Barking dog problems

How to Stop Barking Dog Next Door

TDS Reader Contributors

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Problem Dog Barking

I live next door to a dog that barks at all hours, day and night. He's outdoors most of the time. The houses are very close together. I just moved here and don't know the neighbor, so I am reluctant to start complaining right off the bat about his dog. Does anyone know if those sonic dog repellant machines work? Is there anything else that would work? I am getting desperate.
Sleepless in Florida

Stop Barking Dogs with a Horn

To quiet our barking dogs, we got a "Signal Horn" (a boat air horn) on Ebay for about $12, but I believe that any boating supply place would carry them. They emit a high pitch loud sound when you push a button. Dogs hate it! I've had this air horn since the fall, and I use it very infrequently. It's best if they don't see from where it's coming.
(Trying to be) Responsible Owner of 3 Big Dogs

Anonymous Call Reports Barking

We had the same problem a few years ago, and I actually called the police station (anonymously) and told them the problem. I also told them that the neighbors were very nice people and probably didn't realize that the dog was constantly barking. They went over and politely told them that there had been a few complaints. Now when the dog barks, they are aware of it and let him in. The key to this is to make sure the officers know that the neighbors are otherwise nice, quiet people. This should work as long as you live in a neighborhood and there are many more houses around.

Dog Problem Fixed with Water

Our neighbors leave their dog out most of the time, and he barks most of the time also. In the summer, when watering the garden, I used to point the hose in the air toward the dog. He seemed to be surprised by the water and stopped barking. It took a few times of doing this, but after a while, if he heard our door, he'd stop.

Barking Dogs and the Dog Lover…

The dog is probably very lonely and bored. If you are a dog lover and feel bad for this animal beyond being sleepless, a good idea would be to approach your new neighbor and offer to take his dog on evening walks. Free exercise for you and a new buddy for him. You may want to mention that the poor guy seems to be quite upset at night, and ask to bring over a new chew toy. Hopefully, the owner will be understanding and work out a solution to the nighttime barking. If the owner is completely put off by your suggestions, you can then feel free to take more severe actions without feeling badly.

Offer Solutions to Stop Barking Dogs

Outdoor dogs are usually bored and seeking love and attention. An owner that keeps the dog outside usually isn't providing enough for the animal, and may be unwilling to do so. Complaining without offering a solution may make the owner "take it out" on the poor dog.

Before you complain to the local animal control officer or police, you can try the following:

  1. Ask the owner if you can walk the dog or spend time with it. Many times attention and some basic obedience work are enough to satisfy the animals need for affection (though this may take time.)
  2. Ask the owner if you can provide the dog with toys or marrow bones to keep it busy and quiet. "Kongs" filled with treats or peanut butter keep them busy for hours.
  3. If the dog were a severe problem, perhaps the owner would be willing to use a "bark collar." You may have to purchase it. While many of these work on a shock system, an excellent one (we use at my vet clinic) sprays a burst of citronella, which stops the barking without shocks.
  4. Perhaps the owner simply doesn't want the dog but doesn't know what to do with it. If this is the case, offer to find the dog a good, new home and then contact local vets, animal shelters and dog training/rescue clubs to check on availability of placement.

If you do wind up having to go to authorities, tape record the barking with time references, and be prepared to go to court.

Inexpensive Way to Quiet Barking Dogs

We have found with our own dog that the best method of stopping unwanted behavior is a simple pop can with about ten pennies in it. When Indy starts to misbehave, we simply rattle the can, tell him "quiet," "no" or "leave it," and he immediately stops. This might be worth a try. It is certainly an inexpensive, labor-free device, and might keep the peace with the neighbors! By the way, why is the dog barking? That might be worth investigating, too.

"White Noise" Blocks Out Barking Dogs

There is a simple remedy for all kinds of noise problems that affect your sleep. Have you tried "white noise"? All you need is a small radio next to your bed. Turn it on to a non-station and turn the sound just loud enough to block the barking. Your brain quickly adjusts to the humming sound of the radio and you won't even notice it after a bit.

Sonic Dog Repellants Work

Yes, the sonic dog repellants do work! I live where the houses are close together too. Our neighbor works the midnight shift. His dogs would bark the minute he would leave and stop when he got home. I probably should have said something to him, but his wife passed away and I felt bad for him. I had a sonic dog repellant. It looked like an ordinary garage door opener. The dogs would stop barking when I pushed the button.

Reward Barking Dog's Good Behavior

I had the same problem with two dogs that live next door to us. I solved the problem by calling them over to the fence when they were not barking and giving them a few doggie treats. Now when they bark, I open the window and say "No" and they stop. Remember to only give them the treat when they are not barking.

Related: How to Keep Dogs Out of Your Yard

Talk to Neighbor About Barking Dogs

As an animal control officer for about five years, I would suggest that you get up the nerve to go talk to your neighbor about the barking. Ninety percent of the folks to whom I've issued warnings say that they wished someone had talked to them before calling animal control. Talking to your neighbor is the fastest and most effective way to resolve the problem.

If you just can't do it, leave an extremely polite note on the door with your name and number to discuss the problem. If you want to be really proactive, visit some websites and print up some material about stopping nuisance barking (most dogs bark because they are lonely and bored!) to give to your neighbor. Give it some time; things can't change overnight. Talk to your other neighbors to see if they have a problem with the dog barking.

If your neighbor is unreceptive, then don't hesitate to call animal control or your police department. Find out what your local laws are and the process that needs to be followed and then do it.
Carmen in Colorado

Reviewed January 2018

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