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Barking dog - Help
Posted by: earache
Date: August 16, 2006 07:48PM
My family and I, including my dog Dawson, recently moved into a new house. The house is on a quarter acre and backs up to a small creek. There are houses on either side of us and also a house directly across the creek. About two weeks after moving in a note was left on my truck basically saying that my dog was barking non-stop all day long and oh, welcome to the neighborhood. There was no indication where it came from. Needless to say I was a little pissed and also a concerned. I don't want to piss off my neighbors. So I recorded audio from the backyard for a few days and it revealed that my dog didn't bark much at all. I decided to blow the note off.

Fast forward to today, when I found another note complaining about my dog barking. This time they told me they lived across the creek. Sure, my dog may bark at stuff but not all day long. So tomorrow I'll be recording again. But what the hell am I supposed to do if he is barking? I'm not at home to scold him. If he is barking it because there's probably something in the creek, like deer or racoons. I'm not a confrontational person, so I have no desire to approach these people, especially when they haven't contacted me in person.

Any ideas? I know they make these electronic bark stoppers, but do they work? How does one stop a dog from barking? How would you deal with a neighbor like this? I'm at a loss.



earache
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: mattkime
Date: August 16, 2006 07:51PM
encourage the dog to bark until the neighbor arrives.



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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: PeterB
Date: August 16, 2006 07:56PM
Having been on the other side of this, I can tell you: do not take nuisance barking complaints lightly. A barking dog can drive you insane...

It could be that your audio recording isn't really capturing what he's doing; if you go to the neighbors across the way, and ask them directly about it, so as to get a sense of whether they're really making "much ado about nothing", or whether it's really serious, that will help. (Even showing them that you're concerned for their peaceable enjoyment of their property will go a long way.) If it's that they just can't have a dog, ANY dog, in the neighborhood-- that's one thing. That's not within their rights. If it's that the dog is really barking, and especially if it's barking continuously or at odd hours, they have a right not to be nuisanced by it.

The problem for the neighbors is that they probably did not want to confront you directly about this-- put yourself in their shoes for a minute. It's VERY hard to go to someone and directly say something to them about it. I've been in their shoes-- unfortunately, my neighbors are very inconsiderate-- people had tried to talk with them directly about it, and got nowhere. It finally took me calling Animal Control (and them speaking with them about it) for anything to happen. The dog still barks, but at least the neighbors are cognizant about it, and that they cannot just let it bark continuously.

My best suggestion: consider buying one of the collars that trains your dog not to bark. I don't know how well they work, but I've heard it's pretty good.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/16/2006 07:57PM by PeterB.
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: CJsNvrUrly
Date: August 16, 2006 07:57PM
Where are you finding the note? Is it possible to leave a note of your own that they will find, inviting them to discuss the (non-)issue?




bunny smileyCentral VA
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: kap
Date: August 16, 2006 08:18PM
Dang, we are having the similar issue with our neighbor across (not directly) the street. Actually, only the husband complains; not his wife. No other surrounding neighbors find my dog's barking excessive ... he only barks when someone/something passes our front lawn ... well, ok, he barks at everyone's gardeners and garbage truck (Friday and Monday's morning). We have been recommended to use the bark collar on our lit' doggie also but we are hesistant thinking it might stop his bark altogether. Then what is the point of having a watch dog? I am hoping for a better solution as well.



SoCal for now.
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: Jp!
Date: August 16, 2006 08:30PM
I have looked at these...

[www.innotek.net]
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: JEBB
Date: August 16, 2006 08:58PM
I am on the other side. Before your dog arrived it was blissful silence all the time, but no longer. I am of the opinion that you should take the dog to work with you, keep it in the house while you are away or use something like Jp suggested to stop the dog barking.

You experience the dog's love and companionship and all the other postives that dog ownership brings. All the neighbor gets are the negatives: the noise and the smell, if you don't pick up after it.
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: Effin Haole
Date: August 16, 2006 08:59PM
At the very least I would talk to the neighbor and get the exact story from them.

Then see if there really is a problem.

We had a new neighbor move in across the street and their dogs barked constantly at everything for about a month.

Once they were used the neighborhood, and the goings-on of the rest of us, they settled down and only bark occasionally.



Strength without compassion is brutality. Compassion without strength is weakness.

We must train our minds to desire what the situation demands.
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: PeterB
Date: August 16, 2006 09:08PM
Effin has a point in that communication is key. Remember that in my case, the neighbors had already been contacted several times by different people complaining about the dog barking... they chose to ignore these complaints rather than deal with them. That's not necessarily the case with you, earache-- you might choose to be a much more considerate neighbor, as it obviously benefits both you and your neighbors to be on friendly terms. If neighbor who is complaining seems reasonable, e.g., "Your dog was barking a lot while you weren't at home, and it was really bothering me and preventing me from concentrating on my work", versus unreasonable, e.g., "I hate dogs, I don't want dogs anywhere in my neighborhood" -- then you can work with them to make it a non-headache for you as well as for them.

I personally happen to like dogs, just as all animals -- the only dogs I'm not crazy about are the really big, really aggressive, or really nasty ones. (A dog that could kill me, for example.) If a dog barks, I understand that dogs bark. That's life. But a dog barking continuously, or at 9PM - midnight, that's just unacceptable. The owner is ultimately responsible for all the dog's behavior, just as for any other pet... if there were cats running around in the neighborhood which were causing neighborhood destruction, I would find the owners of those cats JUST as responsible as the owner of a barking dog. (Fortunately, it seems cats are not quite as vocal or destructive as some dogs.)




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/16/2006 09:10PM by PeterB.
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: August 16, 2006 09:08PM
Are there other neighbors you could talk to, in order to confirm it really is your dog that's barking? Shortly after we moved into this place, we got a couple of anonymous notes in our mailbox, complaining about our barking dog. I checked with the people on either side of me and learned it wasn't my dog causing the ruckus. There are only two brick houses on this street, and the notes were being left at the wrong one. You say the people told you they live "on the other side of the creek", and, if it was me, I'd want to verify that they found the right house and the right dog. My neighbor sure wasn't a good tracker.
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: PeterB
Date: August 16, 2006 09:13PM
AlphaDog, that's a good point. In my case, it was very obvious whose dog this was-- the dog was sitting on the front porch of the house, barking at basically anything and anyone passing by... or just barking for the sake of barking. In fact, where I am (Cambridge, MA), dogs must be registered by owners with Animal Control; such that if you give AC the address, they know who the owners are and what animals they have (and the owners' phone number). So if the dog misbehaves, that misbehavior can be directly traced to the owner. Most owners are VERY responsible, and take good care of their doggies; I think these people were just being very inconsiderate-- the whole neighborhood was pretty PO'd at them, particularly because they'd already been contacted several times about the problem and chose to do nothing.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/16/2006 09:13PM by PeterB.
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 16, 2006 09:40PM
If you do find out who the neighbor is, and you talk to them, make sure that you tell them that you take their concern seriously, and as a result, you set up a recorder to capture any noise. And I would stress that even though YOU didn't hear what the neighbor did, there could be lots of explanations for that, so you wanted to find out if there are any specific circumstances so you can figure it out so everyone is happy.

The recording isn't evidence that your dog is innocent, it IS proof that you are taking the compliant seriously. Try that tact.

I have a problem with the neighbor's dog across the alley. I am trying to work it out, but I may have to use my pull as a foster parent with the animal shelter to get an Animal Control officer to work it out. They know me on sight, and that I am a volunteer, so anything coming from me will get top priority, but I would hate to do that.

The bottom line is, is the dog anxious from separation anxiety, or is there a legit reason for the behavior? The collars do work. Usually they will allow one bark. After 2 close together, they send a harmless shock. Really smart dogs figure out the duration of the delay, and may bark once every 31 seconds, while 2 within 29 seconds would give them a shock. Dogs (and cats) aren't dumb, they just have limited capacity compared to us.

Short term at least, it will work, and give you time to figure it out.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/16/2006 09:41PM by Racer X.
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: mjgkramer
Date: August 16, 2006 10:06PM
Quote
Jp!
I have looked at these...

[www.innotek.net]

I recently bought the Innotek UltraSmart IUT-302 Two-Dog training system (not what you need) from Altmoor.com. List price was $300 and they sold it for $208 with no tax and free shipping. They are the only one I found that discounts Innotek products.

Here's a link to their page of bark control collars. They sell the Innotek Microline Rechargeable No-Bark BC-200 for $70. List price is $99. Unfortunately you have to spend $99 to get free shipping.

[altmoor.com]

If you want to have a hands on look at what's available PetSmart and Cabela's Outfitters stock the Innotek line.
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: Jp!
Date: August 16, 2006 10:07PM
I found them and the info at MENARD's stores, too.
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: August 16, 2006 10:17PM
Please, no shock collars.
Just cruel, and it does nothing to teach your dog.
The animal that needs teaching is the human.
It will only take about three very short sessions to solve the problem.
Just solved a barking problem with one of my Pups.
She was barking at rats that were coming from the neighbors yard to snack on the pomegranate tree.

1. You have to have full control of your dog. (Harness, and leash)
2. Replicate the problem. (Wait for a deer, or the animal that makes the dog bark)
3. When the dog barks, give it a correction, don't use the dogs name in this negative situation, use no, or even better, a shhhh! sound. Small sharp tug on the leash at the same time, or even better, using your hand, nip your dog on the neck or hindquarters at the same time you shhhh!, or say no. This is just to get your dogs attention, not to hurt it. While your dog is barking, you must get its attention, no amount of yelling will help, in fact if you start yelling while your dog is barking, your dog will take that as approval from the alpha to bark. You have to learn how dogs work, how the pack works.

BGnR
Please, again, no shock collars.



"Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You're beautiful!"
"If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster."
"Near the day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky."
"A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans."
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 16, 2006 10:24PM
good advice, especially about not using the animal's name. they will associate your voice shouting their name, and you being angry.

We try very hard to never shout out one of our cats' names when we are angry.

I only advocated the collar as a very short term solution.
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: August 16, 2006 10:30PM
Quote
Racer X
I only advocated the collar as a very short term solution.

I know how you think RX, it was for the crowd that thinks this is a long term solution.
Never, ever use these collars where other dogs bark.

BGnR



"Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You're beautiful!"
"If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster."
"Near the day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky."
"A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans."
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: PeterB
Date: August 16, 2006 10:44PM
And I only suggested it because I've heard it works, not that it's necessarily the best solution (and obviously, not being a dog owner myself, I have no direct experience with anything!). A quick Googling found this:

[placervillevet.com]

and this:

[www.dogpatch.org]




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: August 16, 2006 10:56PM
Quote
PeterB
And I only suggested it because I've heard it works, not that it's necessarily the best solution (and obviously, not being a dog owner myself, I have no direct experience with anything!). A quick Googling found this:

[placervillevet.com]

and this:

[www.dogpatch.org]

First guy is a TOTAL idiot. (Debarking a dog?!?!)
Second guy is actually getting it, not fully, but almost there.

BGnR



"Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You're beautiful!"
"If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster."
"Near the day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky."
"A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans."
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: Linda2
Date: August 16, 2006 11:15PM
I agree that shock collars are awful but I did have to use one with my female wire fox terrier. She was into rage barking for hours at night - this was in the house! It was not a matter of training. I had tried the citronella collar which gives the dog a whiff of citronella which is supposed to be a very unpleasant odor for the dog. Unfortunately, my dog loved the odor and barked more. So, I felt that the shock collar was the only alternative if anyone in my family was going to get any sleep.

After putting it on her, she barked half a bark and abruptly stopped. She is a very smart little dog and knew exactly what the cause was. All together, it took her two barks over two days to stop. After that, we did not put the shock collar on her at all. We just showed it to her when she started the rage barking and she would immediately stop. After a while, we just asked her if she wanted the "collar" and that was enough. Years later, the word "collar" still works but I gave the actual shock collar away five years ago!
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: mikebw
Date: August 16, 2006 11:22PM
You can take the dog out of the bark, but you can't take the bark out of a dog.

...or something like that.


I have seen cases of violence against animals where excessive barking was involved. Best to avoid that at all costs. Some good ideas here to try.
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: Jp!
Date: August 16, 2006 11:48PM
Wait for a deer....

that's the most priceless advice I've seen here in 12 years. smiling smiley
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: August 16, 2006 11:56PM
Quote
Jp!
Wait for a deer....

that's the most priceless advice I've seen here in 12 years. smiling smiley

Since this place hasn't been here 12 years, I guess your just acting like an a...

BGnR



"Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You're beautiful!"
"If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster."
"Near the day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky."
"A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans."
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: August 17, 2006 12:54AM
A barking dog is a real annoyance. Racer gives good advice about letting neighbors know you take it seriously.

Too many times I've seen the "My Dog Doesn't Bark/Doesn't Bark That Much" syndrome, from owners who don't take it seriously.

Once, the cause was a cat who sat on top of a fence just out of reach of a German Shepherd, who had quite a reach.

The owner never seemed to await do silence the dog, or chase the cat away. He did answer the door to receive a citation. But I digress.

Unless the recording runs continuously all day, VOX *might* miss some of the dog's barking, but knowing there's a recorder might help keep the complaints accurate.
All this *assumes* that it's your dog that's creating the disturbance. I imagine even a cheap mike would pick up your dog's barking, but it might not capture another offender.

Somehow, through no real knowledge of my own, I taught my dog to whisper, so he bellowing became a muffled "wuuf". When he did bark and/or growl, I knew there was real trouble.






I am that Masked Man.

All you can do, is all you can do.

There’s trouble — it's time to play the sound of my people.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: kap
Date: August 17, 2006 01:23AM
What would the Dog Whisper say?



SoCal for now.
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: August 17, 2006 01:44AM
LOL, Kap.

I was going to start my post with "WWTDWS?" but I thought it would be too obtuse.






I am that Masked Man.

All you can do, is all you can do.

There’s trouble — it's time to play the sound of my people.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: Jp!
Date: August 17, 2006 04:22AM
Well, I do find it funny, regardless of whom it came from. And in the 13 years I've been on this forum (that's a JOKE), I have not seen one deer come past my window. smiling smiley
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: August 17, 2006 08:32AM
Quote
Jp!
I have not seen one deer come past my window. smiling smiley

You living in your Mom's windowless basement precludes that doesn't it.

BGnR
(-:



"Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You're beautiful!"
"If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster."
"Near the day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky."
"A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans."
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: michaelb
Date: August 17, 2006 08:36AM
This can be a significant problem, and something that you should try to solve, although it can be hard. While teaching a dog to stop barking when you are present using obedience training can work, it is not so easy to do that when you are not around. The new house can be making this worst. Other barking dogs in the neighborhood can also get your dog barking.

Exercise can help. How much exercise is the dog getting? Any chance you could take it out for a run in the morning? Trying that for a few weeks would be good for you and may really help the dog settle down during the day.

Where is the dog during the day? Does he have a dog bed in your bedroom to sleep? You could try crating the dog during the day while you are gone; that sense of protected space might really help settle him down. With an adult dog, you could probably start leaving the crate open after a few weeks.
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Re: Barking dog - Help
Posted by: Psurfer
Date: August 17, 2006 01:59PM
First, I'd say don't be mad at the messenger. Be glad they took the trouble to write you a note, instead of just calling authorities first. I can sympathize w/both sides; I love my dog, but hate it when someone lets their dog bark away for hours on end. It only takes one irresponsible owner to ruin the character of an entire neighborhood. Few people want to hear someone Else's dog disturbing their peace.

Your challenge is that your dog is barking when you're not home, and the best way to change a dog's unwanted behavior is always to train him in that specific situation - which is when he's in the yard (guarding his territory for you), unleashed, and you're gone. To train him not to bark in some other situation may or may not carry over to this one.

As the home is a new one for him, he might settle down on his own in a while, but you've got irritated neighbor/s now, and might want to nip this in the bud before it becomes more of a problem for you. Wait too long, and the offended party could get more sensitized to the barking, and start making calls to authorities at the first bark every day. And while only one neighbor wrote the note, that doesn't mean that others aren't being driven to distraction by their new noisy neighbor.

You might try correcting him over the weekend when you can hang around all day, by staying out of sight in the house, and shouting No or clapping etc every time he starts barking. I did this for just a few days w/my dog early on (I got her when she was about 1yr old, and she learns Fast) and the lesson stuck forever. But your dog may not respond the same way. And he may not bark nearly as often when he knows you're home, anyway.

I don't think the no-bark collars (esp the water or citronella spraying kind) are such a bad thing if needed as last resort. It's just reinforcement for the lesson you'll have been telling him already (stop barking in the yard), and he'll get the idea quick. Your dog will still bark when you'd want him to -like when you're home and someone starts banging on the door late at night. Ideally, you'd only need the collar for a short while, probably within the store return period. And it beats the alternatives if this problem w/the neighbors gets out of hand.

Either way, if you devote some time to it, you should be able to get Dawson to behave as needed in his new world order. Remember, he ultimately wants to do what will make you happy. Be consistent, and good luck!
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