Living in cities, apartment complexes or in heavily populated areas can feel like co-habiting with many strangers. This is particularly brutal when your peace and quiet is impinged upon by noisy neighbors, or their dogs. So what do you do when you neighbor just bought a new pup, and all “Yippy” wants to do is bark all hours of the day and night? Tragically, there have been instances reported where an irate person has gone so far as to kill their neighbor’s dog simply because he would not be quiet. If your dog is one of the more “talkative” breeds, be wary of this and try to train your pup so that your fellow residents will not become disgruntled and potentially infuriated by the sound.
If you are one of the people offended by the noise, try to stay cool, calm and collected. Instead of going insane, be intentional and try out a few of these responses. If all goes well, you may soon be sleeping peacefully to the sound of silence!
How to Take Action About Noisy Pets
- Talk to your neighbor. Most people would shy away and avoid this option like the plague. But approaching your neighbor really is the decent thing to do. Instead of fearing the confrontation, think of it as a way to “cover your bases.” Meaning, if they do not take steps to control the barking, you don’t need to feel badly about going over their head.
- Contact the landlord. Apartment dwellers, this is where renting property comes in handy! There is a higher authority you can appeal to, who has a vested interested in keeping tenants reasonably content. If the dog’s owner did not regard your request, or has shown no interest in monitoring the pup’s noise, let the landlord or property manager know that you have spoken to them without any effect. It is partially the landlord’s responsibility to see that their end of the bargain (i.e., offering you the right to a peaceful existence, undisturbed in your home) be upheld.
- Take it to the next level. When all else fails, and the neighbor doesn’t do anything, and the landlord is irresponsible, you can look into the noise ordinances in your region. See if there are any laws about pet noises, barking and animal control. If necessary, call the local law enforcement agency, or animal control and file a formal complaint. People tend to become a lot more motivated when law enforcement gets involved.
- Keep records. Hopefully, the situation will never escalate to the point of requiring written records of your complaints and requests. However, if you ever need to prove that you spoke with your neighbor or landlord, it is best to keep a “paper trail” of what was discussed or agreed upon. Some people choose to email their landlord/property manager because of the date and time, etc. on the email. This is just another measure you can take to “cover your bases” along the way.
- Other options: If you would rather not contact the landlord or sheriff, then you can make a subtle adjustment in your own home. Install an ultrasonic device nearest to where the noisy dog tends to be running around or barking the most often. This tool works best in close-quarter living areas like apartments of multi-family homes, as they emit high-frequency sounds up to 50 ft away. Some of these devices also are made to look like birdhouses, which you can subtly position on the corner of your yard nearest to your neighbor’s house, without him suspecting anything at all. This might be just the trick to keep the dog’s volume down!