Neighbors and their disruptive dogs! ARGH!!!!

loralee_2007January 16, 2010

I am at my wits end and hope that you all can post some advice.

We had new neighbors move in about 6 months ago and they have 2 small dogs: Chihuahua(sp?) and small poodle mix. And these dogs are driving me & the neighbors NUTS, no exaggeration.

I live in a VERY quiet neighborhood, let me preface it there first. But the owners let the dogs in the yard, and they bark CONSTANTLY. Through my walls, all I hear is yap yap yap yap yap.

On top of that, the dogs routinely "somehow" get out of the fence and run around the neighborhood, on many occasions nearly hit by cars - and where are the owners? Inside the house, oblivious. Their chihuahua has discovered that we have indoor cats and he LOVES to come over onto my deck to yap at my cats through the door, and I'm sure you can imagine how pleased they are, no less myself.

It is soooo bad that my other next door neighbor commented the other day how much she feels sorry for us. And I'm sure others in the neighborhood feel similarly. What was once a quiet, lovely, now haunted daily by hours and hours of endless barking, and their roaming is worrisome as they seem aggressive, even if they are "only" going for the ankles.

The owners are old enough to know better. They have 2 children (look to be around 10 and 7-8). Would you approach them? Or would you go straight to Animal Control?

I've never ever in my years witnessed such blatant disregard for one's animal health and wellbeing. I just don't know what to do. I fear if I address them directly, the disgust I have for the lack of training and diregard on their well being would be glaringly obvious.

However, going to Animal Control directly seems excessive as well.

Please, any tips you can give to bring back some sanity to my neighborhood would be greatly appreciated.

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I would speak to them and give the the opportunity to fix the situation. Do it soon, because your annoyance will just fester and you might end up with a confrontation.

Pick a time when you're not worked up about it. You have to live next door to them and you dont want there to be bad blood between you.

You can let them know that you are concerned for the dogs safety and your sanity. Be direct, but kind.

Don't make any apologies except that you're sorry you have to have this conversation.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 5:40AM
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Get animal control over there quickly, The first $50 fine and the aggravation of going there to get their dog back will put an end to it immediately.If they are letting the dogs roam then they do not care about you.If they do not realize their dogs are out and about then they need a good lesson.I am a dog lover and I bring loose dogs back to their owners all the time, most of them do not deserve to own a dog.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 7:05AM
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Why not talk to them at first and give them a chance! Let them know how bad it is and that if it continues you will have to consider other options. Some people are clueless and just have to be clued in,lol

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 9:01AM
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Speak to them first. Give them a week.

No improvement, call the authorities.

We just bought our house two years ago. I have a GSD mix male guard dog. The neighbors directly behind had two daschounds---cute dogs, but barked incessently. I found the neighbors were a bit upset---this is a very quiet area as well. I talked to the home owner who admitted she knew they barked, but since no one had complained, she figured it was not a problem.

She also admitted to not having enough time for the dogs, so she found a much better home for them. She now dog sits when the new owners are away, and she notices how much better behaved they are.

Talking to neighbors is not done enough these days.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 9:09AM
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We had this problem and the dogs were let out to start their barking at 5:30 a.m. The owners went off to work and let the neighborhood hear the noise all day. We confronted the neighbors with suggestions like a bark collar but they never did a thing. Neither did the authorities. We sold the house and moved.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 1:41PM
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Here is the thing. Your neighbors dont care. If they did they would have done something about it to begin with.
You dont know how the neighbors are going to react, and the last thing you want to deal with is retaliatory neighbors. Call Animal Control. It is not an excessive move. First of all the owners should be hit with a fine for neglecting their pets and for putting them in harms way. Either getting fined by animal control, or having the animals get another better home is the road the dogs will take when you do call animal control. Call the police department, and ask them if there is a local ordinance against barking dogs, and if there is a leash law. Those poor dogs are obviously bored to death and need some training and care. Someone needs to step up. I dont understand the reluctance to call the humane society. If you are worried the dogs will be put down, then take the dogs to the ASPCA yourself. They are a no kill shelter.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 8:37PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

Wow, this is a difficult situation. We've had similar problems in our neighborhood as well. The woman across the street had a foxhound that had the loudest voice I've ever heard on a dog and she left it out all the time to bark his head off. Within the first few days of her doing this, someone called the police. She was offended, but did try to get the dog in when the barking would begin. Next door to her were some people that had a black chow that was chained in the back yard 24/7, 365. The dog was neglected. When it got loose, I had mixed feelings, but eventually called animal control. They paid $200 to get the dog back! They eventually moved. Then other neighbors have a pug that barks a lot when outside. One day it went on for an hour with no relief. When I went to their house to ask them to take the dog in, they weren't even home!! When they returned, I went down and talked to them about it and they were very combative. Although things have improved since then.

What I'm saying is there is no one answer. If you think talking to them would help, I would say do that. It's hard to believe they don't realize that leaving their dogs barking and running loose isn't annoying for the neighbors, but maybe they are just that clueless.

A visit from the police is a good wakeup call. Either way, I agree that if you do nothing, they will not realize that you are unhappy with the situation.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 10:28PM
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On another board someone suggested a boat air horn for whenever the dogs started barking, although that might be worse than what you have now.

Personally, if the dog was out and annoying me and my indoor cats while on my property, I would drop it off at the pound (which is nicer than the other option, which would be to let my husband's Maine Coon out- his favorite game when we had dogs was thumping the 65 pound male in the head until he cried).

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 11:43PM
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I can commiserate. The neighbors behind us have two dogs -- a pit bull, and a doberman -- and the doberman barks _constantly_. Often it's through the night until the wee hours -- and this is not out in the middle of nowhere, but in the middle of suburbia in Southern California. The barking is literally only 20 feet from our bedroom window.

We finally got fed up and called animal services, who supposedly have spoken to the neighbors, but it hasn't improved the situation. We're going to file a formal complaint, so that animal services can actually start taking legal measures. It's frustrating that people allow this to happen -- the entitlement that allows someone to leave their dog barking until 3 in the boggles the mind.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 12:13PM
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They've listened to their own dogs bark for so long, that they're immune and don't hear it. The barking is bad enough, but the fact they escape and run loose has brought the situation into an whole different ballpark. As soon as one of their dogs go onto your property, get on the phone and ask them to come retrieve it. Any time you see it loose, get on the phone and tell them their dog is loose. If they don't get it immediately then call animal control. That situation is easily solved and when they pay the fees to retrieve them a couple of times, they'll fix the fences so they don't get out. Or maybe even let the poor animals in after they get their romp.

Airhorns? I have something better. I love Bagpipe music and it would automatically start up when dogs start barking. They'd have to be pretty dense not to 'get it' after the first couple weeks.

You don't wan't to be singled out as a complainer? Perhaps a petition with a whole page of signatures on it would make the picture clearer?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 2:19PM
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I've been through this before- If you have any sort of friendly or cordial relationship with these neighbors then talk to them first. If not, go straight to animal control. If you talk to them first and nothing happens and then you call animal control they are going to know that YOU called the authorities and may not be very pleasant. More than likely they know their dogs are barking and running loose, they just don't care. Some new neighbors moved in next to me last summer and the night they moved in they let their dog stand on the road in front of our house and bark for 2 hours!! It was around 1am before he stopped. Then they let him run loose and he would always use our yard as his potty. Annoyed me to no end. We don't have any dogs so I prefer our yard to be poop free. After about a month (after we felt we'd been friendly to the newbies) we approached them nicely and asked that they please try to keep their dog out of our yard. This was met with outrage by them (I guess former city folks think that all the land in the country is public property) and they were very angry that we had the audacity to make such a request. So to retaliate the husband came over one day and started screaming at my fiance that we needed to control our cats as one of them had gotten into their garbage (in their open garage) and a cat had also crawled in through the wife's open window and urinated on her van seats. My fiance calmly explained that none of our cats EVER goes outside (they are inside only) and it must have been a stray. That shut the husband up but they did nothing to control their dog.

I didn't want to escalate the hostitlity but I wanted the damn dog to be kept out of the road and our yard (I almost hit him one time when he chased my car) so I contacted animal control and gave them a fake name and pretended to live in another house down the road. I reported the neighbors as having a dog running loose and then reported myself (my address as having a dog that wasn't kept in the yard and barked all the time. The dog warden said she would go out and warn both people and just say she was doing a random license check and not that there was a complaint. So when I got home from work that day the dog warden had visited the neighbor and had been at my house and left a form that said they were doing a license check and I had 24 hours to call them and give them my dog's license number.

The neighbor saw this on my door and said something about it and I laughed and said I don't even have a dog I'm not sure what they want me to do and she said they probably were just going to every house on the street. So she suspected nothing. I'm not saying you go to those extremes but it did help my situation. The neighbors now tie the dog up outside so he can't roam.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 9:43AM
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No, people *don't* know what their pets do when the humans are away.

How could they?

If you want to be charged with theft as well as start a war with the people who may be the only ones at home when you slice yourself with a paring knife, by all means "pick up" the dog & take it to the pound.

If you are uncomfortable talking to the neighbors, drop by animal control for a "chat" & see if someone there will agree to stop by the house & "chat" with the neighbors.

Anything is better than starting a war.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 1:56PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I also think you should get to know your neighbors. It is sneaky to call Animal Control, and it is a big deal to do that.

Since you don't know these people, you could visit with them and try to help with some stratgies for the dogs.

Does your city have leash laws? Are they home during the day? If trying to talk to them a couple of times does not work, then you can try something else. I think the police or animal control would be the last thing to do.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 6:49PM
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It's easy to say that, sammy, when you're not in this kind of situation. So say you go to talk to the neighbors, and they completely ignore the issue. Then when you are forced to call animal control, they know that it was YOU that called.

Quite frankly, if someone is rude enough to let their dog sit outside for hours on end, even when they're home, then they don't deserve being talked to first. They should know better.

Also, each situation is different. I live in a "transitional" neighborhood with gang activity, drugs, and god knows what else. I don't know the neighbors behind me, but I for one do not intend to take the risk of involving myself with them. Hence, the call to animal control.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 12:17PM
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I feel for you. We have a similar situation next door to us. These people moved in a couple years ago and turned out to be backyard breeders. They keep their dogs and puppies outside 24 x 7. The dogs are not socialized and escape several times a week to roam the neighborhood.

They are aggressive, I've had them come after me and try to bite me while in OUR front yard. We've left notes, we've gone over there and complained, all to no avail. Called animal control, the dogs are current on their shots and have food and shelter, so they said they can't do anything. Last week, the neighbors on the other side got so fed up, they went over there and threatened to call the police, didn't work. The dogs still bark, bark, bark.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 3:03PM
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I agree with rivkadr. It's unfortunate, but in today's society, you have to be very careful. If you talk to new "nuisance" neighbors, and they don't give a d*mn, and then you call the police, they will know it's you. There are so many psychos out there, you never know what things will escalate to. Ever read one of those "Neighbors from H*ll" websites? It's downright frightening. You'd think that annoying neighbors, whether the problem is loud dogs, loud music, loud cars, junkyard property, etc. would be punished, but it doesn't always work that way. They get away with it and can ruin a nice neighborhood.

If I didn't know the neighbors, I'd call the police and complain anonymously, and I'd do it right away. If the situation didn't improve, I'd keep calling. This kind of stuff has to be nipped in the bud.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 9:34PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

She lives in a quiet neighborhood and the dogs bark all day long. How many people who live in a quiet neighborhood stay at home? Even she just makes a call, the neighbors will know who it is and retaliate.

Often face to face can help. The anonymous bothers me for her sake. Once you face a person, and see that they are babysitting, recently divorced, out of a job, caring for a parent, or whatever, you can offer to help.

There are gangs and drug dealers out there, and you need to have a sense of what is going on in the homes. But we live in a country where many people are out of jobs, their kids are in trouble, a wage earner has left, etc. Just $50.00 to get the animal out of the shelter could be devistating to a persoh. I think they should be given a chance.

If it is a puppy mill, or dangerous people, that's different.

I am speaking as a school teacher, and I see the difference in the kids now that the economy has taken such a down turn. Calling the police or animal control is a huge move to make even if it is the best one to make.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 7:25AM
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I'm sorry but if $50 to get your dog out of a shelter is devastating to you then you have no business having pets. These people are letting their dogs roam loose during which time the animals could get hit by a car, attacked by another dog and then the neighbors would have vet bills to pay for. I don't agree that talking to them would do any good. Unless you are already on good terms with the neighbors they either are going to ignore you or get annoyed or angry. They don't seem to care that their "beloved" pets are running loose. If you call animal control make it about the fact you are concerned for the welfare of the animals (dogs shouldn't be running in the road) and they are more likely to respond. Don't mention the barking because at least where I live animal control can't do anything about barking dogs. They said it is a noise complaint and depends on if there is a noise ordinance where you live. I stand by my opinion that you should just call animal control anonymously as it is better for you and the neglected dogs.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 8:03AM
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I agree, if you can't afford to get your pet from Animal Control, you shouldn't have pets. It is a cost that you have to be ready to make, be it to the shelter or to a vet. That money has to be at the ready if you want to have pets.

I also agree that sometimes the anonymous way is best. There are some people on my street I can talk to face to face, others I would be afraid to. Recently our "creepy" new neighbor's (one mother, many teens and young kids, some not quite mentally stable) daughters graffiti 'ed our wall. Because of the circumstances, I had to call the police. It turns out that I made the right decision, they have retaliated when someone talked to them about their dog that they let loose in the front yards when it needs to poop. They figured that way the chances are less that the dog will poop on their yard, and they won't have to pick it up.

A person has to use their personal knowledge of the neighbor to make the decision to call the authorities or do a face to face with them.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 2:48AM
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I would call animal control and see what the options are. EVery area is different, in our area we do have nuisance barking laws and an nuisance dog laws. I do realize not every community has those types of laws.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 11:15AM
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Lets keep in mind situations change. I brought in two stray girls a year ago in the fall. I had money to care for the 4 cats then. This year I was laid off and my husband ended up on short term disibility. The situation is much different now, I would not bring in a new pet but could never give my babies away just because I am short on funds now. Thankfully they are younger and healthy. Of course they are indoor only babies. SO there could be situations where $50.00 could be devistating. Im not sticking up for your bad neighbors...they are just BAD pet owners, but for those that are $$ challenged. Grocery store food etc. they are happy, healthy and off the streets.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 5:45PM
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Many municipalities have their ordinances available to read online. The OP may be able to find out about the laws in her area online. A call or two to the animal control officer or county shelter can give more information about how these noise complaints are handled. You don't have to go into this situation blind. Once you know what the laws are, you may be able to find out how the laws are applied by going to the local Craigslist Pets forum or some other local media to ask what people have experienced in their attempts to have barking dogs quieted.

I gotta say, I love newhomeseeksr's approach of reporting herself to Animal Control at the same time in order to prevent the noisy neighbor from suspecting them of making the call!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 11:38PM
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Petra, call the nearest ASPCA chapter with your problem. They should have more information about possible solutions.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 1:34PM
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