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What's reasonable regarding neighbor's dog barking?

KimberlyH

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Jun 15, 2006
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We're surrounded by dogs and so it's been a hot topic in our house. How much barking should be expected and when is it too much?

We love our neighbors and would never say anything, but sometimes it's annoying (like at 5:30 in the morning or 9 at night when I've finally gotten the baby to sleep.)
 

JewelFreak

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Kimberly, why not explain your trouble getting the baby down & ask if they would mind letting the dog out a tad later, bringing in earlier, till sleep patterns are established. Especially if you know them & ask nicely, I can't imagine they'd be upset. More likely, regret having disturbed you. I've done that with neighbors & no problems at all -- usually I take them cookies or brownies as thanks.

Normally I don't think those times -- as long as the 5:30 am part is not on the weekend, are inconsiderate. But w/a new baby, it's hard to imagine that folks you know & like wouldn't be happy to comply. And babies learn pretty quickly to sleep through noises like that (think of city babies!), so it shouldn't be a longterm inconvenience for them. I'd not hesitate to give it a shot in a friendly way.

--- Laurie
 

junebug17

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I think it's unreasonable to have excessive barking at the times you mention - I don't see any reason for a dog to be barking at those hours. It really bothers me when people keep their dogs outside and just let them bark for a long period of time. I think it's inconsiderate. A dog is going to occasionally bark here and there, but it shouldn't be for a prolonged period of time. I was always mindful of my dog's barking, and kept it at a minimum so I wouldn't bother my neighbors.
 

merilenda

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I hear you on the barking dogs. I'm beginning to wonder how many dogs my neighbor has honestly. I'm more of a cat person, and barking bothers me easily. I want to have a dog in the future, but when that point comes, I'm going to be very picky about personality and trainability.

FMIL has these 2 really yippy dogs that aren't trained at all. They bark all the time, and their barks are so shrill it's like an ice pick in my head. Anyway, I know the neighbors have complained to her from time to time, and she just totally laughs it off like they're being unreasonable and does nothing about it. :rolleyes:

Sorry I don't have a solution, just wanted to say that I think you're being totally reasonable. I mean, you can't control every little thing about your neighbors, but if it's happening often and at inconvenient times, then I think you should be able to at least request that they make an effort to keep them a little quieter.
 

dreamer_dachsie

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I am a dog owner and lover. And I'll be honest. I never think its ok to have a dog outside in the yard allowed to just bark madly all it wants. I think doing that is a way of avoiding having to excercise and amuse your dog and it bothers all the neighbours. Luckily the issue has not come up in our neighbourhood, as I don't know if I would want to say anything! But I sure would think bad things.
 

Haven

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Dreamer_D|1307917915|2944268 said:
I am a dog owner and lover. And I'll be honest. I never think its ok to have a dog outside in the yard allowed to just bark madly all it wants. I think doing that is a way of avoiding having to excercise and amuse your dog and it bothers all the neighbours. Luckily the issue has not come up in our neighbourhood, as I don't know if I would want to say anything! But I sure would think bad things.
I completely agree.

We have two dogs of our own, and if there were dogs that bark outside on a regular basis in our neighborhood I would have a big problem with it. We trained our dogs not to bark, and I think it's careless dog ownership when people don't do the same.
 

iLander

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What is happening at those odd hours that are making the dogs bark? Is there a cat roaming or something? It's odd.

I would say something nicely, and hope they react the same way. I have found though, that if I have a problem with something, it's best if I present a solution at the same time. Or phrase everything in the form of a question.

Our dogs are rarely out on the porch, and they only bark if there's a something going on outside. So I bring them in. I think that's just civil and not a lot to ask. So ask.

But then again, babies get used to noise. I once had one of my babies sleep through a fly over of 6 F-16's. . . :shock:
 

Hera

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Haven|1307918070|2944272 said:
Dreamer_D|1307917915|2944268 said:
I am a dog owner and lover. And I'll be honest. I never think its ok to have a dog outside in the yard allowed to just bark madly all it wants. I think doing that is a way of avoiding having to excercise and amuse your dog and it bothers all the neighbours. Luckily the issue has not come up in our neighbourhood, as I don't know if I would want to say anything! But I sure would think bad things.
I completely agree.

We have two dogs of our own, and if there were dogs that bark outside on a regular basis in our neighborhood I would have a big problem with it. We trained our dogs not to bark, and I think it's careless dog ownership when people don't do the same.
I agree too. I think it's part of being a responsible dog owner. People always worry that their dog won't bark if there is an intruder but that's false. A dog has an instinctive bark that cannot be trained out in the event that they feel there is a threat. If a dog hasn't been trained not to bark, they should be kept inside.
 

KimberlyH

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JF, we actually live in a large city and two of the dogs -- there are four total we hear: these two, the St. Bernard behind us, and another dog that comes and goes who lives kitty-corner to our backyard -- reside in an easement between our house and our neighbor's. The dogs in the easement, which is right below the bedroom window, are the two that are put out at 5:30 and left out for most of the day. And as much as I wish my kid was an adaptable sleeper she's 15 months old and wakes up barking when she hears them. Again, I don't intend to say a word, I was just curious as to what others expect in regards to dogs barking in their neighborhood. My husband is thoroughly annoyed, but neither of us will complain. It's good to hear different perspectives and I appreciate yours.

Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts.

An aside, I have total brain loss regarding the rules of apostrophes and an quite embarassed as someone who holds a BA In English.
 

KimberlyH

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JF, we actually live in a large city and two of the dogs -- there are four total we hear: these two, the St. Bernard behind us, and another dog that comes and goes who lives kitty-corner to our backyard -- reside in an easement between our house and our neighbor's. The dogs in the easement, which is right below the bedroom window, are the two that are put out at 5:30 and left out for most of the day. And as much as I wish my kid was an adaptable sleeper she's 15 months old and wakes up barking when she hears them. Again, I don't intend to say a word, I was just curious as to what others expect in regards to dogs barking in their neighborhood. My husband is thoroughly annoyed, but neither of us will complain. It's good to hear different perspectives and I appreciate yours.

Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts.

An aside, I have total brain loss regarding the rules of apostrophes and an quite embarassed as someone who holds a BA In English.
 

lbbaber

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How sad that the dogs are put out so early and just left out all day. What climate do you live in? What kind of weather do they have to deal with?

I have a yellow lab and the ONLY time he ever barks is when the mailman comes and when someone is at my door. I cant imagine why these poor animals are barking so much. If I were in your shoes I would say something.

Good luck whatever you decide!
 

kenny

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What breaks my heart is a dog expressing anxiety because its need are not met. ;(
 

KimberlyH

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We live in San Diego and one dog is a Golden Retriever the other is a Huskie, so climate is not a concern. They're loved, just not cared for as I would (more walks and attention, their being out doesn't upset me).

The St. Bernard isn't out nearly as often, and usually with his owners, so he is well cared for, just a barker. And they sit on their back patio most nights (our yards share a fence).

Again not looking to change anything, I was just curious what others think is normal.
 

MonkeyPie

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iLander|1307918495|2944279 said:
But then again, babies get used to noise. I once had one of my babies sleep through a fly over of 6 F-16's. . . :shock:
Wow, go baby! Micah sleeps through a lot, but I doubt even he could sleep through that.

Kim, since you don't intend on mentioning anything to your neighbor, see what you can do to make sleep easier for baby. Have you tried a noise machine between her and the window?
 

dreamer_dachsie

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kenny|1307931623|2944426 said:
What breaks my heart is a dog expressing anxiety because its need are not met. ;(
It might not be anxiety. My dog loves to bark at other dogs when they go by. If we left him in the yard and there was a dog in his sight, say in another yard, he would bark all day long. It is fun for him to bark like that. Which is why we do not leave him outside all day.

Dogs bark for anxiety of course, but also for fun and self-stimultion, and just because they like to bark.

But I agree, leaving a dog out all day is really lame.

Kimberly Noice machine, that's a good plan.
 

nfowife

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I was going to suggest a noise machine too. All 3 of mine have them in their rooms to block out each other and us, and it's been the best $20 each we've ever spent! We bring them with us on trips too. No worries about dogs, doorbells, or firetrucks :) .

But yeah, barking at 5:30 is unreasonable. I am sure San Diego has some ordinances in terms of what is acceptable times for barking, usually between the hours of 8a and 8p and they probably define what is "excessive" too.
 

KimberlyH

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The noise machine is such a great idea; we've had one since she was born and we turn the volume as high as it will go. Everyone thinks their kid is exceptional, mine has perfect hearing. ha

All of the dogs bark at passersby. It's their hobby.

It's been quiet this morning.
 

ChloeTheGreat

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Dec 25, 2009
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If it's enough barking to bother you (and baby), it's too much. I would do what others have already said and just politely ask your neighbor to be mindful of the baby's sleeping schedule.

I live in an apartment and refuse to be the annoying neighbor with the barking dog. My dog takes a time out after one bark. (Luckily, she doesn't bark much, so it's a rare occurrence.)
 

TooPatient

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I'll offer a slightly different view because of the neighborhood we live in.

All but one of our neighbors in our cul-de-sac and the next cul-de-sac over have dogs. (and they're planning to get one this summer). In fact, most people have more than one dog. Many of us leave for work early (6:00am or earlier) and most of the rest are awake and starting their days.

A normal day had the occasional barking dog starting as early as 4:30am and going easily until 11:00pm. For the most part though, this is occasional barking (like when someone walks by or a delivery truck stops).

Our climate is mild (like today our temps are expected to stay in the 55(low) to 65(high) range).

We leave both of our dogs outside all day while we are at work. That can be as short as 6-7 hours and as long as 12-14 hours (like today I have a dentist appointment FI is driving me to). For us, this works great and our dogs love it. The mild climate (plus nice shelter from the wind/rain), several dog bowls for water, feeding schedule so that it doesn't mess with their meals, lots of walking and ball-throwing the rest of the day, etc. means that they do get the exercise and attention they need. This is a lot better for them than being locked inside all day (trust me -- we DO NOT leave them outside if the weather is supposed to be too hot/cold/miserable) and with work/school requirements, neither of us are able to get away for the hour+ it would take to let them out during the day.
I did look into day camp options for them but none work for us. (They don't open early enough)



Now barking ALL DAY without any sort of correction or attempt to properly train is just wrong.



ETA: Almost forgot to mention that we have two dogs. Our next-door neighbor has three outside dogs and one inside (5 pound dog does NOT make good play mate for a yard full of 50+ pound high-energy dogs...)
One of the dogs dug a BIG hole under the fence so they can all play together during the day. (neighbor will be adding doggie door to fence so we can fill the hole and they can still play)

Here's a picture from this weekend. I had to try to block the hole for our quarterly bug-spray service (all animal safe, just a precaution) and hadn't quite gotten around to unblocking it yet..... so two of the dogs worked together to move the wood.

dogs unblocking hole.jpg
 

Autumnovember

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I don't really find it acceptable at all....at any time of day. Everyone works different hours and I think a lot of people are not mindful of that. If I let my dog out to run around in our backyard and she starts barking, in she goes the moment it happens. It really really bothers me when dogs are hanging out in the backyard all day long whimpering/barking not only because it makes me feel so damn bad for them but its just disrupting.
 

Jennifer W

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I don't know if I'm being unreasonable and curmudgeonly here, but I do not expect to hear neighbours' dogs barking at any time, at all. Maybe a quick bark or two, but not sustained barking. Mine doesn't, because she's trained not to, and I'd expect the same courtesy from the people around me. I live in a village where I think most people have at least one dog, and you don't hear dogs barking, other than the occasional excited bark when dogs are out walking or if you ring a doorbell or whatever.

Which doesn't really help, I don't suppose, but I'd have a pretty low tolerance for a barking dog next door (to say the least).
 

janinegirly

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I'm with the others - not sure why you are so hesitant to say anything. It's inconsiderate behavior and I would be really annoyed - long periods of dog barking like any loud noise does not make for a peaceful home environment. The dog owners I know let their dogs out for short periods and the barking is brief - but all day? And other owners I know actually train their dogs to not bark as much - in a city environment people are usually even more conscious. With a baby I'd definitely say something - I think most would understand where you're coming from.
 

JewelFreak

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Kimberly, if the dogs are out all the time, it's not right. I can see why you're bothered. That's different from a few barks when somebody lets the dog out to do its stuff a.m. & p.m., which is what I pictured. Long & sustained barking is a plain nuisance -- in fact, most cities have noise ordinances that include barking dogs.

If you did it nicely, I still think you could ask the neighbors to keep their dogs quieter -- explain it wakes up the baby, etc. What's been written here is correct, they bark from boredom, lack of exercise, etc. Nothing you can do about that but maybe the owners would, if people complained about the noise.

You could also call the police -- don't say no yet -- they keep the identity of the caller anonymous when they talk to dog owners. Usually they say, "We've had complaints that...." and then tell the neighbor about the noise ordinance, maybe mention they'll be fined next time, things along those lines. It could be anybody within hearing distance.

Our next-door neighbors leave their dog(s) outside forever. Over the years some have been constant barkers. Drives me nuts & breaks my heart. They don't answer the door when somebody goes to complain. Only a threat to call police (from me) got them to quiet their dog. I don't know how THEY stand it.

--- Laurie
 

MichelleCarmen

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JewelFreak|1307988257|2944832 said:
Kimberly, if the dogs are out all the time, it's not right. I can see why you're bothered. That's different from a few barks when somebody lets the dog out to do its stuff a.m. & p.m., which is what I pictured. Long & sustained barking is a plain nuisance -- in fact, most cities have noise ordinances that include barking dogs.

If you did it nicely, I still think you could ask the neighbors to keep their dogs quieter -- explain it wakes up the baby, etc. What's been written here is correct, they bark from boredom, lack of exercise, etc. Nothing you can do about that but maybe the owners would, if people complained about the noise.

You could also call the police -- don't say no yet -- they keep the identity of the caller anonymous when they talk to dog owners. Usually they say, "We've had complaints that...." and then tell the neighbor about the noise ordinance, maybe mention they'll be fined next time, things along those lines. It could be anybody within hearing distance.

Our next-door neighbors leave their dog(s) outside forever. Over the years some have been constant barkers. Drives me nuts & breaks my heart. They don't answer the door when somebody goes to complain. Only a threat to call police (from me) got them to quiet their dog. I don't know how THEY stand it.

--- Laurie
2nd call the police. The last thing you want to do is personally discuss the problem with your neighbors b/c you don't want to end up on bad terms with them. We have the same issue with our neighbor but the dog is inside all day barking and I find it extremely irresonsible and you know it's *embarrassing* to me when we have friends come over and the dog is in there barking. FWIW, the neighbor just got a job promotion and bought a brand new car so I'm thinking if she can afford that, then why not a dog walker once a day or even a few times per week? She has a kid, but I've NEVER seen him walking the dog. :nono:
 

dreamer_dachsie

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nfowife|1307970699|2944657 said:
But yeah, barking at 5:30 is unreasonable. I am sure San Diego has some ordinances in terms of what is acceptable times for barking, usually between the hours of 8a and 8p and they probably define what is "excessive" too.
Actually, this is a very good point. In my area, the police to not deal with these types of things, there is a city bylaw enforcement department whom you would call to complain. For interest, here are the rules about dogs in my municipality, they are pretty strict!

1. The sound made by a dog barking, howling or creating any kind of sound continually or sporadically or erratically for any period of time in excess of ten minutes is an objectionable noise.

2. It shall be unlawful for any person to harbour or keep a dog which shall make an objectionable noise continually or sporadically or erratically for any period of time in excess of ten minutes.

So if a dog barks or makes annoying sounds for more than 10 minutes, I can call the bylaw enforcement office and they will come and cite the owner and ticket them if the noise continues.

I would call!
 

KimberlyH

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I don't intend to complain for a few reasons: we are moving in a few months, we have good relationships with each of them, it's not that important to me.

It seemed the barking had increased over the weekend (when our neighbor's girlfriend is over the dogs spend more time outside and she sometimes comes to the side door to rile them up by singing opera to them, strange but true, we think she's drinking when she does this) so my husband and I were talking about it and I wondered how much barking others think is normal. We actually like having the huskie and retriever, their sweet dogs and my daughter loves watching them through the window. I know what I can do, I was just curious what others think/expect in their own neighborhoods.
 

KimberlyH

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I don't intend to complain for a few reasons: we are moving in a few months, we have good relationships with each of them, it's not that important to me.

It seemed the barking had increased over the weekend (when our neighbor's girlfriend is over the dogs spend more time outside and she sometimes comes to the side door to rile them up by singing opera to them, strange but true, we think she's drinking when she does this) so my husband and I were talking about it and I wondered how much barking others think is normal. We actually like having the huskie and retriever, their sweet dogs and my daughter loves watching them through the window. I know what I can do, I was just curious what others think/expect in their own neighborhoods.
 

Jennifer W

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I expect almost complete peace and quiet, to be honest. Children don't run around screaming, dogs don't bark, police remove people who use trail bikes / quad bikes. It's a little bit eerie, sometimes and just how I like it... ;))
 

TooPatient

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Jennifer W|1307993099|2944900 said:
I expect almost complete peace and quiet, to be honest. Children don't run around screaming, dogs don't bark, police remove people who use trail bikes / quad bikes. It's a little bit eerie, sometimes and just how I like it... ;))
That sounds like the complete opposite of my neighborhood!

I love how lucky we all are that we can (to some extent) choose the homes and neighborhoods that are right for us!


We have LOTS of kids (from 2 years and up) running around the cul-de-sac pretty much every day. The SAHM's sit out together and watch the little ones (even the youngest are trained to step out of the road, remain visible, and wait for cars to pass (note this is super quiet cul-de-sac where everyone is aware of the kids plus they put out little flag holders for added visibility so this is not as crazy as it sounds)). The older kids play basketball and baseball in the cul-de-sac. The ones in between ride bikes and play too (parents out with them or visible in windows as supervision).

There is a collector's car being restored -- rumbly engine and all. Motorcycles. Dirt bike (quad? -- he's got a few different things over there) racers. Contractors (lives directly next to us). Handymen (including car repair in the cul-de-sac! -- lives).

Everyone has dogs. Some throw balls in the cul-de-sac (longer run than the back yard). There is usually one or more out with the kids.

Ah.... And pretty much everyone has BIG power tools and knows how to use them!


Just perfect for us!
 
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