would be left alone for about 6 to 9 hours alone. The only time I see the dog is if it's howling on the deck or walking around the yard to go relieve it's self. The dog would howl once the owners leave for work which is around 645 to 7 in the morning. Throughout the day the dog would be on the deck and howl for 2 to 3 minutes or until I come out of my house. Their deck faces the front of our house, so it can get very loud when they have parties. What really gets me is that I have told them many times (via letters in their mailbox). I get no apology after the fact, yet the dog is still howling and being left alone. Unfortunately there is a vacant house on the same property as mine and I fear that our landlord (who lives in LA) will not tell whoever will be moving in that the dog next door is noisy through out the day. It may or may not be a deal breaker but still, I would have felt better if he told US about the neighbors before moving in. But living in a different state doesn't help. My neighbors seem too posh to even take care of a dog but apparently raised 2 boys. Who knows, maybe they left their children alone while they were at work for 8 hours. I am hoping that soon myself and my husband can move to the mainland. I've heard that mainland houses are better than 40 year old homes in Hawaii. Double sided walls? I like that idea.

Posted by: Lilykoi | May 31, 2017 3:02 PM    Report this comment

While I agree that there are irresponsible owners, not all are. I have a neighbor that lets her dogs run loose and into my yard. My fence is set back 6 feet inside my property line and they run up to "fence fight" with my dogs. The HOA has issued multiple warnings and has now fined her. Her response was to claim that my dogs bark all the time, day and night, and that she can't sleep at night because of them. I have a Nest cam system. I actually tediously went through multiple days to see when they barked. My girls aren't outside if we aren't home so it's easy to keep a written record along with the Nestcam backup. On average, they bark for a grand total of less than 45 SECONDS a day. They do not go outside before 8:30a and their last trip out is midnight, but per my written record and the camera footage to verify, once it's dark and there isn't anyone out to try to bark at, they don't bark. Over the course of the 15 days I've watched and tracked, the have not barked AT ALL after 7:30 at the latest. My point? Yes, too many people are irresponsible. But 45 seconds or less of barking each day isn't excessive. As for barking inside, our homes are widely spaced, well insulated so sound doesn't travel well. Our girls are kept in crates in the master bedroom on the back, opposite corner from the complainer's house. The neighbor that IS adjacent to that room has said he never hears the and has also stated he didn't know we had dogs for the first 3 months he was here. He found it when he saw them in the backyard one day. He has said he will vouch for us if need be. When we aren't home, we close all windows and doors so that if the girls bark, they can't be heard by the neighbors.

Yes, some owners are horrible, but frankly, some neighbors are vindictive and nasty.

Posted by: Harehillschinagirl | May 27, 2017 8:19 PM    Report this comment

I am new to this forum- but my situation tonight led me here. I just moved into my old house 2 weeks ago in my old neighborhood after a military reassignment brought me home. I have 4 highly trained dogs. A texas heeler, a great pyrenees, border collie and bernese mountain dog. My pyr is a BARKER but not excessively. She does her am perimeter and pm perimeter walks/talks and that's it. I am a very good dog owner and I make sure not to let my dogs out before 7am or after 630pm. However, I am in the middle of remodeling my house, my husband is deployed and my life is absolute chaos- not to mention the move has been traumatic for the dogs. Today a new neighbor (I know all my old ones) came over at 845 to scream at me. I was actually frightened. I tried to calm him down to talk to him but he just kept screaming at me, threatened he had called the cops, got in his car and drove off. He literally drove half way around a block to come scream at me- he lives right behind me- our fences touch. The whole scene left me shaken. He wouldn't even let me explain the situation, he was just rabid, violent and disgusting. HOW do you people recommend dealing with THAT? Two neighbors witnessed this man's behavior and I called the local SCRAPS animal to learn my rights and I called the cops and logged a harassment claim. I'm not sure what to do. My dogs aren't normally annoying, if they are, I bring them in. It's just been hard on all of us but this certainly was NOT OK on the neighbors part.

Posted by: krismack11 | March 26, 2017 9:31 PM    Report this comment

I have 5 dogs (3 very old), they probably bark 3 times a day in TOTAL!One is a puppy, 6 month old, we've just moved to a new house (never had a complaint at the old house) I get up at 4.45am for work and twice the puppy has barked out of excitement! One bark only! Now we have received 2 complaints for the 2 times he barked! I don't know how to deal with this, he's a puppy and I have to go to work, he is barking inside the house once when I get out of bed, now I feel worried when I go to bed....Should I not worry about it? Would love some ideas :) I have cameras on them during the day and they never bark, just sleep all day! thanks

Posted by: amitafd | February 22, 2017 8:30 PM    Report this comment

This is actually a pretty simple situation, so read on.

#1. Pet ownership is a privilege.

#2. Home ownership is a right.

#3. Anyone's privilege to pet ownership should and cannot infringe on nobody's right to home ownership.

Bottom line is: If your privilege to own -say- a dog is stopping me from my right to enjoy the ownership of my home, you are violating the law and either you need to stop or I will take you to court and exhaust ALL legal remedies available to me under the US constitution, State and local/municipal laws.


Usually, 99% of pet (especially dogs) owners, are CLUELESS of what they need to know and do when they decide to get a dog. Observe those who walk their dogs (at least the small minority that does take the time to do that) and you will see who is a responsible owner. The majority of the dogs rush in front of their owners, pulling the leash and barking/charging at anything they find attracted to. A properly trained dog, walks next to its owner, not falling behind, not charging ahead, and follows orders given to it as well as keeping up with the pace the owner dictates. Walking a dog is and should be part of its daily training routine. Unfortunately, most owners are clueless about all this ultimately getting defensive when someone rightfully complains, and soon the relationship with their neighbors goes sour.

Now take a moment and think who is at fault here. The irresponsible clueless dog owner or the poor neighbor next door who has to put up with a lovely still spoiled animal due to his neighbor's "cluelessness"?

And as a final thought, remember, who started this in the first place AND why is it the suffering neighbor's job to waste time, energy, money etc to teach the clueless guy next door what his/her civic duties are.

Seriously, think about it!

Posted by: Xwpis ONOMA | July 16, 2016

Owning a home is a right only because it is property and you have the right to own property. What this poster fails to realize is that a dog is considered property and therefor a dog owner has the right to own a dog

Posted by: cjrj87 | February 21, 2017 4:32 PM    Report this comment

We live in a residential neighborhood and are surrounded by dog owners on all sides. The barking NEVER ends. It's 4:21AM right now and two houses over a dog is outsides and has been barking since 3PM this afternoon. We've called animal control. No luck. We've called the police. No luck. Yes, well before we tried speaking politely with our neighbors--we even offered to walk their dogs on our days off, rotating so we could do as much as feasible. No one wanted to take us up on the offer. We both sleep with those industrial safety headphones designed to protect hearing b/c the noise is endless and drives us crazy. We can't sleep. We can't enjoy our home. Forget about sitting and reading or listening to music quietly, or cooking on a day off. We don't understand why so many owners are OK with barking that goes on day after day for more than 12 hours at a time.

What most gets me with articles like this Whole Dog Journal one--and various other dog care articles on vet medicine sites--is that the article assumes problem owners CARE about the problem. They don't. If they did, they'd try training their animals. Basically, as other readers have written already, many people feel "freedom" means being free to do whatever they want whenever they want. And if anyone else has a problem with it, it's THEIR problem. And sadly, that's how the police, animal control, and courts often treat this.

One last thing, if the fix were as simple as going to court, very many of us who put up with this extreme nuisance year after year after year would do so. But the court system makes it next to impossible to solve a dog nuisance. And all the time and money you spend building a case--even a well evidenced one (audio-visual recordings over months on end)--can be a massive waste because the court officer happens to be "a dog person" and prefers to side with the dog owner.

We're not problem people. We're law-abiding, courteous neighbors who'd do just about anything to keep our neighbors happy. But neighborly consideration is going the way of the Dodo bird. Which is why more and more neighbors take the law into their own hands. It's very sad, but many dog owners just don't care that their beloved pets are bothering their neighbors--and many, you can read in very many of these online comment sections--actually enjoy annoying their neighbors.

Posted by: Tom H | January 23, 2017 3:30 AM    Report this comment

I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT he barksand whines A LOT. . So, leaving home is always a challenge for us.
My husband and I were thinking about taking him to 'doggy school', but then again, it's extremely expensive, and the nearest 'doggy school' is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!

Posted by: GarryR16 | January 19, 2017 4:02 PM    Report this comment

After reading these comments please disregard my post. Most of you are dog hating POS's & can go fuck yourself.

Posted by: Will_925 | November 12, 2016 3:57 AM    Report this comment

My neighbor behind my house constantly yells over her fence, texts me threats or calls the police on me for my dogs. She'll make up lies about how the dogs have been barking for hours when they're not even home. They're out with me. They're lots of dogs in my neighborhood that bark but she seems to think everytime a dog barks they're mine. They're is no reasoning with her. Lord knows I've tried. She rents the house behind mine. She is very mean & I'm worried she'll try to poison or hurt my dogs. I'm a good dog owner. I walk my dogs, love & care for them. I'm not sure what to do. I'm not going to move, I love my house. Mean people like her shouldn't be able to lie & scare off good people like myself. That's just not right. If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear some.
Thank you

Posted by: Will_925 | November 12, 2016 3:50 AM    Report this comment

The ACO who posted this is the hardest issue to deal with is spot on ...as all can see from the comments. If dog owners would listen to those who complain without being defensive it would go such a long way. And if complainants would come to court when we take action, that would also help. Remember, your taxes fund animal control. If you want to pay lower taxes...well, you get fewer government services. There is a constant war between those who want complete freedom to do anything they want at any time of day (or night) and neighbors who need absolute dominion over what noise creeps over a fence into their ears (or their dogs').

Posted by: dogcatcher | October 1, 2016 12:03 PM    Report this comment

Wow! Good article, but I cannot believe the stupidity of many of the comments.
Don't leave your dogs in the yard without you being present, ever. Don't let them stay outside when you are not home. Take them out in the morning/evening whether for their full elimination or quick pee, whether on a leash or in the yard, you must be with them! If you can't get home during the day to walk them or let them out either paper train them, hire a dog walker, make an arrangement for dogwalking with a friendly neighbor or student, or put the dogs in daycare. Otherwise, you are being inconsiderate to your neighbors and irresponsible with your dogs. I have 4 dogs and would never allow them to come and go with a doggie door, just as it would be wrong to leave a toddler home without a babysitter. The dogs will most certainly get into trouble, could dig out or worse, and that is not part of living in a neighborhood. And if you are in the yard with your dogs and they keep barking, bring them inside and continue your gardening or whatever without them.

Posted by: kimfatty | September 24, 2016 2:47 PM    Report this comment

For people who have problems with barking dogs, especially when the dog is not yours, read the information on barking dogs.net. I also agree with the commenter that said take the barking dogs owners to small claims court. People care about money and that may be a motivator to get them to change their dog's behavior.

Posted by: beckys11 | September 20, 2016 8:48 PM    Report this comment

Most of the comments are old, however, some deal with difficult neighbor problems. I'm not going to support animal guardians who are truly irresponsible about being good neighbors. As this article implies, animal owners get defensive when a complaint is made about their animal, even if they are truly guilty. That being said, if one has a truly difficult, intolerant neighbor who is bent on being a jerk, you might try filing a complaint of harassment against the neighbor. Unfortunately, some people are just bullies.

Posted by: Doris Muller | September 19, 2016 7:55 PM    Report this comment

Training.....It's all about dog psychology. It's people who own dogs that need to be trained

Posted by: AbbeyWoo | September 18, 2016 12:42 PM    Report this comment

This is the most difficult I deal with as an animal control officer.

Posted by: animalsaver1023 | September 18, 2016 10:21 AM    Report this comment

Sometimes no matter how reasonable and responsible a dog owner you are it is the neighbour thats a problem. Mine was a nightmare, complained on the shortest barks and became a right pain. My dogs live inside and if they start barking while out the garden I get them in and distract them- gives me a headache so wouldn't let them bark long. Was so bad I kept a journal of when they barked and how long for, then after a month contacted local authority to ask of they were making too much noise, they weren't!! Neighbour continued to complain unnecessarily to me and I ended up moving as it was stressful being on pins all the time and being on the dogs all the time! Lush neighbours where I am now and they comment on how quiet the dogs are!! So it really is the people and not the dogs in some instances.

Posted by: Helper | September 18, 2016 9:41 AM    Report this comment

The answer is simple, get a Basenji,they don't bark.
I have basenjis and some people don't even know I have dogs because there is never any barking.
Although they are not for everyone if you are not a strong leader.
I love all breeds and have had many over the years but I won't live with anything but basenjis. They are clean,quiet and very alert so they are great watchdogs.

Posted by: barkless1954 | September 18, 2016 9:20 AM    Report this comment

After reading some comments, I'm just amazed at the lifestyle some people live! Who stays in a hot tub until 5:50 am? No wonder people are complaining! It would also appear, based on some comments, that not everyone actually walks their dog(s) and is feeling defensive about it. There is NO excuse for not walking one's dog(s)! You adopt a dog, you make a commitment to care and nurture that dog. My neighbors, who also have dogs, are teas me about walking my dogs twice, daily, and three times on days off. They rarely, if ever, walk their dogs. I have neighbors whose elderly dog barks every day, all day, because it is left alone, all day, every day. Complaining means nothing to them. I can't get the neighbors to sign a complaint even thought they are also bothered by it. They're afraid of having future problems with them. People erroneously believe that a dog is fine left alone all day, as long as it can look outdoors or go into the backyard. They are incorrect! Dogs need to go on walks to smell other scents, see other places, and run, if possible. It is vital for their mental and emotional, not to mention, physical, well-being! Couch potatoes should not have dogs! I see people who go on their daily walks or runs, but can't be bothered to take their dog with. Their excuse? "Oh, he is too unruly." If that's the case, train the dog! If a dog is unruly, it is the owner's fault! WALK YOUR DOGS, PEOPLE!

Posted by: pascalelee53 | September 18, 2016 8:58 AM    Report this comment

I also just read a comment by Beverly who said:

"An occasional bark from a dog is no different from traffic noise or music emanating from a house or gardeners doing their work or airplanes flying by. It's all the noise that comes from living with other people."

First of all, dog barking is VERY different than blah blah noise from living with other people. As far as I know, blasting your horn or revving your car while in your driveway next to my house is equally offensive. We live in communities where for the most part we are blessed with the noise of birds chirping, leaves rustling from the wind, kids laughing playing up front and neighbors mowing their lawn. This is "noise" coming from living with people.

Why should I put up with dogs that:

1. Is never/rarely taken for a walk, thus becoming very restless.
2. Is left at the front window from dawn to dusk (if we are lucky) barking at anything that -pretty much- happens outside that window:

Squirrels, leaves blowing, birds flying, rain falling, thunders blasting, kids playing, pedestrians passing by, UPS drivers and the mailman delivering, the meter guys going in and out, other dogs passing, other dogs barking nearby, its own owners coming or leaving the house. I mean, seriously, the list is endless.

Secondly, you classify everyone as "dog haters" and you are in peace with yourself. This is extremely selfish and "un-neighborhood" like.

We are not talking about an occasional bark here. We are talking about constant or frequent barking that can be controlled BECAUSE barking IS a controlled behavior. Basically, you need to train your dog to know when it is justified to bark. But as most dog owners say, they do not want to do that because it is expensive. Well making your problem someone else's problem is irresponsible.

Your privilege to pet ownership SHOULD NOT infringe on my RIGHT to (enjoy) home ownership.

If you can't fathom that then perhaps a court order will.

Posted by: Xwpis ONOMA | July 16, 2016 3:05 PM    Report this comment

This is actually a pretty simple situation, so read on.

#1. Pet ownership is a privilege.

#2. Home ownership is a right.

#3. Anyone's privilege to pet ownership should and cannot infringe on nobody's right to home ownership.

Bottom line is: If your privilege to own -say- a dog is stopping me from my right to enjoy the ownership of my home, you are violating the law and either you need to stop or I will take you to court and exhaust ALL legal remedies available to me under the US constitution, State and local/municipal laws.


Usually, 99% of pet (especially dogs) owners, are CLUELESS of what they need to know and do when they decide to get a dog. Observe those who walk their dogs (at least the small minority that does take the time to do that) and you will see who is a responsible owner. The majority of the dogs rush in front of their owners, pulling the leash and barking/charging at anything they find attracted to. A properly trained dog, walks next to its owner, not falling behind, not charging ahead, and follows orders given to it as well as keeping up with the pace the owner dictates. Walking a dog is and should be part of its daily training routine. Unfortunately, most owners are clueless about all this ultimately getting defensive when someone rightfully complains, and soon the relationship with their neighbors goes sour.

Now take a moment and think who is at fault here. The irresponsible clueless dog owner or the poor neighbor next door who has to put up with a lovely still spoiled animal due to his neighbor's "cluelessness"?

And as a final thought, remember, who started this in the first place AND why is it the suffering neighbor's job to waste time, energy, money etc to teach the clueless guy next door what his/her civic duties are.

Seriously, think about it!

Posted by: Xwpis ONOMA | July 16, 2016 2:47 PM    Report this comment

@Emily0115 I feel for you...we had problems with our dog also. He used to bark like crazy when we were not at home, and our neighbours complained a lot because of that. Both my husband and I work a lot and had no time to take our Bud to dog training classes. We asked one friend who works in foster care (he is always surrounded by dogs) what we should do. He recommended one online dog behavior trainer. I love this trainer http : //bit.ly /1Qn6Pri
It helped us a lot, and I strongly recommend it for you.

Posted by: Jennie74 | December 16, 2015 9:42 PM    Report this comment

I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT, whenever I take him for a walks we have problems. So, going for walks is always a challenge for us. And he barks A LOT.
My husband and I were thinking about taking him to 'doggy school', but then again, it's extremely expensive, and the nearest 'doggy school' is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!

Posted by: Emily0115 | December 16, 2015 9:32 PM    Report this comment

I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT, whenever I take him for a walks we have problems. So, going for walks is always a challenge for us. And he barks A LOT.
My husband and I were thinking about taking him to 'doggy school', but then again, it's extremely expensive, and the nearest 'doggy school' is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!

Posted by: Emily0115 | December 16, 2015 9:18 PM    Report this comment

Can I report my neighbor for antagonizing my dog? He wants to take me to court because he says my dog is a vicious and uncontrollable due to barking. I know that none of you have met my dog but he is about 14 months old, German Shepherd, very very sweet and very dog social. He does not bark often but does at my neighbor. I found out by witnessing that when my dog is outside he is yelling and cussing at my dog, the old dad that lives with the neighbor sprayed my dog with a water house, he comes outside and blows an airhorn at him and on top of all that he has two cats that he lets outside all the time as they choose at which these cats have come into my yard, what does a dog do when cats are around?! I even bought a bark genie which has helped and he only barks when the neighbor is outside or he sees the cat. Now I have a letter in my mailbox with him threatening to take me to court. I feel like I should be the one to call Animal Control. Not a single one of my other neighbors have complained about my dog. My boyfriend even offered to introduce my dog to our neighbor and he refused.

Posted by: ktakacs | July 12, 2015 1:46 PM    Report this comment

We have lived in this house for almost forty-five years. During that time we have owned two German Shepherds and a bunch of Schnauzers. One of my neighbors who was already living next door when we moved in made the comment to me that "in all these years, I have never...I mean NEVER, had a problem with any of your dogs"... I was happy to hear that but not surprised because we have always taken care of the pets the way we wish others would do. I guess the Golden Rule "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" really pays off.

Posted by: MaryH | April 19, 2015 11:52 AM    Report this comment

OK I need some help. I just bought my house a year ago. We came to this house with two dogs. One of our dogs did not adjust well with the move so we gave her back to the animal shelter were we got her. About a month after that my husband wanted to get our twin 2 year olds twin blue nose pits. So I agreed. They were only 2 months old so I figured if they were raised around the girls that they would be good to them. Well April 5th my husband and I got married. April 8th we lost our 2 year old twins to a drowning in the neighbors pool. The only pit we gave to my brother in law because it was to hard to call his name and not think of the girls. A few months after the girls passed my neighbors started calling animal control on us stating that the dogs were barking all night long. Which at the time the could have been. On July 10th 2014 we had some friends staying with us because they in the process of moving in between houses. We were in our hot tub until 5:50am around 2:00 pm on July 11th animal control was at my door stating that the dogs were barking all night and that they had video of it. I said that I wanted to see this video and they would not let me. They wanted to give me a ticket and I refused to give them my info so they called the police to come to my house. I then started to let the police know that they were lying and that I would not give my info due to them not showing me this video. We then went to court and they still did not show the video and I was told that I have to bring the dogs in every night. Which I have done. We today I get a letter from the court house stating that I am not complying with the judgement and that they are going to take me back. My one dog only goes out for 10 mins because she had puppies and can not be away from them to long. Our pit stays out a little longer due to the nice weather here recently. I don't know what to do. Our neighbors harrassed the owners before me because they do not like neighbors. I have a huge file on them for what they did to the old owners. That is one of the reasons why they moved. I will not be moving so I need someone help.

Posted by: gettingfeedup | March 20, 2015 7:29 PM    Report this comment

I have a new puppy who obviously has a lot of energy. He runs around my apartment playing sometimes late at night (I worked for many years on the swing shift so my hours are opposite most people). My downstairs neighbor keeps complaining to the manager that my dog keeps her awake. He only weighs eight pounds, only plays for fifteen or so minutes before falling asleep, so I hardly think he's making that much noise. This same neighbor also complained about my TV volume, which I have so low I have to use closed captioning, and that my feeding of the birds woke her up in the morning. I try very hard to keep my puppy quiet, but he's a PUPPY! I at my wits end -- she's taking all the joy out of having a puppy.

Posted by: Sfpuglover | December 26, 2014 5:34 AM    Report this comment

I have purchased some land in a deed restricted neighborhood, and there is no limit to how many dogs or cats one can keep as long as the person can take care of them and have their rabies. I just want to say that ever since I have been in this neighborhood my neighbor that lives two houses from me started from the beginning to harass me about my dogs calling animal control everyday to say one thing or another even getting another neighbor up the street involved. I know when I left for work I would get a call (left my number tagged on the kennel) from animal control telling me that my dogs were loose; I would come home right away to find they were all in the yard but out of the kennel. Finally in April I found a way to keep them from getting loose to run around the neighborhood. My neighbors (the ones complaining ) have 4 dogs one being a shepherd mix 2 pugs, and 1 pitbull puppy. The shepherd dog has tried to attack me 8 times I have called animal control and to no avail nothing happens; The neighbors tell the animal control that is not their dog, but when they leave the dog is in their yard eating and sitting with them. My point is no matter what you try to do you will always have neighbors that are from hell they will lie and think they are beyond the law. I have never tried to make friends with them because they can not be reasoned with they would give me the finger for no reason because I never speak to them because they are screamers. One of the neighbors ran down to my house like she was going to fight with me and even came into my yard. Since I have been arrest for DWI several times I can not carry a firearm, my point is that no matter what you do there is nothing a person can do because police , animal control, and any other entity involved does not want to do their job.

Posted by: kickurtail | December 11, 2014 1:36 PM    Report this comment

This goes to Zip and other people that have similar mind set.
In my opinion, you are the kind of person that our society doesn't need at all, nor should you be giving any advise whatsoever. You are clearly the kind of person that has no issues with back stabbing people even neighbors (and it wouldn't surprise me your own family) at any given time. It seems to me that anybody that may cross your path would be a target for your likely unjustified hatress if they didn't meet your expectations. So your advise to people of calling the police on neigbords and/or suing them is just pure evil, and let me humbly suggest to you and people like you to analyze your approach to life for a minute.
It is communication, dialogue, and attempt to resolve misunderstandings that makes us a better society and not quite what you are suggesting.
If you have any issues with your neighbor's dog, go to your neigbor's house, SHOW YOUR FACE, ,knock on their door and express your frustration, let them understand by communicating them how you feel. I guarantee you that your neighbor will try to fix the problem if he/she has caused any.
Don't you think the police has better things to do than to attend your "hide behind the curtains's" silly calls? Yes, they do!

Posted by: Desma | November 14, 2014 8:19 AM    Report this comment

My dog is inside all night (every night) and all day Monday thru Friday. He only barks early evening and as soon as he starts, I run out and get him in as soon as I can. But, a Beagle on a scent is hard to get in. I didn't know this when I got him, but he was in the local animal shelter and is a sweet boy. He deserves to bark a few times on Saturday afternoon! And, I never let him bark longer than 5 minutes. My neighbors are banging on my door and calling the Police!! But, its OK to drain nasty pool water in my yard and put up a fence that isn't straight or any where near the property line. I even think they have family "squatting" in the empty repo house next to them!

Posted by: Beagleboy | October 22, 2014 12:11 AM    Report this comment

It is not against the law to have a dog. A paper trail is stupid. How much time do you have to bother complaining. Move to a country that doesn't allow dogs. I don't blame anyone who has a "real" problem with a barking dog. My dog is very loud when he barks. He is a beagle and can be heard for miles. That's why I always go out and get him in. He doesn't always come right away. Beagles like to finish the scent they are following. He is following a cat scent. It is against the law to let a dog out of your yard and it is against the law to let a cat out of your yard. People need to stop letting their cats run all over the neighborhood and they need to stop feeding strays!!!! If the cats don't come in my back yard, my Beagle doesn't bark except when there is a stranger. Plus, he is inside all night and 8-6 Mon thru Friday. So, my neighbors need to STOP calling the police and yelling over the fence and knocking on my door! I hope to sell to someone with 2 or 3 Beagles that are kept outside full time!

Posted by: Beagleboy | October 22, 2014 12:04 AM    Report this comment

My neighbor has a swimming pool that I reported to the Health Dept. and they were fined because it is non-operating and has had 6' of black water standing in it. I guess they knew I called on them and since then they have called the police once because my dog was barking for a total of 6 minutes. He is a Beagle and when he barks it is LOUD. Four weeks later he barked again and I was "again" trying to get him in and they yelled from their yard to shut up my dog. I got him in and within 2 minutes they were knocking at my door! My dog is inside all night, all every day and if he barks or bays I get him in as soon as I can. They have lived there over a year and only complained the past 2 months (twice), after the pool problem. They even pumped the nasty water out of the pool over the fence into my yard! I am frightened and I'm writing them a letter letting them know that I am doing everything I can to stop my dog from disturbing them. I'm installing a privacy fence in an effort to keep out the stray cat that make him bay on her scent and a chain link fence close to my back door to have him enclosed if I have to let him out late at night. Plus, to make it easier to get him in if he barks and to keep him out of the entire back yard. I don't know what they want. I am going to sell & move anyway -- maybe they will get a neighbor without any dogs! I'm sick of them and frightened when they bank on my front door at 11pm because he barked for 3 minutes!

Posted by: Beagleboy | October 21, 2014 11:56 PM    Report this comment

What if you have a neighbor who purposely allows her dogs to bark usually starting at 4 am until 7 am, I ve called animal control and she claims its not her dogs, but as soon as they leave she allows the dogs to continue barking. Ive been dealing with her for about 6 mos now.


Posted by: smiley123 | October 10, 2014 9:38 PM    Report this comment

Dear Pat, These people are all dog haters, trolling around looking for justification for their answers. Dogs bark. Dogs that bark all night all of the time are a problem, but dogs just bark. An occasional bark from a dog is no different from traffic noise or music emanating from a house or gardeners doing their work or airplanes flying by. It's all the noise that comes from living with other people. If a dog really barks ALL NIGHT EVERY NIGHT or even ALWAYS BARKS in the middle of the night, it is definitely a problem that needs attention. But people that hate dogs will jump on the one time a dog does bark at night as justification of their pre-existing hatred as these people commenting clearly do. I stumbled upon this article because last night my chocolate lab was barking all night and I hadn't realized it until I awoke with my phone ringing. I ran outside to get her, realized a door had been left open (she always sleeps in my bedroom) and she had been going nuts. I found that the carcass of a dead rabbit on the other side of my fence. We have coyotes and clearly a coyote had been prowling around, and Daisy chased him off, then was confused and scared of the animal carcass and barked at it non-stop. The only other time I have caught her barking non stop was one evening when two stray kittens were stuck in the bush on the other side of our fence. We rescued them and brought them to a shelter. So, she really never barks unless something really off is happening and this one incident just slipped by me unnoticed because I happened to have fallen asleep early with the door ajar. But my neighbor turned it into "she barks all night every night and everyone is complaining and you should find another place to live where you don't have neighbors." Seeing as she sleeps at my feet every night, I know this is a gross exaggeration but I can't deny she was really disruptive on this one occasion. Anyway, my neighbor is like the folks that commented here...he's waiting eagerly for a justification of his dog hatred or maybe he just doesn't like me and is using my dogs as an excuse. Either way, he's not getting my sympathy by insisting I admit that my dogs bark every night. What do you do with these types of people? They won't be happy until they have neighbors with either no dogs or dogs that NEVER EVER BARK EVER. Not even once.

Posted by: beverly | October 9, 2014 12:18 PM    Report this comment

Extremely one sided article. How many nights should we lose sleep? Do you know that losing just one night of sleep can cause health problems? Don't be complacent. It is NOT ok. It is not only rude, but it is so inconsiderate of your neighbors. I'm with the last commenter-- if one is having problems, let your neighbor know once and then skip all the playing nice stuff part and start recording, keep documents and call the cops when animal control is closed. And if still no relief, then sue them in small claims court. Forget the county or animal control ("public nuisance")helping you unless you have other neighbors who are on your team. Just go straight to small claims and sue as "private nuisance". And after you win a small monetary award, and the noise hasn't stopped, you can sue them again and again, as long as it takes. Eventually, the bad dog owners will give in ... Good luck everyone!

Posted by: ohhhdear | August 27, 2014 9:14 PM    Report this comment

This is a very one sided article, and isn't helpful in solving real issues. We had a neighbor's (pussycat) dogs on OUR property trying to attack our chickens. 3 large dogs against 4 chickens? One of the dogs turned to attack our son and it was shot and killed. This was horrific for everyone! We had talked to the police many times about this dog asking if they could help us find the owner, only they did nothing and the end result was tragic. The dog lived directly across the street and owned by a police officer (shows why nothing was done). There are laws to protect property owners and the dogs and their owners. They are in place for a reason.
Writing that there is a NUGGET of truth only leads the dog owner to further resent the complaint insinuating they must be exaggerating. Be responsible and get dog owners to follow laws and get them to realize out of their sight, they do not know what tneir dog is doing!
We have had trash cans overturned, our frog pond ruined, peace disturbed by barking for up to an hour straight, growled at and barked at in our own yard, and the worst......our son attacked. Don't write that all dogs are pussycats......get dog owners to be responsible! Our dog is on , eash at all times and is not outside to bark disturbing the neighborhood.....it's not too difficult to be a good neighbor and good dog owner.

Posted by: ash | July 15, 2014 4:35 PM    Report this comment

I tried this when a neighbor complained about my dog who was running up and down the fence playing with their dogs and barking. Unfortunately, they are very hostile (always have been) and started off by cussing out my 13 year old son. We've caught them throwing stuff at our dog (rocks, etc.) and it's reached a point that when he's in the yard and sees them, he does bark now, but it's a bark of "stay away" and he runs to the other side of the yard to get away from them. They have up to 3 dogs in their yard at any given time. Now I deal with their 3 dogs coming to the fence barking because they want to play and I'm afraid to let my dog out without supervision because of their actions. It's a hard situation.

Posted by: dieseldreams | August 22, 2012 8:17 AM    Report this comment

I have a neighbor who comes over and loudly complains about once every 3 years when there is a barking issue...a one time thing, like the time my daughter's dog was out for a walk with me at 6AM and she began barking loudly at a neighbor's dog on a leash. Did I get a tongue lashing. He doesn't like "ankle biters." But likes large dogs. Always liked our large dog. Now I have a Small. I am a careful neighbor who always watches and listens all the day, and I always bring my dogs in (two) if they are suddenly barking up a storm. I wiah I could feel relaxed just once if my dogs bark, but the first tirade changed all that for me.

Posted by: B | December 29, 2011 8:10 PM    Report this comment

Skip all of that stuff, it is a waste of time. Call the police anonynously, every time the dog barks. Call the cops even if the dogs howl for a police or fire siren! Get a paper trail started with the local authorities. It is a better position for you if you don't have a dog, for your neighbors will certainly say it was your dog causing the problem!

Posted by: zip | August 8, 2011 9:27 AM    Report this comment

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