Barking disturbance

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What was- that?????
Barked: Tue Jun 5, '12 1:19pm PST 
Help! We have neighbors that moved in about a year ago and they have begun to complain about our dogs barking. This has me terribly upset and I could use some advice, never been in this situation before.

We live in PA, a quiet neighborhood where there are many dog owners. We have lived here for 7 yrs with never a complaint. Lily is a barker. She barks at people jogging, walking, at other dogs and at wildlife she may see in the field across from our house. I know this, and have done training with her that has helped me to stop her barking, but has not eliminated it. So I am extra careful about letting her out in our backyard and will bring her inside as soon as she starts. Our other dog Josey is NOT a barker. He only barks if someone approaches the house that he doesn't recognize or when the bear is nearby.

The new neighbor called the police on us about 2 months ago. It was a Saturday night, I let them out at 10pm for their last bathroom break for the night and then Lily barked once and I made her come in. 15 minutes later there's a knock on my door. The police saying someone complained about a barking dog. I was so stunned that I literally was stuttering. He was very nice about it but I was very upset. Since that time I have been even MORE cautious about letting the dogs out at night. I often stand out on the deck while they are out there to prevent any barking. By the way, our next door neighbors found out it was the new neighbors who called the police on us. The new neighbors are not even next door to us. They live across this big field. AND, there is a golden retriever that lives across the street from them and barks nonstop when it is outside!

Today I got an anonymous letter in the mail threatening us with fines and civil action. I am so mad and upset right now! I really don't understand why this is targeting our dogs when there are MANY other dogs in the neighborhood that bark! And this neighbor has NEVER approached us about it directly. Wouldn't that have been the neighborly thing to do?

Is there anything I can do to protect myself? Honestly if my dogs were causing a disturbance I would be mortified. It IS annoying when dogs bark nonstop...I couldn't even stand if my dogs were doing this. It would drive me nuts. Help!!!

Love me.
Barked: Tue Jun 5, '12 3:37pm PST 
If you are not letting the dogs bark non-stop then there is no reason for them to be doing this. Look up the specific ordinances in your area that say how long the barking has to be for it to become a nuisance. A short time like one or five minutes of barking-while it may be annoying to some-does not and should not warrant a police call. I would also make a visit to the police station, show them what you got in the mail, explain how you take care of the dogs-what you do if they start barking,etc-and if need be, file a complaint about the neighbors you know are harassing you. Perhaps your other neighbors would back you up? Good luck, I hope things get better soon. hug

Eh, I guess you could also try talking to the neighbors who are complaining, maybe there is something more they are upset about? Or just grumpy people who hate dogs and are probably complaining about ALL the animals in the neighborhood? shrug

What was- that?????
Barked: Tue Jun 5, '12 9:54pm PST 
Thanks Twister. That is good advice. I think I will take the letter to the police & talk to them about the situation. Unfortunately, since the letter is anonymous, I can't prove who sent it but at least I can have them be aware of what's going on.

We've already talked to our next door neighbors who will gladly back us up. They have a dog too and have said that their dog barks more than ours! The neighbors on our other side are supportive too.

I guess what upsets me most is that we are always trying to be good dog parents....we always clean up the poop on our walks, if cars or people approach on our walk we pull our dogs off to the side and so they can pass, we never leave our dogs out for long periods of time unattended and we ARE quick to respond if our dogs start barking outside. So this hits me in a really sensitive spot.

My husband said he is going to approach them about this. I can't....I'd be too defensive & would get upset to quickly! frown


Cave canis- vigilo omnis
Barked: Wed Jun 6, '12 6:55am PST 
I understand your anger at the the anonymous letter. It's a cheap shot which promotes nothing but ill will. naughty

I agree with Twister - check the language of the noise ordinance in your area. Most jurisdictions consider dogs a nuisance at 10 minutes of non-stop barking - perhaps less after a certain time of night. It might also be worth asking your neighbors with dogs if they've received complaints, too - that might indicate what kind of problem you're dealing with.

And a friendly chat might help - they might be mistaking your dog for another, or they might be hyper-sensitive if they have a new baby or an elderly relative in the household, or if they work different shifts and sleep at off times. Letting them know that you're supervising your dogs could go a long way toward keeping the peace. They shouldn't have to be disturbed by non-stop barking, but dogs DO bark and one can't reasonably expect silence in a neighborhood that has dogs.

Edited by author Wed Jun 6, '12 7:09am PST


oops theres a- wall there!
Barked: Sun Jun 10, '12 12:04pm PST 
geez I would hate to live right next to these people! Sorry you are going through this though. I mean yeah dogs barking is annoying, but I would never even think about calling the cops. We have dogs all over our neighborhood and cops that live here as well, and yeah throughout the night it's never quiet you can always hear dogs barking. oh well I guess some people just have to be negative about something! Hope it all works out for you though!
Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Sun Jun 10, '12 7:08pm PST 
Wow, either they are mixing you up with someone else or they're not used to having neighbors.

A dog barking for a few minutes is no different than my neighbor playing music Saturday evening or starting up his loud car or me hearing his booming laugh from across the street. It's something you just deal with until it becomes obnoxious and constant. Until then, it's just the sounds of life. You can't eradicate everything.

Perhaps there is a dog that is barking nonstop, and they are just assuming it's you. I would go talk to the neighbors first hand to tell them they may be confusing you with someone else.

Little Angel
Barked: Sat Jun 16, '12 9:55pm PST 
If you aren't breaking any laws, (check out the language of the ordinance carefully) what they are doing is harassment. You can take them to court for harassment, and also report them to the DA for making false police calls (I'm pretty sure it's a crime to call the police needlessly.)

After you check the laws of the ordinance, I'd print out a copy for them and tell them if they don't stop calling the police and sending threatening letters you'll take THEM to court. Usually that shuts people up that don't have a leg to stand on.

Ain't nothing- but a hound dog.
Barked: Sun Jun 17, '12 7:23am PST 
They had no reason to call the police for one bark! Our neighbors are very tolerant of Kc's occasional howl.

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Sun Jun 17, '12 3:17pm PST 
When we first got Buddy he was quite the barker. Someone reported him so I had to keep a journal of his barking for 2 weeks. Basically every time he barked I was to note the time and the number of barks or the duration of the barking. AC determined he was not a nuisance barker. Shortly thereafter we recieved an anonymous letter stating that dogs like mine had been known to disappear and I should be very careful. I was frightened and furious that someone would threaten my dogs. I reported it to the police and AC and then let my neighbors know what had happened and that uninvited persons on my property would be deemed to have bad intentions and would be treated accordingly. The neighbor responsible was arrested 2 weeks later trying to sneak poisoned meat into my dog run at 2 am.
Watch your dogs and keep accurate records of any barking or interaction with neighbors

Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Mon Jun 18, '12 9:30am PST 
I have to agree with Sabi,people like this can be very devious and dangerous to your pets. Noting when the dog barks,at what,and for how long can be very helpful if you do find yourself in court and noting your neighbors interactions with your pets is also very helpful.hugwishes on solving your problem safely for all and effectively. Your neighbors will just need to learn some tolerance,dogs bark,some do bark excessively for almost no reason except boredom and others bark very little and only in what they feel are threatening circumstances. It sound like you have done alot of work and have one of the latter,so it seems to me that this is your neighbors issue and not anything you can fix. Now you need to concentrate,unfortunately,on keeping your dogs safe from any malicious behavior on the part of your disgruntled neighbor.hugwishes
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