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Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

Posted by angc (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 14, 06 at 15:22

Here's a little background- We live in a subdivision of about 80 houses all on 1/3 or so lots. We're on an interior cul-de-sac so our backyard adjoins some other house's backyards. We have a small Beagle. DH works from home and I'm a SAHM, so there is always someone home during the day. Since the dog was a puppy, we used to let him sit out on a gated back deck for 10-30 min at a time several times a day. When he wanted to come in, he'd bark or scratch the door and we'd let him in. This summer, we got him a 20 ft tie out so he could sit in the yard and run around some. I take him out on the leash for walks around the neighborhood least 4 times a day. He spends the vast majority of his day inside sleeping and we never put him out at night. In the course of a 24 hr day, he's outside 3-6 times for a combined *maybe* 2-3 hrs. When other dogs bark, he barks. When he sees another dog being walked, he barks. When he sees another dog in their yard, he barks. When he starts barking outside, which he does do esp since we have so many dogs in our neighborhood, I bring him inside. Beagles bark, that's just what they do.
We got a phone call from a neighbor. I don't know where they live but we've ruled out all but 3 houses within a 15 house circle. The woman left a really nasty phone message about the "incessant barking which been going on for yrs" and how this was her one and only "friendly attempt before getting others involved". Her entire attitude was so mean, that I want to ignore her. Normally, my first instinct which would have been to talk to her about what times of the day the barking is most annoying to her and keep the dog in at that time. After all, we do live in a large neighborhood and understand the need to be civil and considerate. Instead, I just want to do nothing. Not to escalate the problem, but not change my behavoir in the least bit either. It doesn't help that she didn't leave her full name or phone number, much less make a little effort to wait until she could speak to someone (not leave a meassage)or come to my door and talk to me.
So, am I being unreasonable to just totally igonore her?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

So, am I being unreasonable to just totally igonore her?

IMHO, you're not unreasonble to ignore it, but, nevertheless, don't ignore it.

What you have taught your dog is that when he barks he gets attention ("...when he starts barking outside...I bring him inside). So he is barking for attention and, I suspect, out of boredom. With a little bit of training, you can significantly curb the barking in the backyard. You might also try giving him something to do outside. If I give my hound-dogs a big rawhide and send them into the yard, they are as quiet as church mice.

I also think your neighbor is being ridiculous, but there might be extenuating circumstances...perhaps this woman works nights, or has a husband/SO who works nights. I also agree with you that her manner in confronting you was very childish. But that's her problem.

Whatever the reason, she can cause problems for you. If I were in your shoes, I'd do my best to curb the barking. I'd also find out exactly who she is.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

If she called annoymously, I'm not sure what you could do besides ignore her. Its a shame she took the coward's way to confront you about the dog.

Do any of the 3 houses you haven't ruled out have a dog? I bet this woman isn't a dog person.

I would say, make sure your dog's shots and license are up to date in case she tries to call the dog warden on you. Otherwise, it sounds like you are doing nothing wrong and there's nothing really she can do about it.

Try not to let her get to you! Good luck

Sher


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

There's another side to this. I suggest you read this and this to hear what it's like from the viewpoint of people who have to hear uncontrolled barking. angc is giving her side of it -- she's putting the best possible spin on it, and I'm sure she's being truthful, as she sees it, but there's always more than one side to a story, and more than one way to see things.

Beagles bark, that's just what they do.

Uncontrolled dogs bark. From what you describe, your dog is barking when other dogs bark, when other dogs walk by, etc -- that is FAR too much barking, IMO. I imagine it's not just your one neighbor that is annoyed; she's just the first to confront you. Beagles DO bark. A lot. That IS what they do. That's why they need to be trained not to. It's on you to do the training.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

Don't ignore it - communicate about it somehow.

I once had a neighbor who complained that my dog barked incessantly. I didn't believe him. Why I did not believe him - I couldn't tell you. Why would someone say that if it wasn't true. I later discovered that the dog barked at airplanes way up in the sky. I think that he barked when we weren't home. I was an immature idiot, frankly.

vicky


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

our neighbor had a beagle and I always thought the bark cross baying was kinda cute:)
I would not ignore the complaint as much for your dogs saftey as anything, people are cruel and will do evil things to peoples pets and they will feel totally justified to do so, this may not work for you, I used this trick for my chihuahua when I got her and I am proud to say she is not a yapper! she does still bark when someone comes to the door, which is what she is suppose to do. everytime she would bark I would spray her with water from a water bottle, and I mean she was a BAD barker, if you stood up to move around she would bark, she would bark when any new noise happened, even turning the radio or tv on, of course I started this when she was about 10 weeks old, so maybe thats why it worked so well for me, there are probuably some better ways, and your beagle may like water, wouldn't work then:(


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

First of all, people have told me that I'm really anal when it comes to the behavior of my three dogs (big, bigger and biggest). They are not the best behaved in the world, but, they do know their limits. I also fully realize that some very minor bad habits they have, is my fault.

Being outside unsupervised in my fenced back yard is not permitted. Barking outside is simply not allowed unless I am playing with them.

For me, few things are as annoying as a dog that barks constantly (especially on weekends). I don't care if it's only for 10 minutes.

I think you are wrong for ignoring what other people say about your dog. I also think you are wrong for not correcting the problem.

Just my humble opinion.

SG


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

I used to live near someone with a beagle, and I have to say I was very happy when they moved (as was everyone else in the neighborhood). Many neighbors left anonymous notes in their mailbox. I never did. I was more direct with them and let them know the dog was barking a lot. They were very nice people, and like you didn't seem to realize how bad it was. I think barking dogs are like screaming children - your own are "acting like children" (or dogs, as the case may be), but someone else's is a brat. Chances are the barking is worse than you think it is. Your neighbor didn't handle it well though.

I currently have dog owners on either side of me. One dog never barks. The other one does, and I have to say it annoys the heck out of me (and others as well. Several neighbors have asked me "can you hear the Smith's dog barking?"). It is like the owners are deaf to it. Or would rather leave the dog outside than deal with it inside. I think the dog is bored. I almost never see anyone play with it.

I am not saying you are ignoring it, but I do think you should try to do something about it.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

Your dog barks (all dogs do). When and why have been explained to us (make sense to me), but may NOT be viewed as practically by the anonymous neighbor.

Here's what I'd do. Save the nasty message that was left on your machine. Immediately call Animal Control for your town, explain the circumstances and give them the "heads up" that an unidentified neighbor is unhappy, you want to help remedy the situation but can't do it readily BECAUSE you don't know what the mystery complaintant believes constitutes incessant barking. Explain that you don't think the barking is incessant, but are concerned because you want to maintain pleasant neighborhood relations. Return volley. Put the ball right back in the complainer's court. Whenever one of our dogs went AWOL I'd call AC, report the absence, and they were great. When the wayward beast returned, I'd call back and let them know. It was a way for me to let the authorities know I was aware of the situation, concerned, and assuming responsibility.

In the meantime... "barkers" are a PIA (there's one not too far from me). See if you can't find a way to avoid the barking; more "social walking" with neighborhood dogs? less "alone" time outdoors...

It's hard, I know!


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

Thank the good Lord I don't live in a neighborhood:)). I had a beagle growing up and it barked like mad. Fortunately, at that time, things were done differently between neighbors, and we all had dogs in the neighborhood, no one ever complained. It was a different time. It seems that nowadays, everyone has a gripe about this or that. If it wasn't your dog barking, it would be the location of your compost pile??? That's why I don't want to live in a "development-type neighborhood".

That said, my dogs bark, they are labs, not beagles. If a leaf drops they bark. They are supposed to bark. It is their job to let me know if someone is outside or at the door, etc. If they are in the yard and someone walks down the road, they bark, if the UPS goes by or comes down the drive, they bark. If someone rings the bell, they bark.

I don't keep them out there to get them out of my hair, I want them to have fresh air, if they bark, they bark. Unfortunately, the magic word in your post is NEIGHBORHOOD and apparently, there is a certain code of conduct as you can see by the posters who do live in neighborhoods as to what is expected of one another. Get to know the people around you to find out who's complaining since she wasn't polite enough to leave her name and phone number so that you could respond promptly and appropriately to her concerns.

As long as your dog does not bark continuously for the time alotted in the ordinances in your town, ours is 10 minutes of continuous barking, there should be no problem. You need to check that out before she starts threatening to call the authorities and such. She is definitely not an animal person or she would have stopped at your house, let you know that your dog was a bit more of a barker than she could handle and asked you to do something about it. Don't be a coward like your complainer. Find out who she is and address her problems asap.

I don't think you should ignore any neighbor, I think you should try to accommodate her as best you are able. That is a bit difficult if she didn't leave her name, so you may have to wait for her to "come out of the woodwork" in order to speak with her directly.

Rivkadr posts: "Uncontrolled dogs bark. From what you describe, your dog is barking when other dogs bark, when other dogs walk by, etc -- that is FAR too much barking, IMO. I imagine it's not just your one neighbor that is annoyed; she's just the first to confront you. Beagles DO bark. A lot. That IS what they do. That's why they need to be trained not to. It's on you to do the training."

I disagree, my dogs are not uncontrolled. Dogs bark it is what they do - read any book on animal behavior, it is how a dog lets you know something is up. In fact, my dogs are very controlled, I want them to bark, it is one of the securities I have in place in order not to be robbed or worse.

I think you have opened a can of worms with some in this group. All are very nice, but I think expect a lot out of their pets. I am probably going to be one of the few posters who will tell you that it's just dog behavior, but I can tell that you are going to have your hands full of this woman unless you assimilate your dog into what this woman's interpretation of acceptable barking would be - probably none.

I'll shut up now, this just struck a nerve, you know the whole neighborhood thing.

Good luck to you.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

Dogs do bark but they can be trained to not bark at inappropriate times. My dogs are encouraged to bark at some things and to shut up about others. Somebody in the driveway is one thing, barking at air is another. Honestly barking dogs tend to go in one ear and out the other with me. I hear them all day at work plus two houses down from me is a rescue group that usually has about a hundred dogs. You should hear them get going in the mornings around six o'clock. Mainly I don't want my dogs annoying other people that live nearby.

Lisa


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

Dogs bark it is what they do - read any book on animal behavior, it is how a dog lets you know something is up. In fact, my dogs are very controlled, I want them to bark, it is one of the securities I have in place in order not to be robbed or worse.

I have no problem with a dog that barks when it is appropriate.

What's the point of having a dog that barks EVERY time someone walks by the house? You become inured to its barking. A dog should be trained to bark appropriately -- at strangers coming onto your property. Not at people randomly walking by on the sidewalk, not at other dogs barking in the neighborhood, not at leaves dropping off of trees. Otherwise, it's completely pointless -- and extremely annoying for the people that live around you, especially if you live in a neighborhood where people live practically on top of each other.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

I don't live in a conventional sub-division, either. We have nearly 3 acres and abut 4 lots with home and one more that is presently unbuilt and for sale. We have nearly 3 acres and the lot for sale is about 2 acres. Other neighbors have roughly 1/3rd. acre/each.

"The barker" is not an abuttor. It will bark for 5 minutes easily. But removed as we are, it becomes "white noise". We know all our neighbors very well. Have for nearly 16 years! We have shared phone numbers (keys, even!) and speak to each other every few days. They have known our past dogs and know the present one. They know our cats... I'm certain they'd speak right up if there was "problem".

If a neighbor is going to raise a complaint, the POLITE way to do it is to leave a name, phone number, and convenient time to call. Anonymous "nastygrams" will most certainly not beget fruitful results, lol. Nor do they build alliances and friendships.

I received the same message from several posters here with respect to our decision to let our cats go outdoors... no one has "confronted" us yet (ergo, it's up to me to assume they're all secretly irritated), who has TIME for that crap? We've put our faith in the relationships we've built with our neighbors over the course of 16 years. Dogs bark, sometimes it sucks to listen to it. But most of us "get over it" or learn to deal honestly, DIRECTLY, and politely with our neighbors.

That's how "grown ups" do it. In the meantime, speak to Animal Control.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

I am trying to be considerate of their feelings. We've definitely figured out the house. They don't have pets or kids. I'm pretty sure it's the same couple who call the police during the neighborhood BBQs (not at my house). So, they're a bit high maintenance.
They both work at home during the day so I'm guessing it's the 8-5 time that bother them. DH works at home too, BTW. The dog is out alot on the weekends at that time, but during the week I walk him out 1st thing, he eats, I walk him again before the kids wake up, he's up another hour or so following me around the house, he goes back to sleep, I tie him out a while at lunchtime, and then he sleeps until the kids get home at 4. Since she didn't bother talking to me, I don't know if the problem in at noon or later in the afternoon. Of course, the schedule isn't set in stone. Some days he's out more, some days he's quiet, and some times I don't hear him barking right away. That being said, a dog barking can be really annoying. I wouldn't let him bark for 10 min. I have ears too!
DH or I are here all the time. We do not ever leave him outside when we're not home, if it's raining, cold, or dark, if our neighbors are outside on their decks or patios, or if any other dogs are out. We know he's a barker and are trying not to annoy anyone.
Maybe she was just having a bad day and lost control. We've had the dog for over 2 yrs and his barking has only gotten better, so I don't know what set her off today. I should be the better person and go knock on her door and try to be neighborly, but I'm not that good. I would have reacted differently to a knock on the door. I was embarassed and feel badly, but her tone made me more angry than anything else.
I agree he could use more training, but I think Beagles are naturally very vocal and don't expect I could ever curb it entirely (nor would I want to).


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

Ahhhh yes, the beagle bark - NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO, YOUR DOG WILL BARK - this is the hardest thing to train a beagle not to do. They are hunting dogs and they communicate with others of their pack and their owners by barking. While I completely understand your not wanting to deal with someone this nasty, my theroy in life is that if we all act like the people who piss us off, everyone will be pissed off. I suggest you rise above the womans bad attitude. Write out a letter letting your neighbors know that someone has complained about your dog barking and that you are willing to work with the person (within reason) to put your dog inside during the times that person is most bothered, just like you wrote you would be willig to do if the woman had not been so rude. It is not unreasonable to try and work with someone who is bothered by your dogs barking. I would ask if anyone else is bothered by the dog barking and if this is the case, you might be able to find a more intensive excersize program for your dog so that your pup spends some time away from the house and can get more energy released. Maybe get him involved in dog trials or put feelers out for someone else in the area with a dog to spend time with. Beagles are INTENSLY social animals and his barking is just his way of communicating with you and the world. If you could find another dog owner nearby and have your beagle have play dates, that might help alot. Good luck. Please post again, I would like to know how this all works out.


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Animal Control

Sorry, I forgot to mention thank you for the advice about contacting AC as a preemptive measure. I guess she could call the police, but he'd be back in the house sound asleep by the time they arrived!


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

My neighbors have 3 beagles and they bark constantly. Fortunately it doesn't bother me but I imagine it does some of the other neighbors.

One thing you might want to do is ask some of your other neighbors if your dog's barking is a problem for them. I would ask them to be honest so that you know how to deal with the problem. Even in a neighborhood with other barking dogs, yours would be easy to distinguish because of the beagle baying.

I also like the idea of keeping your dog busy while he's outside with a nice big chewie or something.

My dog doesn't stay outside in the backyard much but does like to lie on the front porch. Oddly enough, the only barking he does is while inside the house.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

I have two dogs and we just moved into the city from the country about a month ago. This was one of my first concerns about my dogs barking and the neighbors complaining. We're also on the bend of a street so our pie shaped back yard adjoins 3 houses on the back street plus our neighbors on either side. Thankfully the neighbors on both sides are ardent dog lovers. I gave them our phone number right away and told them to call me asap if the dogs bothered them. That being said I decided I didn't want that to happen so they get their walks in the morning, a couple of minutes outside to do their business and then they come back in. They go out every hour or so to do some more business if they want and I usually stand at the door. If I do leave them for a few minutes unattended they come in at the first barks. Actually only the oldest one barks and I know for a fact after 12 years it's because he's wanting attention or to get back in the house. We all know dogs are pack animals and you're the leader or should be..in most cases they are much happier being inside the house with you, even if it is just to lounge around, it's a good life. A single dog or even two generally do not amuse themselves or get any exercise being left outside anyways, they're probably bored and wondering what the heck they're missing inside. Is their a party going on in there? How would you like being left outside knowing a party is going on inside LOL if you get my drift.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

Your answer here I think Beagles are naturally very vocal and don't expect I could ever curb it entirely (nor would I want to). indicates that you are not such a great neighbor.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

Chelone- are we neighbors? I am with you on this one. I think a huge number of neighbors over react at most things their neighbors do. I know this from my friends that live in these types of developments, hate it, and keep asking me to sell them my house;))).

Disagree with elly_nj, OP I don't think you are a bad neighbor. Ive had a beagle. It is a tough thing. No matter what anyone posts, beagles are born barkers and howlers.

Rivkadr writes: "Dogs bark it is what they do - read any book on animal behavior, it is how a dog lets you know something is up. In fact, my dogs are very controlled, I want them to bark, it is one of the securities I have in place in order not to be robbed or worse.
I have no problem with a dog that barks when it is appropriate.

What's the point of having a dog that barks EVERY time someone walks by the house? You become inured to its barking. A dog should be trained to bark appropriately -- at strangers coming onto your property. Not at people randomly walking by on the sidewalk, not at other dogs barking in the neighborhood, not at leaves dropping off of trees."

THE LEAF COMMENT WAS IN JEST, POINT IS, I DON'T IGNORE MY DOGS' BARKING. ITS NOT UNCONTROLLED BARKING. I THANK THEM FOR BARKING AT PEOPLE GOING BY, WALKING OR DRIVING. IT MAKES PEOPLE THINK TWICE BEFORE TRESPASSING OR COMING UP TO THE HOUSE (WHICH I DON'T WANT). If I am out in the yard with the dogs and a neighbor walks by, I do the shhh command and they settle down. They are doing what I want them to do. I praise them when they bark at a car or person that goes by, because that car or person is out of place in my setting. Where we live, only the people who live here or are doing a service for someone here should be here. No one else should be around. If they are, they are lost or checking out whats going on. My guys bark at the school bus that drops my daughter off. It lets me know she's home and I can walk down the driveway to meet her. I am not irresponsible, and I guess I would curb some of their stranger bark behavior if, big if, I lived in a "neighborhood". May sound as if I am a bit sensitive to this, yes I am. I was robbed when my DD was a toddler. I was out and came home to a strange car in my driveway and the two offenders male and female were robbing me. They didnt go in the house because the dogs were barking, but they managed to steal many other valuables that were stored in a shed where my husband kept a former painting business equipment. Had I been home, the dogs would have alerted me to someone before they ever entered the driveway. I am in a place where I could scream my fool head off for hours and no one would hear me. I take comfort that my dogs bark. Unfortunately, I arrived home in the middle of the robbery. A story for another time. It just reinforces that I want my dogs to bark, they are added security for me.

Good luck with your complainer. You are going to have to come to an agreement with her since shes your neighbor. Remember good ole Mr. Rogers...


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Follow-Up

"my theroy in life is that if we all act like the people who piss us off, everyone will be pissed off"

That is so true. I've already decided to take the high road and assume his barking is possibly bothering some other people who don't want to say anything to us about it. It's really a close knit neighborhood, esp with dog owners and parents, so I would have expected someone to knock on the door or stop me when I'm out with him. We have lots of neighborhood events, sports teams, charity outings, etc. I may not remember every name or face, but I feel a sense of community that would make me approach the situation much dfferently than she did. The odd hysterical call just totally confused me. Who "communicates" that way? We plan on living in this house and caring for our dog for a long time, so we'll do what's best for our neighbors (even the crazy ones) and our dog.
Anyway, I resisted the urge to flip the house the bird this morning ;-), and rather than tying him out at lunch, we'll take another long walk. He does get good playtime with a couple of neighbor dogs, but he could use more of it. I always thought he enjoyed being outside alone, but maybe it's not much fun for him and he is bored. What about supervised outside time instead?

Thanks for the all the varying advice and perspectives.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

It's really a close knit neighborhood, esp with dog owners and parents, so I would have expected someone to knock on the door or stop me when I'm out with him.

I don't think you can make that assumption at all. People don't want to make waves with their neighbors, or be the "bad guy". You've seen how some people in this thread have reacted to the notion that barking dogs can be annoying -- and the way you yourself reacted when confronted -- yes, partially it was because of the WAY you were contacted, but a lot of people are scared to contact neighbors about barking dogs. You don't know how someone will react.

As an example, I have a neighbor who has Christmas lights up that blink. I live in Southern California, so the houses are literally only 10 feet away from each other. His blinking lights are right outside my bedroom window, and it's really hard to sleep at night with them blinking. He's a nice guy, and we've had nice neighborly relations. I could go over and ask nicely for him to turn them off at night. So far I've suffered in silence. Instead, I'm going to make a temporary curtain for the holidays to put over my bedroom window, because it seems the easiest solution, because I don't want to make "waves". I have to live next to this guy for who knows how many years. I don't want to go to him with petty complaints, and possibly have him go off on me, and then have a Hatfield-McCoy situation which would make living here untenable -- that's always a possibility when you confront someone that you don't know. I imagine that's why other people feel uncertain about confronting someone that they don't know very well.

As a second example, I had a neighbor in an apartment who I got along really well with, or so I thought. But he had this annoying habit of playing his stereo really loud until 2am every night. I put up with it for as long as I could, and finally said to him, "Hey John, do you think you could turn the stereo down after 11 on weeknights, or take it out of the bedroom into the living room, so I don't hear it in my bedroom?" He went totally ballistic. Screamed at me that it wasn't my place to tell him when and where he could listen to his music, etc. Our relations after that were very tense, and I was glad to move a couple months later! You just never know how a neighbor, even one you thought you had good relations with, is going to react when confronted about a noise (or other) problem that they are the cause of. That's why it's scary to confront them. And that's why your neighbor took the "cowardly" way out and contacted you anonymously.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

No, you can't assume others aren't bothered. Most people are very tolerant, but they may be suffering as well.

My neighbor (here in a dense metro L.A. County neighborhood), lets her cat roam outside. The cat pooped in planters on my patio regularly, until I sprayed her one day with vinegar, and peppered the patio wall. I never said anything to the neighbor. Know why? I have to live next to her, and she does other stupid things as well - lets her old deaf dog wander unleashed in the street for one. She's been complained to and even warned in letters from local animal control. Doesn't change her behavior.

If you live out in the sticks, fine, let your dogs bark and your cats out. But if you're in most of surburbia, there is not room. Your outdoor cat IS digging up and pooping in someone's garden, and your barking dog IS bothering kind, quiet neighbors.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

My dogs (boxer and boston terrier) are out several times a day, and sometimes have "a little to say". I can hear them talking with other dogs in the neighborhood. If it continues for 5 minutes, I then make them come in. I never let them bark if they go outside after 10:00 pm. (I go out with them when it's late). Dogs do bark, and as long as it's only a little here and there during the course of the day, there's nothing wrong with that. We've put up with so much crap in our neighbor, and I'm not talking about a little barking. I'm talking about neighbors who must blow off fireworks all hours of the day or night (they are legal here for the week before July 4, but these neighbors blow them all year).... until we got the police chief involved.
Another neighbor has a stock car and he's tuning up and revving the hell out of it, all day, every Friday and Saturday, all summer. There's nothing we can do about it, since it's not after 10:30 pm. I can't even hear my TV sometimes.
So, to me, a little dog barking here and there during the course of the day, is no big deal.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

I have a two dogs. If they are outside and start barking, that's it, they come inside.

I had a neighbor who would put her bulldog outside once in a while, maybe she was cleaning, I don't know. But this dog would not stop barking the entire time, possibly for over an hour. Thank goodness, they moved.

Did I complain? No. Sure it's annoying, not just to me, but everybody I talked to. At least it wasn't very often, but I just don't understand why somebody would subject their neighbors to that, even occasionally.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

I'd like to say something in defense of the complaining neighbor as well. As was already said, perhaps he/she was afraid of your reaction. Maybe the tone of the note could have been more polite, but just being anonymous is justifiable IMO. I've been there, I know. My neighbors let their dogs run loose and besides damaging our property, the Rottie growls at us too. I asked many times for them to get and keep their dogs out of our yard - to no avail. I finally gave up and called animal control. Since they know who complained they have been very nasty and started telling lies about me to other neighbors. Their kids make faces at my daughter, who hasn't done anything, and they still let their dogs run loose! Unfortunately the dogs only come in our yard, so they aren't bothering anyone else, therefore I'm all alone in this. If there was any way I could have remained anonymous, I would have.


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OP here

gina_w said
"No, you can't assume others aren't bothered. Most people are very tolerant, but they may be suffering as well."

I think you missed my reply. I said-
"I've already decided to take the high road and assume his barking is possibly bothering some other people who don't want to say anything to us about it."

I am taking steps to curb the barking because I realized it may be a problem for other neighbors as well. I felt I was bringing him in quickly enough when he started barking, but for at least one person, I was not. I made an incorrect assumption that people would tell me if there was a problem. That was my mistake. I'm just ignoring the caller's *behavoir* and not escalating the situation.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

There was a beagle down the street from us growing up. I used to hate riding my bike down the sidewalk by that house (or walking) because that dog would go ballistic at the fence and it scared me to death. It also left me with a bad impression of beagles.

Anyhow, I don't think it is unreasonable that a dog barks at other dogs but I think it would be ridiculous if it barked at everyone that walks down the street or is enjoying their backyard.

Can your neighbors enjoy using their yard without your dog bothering them?

Our house backs up to a road with a sidewalk in front on it that many people walk and ride bikes on. My DH's old dog (when it was young) got in the habit of barking at everyone using the sidewalk behind our house -- until one day my mother-in-law tossed a pitcher of water at him -- never did it again (only at dogs, not people).


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

To all of you neighbors. You haven't even begun to experience imposition or annoying until you live in the Big Apple, small apartments, brownstones on top of brownstones, traffic, dogs pooping in the street outside your little slice of heaven. We all have things to deal with, just have to have a little perspective. If you don't like neighbors, move to a place where you have a little space between yourself and the neighbors. It can be done and you don't have to have a pocketbook full of money. Statistically, it costs more money to live in the urban areas.

If you live in a neighborhood you are going to have to put up with the 20,000 blinking light display the nut up the street puts up every Christmas because he thinks he's doing his part...


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

O.K. these are my last words on this subject.

I forgot to mention that I am forever aware that some people either don't like dogs or are afraid of them. When I walk them they are under my control. When they are outside in my fenced yard, under my control. When I moved into the neighborhood, when talking to my new neighbors for the first time, I told them, please call me if the dogs are bothering you. Even though I knew they probably wouldn't, I still wanted to make the statement.

I think people who are inconsiderate of people who don't appreciate dogs, give good dog owners a bad reputation. Many times while walking mine, someone has gone the opposite direction because they are afraid of how big they are, never mind that they are all pussy cats. I am also very aware where they do their natural thing. I don't like dogs peeing or pooping in my garden or lawn.

Barking while guarding territory or me is another matter altogether. When I'm home, which is a lot during the day, the front door is always open from the time I get up until bedtime so they can look out the storm door. I want them to (and they do) guard me and the house.

That's all I have to say on this one,

SG


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

Please don't ignore the neighbor, barking dogs drive me nuts, and no matter how little they do it, it is evidently too much for your neighbor.

Having said that, I know what you're going through. I have 2 bassets, 1 basset mix and a huskey. The bassets have the same sounding bark as a beagle. Each dog has a different thing that sets off the barking. We have moved from 9 acres to 1/3 acre so getting them to stop barking has been a REAL challange.

I didn't have much luck with bark collars, but I ordered a machine that makes a sonic noise when the dogs bark. It also has a remote "clicker" that you press when they bark. This has really helped curb the barking. A squirt from the garden hose also quiets them down.

We haven't gotten it completely fixed, but the nighbor know we are really trying and that goes a long way in .

good luck, jerri


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

angc I did see your reply, I was just adding my general 2 and a half cents to the thread in general. Thank you for considering all the opinions here.

Labmomma, my dog was trained by me not to bark. As soon as I got him home when he was a pup it was one of my training goals. I did not want to be a bad neighbor. My home is attached on 2 sides to neighbors homes.

Many, many of my neighbors here in suburbia have dogs. We don't have a barking problem in the neighborhood. If there is a problem, it's temporary, as local animal control is very motivated to send a warning letter to the owners. Letters will lead to fines if not heeded. Somehow the owners quickly learn how to keep their dog quiet.

In one instance, a neighbor's dog would bark nonstop while the owner was out. Another neighbor gave the owner a tip - told her to keep the dog in an interior room, away from windows, while she was gone. Guess what? It worked. Happy dog, happy neighbors.

If there is a will, there's a way.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

gina_w - that's great if you want your dogs not to bark. Sounds like you did a good job training them not to do so.

I like that my dogs bark, in fact, I encourage and praise them for it. They protect me, plain and simple. They are an added layer of security at my property. Even tho my old gal has some health issues, she wouldn't hesitate to not only bark, but take a bite out of someone who was threatening us;-). I don't think I would want a dog that didn't bark, somehow it just doesn't seem "normal" to me. Do they not make any noises?

While I realize many of you want to be good neighbors, and neighborhood dogs shouldn't bark to the dismay and distraction of the neighbors, I do think the whole neighbor thing is a bit overrated. What I really don't understand is how this is so upsetting. I don't even hear the barking when I am visiting someone who lives in a neighborhood. To me, its like having a little kid and the noise they make. It doesn't take long to tune it out and not even hear it anymore unless you are looking for a reason to have an issue??? Am I the only one who doesn't pay so much attention to the dogs barking?

I am surprised at the lengths some people will go because they live in a neighborhood so as to not upset their neighbor. I don't know where most of you live, but it is not in any of the neighborhoods that friends and family of mine who live in neighborhoods live. Most of my friends and family who have neighbors, have issues with at least one of them. IMHO calling the animal control over a neighbor's barking dog is a bit much. If the dog is loose and running wild over your rose bushes, maybe, but barking, come on. Those guys need time to take real calls, like emergencies, not barking complaints.

How far does that neighborly behavior extend? I see in these "gated" communities, condo/townhouse communities, over 55 developments and such, that usually can't have pets, you have to paint your house an "approved" color, can only have certain shrubs and plants in your yard, no decorative flag displaying with the exception of Old Glory. It is a bit too Stepford for me.

I guess I am better off where I am because while I love my neighbors, they would never expect what some of you are willing to do to please them. My neighbors, few that I have, should they need to speak with me, walk on over (have a cup of joe or a more spirited type beverage depending on the hour), or give me a call if something is up. That said, the thing is, it isn't usually anything negative. I feel like I live on another planet from you all. There isn't any ananymous immature phone message leaving (BTW, OP don't you have caller ID?). We just talk to one another like adults should. I guess its all very nice for your neighbors;-).

Me, I will take my set up over a "neighborhood" any day of the week.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

I guess I am better off where I am because while I love my neighbors, they would never expect what some of you are willing to do to please them.

You've already stated that you live in an area where there is a lot of space between houses. It's very, very different when there is NOT space between houses. Believe me, when your neighbor's dog is barking and it's only 15 feet away from your own window, then it's a hell of a lot harder to "tune out". So, yeah, I'm happy for you that you can live in an area where you can let your dogs bark, and your neighbors (probably) don't care. It isn't necessarily true for the rest of us.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

Hmmm.. I was just thinking.

Although we have neighbors, our houses aren't on top of each other. There are 7 dogs around me, 4 of which bark a great deal. It doesn't bother me... for one thing it's kind of loud in our house, with the tv volume, which is turned up due to aquarium noise, etc. Maybe my neighbors put their dogs out to bark so they don't have to listen to my tv? Just a thought. :)


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

I didn't read all the posts but, I breed Beagles and keep , normally, 4-5 females and 1-3 males; probably 3-4 litters per year; thats a bunch of beagles. my sons bred coon hounds, Red Bones and Black & Tans. we might have 20-30 dogs here . They didnt bark, they were not allowed to bark. They only need to bark when persuing game, any other time is disallowable. Beagles and other hounds only bark because they were not taught otherwise. I can't count the number of people who could not believe our hounds dont bark; neighbors thought we only had 2-3 dogs here!


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

1/3 of a lot isn't very big. I'm not saying this is you, but some people get an attitude when asked to contain their animals. If you have a pet and its bothering the neighbors, at least be glad they warned you before they called animal control (or hurt the animal).

I had a friend who's neighbor let her cats roam the neighborhood. One of the cats would come sit in my friends yard and stalk/kill the birds at her feeder.

My friend tried to be nice. She went over to the neighbor, introduced herself and politely explained the situation. Asked the neighbor if she could please keep the cat out of her yard as it was upsetting her small boys to see the cat kill the birds right in front of their living room window. Not just one, but many, on a regular basis.

The neighbor said her cats were used to going outdoors and would go nuts if they were confined to the house. So my friend put out a have-a-hart trap in her yard. She caught the cat and took it to the shelter. The neighbor found out and threw rat poison in my friends fenced back yard. Her dog ate it and died.

Do you think my friends dog (who was where he was supposed to be) should have died because of this inconsiderate neighbor? I don't think so. Maybe the woman who called and left a message about your dog isn't a coward. Maybe she has had similar experiences with other neighbors who thought she should just "live with it".

I give you credit for seeking a solution at this forum. Can you use a barkless collar or get another dog so your beagle isn't bored? Since you have already ruled out all but 3 houses within a 15 house circle. I wonder if it would accomplish anything if you sent a nice letter to these suspect three residences, asking those neighbors to please call you if they hear your dog barking excessively. Be interesting to see if you get a response.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

O.K. O.K. I said I had my last word on this one, but I can't resist.

Fact. The dog is barking and annoying neighbors.

Fact. The dog is the responsibility of it's master.

Fact. IF the dog bit someone, owner would be responsible for ALL expenses incurred by said OWNER AND DOG.

Fact. Owners MUST own up to RESPONSIBLE behavior in their creatures. I repeat, many humans simply do not like dogs. It is the responsibility of their masters to do all they can to ensure their safety. It is also their responsibility to ensure that said dogs do not annoy/threaten other humans.

Swear to GOD. This is it from me on this one. If you don't get it by now, you never will..............

SG


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

If all people would just take responsibility for their pets, it would be a better world. That goes for cats as well as dogs. Not every person thinks your pet is the cutest thing living, and many think unruly pets are a royal pain. Barking is as annoying as hell. Personally I would never get a dog I knew as a breed would bark a lot. One never know if a person is resting or ill or a day sleeper(night shifts) or just plain likes quiet. ..And the cat thing was addressed many times here. If you think your kitty should be "free", then make damn sure it doesn't ever leave your property.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

It may not be a close neighbor, the Beagle bay can carry much further than other dog's voices.

Unfortunately, next to the shrill high pitch of some dogs, the bay is considered the most annoying of the barks.

Some people (especially those who live in apartments) give their dogs toys to "pacify" the barking... When they feel the urge to bark, they will grab the toy and stifle their own noise. This might be an option for you.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

I agree with the others that said it's the pet owner's responsibility to not let their pets annoy the neighbors.

I'm surprised that you expected the neighbor to be so considerate in the way they approached you, when you admit that you knew the dog barks excessively, but you've obviously done nothing about it. Why should the neighbor believe that a kind word from her would change anything if you've ignored the problem so far? You're really expecting much more consideration from her than you've shown to her or others.

I know you said you're taking the high road now, but your anger towards her method is still there, and frankly I think you should get over it. She had every reason to be annoyed.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

If you are sure you know who it is, I would bake cookies or a cake, take it over to their house and apologize. Let them know you are working on a solution, and if they have any ideas or if there are certain times they are most bothered, you are open to their help. How can they possibly be mad after that?

This will not only help your situation and prevent a possible problem in the future, you might just make a friend out of the deal.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

I am with Michelle. Kill them with kindness.

Years a my long gone labby got out of my yard, made his way to the neighbor's house and it happened to be trash nite. Let's just say he made a mess out of their trash. DH went down, cleaned up the trash and took the dog to the door for an apology. No hard feelings. Why can't everyone just get along?


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

...I'm surprised that you expected the neighbor to be so considerate in the way they approached you...

Well, I have to chime in on this one. Leaving a "really nasty [anonymous] phone message" is both petty and childish...there is no excuse for it, and it solves nothing. And I don't think the dogs in the original post could be considered "excessive barkers" either, but even if they are, that is no excuse for bad manners on the neighbor's part.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

If you lived in Houston, TX, you should not ignore the complaint. There are laws against incessant barking. My husband is an attorney and had a client whose dog was complained on. I can't remember if it was misdeamenaor court or not so you may not need a lawyer but who wants to get involved in a legal complaint with a neighbor?

I think you should try one of those collar things that cause a mild shock when he barks (inappropriately) or something. I don't really know how those things work or if they would work here but you need to figure out something.

At the very least, you might consider actually doing a journal on the barking to make sure it is as little as you think. Consider doing a web cam or something to have evidence iin case you need it. If something does end up going to court, your neighbor might actually start provoking your dog (she sounds stupid enough to do something like that) so you need to make sure you have evidence BEFORE any court date.

I'm not being paranoid about the provoking statement. That actually happened in the case my husband took. He won but only because he is a VERY dilligent attorney and put up a webcam of their own to show the neighbor doing just that.

You really want to try to keep this simple. Life is hard enough without needing an attorney. Try some training and keep trying --and if that doesn't work, try a different trainer. Think of it as being a lot easier than hiring an attorney.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

I have a neighbor behind me with a small yappy dog. My dh, when he was alive, worked shifts. Keeping any windows open was out of the question, instead we had to turn on AC, much to our dismay. Don, the neighbour, is on good terms with us & a nice fellow. However, we could never understand how he could tolerate Mandys' constant barking when out. Don't know if she is a beggar also, as she's always out during suppertime. Gets on my nerves, BIG TIME, can't talk on the phone, or watch TV or anything. How can he not hear it & be annoyed? I've never said anything to him, perhaps I should, but don't want to cause any waves.


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Update-Nearly a week later

Well, we haven't had the dog tied out since the call. I added a longer afternoon walk and some extra playtime, which totally wears him out. I didn't think it was possible for him to sleep any more than he already did, but now he squeezes in a post walk, pre-dinner nap too! I'm also allowing him to stay in the office with me during the day when I'm making phone calls and doing the household paperwork. He doesn't seem to mind not being outside alone at all.
Anyway, I keep reminding myself that I'm doing this for those neighbors who may have been suffering in silence and not the nasty one who made the call. It's also true that a mean phone call is nothing compared the evil things some people have done to pets.
I won't be baking her any cakes or cookies though. Sometimes seeing how someone reacts in a stressful situation gives you an insight to what sort of people they really are. I'm not saying she's awful, just probably not my type of person.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

He probably likes being with you better than being alone outside, anyway.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

I hope I didn't give the wrong impression. That was not my intention. Don is someone I make small talk with, you know, the weather, the lawn & so on & my impression is he's a decent, nice fellow. I think he's a very good neighbor, at least one I enjoy, except for that barking dog of his which he doesn't seem to notice.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

I have 2 miniature dachshunds who think they're rottweilers trapped in little dog suits. The smallest one really likes to bark a lot--he even annoys me.

Any non-aversive ideas for training them not to bark at everyone who walks by or enters the yard next door? They also like to bark at the trees. Barking was a good alarm when someone came in the yard at 3 a.m. recently and stole my park bench, and again 2 nights later and stole my cat--at least I know when they were here and they didn't try to get into the fenced part of the yard to enter the house. I like having the built-in alarm system, but I want them to be quiet when I tell them to be quiet.

The little one is 5 years old and the other is 6 years old.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

well I can tell you the shock collar DOES work, but I am not a big fan of it. my mother had to use one for a very aggressive Australian Cattledog, he minds very well now, but I would never think of using one just for a dog that barks, plus they are very pricy, mom spent 300.00 on hers lasted about a month before he actually broke it, but I guess he hasn't figured it out yet, lol!! the reason she went to it was because he would attack her birds and when she would try to pull him off of them he would do a roll like gaters do (hence his name gater) and he actually broke her finger one time, so she got even. He even minds me as well as mom, and I never used the clicker thingy on him.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

We had a very similar situation. I live in a city, where the houses are on small lots. There are lots of dogs in our neighborhood, though.

We had a 18yo Pomeranian (he recently passed away), who was deaf, and tended to go off on long barking stretches, if we weren't around to stop him. Normally when we left the house, he'd be in his crate, and bark for a while, and then fall asleep.

It was during a heat wave last summer that we started leaving him downstairs in his crate because it was cooler, and the windows open. One night, we came home and there was a letter in our mailbox (anonymous, of course), signed "your neighbors", complaining about the "incessant barking".

What is with this anonymous stuff anyhow? It's just the cheesiest, obnoxious way to communicate with someone. It really pissed us off, because we had no idea who it really was that complained, and so we had no way to know if our solution was working or not. The dog was barking when we weren't home, so how were we supposed to know? We thought he was asleep most of the time.

We ended up sending a letter to all the houses in a two block radius of our house, explaining our situation, our desire to be good neighbors, and our phone number and names, asking the offended party to call us and let us know that the problem was resolved.

Instead, we got ANOTHER anonymous letter, signed by "the neighbors", thanking us for dealing with it.

I suppose it's good that it was resolved, but I have no respect for whomever the squirrley neighbor was, who complained. There are other dogs barking in the neighborhood, so we can't even be sure that it was our dog.

Lesson to be learned...TALK to your neighbor. Most people are reasonable and want to do the right thing.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

"Most people are reasonable and want to do the right thing."

uh.

no.

Did you not read the post above where someone "talked" to the owners of a troublesome animal, only to have their own dog, in their own yard, poisoned?

Things happen.

Dogs bark.

If it's your dog, *just take care of it*.

You can get all offended at the manner in which you are notified if you like, but take care of the problem.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

What is with this anonymous stuff anyhow? It's just the cheesiest, obnoxious way to communicate with someone.

I think I answered pretty well in my prior post why people want to communicate anonymously when it comes to possible confrontations. All it takes is one bad relationship with a neighbor to not want to have to confront someone. You have absolutely NO idea how someone is going to react when you are pointing out they are in the wrong -- in fact, most of the time, they do NOT react in a positive way, no matter how nicey-nicey you put it. That's why people prefer to be anonymous. And it worked, didn't it? You quieted your dog. Who cares HOW you're notified? In that kind of situation, you're the one with the problem, so you fix it.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

I'm glad you are doing something to help the situation. I LOVE dogs, but constant barking makes me want to explode. It's kinda like kids, you know how parents can tune out their own baby crying but it drives everyone else nuts? Same with dogs. Some dog owners don't even seem to realize their dog is barking while the neighbors are being driven insane. I've noticed this when I go camping too. People bring dogs camping, which there is nothing wrong with, in fact I love when my friends bring their dogs camping with us. But I can't stand when camping "neighbors" bring their dog that bark at every little noise or movement, and I have to listen to hour after hour of barking.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

Sorry, but I stand by my opinion. It's a sorry day when you can't even talk to your neighbor about something simple like a barking dog.

Let's just all start calling the cops on our neighbors when they leave a light shining, or a car blocking a driveway, or whatever the minor annoyance might be. That will make for a lovely world.

I'm glad I don't live wherever it is that you people live, that you are so afraid of your neighbors.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

Let's just all start calling the cops on our neighbors when they leave a light shining, or a car blocking a driveway, or whatever the minor annoyance might be. That will make for a lovely world.

Wow, straw man argument. I never said that, never even implied it. That would be taking things too far. I stand by MY opinion as well. People send anonymous notes because they watch the news, have had a bad experience themselves, or heck -- have watched Judge Judy for more than five minutes.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

First of, to the OP, I know you have dealt with this. I am just continuing the discussion, if I may.

You know, if your dog is barking and annoying the neighbors, and someone leaves you a note, anonymous or not, I think the issue is that the dog is barking and annoying the neighbors. There are probably half a dozen other neighbors who didn't leave notes who wanted to.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

"Beagles and other hounds only bark because they were not taught otherwise."

That's the best line in this whole dialoguem and it was submitted by a poster who breeds beagles.

The onus here is not on the neighbors. It's on the original poster to train her dog, or move to an area with lots that are bigger than postage stamps. It doesn't matter if the complainant's message was anonymous, except for the fact that it is creating a distraction to the real issue. You don't need to discuss with the neighbors what times the dog barking is bothersome. Simply control the barking.

If you really believe that barking is 'just what they do' why did you ever get such a barkey dog in such a congested neighborhood? I have friends with a beagle and have never heard her bark inappropriately. As usual, this is all about owner responsibility and training.

How would you react if your neighbor blasted rock and roll music periodically throughout the day, or ran outside and leaned on the horn to their car 8 times a day at random intervals? That's no worse than the disturbance your dog is creating. Would you tell her what time of the day was particularly bothersome? Of course not. It doesn't matter what time is most annoying. All inappropriate barking is annoying.

If your dog really barks on leash everytime you pass another dog, your dog is out of control. And the noise in your yard is probably much worse than you imagine. What is the point of tieing him on the deck each day. That's not exercise. If you want to provide fresh air without exercising him, open a window :-)

Your neighbors should never have to tolerate listening to your dog bark for no reason. TRAIN YOUR DOG, and keep him inside until you do.

I have 3 dogs, and barking annoys me too. I would never inflict it on my neighbors.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

Thank you, cynthia. You've said everything I would want to say, perfectly.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

You did the right thing keeping your dog with you better for all involved.
I had a neighbor whose three pitbulls would be on at my place bothering the goats and chickens. I went over and had a talk with him. He told me he had the dogs as guard dogs. Three days later he was robbed and shot dead, he had a simi legal medical herb set up, his guard dogs were at my house.


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RE: Am I wrong to ignore complaining neighbor?

Live and let live. If the neighbors do things that annoy you, whatever that may be, and you can't suck it up and deal with it, move some place where you can live alone. Become a hermit.

Everything is not going to go your way. It's called life. You are not special. The world does not revolve around you. You are not in charge.

Maybe you annoy me. Try some tolerance. Quit complaining and get a life.


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