Please help me stop the barking!
February 4, 2012 5:19 PM Subscribe
It's currently 1am where I am and my neighbour's dog has been howling and barking incessantly for the past 2 hours. It's driving me insane and I'm furious because this behaviour has been going on for two years since I moved in. I've just written a letter to give to my neighbour, but I don't want to make things tense between us. Can I have some opinions?
posted by Spamfactor to human relations (33 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Ok, so I wrote this very quickly and in a bit of a rage, which is why it may seem a little rambling and incoherent. I'll try to fix it up tomorrow, but for now can anyone take a look and tell me if they foresee any problems?
For background, I've lived in a flat for 2 years now, and I've had to deal with the constant howling/barking of my neighbour's dog for that entire time. My sister lived in this flat for years before me, and she also complained of the noise. The other people in my building have also complained. I spoke to my neighbour and informed him of the problem. I offered to look after his dog for free, and gave him a flyer for a local dog walking business that I run. That was months ago, since then there has been no obvious effort to reduce the dog's barking. He seemed unapologetic when I confronted him. Can anyone tell me if they had similar experience and how they handled it? Am I going about this the right way? I really hate being put in this position, and I don't want things to be awkward between me and my neighbour. Here is the letter (I've removed his name):
Dear Mr ......
You may remember I spoke to you outside your flat some time ago to discuss the constant barking of your dog while you are out during the day. Unfortunately, since that time there has been no reduction in the noise from your flat.
I am concerned that perhaps you do not realise the extent of the problem. During the hours that you are away from your house, your dog is barking and howling for hours on end. This noise travels up the wall joining our buildings, and can be heard very clearly and loudly in my flat. I am writing this at 1am on January 5th and at this exact moment I can hear your dog barking loudly below me, and he has been doing so for a long time. I'm trying to get to sleep and I can't because of the barking and howling of your dog. In the past two weeks alone I have had several visitors to my flat and our conversations and attempts to simply sit and watch television have been continually disrupted by the loud, irritating howling of your dog, which fills my living room. On several occasions I have had relatives staying with me who have had to sleep on the couch in the living room, and they have complained that during the night they struggled to sleep due to the incessant noise. Furthermore, I know that the people who live above and below me have a serious issue with the noise also. Clearly, your dog is very stressed when left alone, and unfortunately it is obvious that he is left alone quite often.
I am sympathetic to the difficulties of owning a dog with abandonment issues, and I do offer a dog walking service in the local area. I gave you a flyer advertising my services, and I also offered to dog sit for you for no charge during the day, simply to give myself some peace, which I think is more than fair. I am still willing to offer these services.
I might suggest keeping your dog contained in another room while you are away in the hopes of stopping his barking from travelling up the wall joining our buildings. There are also devices and training methods designed specifically to combat this issue, and a simple Google search will allow you to research these.
I absolutely don't mean to suggest that you do not take good care of your dog. I see that you walk him every day and he appears healthy and well cared for. But the barking has been a constant problem for the past two years I've lived here. And my sister who lived here before me also had serious issues with it for years before that. The last time I visited home, the first question my sister asked me was "does that dog still bark all the time?". I hope you can understand that after two years I find this level of noise simply unacceptable, and it is unfair for myself and my neighbours to endure it. For that reason, if there is not a reduction in the noise within the next two months, I will be forced to report the barking to the local council, who may decide to serve you with an abatement order. I feel that with the support of the other people in my building, and the fact that I can easily record your dog's barking, I would have no problem providing the council with enough evidence to show the extent of the problem. Naturally, this is not a conclusion either of us would like. The best thing would be to simply find a way to reduce the constant barking. As I said, I provide a local dog sitting service and I am more than happy to look after your dog during the day for free. But I feel that you must also make some effort to address this issue in some way.