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Barking Mad

want4rain
July 2nd, 2007, 10:46 AM
ok, ill try to make this as concise as possible!!

our neighbor has two GSDs. one (Rebel) is elderly (not sure how old exactly). the other (Dixie) is 3yo. they are enclosed in her back yard with an invisible fence, no obvious toys for anywhere between 10 and 14 hours M-F while she is at work.

we have had a problem with barking since we moved in about 2.5 years ago. first we mentioned it a few times. the neighbor said she just needed to get use to us. so we gave it a few months... well i got pregnant and quite sick from it so we didnt spend much time outside. well a pregnancy lasts 9 months! (go figure!!) after i had the baby, we were tied up in that... well now we have 2 years of yard work to make up on, a crawlspace that needs some serious work... a dog of our own now and every time we step outside Dixie starts barking at us. we know she is bored because its not an aggressive bark...

we started walking Mister on a leash in the back yard to go potty. every time Mister left the house she would bark at us non-stop. its gotten to the point that when a door in the house slams, she barks her head off at us, when we walk to the car, talk on the phone outside... you get the picture. its also not just linked with being able to see us... she barks if she knows i am on the far side of the house where she can not see me gardening.

we mentioned the barking to the neighbor again and she says that my husband must have done soemthign at some point to make Dixie feel threatened. :frustrated: coming from a family where ym grandfather molested my mother for 18 years, i think i would know if there was a creepy bone in my husbands body. i was *quite* offended at the implied there.

another month or so went by and nothing was done about it so i left a note on her door. Chris and i discussed some options for the barking, things we were willing to do and things the neighbor could do to encourage Dixie to bark less (ie dog walkers, privacy fence etc). that was the friday before mothers day... mothers day is on sunday... my dearest husband brought home a new (and so very cool) fridge for me, went out to walk Mister and the neighbor was standing at the property line, visibly upset. she yelled at my husband, told us we were inciting her dog to bark by walking our dog in out back yard and that she is going to call her lawyer. he told her that would be a great idea and came inside.

so we decided to side with karma and write a letter to her instead of just start calling animal control or the sheriff. it took us a month to come up with something polite and informative.

here is a copy of it-

Dear Mrs ......,

This letter is another effort at communication concerning Dixie's barking. With this, we would like to clarify our situation and attempt to begin working together towards a peaceful resolution that benefits everyone.

As you know, we have a dog and understand that they bark occasionally. However, Dixie has been barking for long stretches of time when she's outside and you are not home. The barking is directed at anything that may happen within the neighborhood and is not solely directed at people and/or pets on our property. We are concerned that although we've brought this up with you on more than one occasion, little action on your part has been taken.

At one point, you voiced concern that Dixie's barking was related to where we walk our dog, Mister. In an attempt to resolve this issue, for the last few weeks we kept him solely inside and in the children's play area, which is on the far side of our property. Although this is unacceptable for us as a long term solution, in good faith, we decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, it has not helped. Dixie still barks. Much of it seems to be triggered by the various day to day activities going on in the neighborhood. For example, anyone walking down the right of way, as well as any construction or yard work being done. All of these instances are disturbing, not just to us, but most likely to your other neighbors as well. Please talk to them about this.

Since we moved into our residence, the enjoyment of our outdoor property has been significantly impacted in a negative way due to Dixies's barking. For over two years, we have used the outdoor portion of our property sparingly to avoid the noise from Dixie and any potential confrontation with you. I'm sure you can understand how distressed and concerned we are to own a home with an acre and a half of land and not be able to step outside without barking interfering with our day to day lives. This happens when we grill, make phone calls outside, entertain company, slam a door *inside* the house, walk the dog under restraint, garden in the front yard, play in the side yard playground, or simply sit and read on the back porch. It has gotten to the point where we find it unacceptable to carry on in this manner.

We are very sensitive to the fact that the dogs are a means of security for your property. Rebel performs security reasonably. Rarely do we ever hear him bark. On occasion, he will bark once or twice at the object of Dixie's attention. This is fine as it does not interfere with our daily activities.

In closing, please know that we wish to work with you to resolve this issue in a peaceful and respectable manner. However, we would prefer you contact us either by letter or through third party mediation. We greatly appreciate your understanding in this matter.

Sincerely,

names were omitted for obvious reasons.

before we sent the letter, we approached a lawyer in town about the issue to make sure we werent putting anything in the letter that could be misconstrued. one of them said they couldnt consult on this because of a conflict of interest. whatever that means. we assumed it meant they were already her lawyer.

its been 3 weeks today and there hasnt been anythign done about it yet. we have been taping Dixie barking, none of the other neighbors have talked to her about it since the letter. we knew of at least two neighbors who were willing to tell her it was a problem.

we arent really sure what to do at this point. we dont want to be a**holes abotu it and just start calling AC on her but i cant keep living like this. we ahve considerable work to be done on the outside of the house and i shouldnt be harassed while i do it... Mister has GOT to get out of the kids play yard. pooping there is just NOT acceptable. we would like to put a fence up for him but are reluctant because of her barking.

any advice? is there anything we can do without her cooperation to shut her dog up? i cant go over and play with her. i wont risk legal action over that. we totally ignore her as of right now but she isnt always barking at us. sometimes she barks at the deer in our yard (blasted deer!!) or Mister in the side yard(where she can not see him) or cars pulling up... doors slamming inside of the house even!! we cant keep living this way!! we dontn use that HALF of our yard anymore!

the mean side of me wants to teach Mister to bark so he barks at her on the weekends. :yell:

im just lost and frustrated.

-ashley

Kristin7
July 2nd, 2007, 11:09 AM
There is a dog in my neighborhood just like this. Fortunately, I do not live right next door, but some good friends of mine do and they haven't been successful in stopping the dog from barking, though have not pursued things further than talking to the dog's owners, and also occasionally yelling at the dog, which rarely works to quiet her. What are the laws where you live? Seems like this fits under something like 'disturbing the peace'. I don't think you can do much to stop the dog from barking, but if they kept the dog inside during the day, you wouldn't have to listen to it. If your letter did not elicit a response then you likely will have to do something like call AC, unfortunately. Good luck!

PetFriendly
July 2nd, 2007, 11:24 AM
I had a similar situation with the dog that lives behind us. like you, we let it go for a while because the dog was new and we figured it was just getting used to the neighbourhood... Two months went by and the dog was still left out for long stretches of time, barking at everything that moved.

One day I was in the back yard training the pooches and Daisy (the barker) barked up a storm the whole hour we were out... People were home, but they didn't come and take her in... I was tired, hot and frustrated so I went over and knocked on their door. I explained that something was going to have to be done about their dog barking, and yes, I knew that our dogs barked at them on occasion, but that we were always in the yard if our dogs were and would scold them for barking. My tactic, embarass them... I offered to come and get their dog to play in the yard with us, or take it walking when we went out, because obviously the little dog was bored silly... They said that wouldn't be necessary, they weren't aware the dog was so obnoxious (ya right) and would keep the barking under control. It doesn't bark more than twice now without being taken in, and is walked very regularly. They also don't leave with it still in the back yard for fear of animal control coming and giving them a fine for not having a dog license!

pags
July 2nd, 2007, 11:27 AM
augh, w4r... that's a really frustrating situation. it does seem like it would be more likely to fall under a civil code 'disturbance of the peace' issue (like kristin said) than an animal control issue. i know that our own city has 'nuisance' laws where pet owners are responsible for insuring that their animals do not become a nuisance through barking, destruction of property, really smelly back yards, etc.

i really feel for you though -- and hopefully you will be able to find some resolution soon.

LavenderRott
July 2nd, 2007, 11:39 AM
You, my dear, are a SAINT!!

There is no way, on this green earth, that I would put up with a neighbor's dog that barked so much that I was unable to use the yard that I was paying for!!

It has been 2.5 years!! Enough is enough. If I am reading this right, you sent the letter a month ago? And still, she is making no effort to shut her dog up?

Sorry - I would be on the phone with AC and the local police.

want4rain
July 2nd, 2007, 12:10 PM
hahaha yeah 2.5 years!! i must say thought, through a good bit of that we werent outside much. between the baby and pregnancy and recovery... all that good stuff, neither of us really had time to be outside. we were smokers before the pregnancy and you betcha we never used our lovely back deck. *sigh*

there is a well stated barking law here and we have footage of it but we would rather keep the peace in the neighborhood than whimsically calling AC. its been 3 weeks since the letter and she is still barking at the bugs out there. *sigh* DID try looking for advice on a barking dog site btu everyone there was pretty anti dog so i gave up on that avenue.

another reason we were so easy on it is because about 8 months before we moved in my neighbor lost her husband. the dogs are all she has now. well she got Dixie after he died and boy does it show!! i dont think she was trained very well. Rebel barks at us once or twice to let us know he is there but Dixie is a whole nother story. :shrug:

anyways, at this point im the driving force behind beign polite. her crying lawyer to scare us into dealing with her dog was the last straw for my husband. sob story or not... he wants the dog silent and if it means several fines from AC then so be it. 'im not putting up a single bush!!' :rolleyes:

here is a site with SOME good information on it although beware the forum is quite anti dog.

http://barkingdogs.net/

-ashley

LavenderRott
July 2nd, 2007, 12:14 PM
While I understand wanting to keep the peace in the neighborhood - after two and a half years, I would hardly consider a call to animal control whimsical.

LavenderRott
July 2nd, 2007, 12:22 PM
Another thing you might want to consider - what happens if your toddler wanders into the neighbors yard? I know that you would never leave a toddler alone outside, but I am sure you know how quick they can be if you turn your back for a second.

It sounds to me like this dog is bored, untrained and unsocialized. I sure wouldn't want to live next to it and I would be concerned about it having contained by an invisible fence in the yard next to mine.

want4rain
July 2nd, 2007, 02:36 PM
Another thing you might want to consider - what happens if your toddler wanders into the neighbors yard? I know that you would never leave a toddler alone outside, but I am sure you know how quick they can be if you turn your back for a second.

It sounds to me like this dog is bored, untrained and unsocialized. I sure wouldn't want to live next to it and I would be concerned about it having contained by an invisible fence in the yard next to mine.

i know, it bothers me she has no other way to contain the dogs than in invisible fence but what can i do about it? im thankful that there is a rather large ditch and quite a few trees between the properties... we plan on putting a fence up on our side because of the kids and because Dixie will throw herself against the fence until the battery is dead and then play in her front yard. :rolleyes:

bottom line, thanks everyone for the reassurance that we have done the right thing so far. i know animal control or the sheriff will provide some sort of solution for us, we just regret its gotten to this point. she seemed like such a reasonable person when we moved in here, a high paying respectable job... she seems liek one who can dish it out but cant take it. she has always complained abotu the other neighborhood dogs getting out, people speeidng down our dirt road... thigns like that.

guess she is perfect and everyone else is nuts?? while i know im perfect, i also know that i have to make mistakes or folks will clue in to my divinity. :laughing:

-ashley

pags
July 2nd, 2007, 03:22 PM
Er wow.. I really didn't understand anti-dog until I went to the barking dog link you left, w4r. Geeez. I go through heck making sure my dogs don't bother anyone... So I have absolutely no patience for owners who let their dogs become a nuisance... especially when we know that 95% of the problem is the dog's loneliness and neglect. But uh... it's scary that there are folks out there who hate dogs and the people who don't hate them so much. :eek:

want4rain
July 2nd, 2007, 03:35 PM
amazing isnt it?? like its all the dogs fault. i dont get it but then again i own a dog. as frustrating as he is sometimes... he worships the ground i walk on and deserves way more than i will ever be able to give him. hate the people, not the dog or better yet, exercise your understanding bone, there is a root to every evil.

-ashley

want4rain
July 2nd, 2007, 05:48 PM
amazing isnt it?? like its all the dogs fault. i dont get it but then again i own a dog. as frustrating as he is sometimes... he worships the ground i walk on and deserves way more than i will ever be able to give him. hate the people, not the dog or better yet, exercise your understanding bone, there is a root to every evil.

-ashley

Shaykeija
July 3rd, 2007, 01:39 AM
I had a dog like that once next door to me. I just kept throwing treats to him. He loved to see me and when I got to really know him a treat asnd a hush now worked. No hush no treat. Worked for me i just went through a lot of treats.:p

want4rain
July 3rd, 2007, 12:28 PM
what a good idea! chicken? or beef? pigs feet?? yummie!!

-ashley