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How to persuade your neighbors to quiet their chronically barking dogs

Classifying the Owners of Barking Dogs

People who own barking dogs tend to fall into one of three categories.

  • the uninformed
  • the lazy and the reluctant
  • the malicious and recalcitrant
Uninformed Dog Owners

Sometimes a dog barks inappropriately simply because his human is uninformed. Either the owner doesn't know the dog is barking, or he doesn't know that people are suffering as a result, or he doesn't know that dogs can be bark trained, or he doesn't know specifically how to bark train a dog. Or he doesn't know that electronic collars are available that, in all probability, will quickly quiet the dog.

If there's a barking crisis at your house, the best you can hope for is that you are dealing with an uninformed owner. If so, all you have to do is give him the information he requires and, in just a few days, he will straighten out the problem.

My estimate is that probably five percent of barking dogs can be traced to owners who are good and decent people who will quickly quiet their dog as soon as they receive the information they need.

Anonymous Notes

It is a rare person who doesn't experience a profound dread when he thinks about calling on his neighbor to have the talk. It's so much less stressful to just leave a note or, better yet, an anonymous note. But I've never yet seen a barking problem that was that easily solved. For that reason, if you do leave an anonymous note, don't write anything you'd be embarrassed to own-up to later, because if you want to solve the problem, you'll almost certainly have to take it up with the neighbor face-to-face sooner or later, and when you do, he'll realize that you are the one who wrote the notes.

When To Go

It is the nature of our species to take the path of least resistance. To be more exact, it is in our nature to do that which in the short run, is the least distressing and the most rewarding. Knowing that, it's easy to predict when you will go to talk to the neighbor about his dog. You'll go when you reach the point that continuing to listen to the dog generates even more anxiety than the distress you anticipate experiencing when you speak to the neighbor.

You're not likely to take this advice, but you'd probably be better off taking up the issue with the neighbor early on. If you follow the dictates of human nature and wait until you're at your wit's end before calling on the dog owner, you may find yourself trying to articulate your position when you are too upset to think straight. Worse yet, you may find yourself unleashing your rage on the neighbor, and that very likely would work against you.

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This page on Persuading Your Neighbors is part of Section Two:
the Your Neighbor's Dog section of