Here’s how to stop the barking dogs of rude neighbors. Though a dog outdoors can relieve itself freely and enjoy fresh air, realize that if a dog continuously barks (not necessarily barking every minute, but is repeatedly heard, over and over), then any dog behavior expert will tell you this means the dog is stressed out and suffering anxiety. The dog isn’t happy, and a good dog owner should care about his/her dog’s feelings.
Don’t be afraid to outright meet the neighbor in person, but immediately identify yourself as someone who “lives in the area” so that they don’t think you’re a solicitor. Several times I have tracked down the inconsiderate owners of early-morning barking canines and pointed this problem out to them, and with good results.
Listen to the barking of dogs left out for hours or even one hour, and the barking of dogs at play. It’s two very different kinds of barking. One’s a stressed-out barking, and one’s a happy playful barking. When dogs left out are barking constantly (a few barks every five minutes qualifies as incessant barking), these barks are clearly stress-barks. Why do dog owners allow this?Certainly they know their dog is prone to barking. This should be the default assumption.
After you identify yourself, ask, “Are you aware that your dog barks constantly when he or she is left outside?” Then wait for the neighbor to respond. It’s normal for dogs to bark occasionally if left outside. But I’m talking about enough barking to be noticeable, and especially in the wee hours of the morning. I co-own a big canine. That dog is NEVER left outside when nobody is home. It’s unthinkable.
If we’re gone all day long, the dog goes in the kennel. However, the German shepherd stays indoors when we’re gone for up to four or five hours. THE DOG NEVER SOILS THE HOUSE when left inside for this many hours. So I don’t understand why people let their pets outside, unattended, for even one hour. Fresh air is important, but a dog owner can give his pet plenty of fresh air by taking it for a walk or playing with it. Even one hour of nonstop barking is, need I say, a real grating on the nerves. And once again, at 6 AM this morning, I was awakened by repeated barking that stretched over a 20-minute period. There is just no excuse for this.
There have been times it’s impossible to figure out which residence the barking is coming from, especially during the wee hours. I also can’t understand why the people, who live close enough to the offenders to know exactly whom the owners are, don’t do something about it.
So if you KNOW who these dog owners are, please speak to them! TALK. Again, I perfectly understand that dogs bark for a living. But there is no excuse for leaving a dog outside alone for hours on end, or for extended periods early in the morning. If you’re afraid your dog will soil your house while you’re out, then:
1) Train the dog better.
2) Put the dog in a kennel.
3) And put a muzzle on the dog when you take it out early in the morning. The stereotype of a muzzle is a metallic contraption that hurts a dog. But you can buy soft-fabric muzzles, that open at the snout end, at your vet’s office.
Kennels are priced reasonably, and are better on a dog’s nerves than leaving it all alone in an empty yard with no human contact. Don’t think that your dog will be cooped up nonstop in a kennel with no human contact. Kennel staff will interact with your dog. Some kennels have swimming pools as well.
Dogs left outdoors easily get agitated by many sights and sounds, and continuous barking means they are not happy campers. There is NOTHING wrong with leaving a dog inside the house while you’re out, especially for only one or two hours. Who says dogs must be put outside every time you leave the house? Indoors, dogs feel more secure.
Don’t assume your dog is not prone to a lot of barking. Most dogs, if left outside unattended, will give in to relentless barking. Don’t you care about your dog’s feelings?
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