Barking Dogs and MYOB’ing

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    Two (I think, could be ten) very large dogs have moved in nextdoor to us–along with their people. I *hardly* ever see their people, but I hear the dogs all the time. I’m NOT complaining about the noise at all–I’m a city chicken who can live through anything except silence–I’m just worried about them. They’re big dogs who, basically bay and howl for hours without stop. (Some great-danish sized puppies.)

    I know they have a dog door (which must be about the size of a double garage door) so they’re probably not stuck outdoors. When they start up, it goes for hours and it is piteously sad.

    The people have put lots of money into making a good place for their puppies (and cats). Took out a hot tub to make a bigger yard, put up an invisible fence so the cats stay in the yard —

    What do I do? Lie in wait until I see them and then offer .. what? Help? (Nope, I can’t walk the dogs until AFTER my hip replacement). Advice? Is it possible that they don’t know how miserable their dogs are when they’re alone? Or is it possible that I’m anthropomorphizing and the dogs are howling with joy? I never see them walking the dogs, but the bob half saw them get loaded into a car *once* as if they were going to the dog park.

    This has gone on since December. So far I’ve been MYOBing, which feeks like avoidance behavior. I usually solve these dilemmas by asking myself, “What do you want to say?” and then saying it. But what I want to say is, “Are your dogs OK?” And that just sounds stupid.

    I’m WFH today and they cried from 9:30 ’til now. I think they ran out of wind. Ideas? tia!



    If the howling truly isn’t bothering you and the dogs are healthy, then make no comment.


    If you are concerned about the health or wellbeing of the dogs, you could write a note to the dogs’ owner(s) to let them know how the dogs are behaving in their absence and offer to provide resources to help if they desire them (walking service, daycare locally, etc.).


    If they aren’t aware of their pets’ behavior they ought take the note with no offense.


    If the dogs need intervention, are being abused or neglected, then make a report to Animal Control.



    I really like the suggestion in your second paragraph, Iruk! I have no idea if the dogs are healthy — no one ever sees them — that’s part of the problem.

    I’d been thinking about leaving a note, but couldn’t quite figure out what to say. (Notes seem kind of cowardly to me, and I actually would talk to them when I see them, but I never see them!) You’ve given me the clews I need.




    charlabob, from what I know about canine behavior, I’d say the dogs are most likely just bored. There are many things which the owners can do to alleviate the dogs’ boredom. It can also be a form of separation anxiety. If you want to recommend a book, I have found this one to be very helpful and easy to read, in language for the average dog owner (not trainers):

    You might want to consider including in your note exactly what you said — that you would be happy to talk in person but the timing never seems to be right, and then invite them to drop by at their convenience.



    Wow! First of all, I’m impressed that you aren’t bothered by the noise. Constant dog noise tops my list of headache-producing, rage-inducing annoyances. But then again… you ARE bothered because you are worried about the dogs’ physical and emotional health. And you are bothered enough to seek advice. Time to stop M’d YOB!

    Anyway, I think notes are cowardly only if they’re anonymous. Write a note offering to help. Even if you can’t walk them, maybe you can offer to go over and pet them and throw toys for them a couple times a day.


    I can’t believe you lasted this long with that kind of noise. I’m constantly amazed at how well dog-owners (and yes, I’m totally generalizing here) can block out their own dogs’ noise while the rest of us suffer. I would absolutely write a note asking them whether they’re aware of their dogs’ distress sounds while they (the owners) are away, and, as you pointed out, kindly offer to help as you can. You’re certainly not the only person hearing this – you’d likely be doing the rest of your neighbors a favor by pointing it out to the dog-owners.



    charlabob – GOOD dog people don’t block out their own pup’s barking and don’t mind at all if the neighbors tell them about disturbances while they are away.

    We have appreciated it in the past when our neighbors have sent us a text saying the boys are going nuts. It lets us know if there was a problem or if we needed to work on their training.

    On the other hand, we have a neighbor further down the block that leaves their hunting-style dog home alone all day and the thing just bays and howls. We’ve told them before and they never changed their behavior. We called animal control to issue a noise complaint and they were fined. That finally got their attention.

    Just saying there are a LOT of responsible dog owners who will listen to a courteous comment. Also, there are ways to deal with the ones who aren’t so responsible. Best of luck charla!



    Anyone see the Dexter episode where he confronted his girlfriend’s neighbor about her yapping dog that she always ignored? The neighbor was a total b*tch, so Dexter’s GF stole the dog and gave it to a coworker for some affection. I don’t recommend that route, but the dog was happier.

    The dogs just sound anxious and don’t like being left alone so I’m sure they’re in fine health, just bored to death. Watch enough episodes of the Dog Whisperer and I bet these daft owners could find a solution to this. I wish people wouldn’t get dogs if they aren’t going to give them any attention and let them be a nuisance to others. Good luck with this one, I hope whatever you decide to do works so you can get some peace and quiet!



    i think a lot of people are aware that their animals are bored and lonely when they are off at work.. and they get more animals to keep one another company.. and sometimes that works.

    i am lucky to be able to be home with mine.



    This works with many dogs, but really hardheaded yappers and those who are already deaf can ignore it completely.

    As long as it is on your property and works, the issue might not come up again.



    I didn’t think about this when I posted, but maybe, just maybe, the doggie parents read this blog and will find more amusement for their dogs. Last night, the hours from 11-2:30 were eerily quiet.

    Would that be the ultimate in passive aggression or simply brilliant strategy? If they start up again, I’ll have an immense bag of tricks thanks, to all of you!



    CMP, given the usual Dexter plotlines, having her dog stolen constitutes getting off EASY for that particular dog owner. If only she knew :-)

    Nonspoiler: Watch Dexter! You’ll see community at its finest.



    In the spirit of thread hijacking already in progress…

    Dexter season 1 is available on dvd and season 2 is due out in August.

    Download via amazon unboxed (DRM included) is available now.



    LOVE Dexter!

    We use the bark collars on our dogs – not sure if it’s the same one mentioned above. We tried citronella collars, but the dogs learned to bark and hop backwards! We had to get out the REAL gear, and it’s worked WONDERS on our little yappers – they are not silent, but they do not bark loudly enough to set off the shock which means very little overall noise in the neighborhood from our potential offenders.

    If your neighbors are at all community-minded they will be attentive to your note or chat. If not, Animal Control will be.


    I have two big dogs who we keep out all day in our yard, and they dont bark unless there is something to bark about.yes i know this sometimes includes the postman, who brings them treats everyday, but this also keeps any soliciting people or would be robbers at bay. my neighbors might not be happy with us all the time but at least our block is the one block that has not been robbed..knock on wood.



    The dogs are still quiet — except when they play exhuberently in their yard. I’m a tiny bit embarassed (THANK YOU, LOVELY DOGGY PARENTS NEXT DOOR) and very happy for the dogs. And, as I said, I know a lot about other things I can do when WE finally get adopted by a new dog. :-)




    i am so glad this is working out better for you…

    and if your neighbors are lurking.. i am glad they found a better solution for both their dogs and their neighbors….




    is there where you leave them a small gift and an appreciative note ;-)



    So I have nicely spoken to my neighbors about their barking dog (feeling quite un-MYOBish about it and bringing them fresh basil from my garden after as a peace offering) and yet, I’ve been awakened at 7:15 am every morning this week and I’m frustrated!! They are at work all day and the dog sits at the gate barking when a bird flys by or a cat crosses the street. The dog saves her most aggressive barking for the postal carrier. I have two dogs who bark from inside my house occasionally (but I’m mostly home and quiet them down). Here’s what it comes down to, I don’t want my neighbors to hate me, but is it time I call Animal Control to have them deal with it? The couple moved in about a year ago and I’ve listened to the barking pretty much every weekday. In every other way they are good neighbors and we’re on friendly terms.



    In your talks did you suggest a bark collar? If so, perhaps calling Animal Control to ask them what THEIR next step would be as you’d like this peacefully resolved.




    I would maybe worn them one more time and hint that you will call animal control. You could always bring information on the barking caller, pet-walkers, and doggie daycares that should give them the hint, too. I know that the main reason why my dog is kept inside with blinds shut while I am at work is for that very reason that i dont want to be shunned by my neighbors and I know my dog will bark at birds, other dogs, or buses that go by. Best of luck to you.



    I would like to express my appreciation for my very considerate neighbors who are diligent about keeping their dogs from barking!



    Julie, it is nice to read a “rave” about dilligent dog owners. Your neighbors are doing the right thing. Dogs are trainable and can be trained not to continually bark.



    Someone needs to tell my new neighbors that their dogs can be trained not to bark. Guess I’ll have to do it? So damn annoying, bark bark bark all day and night. I wonder if they notice or if it occurs to them that people can hear that 2 blocks away and might be getting tired of it? Why do dogs bark like that constantly anyway? Don’t they get sore throats? :)



    we live next door to a dog that barks continuously… at first mine barked back, but they quickly got used to the yapper and don’t respond now.

    however, the cat that shows up next door has figured out that she can lay on the other side of the chain link fence and make the dogs go crazy… i go out to quiet them.. and there she is:(

    i am not sure what you can do.. except do your best to make sure that your dogs are as well entertained and well behaved as they can be.

    i have been distracted lately.. and mine are letting me know i am not living up to my end of the bargain:)

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