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Dogs barking in urban neighborhood


amy g.
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I have a question about where one neighbor's rights end and another's begin as far as noise is concerned.

 

We are adjusting from moving from acerage in Texas to a heritage neighborhood close to downtown in California. I'm not quite clear about what I need to do to be a good neighbor.

 

We moved with our 2 adult Great Pyrenees. Both of them have only lived on the farm guarding the livestock where barking was an important part of keeping the animals safe.

 

Neither one has ever been threatening of aggressive to a human or even another dog unless that dog was activively attacking.

 

I have gotten 2 anonymous notes on my car telling me to control my dogs' barking.

 

My dogs are not left in the yard to bark out of boredom. When we are here, they are with us in the house. They might give a quick bark when they need to go out, and since the houses are close together and the doors and windows are open, I'm sure neighbor's can hear them.

 

When we leave, we crate them in the house.

 

The second note included this sentence, "This is a working class neighborhood." Which makes me wonder if the problem this neighbor has with me involves more than noise.

 

I know the note didn't come from my amazing next door neighbors because they were out of town at the time. The house on the other side is empty. I told the neighbor across the street about the notes and that I'm always available to problem solve face to face if there is a issue. He assured me that they don't hear my dogs because they have yappy dogs of their own.

 

Next door to him is my gardener. He said that he likes the dogs and that they are doing their job to protect us. I don't know the other people on the street. The rest of the houses have been subdivided.

 

So here is my question. In a neighborhood, how much quiet is reasonable to expect. Is it okay for kids to practice instruments inside if they can be heard outside? What about having a family celebration on the deck when the neighbor's window is open? What about kids playing tag outside and laughing and yelling?

 

This house was empty for 2 years. There is no way it will ever be that quiet again.

 

I have looked into different anti barking devices. My biggest issue is that I don't find the barking excessive. If a car goes down the alley with the bass blaring, do I want my dog shocked or squirted with citronella for alerting me?

 

I have looked into the city noise ordinances and I don't see any way I have violated them.

 

I'll continue to talk to my neighbor's as I meet them, but at this point, I'm inclined to blow it off and assume that it is a cranky person who would never be satisfied no matter what I do, so why knock myself out.

 

If I could talk to them in person, I could say, "Let me try this, and you let me know if notice improvement."

 

Any advice?

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My dog barks incessantly at the mailman if we don't acknowledge that we see him to and reassure the dog. It's ridiculous. However, he's inside and you can't hear him from inside other houses. You might hear him if you are outside in my neighbors' yards, but it would be quieter than a low conversation. If he's outside we make sure he doesn't bark a lot. We tell him to shush, or we bring him inside if he's stressed over workmen on our street.

 

I think the best you can do is make sure they aren't outside getting off more than a few barks in a row. That IS nerve wracking and can keep people from enjoying their outdoor living spaces. Nobody moves to suburbia expecting total silence, but they shouldn't have to put up with constant, excessive outdoor barking. Pay attention in case you're tuning them out. If they're routinely getting of a string of barks outside (I dunno . . . 10 in a row every time someone twitches in the neighborhood) it can impact your neighbors enjoying a formerly peaceful neighborhood.

 

The other sounds you mentioned are really more bearable because of their temporary nature. With a dog you wonder if it'll ever end. You may have to put a little effort into recalibrating them a little for your current threat level. Barking at every suburban squirrell, kid, or car can be overkill.

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I did wonder about them barking in the crates. In our old house, their crates were in the garage and they were quiet when workmen etc. we're at the house.

 

Here, the crates are in the basement. If their barking is too loud from there, I'm just not sure there is a solution that will satisfy the anonymous neighbor.

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So - it does not sound to me like the barking is excessive at all.  Yes, as citizens we have to try and be considerate of others. But, we also have to put up with others when we live in communities.

 

I think your fisr stop should be your towns ordinances, they may well have some specifically about barking dogs.  Town rules may not always be sensible, but at least then you know where you stand.  Here, until recently, there had to be 20 min of continuous barking for it to be a by-law issue.  (Our new law, which is a bad one IMO, is totally subjective, which I find worrying.   I'd much rather have a shorter time than that.)

 

In my experience, some people are just not reasonable about what it means to live with others, they seem to think it should involve nothing on their part.  We've had issues with our dogs barking in one  instances, which was a tricky situation that didn't have an easy remedy - our back yard is open along the side street - there is a fence, but people walk along the road there. There is a man locally who walks his little dogs and lets them walk on the grass by the fence - if my dogs are out they bark like the dickens at his, and I've had dogs that would not come when called if the little dogs were right up against the fence. It's a little annoying to me, however, the man is mentally handicapped and not so easy to communicate with, so I haven't really worried about it too much.  I had some neighbours who called the by-law enforcement though, which seemed really over the top to me.  Luckily we weren't in violation of the by-law.

 

I wonder in your situation, if the person is sleeping at odd times, and that is what they meant by the working class remark?

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My night shift neighbor complain in a polite way to the whole community to keep the noise down in the morning as he would like to sleep. Kids and adults were running down corridors to get to the elevators.

 

My HOA rule used to be no noise between 11pm to 7am when we moved in. Now it is 10pm to 8am. There were too many loud talking and TV blaring until 11pm so it was not surprising that the time was shifted to 10pm.

 

People are generally tolerant of dog barking unless someone's dog bark late at night/early morning.

 

How do they know it's your dogs if the neighbors have yappy dogs, too?

My neighbor's Maltese bark in a different way than my upstairs neighbors big size dogs that I don't know the breed of.

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We're very sensitive to dog barking (as in it annoys us).  We just really like quiet.   But when you live in a neighborhood, there is going to be some of that.  We feel like as long as it is during the daytime, and not constant (I would say more than 30 min- 1 hour), then that is part of normal neighborhood life.  

 

If your dogs are barking constantly in the crates for hours at a time, that would be an issue.  Otherwise, it doesn't sound like you are doing anything wrong.

 

Regarding musical instruments:  for awhile we had a neighbor who played the bagpipes... badly!  At first we thought he was killing animals over there!  But during the middle of the afternoon, he was well within his rights.

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The only way they would be keeping someone up at night is if that person can't sleep through 2 quick barks from an upstairs bedroom to let me know that she wants to go break. In the middle of the night, I take her break on a leash so she doesn't bark outside to come back in.

 

I thought too that the working class comment might have been from someone who works nights.

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I would interpret the "working class neighborhood" to mean they are keeping someone awake at night. Is that possible?

Or she has a neighbor on the night shift who could sleep undisturbed until she moved in. That's a situation I'd work to fix. However, since they left a vague note instead of talking to her she wouldn't know where to begin. I know sleep deprivation makes people cranky, but sometimes you've got to grow up and have an uncomfortable conversation.

 

Would the dogs bark less if left uncrated?

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What does the comment about "working class neighborhood" mean? Do you look super rich? Or do you look terribly poor? Is it like another PP said that they're barking at times when people have to sleep because they have to work? Like, are they barking at 10 pm or before 6 am? Or early on Saturday mornings which is often the only time a sleep deprived person can try to catch up on rest?

 

A dog that is outside barking for minutes on end is terribly disruptive when you're living in close quarters. I used to live in small a rowhome. There were many mornings when the neighbor's dog would bark half an hour before our 6:30 alarm would go off and it was maddening. He'd bark for 3-5 (or more) minutes, which meant that you had to give up on getting your last half hour of rest before work. Even though they were 2 doors down, he was only about 30 feet from my bedroom window.

 

Are the dogs barking for more than 60 seconds at a time? Do they bark for 20 seconds every 5 minutes? Or just an occasional break out of barks if a bike rides by? Do they bark at everything that walks/rides by?

 

This could go either way. Either you've tuned out just how much barking there is, or the neighbor is crabby and nothing you do will help.

Edited by Garga
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You have a right to make noise, and they have a right to tell you that it is annoying.  Unless either of you breaks a law (know your local ordinances) that is just life in the suburbs.  Neighbors annoy neighbors. 

 

That said, true LGDs are not common in neighborhoods and very few people are going to understand why you condone such behavior from your animals. I wouldn't go around telling people that you intentionally trained them to alert, chase, live outside, etc. They won't understand and may very well become afraid of your pets and/or judgmental of your animal care.

Edited by Plink
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I just went outside to ask a different neighbor about it. He said, "What? OMG! You are kidding me! If your dogs are someone's biggest problem, they have it made!" He assured me that it isn't an issue for his family, or his next door neighbor who has 2 St. Bernards. He said to just keep in mind that you never know what someone else is going through as far as crisis or pain issues, so be kind but don't worry about it.

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I would NOT buy or use any "anti barking" devices.  Unless you have dog(s) who bark just to be barking (a hobby), and it does not sound like that, if they are like our dogs, it is to alert us. It may be a stray dog in the street by our gate, or people walking a dog, or something. Your dogs and ours have a job. Their job is to protect you. It would be nice if the person who left the note on your car would speak with you personally. It may be they do not like dogs or people who have dogs. It may be a valid complaint. Unless and until you get more information, I'd try not to worry about it. Be very careful there and I'm glad that you have your dogs inside, to protect you, when you are home.  

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I, too, have a LGD in a neighborhood.  I have one neighbor that complains, the rest are ok.  When he barks it is louder than the other dogs so he gets yelled about.  But the law is that he is a nuisance if he barks for more than 30 min at a time--- we are mostly home and we make sure that he NEVER barks more than 5 min at a time (and that is mostly because I am busy in the shower or something)  As to barking in the house-- he is loud and can be heard from the outside-- not much I can do about it.  I do make sure to keep the windows closed at night so if he barks at night, it is less disturbing to the neighbor.  The neighbor is upset about ANY noise at night  (basically any dark times-- so as early as 8pm until 8 am)  He even yelled at my children for making too much noise looking at a meteor and yelled at them -- BTW, I slept through the whole thing). 

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I did teach my dog a "quiet" command-- I use it when he is barking too long about something stupid (like me knocking the wall accidentally or a dog is barking on TV).   Basically is it to let him know that "I got this" and he can let it go.

 

Edited by Lara in Colo
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You have a right to make noise, and they have a right to tell you that it is annoying.  Unless either of you breaks a law (know your local ordinances) that is just life in the suburbs.  Neighbors annoy neighbors. 

 

That said, true LGDs are not common in neighborhoods and very few people are going to understand why you condone such behavior from your animals. I wouldn't go around telling people that you intentionally trained them to alert, chase, live outside, etc. They won't understand and may very well become afraid of your pets and/or judgmental of your animal care.

 

Except that there really is no "such behavior".  All dogs bark, hers don't seem to be barking any more than the average dog, and a lot less than some.

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I just went outside to ask a different neighbor about it. He said, "What? OMG! You are kidding me! If your dogs are someone's biggest problem, they have it made!" He assured me that it isn't an issue for his family, or his next door neighbor who has 2 St. Bernards. He said to just keep in mind that you never know what someone else is going through as far as crisis or pain issues, so be kind but don't worry about it.

 

I think everyone you have talked to has said not to worry, and you shouldn't worry.

 

My guess is that KungFuPanda is right, it is someone who is trying to sleep at odd hours and is easily woken.  If you knew when, it might be nice to be extra aware during sleeping hours.  But, unless that person wants to talk to you, there really isn't much you can do, and I don't think you have an obligation to do more than you have.

 

I don't think the dogs in the basement could be keeping people up.

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If your dogs bark nonstop when you are not home would you know?  That would drive me nuts.  My ex MIL had a neighbor whose dog barked all day, every day.  It was many houses down an otherwise quiet dead-end street, and the barking was clearly heard even with doors and windows closed.  I could not tolerate that; nonstop repetitive noise overstimulates me. 

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The "working class neighborhood' is maybe meant to explain that people work in the morning or go to bed early.  I live among lots of college students. I occasionally have to explain to them that their neighbors are not students, but people who go to work and kid who go to school in the morning...so could they please turn off the music blaring from their backyard at 10:30 at night.

 

But if they aren't barking at night or in the early morning how is that a problem?

 

I think it is a good idea to set up a nanny cam or some kind of recording device to see if they are barking when you aren't home. I had a coworker who got complaints but said that her dog never barked.  Her landlord set up a recording device (in order to help her prove it wasn't a problem) and Oh my goodness....the dog was barking it's fool head off all day long. So, see if you can find a way to see if that is happening.  I have to admit if I could hear that it would drive me NUTS.

 

I also had to complain to a neighbor about a dog barking and he insisted his dog didn't bark. His backyard was perpendicular to mine...and it was a big yard.  So, the far end of his yard is under my bedroom window.  Well, he moves in and I have a dog barking under my bedroom window at 4:45am...4.50...5:00 etc, etc.  After three mornings of that I went over to have a talk. He claimed he never heard it...but he also left his door open so the dog could wander in and out all night...and then said that the only thing the dog barks at are birds.  Birds that wake up at 4:45 am.   After that he kept the dog in at night.  I feel like I was well within my rights to complain about that. 

 

Does your neighbor with yappy dogs know who might be complaining?  FWIW, I have a neighbor who lives very close and he has three rottweilers. In all the years he has lived here I have never heard them. Not a peep.  OTOH, there is a person who lives around the corner whose dog barks every time someone walks down the street. This is a city and people are walking down the street all day long. I can't hear the dog at my house, but we all brace ourselves every time we walk past.  If I lived next door to that dog I would have called the cops about a thousand times. It throws itself against the windows and just goes crazy all day long.

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We live in a neighborhood. Only constant barking for 10 minutes straight violates the noise ordinance. We had previously had neighbors whose dogs constantly violated this with a high pitched bark, I didn't figure they could do much about it other than getting rid of their dogs so I never complained.

 

My current neighbors have a dog they let out every morning between 5:30 and 6. It barks once or twice to be let back in which usually wakes me up. It's annoying but I feel like it's something I need to put up with unless I live on a few acres. My guess is you have something similar happening in your situation and because you are new to the area someone feels he/she had a right to complain.

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:iagree: Check somehow if they are barking when you are away.  My neighbor's dog barks non-stop when they are away; windows closed isn't bad, but on window open days it's beyond annoying.  Their dog also barks when they are around a lot, but not as much if they tell him to stop.

 

Like you, your dogs are adjusting to a new place and may need some extra help feeling secure and comfortable.  White noise might help them and cover the noise outside for neighbors.

 

You might also work on a quiet command that lets them know one alert bark is good for you, when you are around.

Edited by Tammyla
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I knew that it was risky to move Great Pyrenees across the country and expect them to adapt to city living. But what I was worried about was that they would escape and want to roam around protecting the neighborhood. That would have been unacceptable to me and I knew I would need to rehome them if that happenened.

 

Instead, my female is happy in the house so long as she is at our feet. Our old, fat male is always on the other side of the screen door connecting to whichever room we are in.

 

They have done so well with the adjustment that I thought would be the most challenging.

 

Right now, there is a painter on scaffolding in front of our house and a gardener weed eating in our back yard. The dogs are completely silent because they know they are not a threat.

 

The city is in a state of transition and there is a real fear that "people like me" are buying up historic houses and raising property values which will cause the current residents to become displaced.

 

I think that climate is what made the working class comment stand out to me. Is it a way of saying that my kind is not welcome here?

 

I promise that I'm not just imaging the tension. When we first moved in, there was a newspaper article written about this historic home once more being occupied. Plenty of residents posted comments to the effect of, "Great! Just what we need, more transplants!"

 

The newspaper deleted the comments and replied, "Yes, these are exactly the kind of people that this city needs."

 

Because of that, I probably read too much into the note. I'm just going to carry on trying to be considerate and making friends with my new neighbor's and I'll keep in mind that winning over some people takes longer, but I'm up to the task.

 

Thanks for the feedback.

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Dogs will bark.That's a given. Most people understand that and are reasonable. But I'd take the complaints seriously at least until I'd ruled out everything. It's unfortunate the person didn't leave a name so you could get specifics, but I understand why they didn't since you never know how people will react.

 

First thing, I'd make absolutely sure they weren't barking their heads off when you weren't home. That's a big deal if they are. And if they are, you'll need to figure out what to do about it because it's not fair to subject neighbors to that level of noise. (It's amazing just how annoying it can be if you're trying to work or sleep or, say, homeschool nearby.) The second thing I'd do is pay really close attention to exactly what they're doing outside. Are they constantly barking at neighbors when the people are taking out the trash? Do any of your neighbors work the night shift? That kind of thing. It sounds like you're on good terms with some of your neighbors who say there's no problem. Maybe they have suggest who might have an issue or at least help spread the word through the neighborhood grapevine that you're working on it.

 

You're good to want to solve the problem.

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You could try to find a way to leave your own note on your car for the anonymous offendee?  Let them know you have spoken to your immediate neighbors who haven't had an issue with your dogs, but that you are interested in coming to an equitable solution if they could let you know the specifics of the problem?

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The neighbor I just talked to said, "I can tell you who leaves notes on cars."

 

It is a neighbor who is a private investigator so I can imagine her needing to sleep at odd hours.

 

I'm going to going to bring her some handmade soap and see if we can work out a solution.

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Or she has a neighbor on the night shift who could sleep undisturbed until she moved in. That's a situation I'd work to fix. However, since they left a vague note instead of talking to her she wouldn't know where to begin. I know sleep deprivation makes people cranky, but sometimes you've got to grow up and have an uncomfortable conversation.

 

Would the dogs bark less if left uncrated?

 

I would not be so harsh on the unknown neighbor.  You can't really casually approach just anyone today.  Some people are crazy and will retaliate and make your life hell.

 

Now WE know that the OP is a normal person who would have a conversation, but it just isn't easy to approach a neighbor who clearly does not notice his own dogs barking.  It's not usually very productive. 

 

I doubt the neighbor is just making it up.  Something is really bothering him enough to make the effort to leave notes.  I would work on resolving that.  Perhaps later they will meet.

 

I actually moved from one house because of the neighbors (and this was only one part of the issues there - they brought dogs in our yard to go to the bathroom, damaged our garage, etc). 

 

 

Edited by TranquilMind
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Lol, if she's a private investigator she has more than enough equipment to record the dog's barking if she likes.  You don't have to do it.

 

And before you talk to her, take a few moments and do a bit of your own investigating to find out what the law actually is in your town.  PIs are often retired cops and know how to throw the law around. I know our town has considered things like huge fines if three noise complaints are made against a property..we are a college town and it can get bad in some neighborhoods. 

 

And if you have to, it would be good if you can work it into the conversation that  the rest of the neighborhood mentioned that any notes probably came from her. She might do well to know that the gig is up on that one.

 

IOW, be polite but not a pushover.  Don't apologize for anything.  And, I hate to say this, but I've worked with too many cops and lawyers not to.... don't assume she doesn't have her house wired for audio and video. Just assume you are being recorded..at least at the front door. I mean, you can get apps for that with your phone these days. And if she wants to get legally nasty in the future, a video of you coming to the door apologizing for your dogs' barking  won't look good.

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Dogs will bark.That's a given. Most people understand that and are reasonable. But I'd take the complaints seriously at least until I'd ruled out everything. It's unfortunate the person didn't leave a name so you could get specifics, but I understand why they didn't since you never know how people will react.

 

First thing, I'd make absolutely sure they weren't barking their heads off when you weren't home. That's a big deal if they are. And if they are, you'll need to figure out what to do about it because it's not fair to subject neighbors to that level of noise. (It's amazing just how annoying it can be if you're trying to work or sleep or, say, homeschool nearby.) The second thing I'd do is pay really close attention to exactly what they're doing outside. Are they constantly barking at neighbors when the people are taking out the trash? Do any of your neighbors work the night shift? That kind of thing. It sounds like you're on good terms with some of your neighbors who say there's no problem. Maybe they have suggest who might have an issue or at least help spread the word through the neighborhood grapevine that you're working on it.

 

You're good to want to solve the problem.

I've had dogs.  I don't dismiss it with "dogs will bark".  If the owner lets them go on and on without bringing them inside, that is a problem.  Sure, any dog will have an occasional bark, or bark at an unusual thing.  That is where it is incumbent upon the owners to make that stop.  A good neighbor stops that right away so his dogs don't bother others. 

 

As an owner, you can't just stand back and say, "Oh well, dogs bark".  That is very inconsiderate.  If they are your dogs, you need to keep them quiet. 

 

I actually trained one not to bark.  I think she barked 10 single barks in her lifetime.  Every time she did, I would just say a firm NO.  Eventually, she only barked for things that were truly unusual, like the time she went into heat (I had no idea-thought she was too young) and there were wandering male dogs trying to get into our back porch.  I resolved that problem.

 

I believe your rights end at your property line, and you have no right to continually intrude into your neighbor's space. 

 

What difference does it make who the neighbor is, or whether you track her down and have a conversation.  Solve the problem. 

Edited by TranquilMind
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You could try to find a way to leave your own note on your car for the anonymous offendee?  Let them know you have spoken to your immediate neighbors who haven't had an issue with your dogs, but that you are interested in coming to an equitable solution if they could let you know the specifics of the problem?

 

Why?  Why escalate like that into a p#ssing contest? 

 

I would never do this, personally.    It doesn't matter who else is not bothered.  It matters whether the dogs are barking or not.  Some people are able to edit that sound out but others are not. 

 

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I think that climate is what made the working class comment stand out to me. Is it a way of saying that my kind is not welcome here?

 

 

 

The working class comment merely means that the dogs are barking when someone needs to sleep because he has to get up for work.  That's all.  He is just saying that he doesn't have the luxury of sleeping around dog barking.   That's the way I read that, anyway. 

 

It doesn't have a thing to do with you.  You could be anyone.

 

Alternatively, if you can verify the dogs are not making noise at all, the person could have some personal axe to grind, as in you bought his grandma's house or something.  That's very unlikely though. 

 

Edited by TranquilMind
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I know neighbors who leave notes on doors just because it is their habit. They leave notes for delivery guys on their own doors as well. So I don't find leaving notes out of place.

 

Now WE know that the OP is a normal person who would have a conversation, but it just isn't easy to approach a neighbor who clearly does not notice his own dogs barking. It's not usually very productive.

 

I agree that sometimes it can get scary voicing a complain to a neighbor.

We have a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde kind of neighbor who works as a paramedic. He is a very nice and helpful guy as long as you do not say anything about his dogs. He vandalized all the no dogs in elevators signs inside the elevators and is nasty if anyone reminds him about the no dogs rule.

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The neighbor I just talked to said, "I can tell you who leaves notes on cars."

 

It is a neighbor who is a private investigator so I can imagine her needing to sleep at odd hours.

 

I'm going to going to bring her some handmade soap and see if we can work out a solution.

 

I think you should do this, but do be careful like redsquirrel suggested.

 

There is something I don't entirely like about a person who regularly leaves anonymous notes on cars.

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Why?  Why escalate like that into a p#ssing contest? 

 

I would never do this, personally.    It doesn't matter who else is not bothered.  It matters whether the dogs are barking or not.  Some people are able to edit that sound out but others are not. 

 

 

I don't see that as escalating at all.  It is an attempt to find out what the problem is so it can be addressed, otherwise it is hard to do anything to help.  The OP has already asked all the near neighbours if her dogs bother them.

 

The person left the note anonymously, so the poster was hoping that might be a way to contect the note-writer.

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I know neighbors who leave notes on doors just because it is their habit. They leave notes for delivery guys on their own doors as well. So I don't find leaving notes out of place.

 

 

I agree that sometimes it can get scary voicing a complain to a neighbor.

We have a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde kind of neighbor who works as a paramedic. He is a very nice and helpful guy as long as you do not say anything about his dogs. He vandalized all the no dogs in elevators signs inside the elevators and is nasty if anyone reminds him about the no dogs rule.

 

Yeah. I've met "that" guy before too.   And I never want to live within 5 miles of one again.

 

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I don't see that as escalating at all.  It is an attempt to find out what the problem is so it can be addressed, otherwise it is hard to do anything to help.  The OP has already asked all the near neighbours if her dogs bother them.

 

The person left the note anonymously, so the poster was hoping that might be a way to contect the note-writer.

 

Well the person doesn't want to be contacted or he would have left means to do so.  The person wants the noise to stop.  Unless he is hearing things, there is noise and he has reason to believe it it these dogs. Most people won't do something like that and go to all the trouble to remain anonymous unless they believe it is in their best interests to do so.

 

I'd work on solving the problem, not work on trying to find the note writer. 

 

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Well the person doesn't want to be contacted or he would have left means to do so.  The person wants the noise to stop.  Unless he is hearing things, there is noise and he has reason to believe it it these dogs. Most people won't do something like that and go to all the trouble to remain anonymous unless they believe it is in their best interests to do so.

 

I'd work on solving the problem, not work on trying to find the note writer. 

 

 

Some people are just jerks, and do complain just to be troublmakers, or have unreasonable expectations.  A regular not-on-car leaver seems like a high risk for that to me.

 

The OP described what she sees of her dogs behavior, which seems well within normal guidelines.  She has asked all her close neighbours on every side, who said there is no noise problem.  She's specifically asking the next door person who is close to listen in the day when she is gone.

 

So, all the evidence says, there is no problem.  Personally, I would dismiss this person as a crank - there is no reason someone who lives farther should be bothered, but the OP is wanting to find out if there is something specific to this person's situation that could possibly be a factor.  There is no way other than asking the person to find out about something like that, and without that information she can't know what to do to mitigate the situation either.

 

THat is problem solving, and being pretty darn understanding as well.

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The reason I wanted to talk to the person complaining is so that I can get feedback on what works and does not work.

 

"Hey, I'm going to try making sure all of the windows are shut after the kids go to sleep. Let me know if you notice an improvement."

 

I am not in violation of any codes, so I guess the alternative is to ignore them if they don't want to be contacted.

 

Just making sure dogs never bark is really not a workable solution.

 

Her house is not even very close to mine, but I know that acoustics can be funny things. A neighbor once told me that in her house, every word we said in our pool echoed so loudly she would have to turn up the TV.

 

Oops. The previous owner never told us. After finding out, we were extra considerate, but it also didn't mean that we never went swimming again.

 

Yesterday, my painter let himself in when I was out. He said that each dog gave an alert bark or two, then he didn't hear them again all day even though he was banging around in the house.

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I've had dogs.  I don't dismiss it with "dogs will bark".  If the owner lets them go on and on without bringing them inside, that is a problem.  Sure, any dog will have an occasional bark, or bark at an unusual thing.  That is where it is incumbent upon the owners to make that stop.  A good neighbor stops that right away so his dogs don't bother others. 

 

As an owner, you can't just stand back and say, "Oh well, dogs bark".  That is very inconsiderate.  If they are your dogs, you need to keep them quiet. 

 

I actually trained one not to bark.  I think she barked 10 single barks in her lifetime.  Every time she did, I would just say a firm NO.  Eventually, she only barked for things that were truly unusual, like the time she went into heat (I had no idea-thought she was too young) and there were wandering male dogs trying to get into our back porch.  I resolved that problem.

 

I believe your rights end at your property line, and you have no right to continually intrude into your neighbor's space. 

 

What difference does it make who the neighbor is, or whether you track her down and have a conversation.  Solve the problem. 

 

You are misreading what I wrote. I never dismissed it. I never said it's OK to let them go on and on. I never suggested the OP should ignore the situation. I said dogs bark. They do. Even the best-behaved, most well-trained dogs bark at some time or other. Most people DO understand that and accept it as part of living in a neighborhood. That doesn't mean they have to put up with nuisance barking, and I never implied or said otherwise.

 

I also very clearly said the OP needs to make sure she's not missing something. Just because she hasn't witnessed it doesn't mean the neighbor doesn't have a legitimate complaint.

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Some people are just jerks, and do complain just to be troublmakers, or have unreasonable expectations.  A regular not-on-car leaver seems like a high risk for that to me.

 

The OP described what she sees of her dogs behavior, which seems well within normal guidelines.  She has asked all her close neighbours on every side, who said there is no noise problem.  She's specifically asking the next door person who is close to listen in the day when she is gone.

 

So, all the evidence says, there is no problem.  Personally, I would dismiss this person as a crank - there is no reason someone who lives farther should be bothered, but the OP is wanting to find out if there is something specific to this person's situation that could possibly be a factor.  There is no way other than asking the person to find out about something like that, and without that information she can't know what to do to mitigate the situation either.

 

THat is problem solving, and being pretty darn understanding as well.

Well, we are going to disagree on this.  I hope at the very least she gets a nanny cam set up to see what she is not seeing, if anything.  Maybe the person truly is hearing things. 

 

If the dogs aren't barking, well, so be it.  But if they are, it is incumbent upon the owner to minimize that. 

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You are misreading what I wrote. I never dismissed it. I never said it's OK to let them go on and on. I never suggested the OP should ignore the situation. I said dogs bark. They do. Even the best-behaved, most well-trained dogs bark at some time or other. Most people DO understand that and accept it as part of living in a neighborhood. That doesn't mean they have to put up with nuisance barking, and I never implied or said otherwise.

 

I also very clearly said the OP needs to make sure she's not missing something. Just because she hasn't witnessed it doesn't mean the neighbor doesn't have a legitimate complaint.

 

I wasn't really stating that YOU believed this; but rather, that this attitude is indeed prevalent. 

 

Lots of people don't hear their own dogs barking and that can be very annoying.    I consider a dog going on and on a nuisance. 

 

And we agree that the OP needs to make sure she isn't missing something.   The bothered neighbor could indeed have a legitimate complaint.  Asking other neighbors, if they all happen to be the kind that can edit out dog sounds, isn't really all that matters.  Someone moved in a few doors down with a whole pack, so we went from the silence of a no-pet house to the sound of a kennel at times.  It's annoying!  It's been better lately though. 

 

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I wasn't really stating that YOU believed this; but rather, that this attitude is indeed prevalent. 

 

Lots of people don't hear their own dogs barking and that can be very annoying.    I consider a dog going on and on a nuisance. 

 

And we agree that the OP needs to make sure she isn't missing something.   The bothered neighbor could indeed have a legitimate complaint.  Asking other neighbors, if they all happen to be the kind that can edit out dog sounds, isn't really all that matters.  Someone moved in a few doors down with a whole pack, so we went from the silence of a no-pet house to the sound of a kennel at times.  It's annoying!  It's been better lately though. 

 

 

SInce you quoted my post, it appeared (to me at least) that you were responding to me. Thank you for clarifying things!

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I didn't read all the replies, but I just went through this with my neighbors.   We were the ones putting up with the barking dog.

 

We just got a new neighbor a few months ago.   I have lived here for 12 years and hear varying levels of barking dogs.   The neighbor across the street has dogs that bark at us every single time we go in and out of our house, if we slam the door of our car, etc.  I don't like it, but would never say a thing.  They bark for a minute, they stop.  I have heard various neighbors dogs barking continuously for up to 10 minutes.   I don't like that either, but have never said anything, I get it, I do.   The next door neighbor moved in, and she had a dog that would run out into the yard and bark like 10 times in a row or whatever.  Then one night, there was a dog who howled and barked for 90 minutes straight, from 930 pm to 11 pm.   It was agony to listen to.   I literally went outside in my nightgown, and went up her driveway to make sure it was coming from her house.  I really thought that maybe something was wrong, and could not believe the stamina of this dog.   I don't think there is any universe where anyone should have to put up with this.  I tried running the a/c full blast and that didn't block it out.

 

So, we went to the neighbor and told her, very nicely.   We have literally have not had ANY interactions with this woman before.   We were friendly with the neighbors before her, and all of our neighbors and have never complained about anyone's dog.    But, new neighbor was very defensive and did not believe us at first.   She swore that didn't happen, the dog was fine when she got home.   And granted, the dog stopped when she drove into the driveway.  She accused us of not wanting to put up with "a couple of barks".   I have no idea where this accusation came from.  My DH had to very firmly but nicely convince her that we were not making it up and the dog was almost continuously barking for 90 minutes at night.   And then she admitted that she had a new boyfriend and it was his dog.    

 

I have no idea what is going on in your situation, but sometimes dogs bark their heads off when their owners aren't there.   I would strongly suggest you find a way to get a nanny-cam or whatever to definitely rule out that your dog isn't barking for a long amount of time when you are gone.   I would not blow off the neighbor's complaint until I had proof.

 

And, FWIW I don't think anyone should have to listen to a dog bark for more than 5 minutes, ever.  A few barks once in awhile, or barking at a squirrel for a minute or something is reasonable.   But, if your dogs are barking and barking and barking, I feel you are obligated to do something about it.    

 

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I am glad that you are investigating whether the dogs bark when you are not there. We had neighbors with a hound dog that was very quiet when they were home and howled for hours when they were away.  Maybe if they are barking when you are away, that it just compounds to the times when there are a couple of random barks here or there. 

 

Since they are a larger dog, maybe the sound of the bark brings out a fear response from the neighbor. Just a couple of barks may cause this persons brain to fire some fear hormones and thus they are having a hard time adapting to the sound.  Since it sounds like you are going to talk to her anyways, maybe you can find out if this is part of the problem. 

 

I have a hard time sleeping sometimes, so if a few barks work me up at 4am....I would be up for the day.  That would be annoying and worth trying to work with a neighbor to fix, but she would have to be specific and let you know if that is the real problem.  Not just a working class neighborhood comment.  I think that was about time of day, not demographics btw. 

 

Acoustics are definitely odd. Our house sits at an odd angle on a curved road. From our house, we can see almost every other house in the cul-de-sac. The side of our house catches all of the neighborhood noise and it reverberates like a drum inside our house sometimes.  I have had to have neighbors come into our house, to hear how loud it is, because they have a hard time understanding that their music from 3 houses down, can be heard inside our home.   Once they hear it, they understand.  I have actually been able to hear music so clear in my house, that if the neighbors have it up loud enough, I can hear it while I am taking a shower!

 

 

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