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Friday, April 18, 2014
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How to Deal With a Neighbor's Loud Dog

By Susan Paretts
 

Overview

While an occasional bark must be expected from your neighbor's dog, because dogs communicate by barking just as people communicate by talking, some dogs bark excessively. Excessive barking can result from boredom or loneliness due to separation anxiety. This type of nuisance barking can be unpleasant to hear, especially for prolonged periods of time during the day and especially at night. If your neighbor's dog barking disturbs you, there are several things you can try to remedy the situation.

Step 1

Speak with your neighbor about his dog's excessive or loud barking. He may not be aware that the dog barks when he is not present, which is common in dogs with separation anxiety. If you aren't comfortable speaking to your neighbor in person, write a polite, non-confrontational note to him informing him of his dog's barking.

Step 2

Notify your homeowners association, apartment manager or landlord about the constant barking. Inform the person you speak to of the neighbor's address, the times of the barking and the duration of the barking. Ask that she contact the neighbor and instruct him to take steps to stop his dog from barking.

Some HOAs and rental communities have websites where you can simply fill out a complaint form online. This usually results in a letter being sent to the owner of the dog telling him to stop his dog's constant barking.

Step 3

Contact your local law enforcement agency or animal control office to file a noise complaint about your neighbor's dog. Fill out a complaint form, usually found online, with the name and address of the neighbor, his breed of dog, and times and durations of the barking. You will also need to fill in your contact information. The neighbor will be contacted by the authorities to encourage him to quiet his dog, usually by mail; your information may or may not be divulged, depending on the laws of your area.

Dog barking is governed by different laws, some of which specify that barking must be controlled at certain times of the night or for extended periods of time, such as 30 minutes of barking in a 3-hour time period, according to the Los Angeles Times. In some municipalities you will have to go to your city hall to file a complaint in person.

Step 4

File a second or third complaint with animal control or local law enforcement to have the dog declared a "public nuisance" or indicate that she and her owner are in violation of noise laws. Two or more complaints usually result in the neighbor being required to come to court and have the dog declared a public nuisance. You will be required to come to court to prove the case and will need a record of the dog's barking. This record usually consists of a written log of the dog's barking, along with video or audio recordings of the barking. Most municipalities require corroboration from two, or possibly more, of your other neighbors.

Depending on local ordinances, barking dog complaints may be governed under either nuisance or noise laws. There is usually a waiting period required between filing separate complaints about barking dogs.

Step 5

Set up an ultrasonic barking deterrent device in your backyard to stop a neighbor's dog from barking if she is left outside and unattended. These devices emit a loud, high-pitched tone when the dog barks within range of the device, discouraging the dog from barking. The tone can only be heard by a dog, not people. Ultrasonic devices usually have a range of between 25 and 50 feet; some are designed to look like birdhouses you can hang on a tree.
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