Help a non-dog owner understand.
July 30, 2009 8:13 AM   Subscribe

Help a non-dog owner understand.

I ask this out of curiosity more than pique. I'm curious to know what goes on in the mind of dog owners, especially with regard to barking. A couple of neighbors have recently added dogs to their households. And while neither have been nonstop barkers they do bark occasionally. Recently, one barked for an hour in the morning on my one day of the week to sleep in. The neighbor eventually quieted the dog and/or took her in the house. If it matters, I should add that our neighborhood is a heavily wooded suburb sought out for its serenity.

So let's say you're a dog owner; one without a particularly barky dog but still one that barks when people walk by or occasionally barks when you let him/her outside a bit. What goes on in your mind when this is going on?

Is it ... "Ohmigod, I better leap and stop this right away because it's likely it's annoying someone." ?

Is it ... "Yeah, the dog's barking but he'll stop soon and even though I know it's annoying to some people it'll stop soon." ?

Is it ... "Listen to Fido barking. He's so lively. The sound of a dog is great. I can't imagine anybody doesn't like dogs so it probably isn't bothering anyone." ?

Is it ... "Well, I paid for my property and I want a dog and that's what dogs do sometimes and the neighbors, well, they just better get over it because I like my dog." ?

(Extra bonus points for telling me what goes through your mind when you leave the dog outside and drive off somewhere knowing that your dog will bark some while you're gone and possibly disturb anything from a baby's sleep to someone's serene afternoon on the deck.)

So help me understand. What goes on in a dog owner's head? What should go on in mine?
posted by lpsguy to Pets & Animals (59 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
There are a couple options you haven't considered:

1. "Oh Jesus. I've tried stopping it, but NOTHING. BLOODY. WORKS."

2. "....Oh, dog's barking....oh, wait, it's 10 am, most people are off at work."

3. (pulling into driveway) "Whoashit, how long has Fifi been barking? I was only gone fifteen minutes!"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:18 AM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


If the dogs are recent additions, it may be that the owner was asleep and didn't realize it was their own dog barking until they woke up.
posted by muddgirl at 8:19 AM on July 30, 2009


All of these. Dog-owners are a large population, and range from the courteous to the awful (just like real people!). I've known many who've fit in each of your categories.
posted by aswego at 8:19 AM on July 30, 2009


If you own a dog, you develop the ability to tune out barking. It's like if you're a parent-- your kid is going to talk your ear off, so you get used to it.

It's definitely unpleasant for everyone else, but the dog owner probably just didn't realize her dog was barking so much. You could leave her a note if it bothers you a lot, and she'll probably be more cognizant (just don't expect her to like you).
posted by oinopaponton at 8:20 AM on July 30, 2009


Extra bonus points for telling me what goes through your mind when you leave the dog outside and drive off somewhere knowing that your dog will bark some while you're gone and possibly disturb anything from a baby's sleep to someone's serene afternoon on the deck.

"If I leave the dog inside the house, he'll poop/pee all over everything because he's got a UTI/anxiety issues/diarrhea/a small bladder. This shouldn't be a problem as it's the middle of the day and a reasonable amount of noise from cars, dogs, lawnmowers, and leaf blowers is to be expected."
posted by muddgirl at 8:21 AM on July 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


My dog barks sometimes, generally in an "alerting to someone entering (what I consider) my territory" way. We find it incredibly annoying, but haven't been able to stop her. We live well off the main road, and have only one neighbor within barking radius, so it seems excessive to take any of the more drastic measures available to stop dogs from barking.

So, for me, some combination of "believe me, I wish she would stop it much more than you do" and "that's what dogs do sometimes."

It would be "Ohmigod, I better leap and stop this right away because it's likely it's annoying someone," where the someone I most care about is me, except that there doesn't seem to be any reliable way to "leap and stop this." Much like babies crying in public, it would be nice if more people realized that sometimes there is nothing anyone can do to stop it, and no one is happy about it.

(None of the above should be meant to excuse those jackasses whose dogs bark all the goddamn time though. Screw those people.)
posted by rusty at 8:24 AM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


As to what I would gently suggest could go on in yours:

"Ambient noise sometimes just happens. Dogs bark, babies cry, cicadas make that funky noise, horns honk, lawnmowers and chainsaws run, birds chirp. Unless it gets really aggregious, there's a point at which I probably have to just suck it up."

I hope that doesn't sound too harsh -- believe me, I know how annoying some ambient noise can be. I used to live in a neighborhood near a church, and on Holy Saturday every year, they would set up a loudspeaker at noon and two ministers would spend the afternoon Preaching The Gospel to the neighborhood. It cheesed the crap out of me -- largely because they also got some woman to sing who sounded irretrievably tone-deaf -- but the thing that stopped me from doing anything was the knowledge that according to the noise ordinances in the city where I lived, they weren't doing anything wrong. It was daylight on a Saturday, and they got a turn to make noise just like anyone else did. I also lived one floor below a jazz guitarist who spent his early evenings rehearsing the same songs over and over and over (and I have many stories about the two weeks that he got stuck on trying to teach himself "The Girl From Ipanema").

In both cases, there really wasn't anything I could do -- they were legally permitted to make the noise they were making. I wouldn't have won my case. A certain amount of ambient noise is just....expected, no matter where you are, and dogs barking is part of that.

Mind you, there is a point at which too much is too much, but an hour or so during daylight hours is still well within most scales of "acceptable," even if it is annoying when you're trying to sleep in late.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:26 AM on July 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Hmm. Good question. To start off with, I have a couple beagles and an enormous yellow lab mix, so there is a lot of barking at my house. Barking to get in, barking to get out, barking because they see something weird, barking because they see something they want to eat... yes, there are long periods of the day where they are quiet [aka sleeping] but they don't seem to be enough.
The time when they are the most troubling is at night when I let them outside to do their business before they go to bed [so they don't wake me up at 3 in the morning] and someone walks by the house. They go crazy, especially if it's a man. I try to be out there with them at night in case something like that happens. But sometimes I have things that I need to do and can't drop everything I'm doing [the kid is crying, dinner's in the oven, a telephone call]. So sometimes it goes on a little longer than I would like it to. And even when I get them in the house, they carry on at the front door. So then it's Ohmigod, I better leap and stop this right away because it's likely it's annoying someone."

During the day they go outside and when they want to come in, they congregate at the back door and yip, bark and howl until I let them inside. I work from home part of the time, when I'm not at me "real job", so sometimes I'm actually you know, busy. Since the dogs aren't in any danger, just bored, and it's usually from 10am-4, I let them carry on a bit. It's a part of day where most people are at work or awake or whatnot, so it doesn't trouble me as much as it does at night. "Yeah, the dog's barking but he'll stop soon and even though I know it's annoying to some people it'll stop soon." ?

It's just part of having a dog. They're animals with their own agendas and sometimes that includes talking to things. There are very few ways that you can cut down on barking and most of them are, in my opinion, mean to the dog. Unless they're seriously carrying on or it's at a time of day where most people are asleep or at home [I don't let them outside at dinnertime], I don't see it as an issue. Yes, it can be annoying, but so can harleys and lawnmowers.
posted by shesaysgo at 8:34 AM on July 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's nothing to do with dogs, really. Some people aren't really conscious of the noise they make and how they effect others -- heavy bass in car stereos, leaf blowers on Sunday afternoon, etc. Others can't get their dogs to shut up -- some dogs are really barky, and it's just in their natures. Some people are concerned about security, and actually want their dogs to be barky. Or they're changing the baby's diapers, and they'd like to quiet the dog but on the other hand they'd also like to pee or grab a cup of coffee and neither of those things are going to happen either.

As a practical solution, you need a white noise generator, but even more than that you have to have some sense of equanimity about it or you'll lie there seething.

I used to resent aggressive drivers quite a bit, the ones who zoom up behind you at ninety miles an hour and ride your bumper until you get out of the way, and then one day when I was at work I started having a miscarriage and had to drive myself thirty miles to the hospital near my home. I drove like an asshole, I assure you. It occurred to me afterward that I could never know the circumstances behind someone else's behavior, which might be annoying as hell to me, but might have just cause, or at least a cause I would have some sympathy for, if I knew what their deal was.

So, maybe give the white noise and some perspective a shot.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:36 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


This seems a bit like a rant thinly-veiled as a question. That said, like any perceived annoyance of modern life (children, hot rod/motorcycle hobbyists, garage/basement musicians, etc) there a wide spectrum of (dis)consideration among neighbors.

To give a sincere answer to a possibly insincere question: my dog rarely barks when she's outside. When she does, it's usually a result of either nearby dogs barking or chasing a rabbit or cat out of the retention pond on the other side of the chain-link fence. In both of these cases, it never lasts longer than a minute or so.

Still, I don't leave her in the yard alone when I leave the house. If possible, I take her with me - she is my friend and I enjoy spending time with her and she loves rides in the car. Otherwise, she stays (perfectly content) in her crate in my bedroom.
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:40 AM on July 30, 2009


If they are new dogs, the owner might be training them to not bark. The worst thing you can do when a dog barks is to pay attention to it. It just teaches it that if I bark, I will get what I want.
posted by AaRdVarK at 8:48 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


My dogs aren't hour-long barkers by any stretch, but they do bark to alert us that there are potential invaders near our property. They also bark at the dog next door, doorbells, and door knocks. The duration is generally under a minute. If they don't settle down, then I shush them.

I do not leap up in horror to quiet them the second a bark sounds because a) they're dogs, dogs bark and b) I like knowing if there are people outside my home.

No one wants to hear dogs bark for an hour straight. But if you are offended that dogs make any sounds at all, well, I think you're out of luck. No one wants to hear your (this is the universal you, btw, not the OP) kids screaming at the top of their little kid lungs, or hear your awesome drum solo, but since we have to live together in a neighborhood, we tolerate these things.
posted by crankylex at 8:50 AM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


"(Extra bonus points for telling me what goes through your mind when you leave the dog outside and drive off somewhere knowing that your dog will bark some while you're gone and possibly disturb anything from a baby's sleep to someone's serene afternoon on the deck.)"

Well, what could you possibly do? Seriously. Not every dog can be left alone, inside, especially when you need to drive somewhere on a short notice and have no time to dog-proof the inside completely. If your only options are to 1) disturb someone's sleep or to 2) come back to a costly wreck, I'm going to disturb someone's sleep every time. It's not going to be a good experience for the neighbors, but... I mean really, all you can do is give an apologetic shrug. Things happen, dogs can't stop being dogs, and if it's an occasional problem rather than persistent, you're left to tuning it out.

"And while neither have been nonstop barkers they do bark occasionally."

Yep, there are far more barking breeds than not, and most dogs are excitable things.
posted by Bakuun at 8:51 AM on July 30, 2009


There are thoughtful and thoughtless people in every group, including dog owners.

(Extra bonus points for telling me what goes through your mind when you leave the dog outside and drive off somewhere knowing that your dog will bark some while you're gone and possibly disturb anything from a baby's sleep to someone's serene afternoon on the deck.)

This isn't something my family does because we don't have a fence and thus can't leave the dog outside unsupervised. However, I expect that there are certain dogs who bark more when locked inside the house for hours on end than when they're let outside to run around in a yard. A barky dog left inside might provoke more ire or suspicion because passersby could hear the noise but not see that the dog was fine, had enough water, and was just playing. A dog left in the backyard might bark at passing cars or people (this is what dogs do), but presumably won't bark nonstop (if that happens you should contact the owner or the police). My neighbors do this every day. Their dog trots around the fence "guarding" the house all day, only barking when someone walks too close to the fence.
posted by Meg_Murry at 8:53 AM on July 30, 2009


Is this a real question or did you just want to vent? Yes, dog owners who let their dogs yap at inconvenient hours are annoying, but it's one of those things you just have to accept sometimes. Every dog owner is different. Some just don't care. Some don't know. Some have tried everything and found no solution. That's just life. Now, if it's 1 in the AM, that's different. But if it's a reasonable hour that just happens to bug you personally, then you may want to invest in a loud fan or some other white-noise maker to filter out the noises that bothers you.
posted by katillathehun at 8:56 AM on July 30, 2009


There's only one dog on my street that barks too much, but, you know, maybe it's just irritated by the seven-year-old girl in the house between us that does nothing but scream bloody murder at the top of her lungs while playing in the backyard all. day. long.

But dogs bark, it's what they do. They bark to be let out, to be let in, when there's a leaf blowing across the driveway, or when there's a rabbit/squirrel/bird on the lawn, or when their ball rolls under a bush/the table, or when you aren't petting them/paying attention to them nearly as much as you should be.

If this is a problem with your neighbor, address it with them. They can't know it's bothering you if you don't tell them. I'm sure that if they're reasonable, they'll be more than willing to shush their dog on your day off.
posted by alynnk at 8:59 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


As far as I'm concerned, the dog can bark all it wants during daylight hours. Once it's time for sleeping I get a bit peeved.

My own dog only barks at perceived intruders (i.e. someone on our property - it doesn't happen often), and stops when I tell her to.

My NEIGHBOR'S yappy little dog barks all damn night and she doesn't seem to notice. I've gone over to her house at 1am in my pyjamas, wearing my CPAP mask, to ask her to shut her dog up. She seemed shocked that her little darling spends his evenings in her backyard barking at ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

I hate that dog.

Anyway. To answer - maybe the people don't notice. Maybe they don't care. Or maybe they think that it's daylight and the dog can do whatever the heck it wants.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:00 AM on July 30, 2009


Some dog owners are genuinely unaware. A neighbor's precious little darling developed the habit of sneaking up to the slat fence until it was adjacent to you, waiting until your back was turned, then unleashing a furious volley of barks with that kind of nasal snarl that is often a preamble to a bite from most dogs.

This behavior did not occur when the owner was out in the yard.
posted by adipocere at 9:02 AM on July 30, 2009


Things can happen, and if it happens just once that the dog is out there, barking for an hour, well, who knows why. If it happens regularly that the dog barks 6 times then stops, then that is part of living anywhere other than a cave or an isolated mountaintop. If your neighbour regularly leaves the dog out for an hour to bark, maybe you should bring it up and ask them about it.
posted by jeather at 9:02 AM on July 30, 2009


We live in the city. There are car horns, car alarms, fire/police sirens, loud radios, people yelling, trucks backing up, construction crews, etc etc ALL THE TIME. On the weekend, there are lawnmowers and assorted power tools as people remodel their homes. I don't really give a thought to our dogs' barking unless it seems like something is wrong with them or there might be an intruder. It's ambient city noise.
posted by desjardins at 9:14 AM on July 30, 2009


As a dog owner and dog lover, I've often wondered the same thing so you are not alone. (My own dog doesn't bark, ever. But she's pretty much the perfect dog :)

From my past experience with dogs, I'd venture to guess it's most often EmpressCallipygos's #1 - "Oh Jesus. I've tried stopping it, but NOTHING. BLOODY. WORKS." Having never owned a dog yourself, I'm sure you've never tried to quiet a barking one. Like someone up-thread mentioned, it's pretty much like trying to quiet a crying baby. There are a few things you can try, but sometimes they just want to cry/bark. Yes, it is annoying, especially when you are trying to sleep or do something else that requires peace and quiet.

What should go through your head? "There are a lot of minor annoyances in life. This is one of them. I'm sure my neighbors aren't doing this on purpose just to irritate me."
posted by geeky at 9:15 AM on July 30, 2009


As relatively new dog owner (a year or so) with a relatively non-barky dog, I can say that when she does bark from being left out in the yard a bit too long my thought it:

"omg, this must be annoying someone, I'm going to let her in right away."

Apparently my yappy-dog owning neighbours do not share this sentiment, and consistently leave their yappy dogs out for hours, yap-yap-yapping away. I was working overnights for some time, and to me this seemed extremely disrespectful, but I have never felt it was my place to go over and talk to them about it, as it IS daytime hours, and yes, most people are at work.

I am quite shy though, so I would suggest that the best way to deal with this is to actually go talk to them and ask them to be more diligent about bringing the dog in once it's done its business.

Also, I would never, ever leave my dog outside completely unattended-- at worst I go in and make myself some breakfast while she's out there, and I'm within earshot. Seriously, people leave their dogs outside and drive off? That seems like a pretty stupid thing to do, but maybe I'm just way too considerate?? I should note that I do not live in a climate or area where people have "outdoor dogs", so maybe my ideas of what is right don't apply everywhere.
posted by sunshinesky at 9:18 AM on July 30, 2009


During the day, and not for unreasonable amounts of time, yes, in this and other situations that create noise, the thinking is "sometimes dogs (or whatever's making noise) are noisy."

If there's a baby to be woken up, then there's a baby that, at other times, will be crying and screaming. And then it will get older and be even more noisy. It may even wake other babies, or whatever.

When my upstairs neighbors' toddler is running and jumping and it sounds like an elephant, I remember that sometimes my cat meows incessantly. And when I'm playing music and singing while taking a shower, I remember that sometimes I can hear my neighbors arguing. Sometimes there's just noise.

If it's late at night or early in the morning, and no effort is being made to stop loud noise, that's another story.
posted by lampoil at 9:25 AM on July 30, 2009


If you own a dog, you develop the ability to tune out barking. It's like if you're a parent-- your kid is going to talk your ear off, so you get used to it.

I've had my dog for 15 years, and I absolutely do not tune out her barking. I live in an apartment, though I've lived with her in houses with yards. I do not want her disturbing my neighbors, (though I think they have to expect to hear a little barking excitement when we come home or she's excited about dinner), so I pay attention to when and why she's barking.

When we moved in five years ago, this apartment had just begun to allow dogs- a maximum of six of the 22 units. We all peacefully co-existed until another neighbor decided to get a dog for her child (!) three months ago. That dog apparently barked all day when they were gone. Even though other neighbors (with dogs) offered to babysit, the owner never did anything about the barking. They got evicted, and now no more dogs are allowed in this building. So: all dog owners are different in what they tolerate and what they think is OK (weirdly, the barking dog owner was unhappy that the dog was disturbing everyone on her floor, but thought she could "handle it by herself"as she told me), the dog owners create these situations, not the dog.

I hate that dog.

Would you hate a child that was put outside at night and cried because of it? I never understand this sort of response from dog owners. All the dog knows is that it is cold, lonely, unhappy, or scared and is trying to communicate that; he doesn't know that you're trying to sleep. That is what dog owners are supposed to realize.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:27 AM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Well, as a response to those few people who have taken it upon themselves to prejudge me from a few dozen words ... and to those even fewer who have decided I need a good lecture, I'd like to say:

This was a question out of curiosity. I don't own a dog but I like them. So I don't know what to think. I thought the mature thing to do when you don't understand something would be to ask and learn. I asked. I think I'm learning.

I like my neighbors. All of them. Really. Had drinks with the neighbor whose dog was barking the very same day. More considerate people you couldn't find. I would be embarassed and out of line to bring up something as trivial as an hour of barking on one day. This is nowhere near note-leaving/ranting stage.

I'm fine with ambient noise. Work downtown in a big city all day ... Walk around a lot ... take public transportation and all that. In fact, as a guy with tinnitus, I have ambient noise all the time. It's my own personal built in white noise machine. I'd much rather live among people with ambient noise than way off as a hermit.

Really, folks, I'm not coming for your dogs. I'm just trying to understand so I can be cool about the whole thing.

But thanks. This has been an intriguing look into dog owners' heads. Which is all I was really after.
posted by lpsguy at 9:30 AM on July 30, 2009


sunshinesky: "Seriously, people leave their dogs outside and drive off? That seems like a pretty stupid thing to do, but maybe I'm just way too considerate??"

Not all dogs are crate trained, and not all people find room to keep large crates for large breeds inside the house once the dogs have grown. And if you get a call from your husband or wife saying that they can't be on time to pick up their kid from school today and you must go instead immediately, what can you do? You leave the dog outside, where it's least likely to hurt itself or get into things it shouldn't. (You could argue that it's best to take the dog with you, but there are also dozens of reason why that may not be possible.)

After four years of dealing with our family's cocker spaniel's separation anxiety whenever we'd have to leave the house, he's getting better. The barking only goes on for a few minutes - then he settles down to sleep. We have a doggy door to the backyard though, so he can go wherever he wishes, and it's ideal. In the beginning though, there's no way we'd leave him inside unsupervised, so we made sure he'd have everything he'd need in the backyard.
posted by Bakuun at 9:31 AM on July 30, 2009


I have a beagle (pete) that barks at the sun, flies, stinky smells in the air, his food, the water hose, etc... He also whimpers in his sleep.

He does however sleep at night so that issue is pretty much covered.

I do not stop him from barking during the day as I am at work. At night I'll stop him if he goes longer than 5 minutes. I usually say things like "Damn you stupid dog, how dare you act like a dog!" Or "Our neighbors think you're annoying, can you please stop barking?"Mostly though he is a good dog.

I'm still working on getting my cat to stop purring right now and try silly things like feeding her dog food or taking her for walks. I think it's starting to work as she lets me scratch her belly and she has started to take on general dog-like characteristics. She roams around the dinner table at night looking for scraps and gets the occasional pork chop bone when she is well behaved.
posted by Gravitus at 9:49 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not all dogs are crate trained, and not all people find room to keep large crates for large breeds inside the house once the dogs have grown. And if you get a call from your husband or wife saying that they can't be on time to pick up their kid from school today and you must go instead immediately, what can you do?

It is my belief that if you have problems with leaving your dog indoors unsupervised you should really consider crate training. If my dog weren't crate trained, and I had to leave in a hurry, I would leave her in one of the rooms inside where she could do the least damage. I would also argue that you shouldn't own a large dog if you don't have the space for it. They are needy animals!

If a dog is destructive and hard to leave inside, what happens when you leave them alone outside? They might get our and be hit by a car, bite a neighbour/animal, get lost or just plain annoy the crap out of your neighbours while they're out there trying to convince 'no one' to let them in... At least if it is contained inside, the nuisance is significantly diminished.
posted by sunshinesky at 10:00 AM on July 30, 2009


Also, I think everyone could benefit from teaching their dog's early on when to 'speak' and when not to. Yes, they're dogs, and they can get randomly noisy, but just like children, you can train them to respect certain boudaries, for the most part. Maybe I've just been lucky enough to have a smart dog who responds to this kind of training?
posted by sunshinesky at 10:02 AM on July 30, 2009


I am a dog owner and am amazed when people let their dogs bark for hours on end in the middle of the night. It is a common courtesy to bring your dog in at that point. It is simple consideration towards your neighbors.

The neighbor's dog, who I am in love with, barks because she is outside all night when her owner works. I have taken it on myself to stop her from barking. I did that since she was a puppy, and now if I just lean out the window and tell her to stop, she does. You have to train your dog to minimize barking from the get go, when they are young. It is very hard to 'untrain' barking.

Random barking happens, they are dogs. Sometimes there really is a creature under the house, something smells different, someone is doing something unusual. Dogs will bark at that.

They will also bark as a stress reducer. They will bark from boredom. They will bark because they have too much energy and they don't know what to do with it. This is what happens most of the time.

Most of the time it is because of the owners. They need to train their dogs, not have them as backyard lockouts, exercise them, and teach them moderation in barking. If all owners did that, then what would be leftover would be those dogs that are barking because there really is something 'different' (to them) going on, dogs who are communicating a need, dogs who already have an ingrained habit that is proving impossible to stop (with owners still bringing them in at night, etc.), or dogs at play.

Those I can live with.
posted by Vaike at 10:09 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


My dog barks ONCE to be let in and I let it in. Maybe it barks a couple more times if I can't get to the door right away. I never leave it outside if I'm going anywhere because a barking dog will probably annoy neighbours within earshot (likely to include ill people, elderly people, sleeping babies, etc.)

I feel if you leave your dog outside to bark for an hour, you are an asshole. There is no excuse for not bringing it inside. If you bought a puppy for the kids and now keep it outside in a kennel for the rest of it's life so you can avoid getting hair in the house, you are an asshole. And unless you live in an unair-conditioned trailer, the dog does NOT like it better living outdoors.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:15 AM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I would be embarassed and out of line to bring up something as trivial as an hour of barking on one day.

You shouldn't be embarrassed and it wouldn't be out of line to bring this up. If you're close enough to share drinks with this neighbor, then you are close enough to find a way of asking if it's possible for the barking to be minimized on your one morning off.

I am a HUGE dog lover. I have three very barky dogs. But I don't let my dogs keep barking out in the yard (after a reasonable amount of "Yay, we're out in the yard!" barking), because I found out that my neighbor works from home, in a room right next to my yard. I never would have known that if she hadn't mentioned it. Nice people will try to be neighborly, but people often don't realize what kinds of things annoy other people.

Another thing that should go through your head, as a non-dog owner, is something like this: "Is the barking different than usual?" If it's louder, sharper, meaner, yelpier, or otherwise significantly different than that dog's normal voice, then something could be wrong, and it might be a neighborly thing to do to call over and ask if everything's all right, or to swing by and see if there is something suspicious going on.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 10:28 AM on July 30, 2009


sunshinesky: "At least if it is contained inside, the nuisance is significantly diminished."

Again, at what cost to the owners? Not all dogs respond the same way to crates, so it's not a universal solution. Nor do all owners feel it's necessary to use a crate when they have a giant yard. It wouldn't make sense to me, for example. But I wasn't born here, and our dogs always ran happy outside, so maybe it's cultural.

I'd rather the neighbors put up with an hour of barking on one workday than come home to accidents.

bonobothegreat: " And unless you live in an unair-conditioned trailer, the dog does NOT like it better living outdoors."

Yeah, because people are indoors and dogs want to be around people. Not because the outdoors are somehow less comfortable for Spot's little toesies.
posted by Bakuun at 10:32 AM on July 30, 2009


Well, as a response to those few people who have taken it upon themselves to prejudge me from a few dozen words ...

To be fair, your AskMe basically assumes that 75% of dog owners are totally self-centered at best and utter dicks at worst. What's this about pre-judging, then?

To answer your question, I do my best to keep my dogs quiet outside of some reasonable excitement during play time, dinner, etc. In contrast, our neighbors across the alley have large dogs that they leave in the fenced back yard for hours at a time who will sometimes bark nonstop for those hours, and I resent that as much as any non-dog-owning person would.
posted by owtytrof at 10:34 AM on July 30, 2009


Well, as a response to those few people who have taken it upon themselves to prejudge me from a few dozen words ... and to those even fewer who have decided I need a good lecture, I'd like to say: This was a question out of curiosity. I don't own a dog but I like them. So I don't know what to think. I thought the mature thing to do when you don't understand something would be to ask and learn. I asked. I think I'm learning.

Thanks for clarifying. Because when most people say, "What goes on in these people's heads?" it sounds like "These people are assholes! Am I right?" which is going to give you the kind of answers you've gotten. Even the example "thoughts" you gave sounded a bit ranty. So, I hope the insight you've gotten out of this isn't, "Gee, dog owners are sensitive!" but "There are a lot of reasons dogs bark and their owners don't stop them. I should stop and consider those before I let it get to me."
posted by katillathehun at 10:34 AM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm a dog owner without a particularly barky dog but still one that barks when people walk by or he hears an unfamiliar noise or someone comes into my yard or near my house. I live on a fairly busy residential street in a pretty unsafe neighborhood, judging by local crime stats.

When my dog starts barking, I poke my head out the door to see what he's barking at. I don't know if he barks during the day when I'm at work or not, but he doesn't have free reign of the yard. He stays in the house when I'm at work, and at night, but during the evenings after work he's allowed outside. We play in the yard together, and he likes to play in the yard or lie in the yard himself if I'm occupied with something indoors.

So, when he starts barking, I immediately look to see what he's barking at. If it's a person passing by in front of the house, I think, "okay, he'll stop as soon as they've passed the house."

If it's a friend or someone coming in to my yard to see me, who I know, I jump up to get him to stop barking as quickly as I can, so as not to freak out my friend, and also to let him know that it's okay for them to be there and he should be nice to them.

Those are really the only reasons my dog would bark if he's outdoors, unless one of the neighbor kids is taunting him or playing with him, or if someone is loitering outside right in front of the house, etc. Basically, any reason for him to bark other than a guest coming to the house is cause for me to be at least mildly alarmed and concerned about my/his safety. Since I'm a small, single girl living alone in a bad neighborhood, I'm very grateful to him for alerting me to possible concerns and wouldn't want to do anything to discourage his barking in what I see as understandable and justifiable circumstances for barking.

Also, he's not a fraction as annoying to me as the sound of children screaming or babies crying, so there's that.
posted by booknerd at 10:56 AM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


>>2. "....Oh, dog's barking....oh, wait, it's 10 am, most people are off at work."

I hate this assumption, especially at times like right now, when I am working from home.

Some friends of mine who manage their dog properly have trained him well from a pup and have zero tolerance for barking. It's always been that way, and as a result they have no barking problem.

My neighbor, on the other hand, seems to be one of those people who does not want to discourage barking, because then, if a BURGLAR were to come, maybe the dog wouldn't bark? Which I think is the stupidest thing in the world. It's an animal, not a security device.

In terms of whether she is aware of the annoyance: yes she is. Because I have talked to her about it several times. Her idea of "doing something about it" is to yell at the dog if it barks for more than a few minutes. In her mind, she's actively keeping the problem under control. In my mind, I'm already annoyed after several minutes, the damage is done, and I don't really want to listen to her yelling also.

I can't overstate how annoying this is. At times it absolutely spoils the peace I feel everyone is entitled to in their home.
posted by scarabic at 11:33 AM on July 30, 2009


I have three large dogs. They live in a big - as in, 1/3 of an acre big - chain link fenced yard while I am at work, although they spend most of their time on the roofed porch outside the kitchen, where they have a cozy bed under a table. They're outside during the day for a variety of reasons - including the important fact that I now have to vacuum about 80% less - and they're very happy. They are inside all night; in fact, they're usually under my bed. Farting. I don't let them bark at night, but, well, during the day, barks happen.

Sorry about that. Only one of them barks consistently and I don't know what his problem is except that he's mostly collie and has a broken bark off switch I can't seem to fix. He's seven years old and yeah, we know about how he sometimes gets stuck and can't stop barking for five or ten minutes. We've tried to fix it. It has not worked. It drives us crazy too. We love him anyway. Our neighborhood is old and there are lots of dogs and the yards are big: so far nobody has complained vociferously. The other two only bark occasionally and briefly.

Why do they bark? Well, eternal vigilance is the price of a squirrel free yard. At any moment, an outlying scout for the Squirrel Army of Doom could be trying to infiltrate the yard and when that happens, my dogs know what to do! They bark until the squirrel retreats and then, satisfied by a good days work, they take a long nap. They're also determined to make sure that the entire neighborhood knows when a foreign dog is being walked down the street; you cannot, after all, be too careful. It's their job and they take it seriously.

Actually, it is their job. If somebody tries to break into my house or is messing around with my car on the street in front, I want to know about it. Granted, it's not a foolproof system - if a dog tries to burglarize me, my guys will let me know immediately while a human burglar might be greeted with licks and love rather than barks - but it is their job and on at least one occasion it has worked and scared someone who was trying to break in through a basement window away. I'm a woman living alone with her son and quite frankly, a little extra barking is fine with me as long as the necessary barking happens too. Besides, all that security comes with love and bounciness and endless amusement and long walks in the woods that I would never take if it was just me. So it's a good tradeoff - and that is what is going on in my head when my dog is barking.
posted by mygothlaundry at 11:36 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


>>2. "....Oh, dog's barking....oh, wait, it's 10 am, most people are off at work."

I hate this assumption, especially at times like right now, when I am working from home.


My apologies, but to be fair, it is a safe assumption that the bulk of one's neighbors do not work from home. Unless my neighbors tell me that they work from home, I assume that they don't, because most people don't, and it's just good odds.

However, it sounds like you have a different problem. Me, if I had a neighbor who told me that "by the way, I work from home, so..yeah, the dog," I actually WOULD know that a barking dog at this time of day would be a bit more of a problem, so I wouldn't think "oh, wait, everyone's at work", because -- I'd know otherwise.

The fact that you've told your neighbor you work during the day, and she still hasn't done anything, isn't a result of the "oh, everyone's off working" assumption -- it's a result of your neighbor being an asshat.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:37 AM on July 30, 2009


>>I don't really give a thought to our dogs' barking unless it seems like something is wrong with them or there might be an intruder. It's ambient city noise.

I know it's pointless to post this, because you will simply think I'm a whiner and a jerk, but I think your attitude is deplorable, and I pity your neighbors for living next to someone so thoughtless and inconsiderate. Your desire to have a pet is not of comparable importance to others' desire to sleep, concentrate, or simply enjoy what quiet they can at home. Do you also litter and defecate on the street because that stuff already goes on in the city, and people should just damn well put up with it by now?
posted by scarabic at 11:38 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


>> it is a safe assumption that the bulk of one's neighbors do not work from home.

True, but even so it is NOT a safe assumption that everyone is away from home at 10AM. Plenty of people do not work at all, or work different shifts than 9-5. And even if you know for a fact that 70% of people are out of their homes, do you have the right to annoy the other 30% with your animal's pointless shouting?

My neighbor is definitely an asshat, but it's not acceptable to let the animal bark until such time you've specifically been informed that someone is working from home nearby. In fact, if you live near other people at all, there's never a good time to just let your animal bark. People act like they live on 16 acres up in the woods when they are packed in with other people in an urban setting. It's ridiculous.
posted by scarabic at 11:42 AM on July 30, 2009


>>you've told your neighbor you work during the day, and she still hasn't done anything

Heh. The thing is, she thinks she is doing something. If she stops the barking half the time, she's meeting us halfway, right? It's all compromise. Her dog wakes me up at dawn, which is an imposition on me. And my sensitive nature forces her to get up off her fat ass and deal with the animal she bought, which is an imposition on her. Fair compromise, right?? :O
posted by scarabic at 11:45 AM on July 30, 2009


Oh, and I have a next door neighbor who works from home. She actually brought me one of my dogs (stray puppy she found, I have no ability to take a puppy to the pound, etc) and her solution to my dogs barking has worked really well: she got to know the dogs. When I'm not home and Theo (it's always Theo) gets into one of his barking fits, she comes out on her porch and tells him to shut up, by name. He knows and loves and obeys her as well as he obeys me, which is to say, 90% of the time. So if this really bothers you, why not try getting to know the neighbor and his/her dogs?

I used to have a neighbor who kept her dogs out all the time and they would bark in the middle of the night, etc., etc. I got to know her and the dogs and established that it was perfectly okay for me to get the dogs to hush when she wasn't there. Worked out fine and, as a bonus, when one of her dogs freaked out on the 4th of July and dug her way out of the fence, she came to me and I was able to keep her safe until her owner got home.
posted by mygothlaundry at 11:52 AM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


My neighbor is definitely an asshat, but it's not acceptable to let the animal bark until such time you've specifically been informed that someone is working from home nearby. In fact, if you live near other people at all, there's never a good time to just let your animal bark.

Oh, I wasn't implying that I'd just ignore the barking dog in that instance, I was thinking this would be an explanation for why someone may not drop everything and stop it the instant it started barking. If you're at home at noon, and you're in the middle of something yourself, and your dog barks a couple times, and you don't know that there are any other neighbors who are home during the day, you could very well end up thinking, "well, it's noon and everyone's at work, so let me finish mixing this souffle/hemming these pants/typing this letter and THEN I'll go take care of the dog."

That attitude would of course be trumped by, "okay, it's noon, let me finish the souffle --- shit, that's right, scarabic's home {or whoever}, lemme take care of that."

Sorry I wasn't clear.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:59 AM on July 30, 2009


I know it's pointless to post this, because you will simply think I'm a whiner and a jerk, but I think your attitude is deplorable, and I pity your neighbors for living next to someone so thoughtless and inconsiderate. Your desire to have a pet is not of comparable importance to others' desire to sleep, concentrate, or simply enjoy what quiet they can at home.

No, I don't think you're a whiner or a jerk. However, I don't think my 3 or 4 sentences can give you a full picture of whether I'm thoughtless and inconsiderate. As it happens, the neighbors on one side have dogs that bark at least as much as ours (which is not that much, and they are never outside alone or at night), and the neighbors on the other side have frequent loud gatherings. The people across the alley... well, we just won't go there. My point is that noise is part and parcel of living here, and even if our dogs were to never bark again, it would not be measurably quieter, or even a noticeable reduction in noise.
posted by desjardins at 12:01 PM on July 30, 2009


My dog is no more but in the daytime, while I'm at work, if he felt anxious because a) someone walked by the house, b) he heard a loud noise c) no reason, he would bark nonstop. In the summer, with the windows open, it must have been horribly annoying. No one complained for a long time. If no one complains, I have no way of knowing the problem exists. A few times, I was in the basement, and didn't hear him barking. I could easily let the dog out, then go do laundry, get distracted by some project, and forget the dog for 30 minutes.

I try to be a responsible dog owner. It's not okay to annoy the neighbors with that much noise. I'm less concerned about 5 minutes of barking at noon than at midnight. Before 8 a.m. and after 10 a.m., I'm very attentive to the possibility of the dog barking. In the daytime, a bit less attentive, by which I mean 5 minutes of barking, not 60.

You didn't ask what to do, but I recommend you let them know the dog's barking is a problem. My neighbor finally complained to me about my dog, and by the time he complained, he was pretty pissed and cranky. If he'd told me earlier that the dog was barking while I was at work, I'd have been able to work on resolution that much sooner. The resolution was for the dog to get more exercise, and to leave a radio on so that he wasn't startled by every small sound. Well, the other resolution was draconian, but the barking was not the issue. Seriously, though, you deserve peace & quiet.
posted by theora55 at 12:06 PM on July 30, 2009


[few comments removed - I'm not sure what's going on here but go to meta if you must, don't fight with other people here or call them names.]
posted by jessamyn at 12:53 PM on July 30, 2009


So if this really bothers you, why not try getting to know the neighbor and his/her dogs?

I have tried, to the extent I can. I like animals quite a lot and have had dogs of my own, though just cats at this time. The belligerent Pomeranian next door doesn't care. I come within 10 feet of him everyday on my way out and I learned to stop saying "Hi Jack" because it simply set him off. Fortunately, it's rare for the neighbor to just leave with him outside. That would be hell. And I do want to note that while your suggestion is reasonable enough, it's not my responsibility to go outside and manage/train someone else's dog.

Sorry for judging you, desjardins - I don't know your entire housing arrangement. It just sounded like an easy excuse for letting it go. I would maybe plant one thought for you. There are other sources of noise in my neighborhood besides this dog, but they don't try my patience in the same way. If people are talking outside, for example, that's human beings just being social in the neighborhood where they live. If someone's weed whacker is running, that's someone taking care of their garden. If kids play baseball in the street and scream their heads off, at least they're having fun and not getting into trouble. I'm even forgiving of people whooping it up late on weekend nights. That's just people having fun. All those represent defensible human needs and are a part of life.

Extended barking is not a natural condition for a happy dog, and it serves no purpose whatsoever. Chances are the dog needs to get out and get some exercise or stimulation, or to be better socialized to the stimuli around it that are obviously irritating it or making it feel threatened or alarmed. I have no patience for senseless noise that indicates someone isn't caring enough for their animal. I have even had neighbors who own dogs solely as security devices, and seem to keep them deliberately unsocialized and savage in the hope that they'll tear hypothetical burglars to bits. See my AskMe question from a few years ago about the one I watched eat a cat.

Anyway... the KIND and CAUSE of the sound do matter to me, not just the decibel level and whether it blends into the background. When I hear an ambulance, I think "oh dear, I hope it's not serious," but when I hear a dog barking I think "goddamit take that bitch for a walk already!" Something to consider.
posted by scarabic at 1:30 PM on July 30, 2009


So if this really bothers you, why not try getting to know the neighbor and his/her dogs?

Last note on this, and I don't mean to be attacking you personally with this, but I think it's a problem the way dog owners expect others to adapt to them. Your choice to own a dog impacts other people, and it's actually your responsibility to manage that, not the other way around.
posted by scarabic at 1:38 PM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Answerers might want to keep in mind that the question is about occasional barking during the day, not excessive barking or nighttime barking.
posted by lampoil at 1:40 PM on July 30, 2009


My dogs are rarely outside with out one of us out there with them for more than an hour. They are never outside if we aren't home.

If they are running around chasing each other and they are doing a little bit of playful "look at me! chase me!" barking sporadically we let them be. If they are doing that really really irrititating, repetitive, "I see a squirrel in the tree" or "OMG there is a dog next door" we bring them in immediately, well if its daylight hours I might give it a minute to see if they get bored with it quickly, but really just a minute.

We have three German Shepards who we have trained to be relatively quiet, sweet, and social, so they don't bark a lot anyhow. However, last week, someone, broke a small window in the bedroom where they were all sleeping and shimmied in. They probably licked him a lot and the intruder just shut two of them back in the bedroom and the other in the bathroom. Silly obdient dogs.
posted by stormygrey at 2:05 PM on July 30, 2009


Wow - I own a dog and I adore my dog. But I would no more let her bark constantly outside than I would stand out there with a bullhorn shouting "HEY! HEY! HEY!" over and over. She is in the house when we're not home, and when we're home and she's outside, she is in a fenced-in yard with a tall enough fence that she can't see much outside the yard.

She does sometimes bark when one of the neighbor kids hangs out at the fence, but I immediately bring her in after one or two woofs; she's gotten used to that, to the point that if she barks at all now, she jumps up at once and runs in the house even without being told.

I don't think it's right to own dogs that are left outside all the time; it's not fair to the dog or to the neighbors.

I think it's rude to cause constant, loud noise in a quiet urban setting. My neighbors, however, don't have a problem letting their kids screech at the top of their lungs all day long on a quiet Sunday when I'd like to sit outside and read. I sometimes wonder what's going through their minds.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 2:14 PM on July 30, 2009


Everyone has their own opinion and experience with this, here's my take:

I've lived in several apartments where neighbors had loud barking dogs. Regardless of our relationship, talking to them about it almost always resolved the issue immediately. Believe me, I understand your pain and frustration - I about ripped my hair out several times before I learned that not much harm can come from a little friendly conversation with those involved.

I had a dog all throughout college and made sure that my dog was quiet. I never received any complaints from neighbors and if I was leaving my apartment the dog would go in the garage or in the car with me (depending on the weather). If someone would have ever complained to me, I would have taken immediate action to remedy the situation.

I now live in my own house which is fairly secluded and am raising a Guide Dog for the Blind. Part of her training includes letting her bark as loud as she wants for as long as she wants until she realizes nothing will come of it (the first few weeks were absolute hell). She's eight months old now and the last time I heard her bark was about four months ago (including when I've sat outside the house listening for barks after I've "left"). **note: had I still lived in an apartment or town house, I would never have taken on this responsibility as it would most certainly annoy neighbors**

What I'm getting at is that either your neighbor knows what he's doing and is actually training the dog not to bark (by not rewarding it with attention), or he's unaware that the barking can be heard outside of his house.

Above, you expressed hesitancy with discussing this with your neighbor, but it's my experience that he'd actually prefer to know if it's a reoccurring problem. If he's training, then you have a topic for discussion; if he was unaware, then he'll most likely take action (there are a number of options for him, especially if the dog is young); if he just doesn't care, then that's a whole other issue (that I've neither encountered nor have experience with).

Either way good luck! I'm a member of a decent sized dog raising club and they're some of the most compassionate and conscientious people I've ever had the pleasure of being around. I feel fortunate to have met them.
posted by siclik at 4:05 PM on July 30, 2009


My primary dog is pretty barky - I thought. When I'm home, she'll bark more than three times if someone shows up to mow the neighbor's yard or the police come knocking on the door looking for the former homeowner. And if there's another dog in the house, they'll get each other going.

However, my neighbors on both sides say she doesn't bark during the day unless someone knocks on my door. Then she'll bark really loud, the person will leave, and she is quiet. (The house behind me is too far for me to hear their dogs barking in the house unless I'm right by the back fence, so I assume they couldn't hear dogs in my house.) (And I asked my neighbors because good fences and quiet dogs make good neighbors.)

What goes through my head is that one of the reasons I like to have dogs is that they're alert and let me know what's going on. But three barks at the object of their attention and then coming to me to let me know what's up, that's enough and what I typically teach dogs to do if that's not their default behavior.

There are some dogs who are just that barky, though. They're rare, but they're our there.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:59 PM on July 30, 2009


You say:
"I ask this out of curiosity more than pique."

But you add:
"If it matters, I should add that our neighborhood is a heavily wooded suburb sought out for its serenity."
--I would point out that a wooded suburb is a perfect environment for raising dogs. The sound of a barking dog is certainly lively, but I don't know if it is incompatible with serenity. I'm sure the woods have plenty of songbirds too.

And also:
"...what goes through your mind when you leave the dog outside and drive off somewhere knowing that your dog will bark some while you're gone and possibly disturb anything from a baby's sleep to someone's serene afternoon on the deck."
--I would point out that this is a leading question. It connects an action (owner leaves dog at home) with a very specific prediction (dog will annoy neighbors), but this dismisses other predictions (dog foils burglar) of equal value.

The responses so far have answered your literal question, but from the above, may I venture to guess that you have a deeper question? Is there a real physical dog that is actually bothering you, or otherwise negatively affecting your well-being? As a city person, I have found that remote suburbias, while providing an idyllic image of peace and escape from the cacophony of city life, come with their own special characteristics that require adaptation and adjustment. It was not easy for me, and at some points, was certainly a source of stress.

Rather than trying to read the mind of a generic, hypothetical "dog-owner", perhaps it would be more useful to try to understand the culture of dog ownership in general. Namely, what are the (modern) reasons that people keep dogs, and what are the various practices/conventions used? Towards this level of understanding, I would go read up on various Wikipedia entries on dogs.

Hope this helps :)
posted by polymodus at 3:12 AM on July 31, 2009


Hm. This is all so interesting. I live in a high-density ultra-urban neighborhood (which is yet, due to certain geographic and developmental factors, incredibly quiet and serene) where the houses are side by side, and there are at least 14 dogs within a one-block radius of our house - but, with only one exception, dogs here are never a noise problem. Most of them will bark at strange dogs passing by, when they are aware of them, but it usually lasts for under 15 seconds, I'd guesstimate, and only occurs a few times a day (not enough to really register with me at all). I've never noticed any of them barking at people passing by, though I don't doubt that many of them do when people actually get to their front doors. For the most part, my dog never barks at all. (This was something we looked for when we decided to adopt a rescue: not a big barker, not aggressive, not a "guarder," not a cat chaser.)

Which leads me to assume that dogs adjust for population density and what they perceive as their territorial space when it comes to guarding and alerting behavior - but perhaps also general doggy barky enthusiasm and play is modulated by the same factor. We have mostly balconies, courtyards and patios, as opposed to yards, and if dogs here were to bark at every passing stranger or unusual event, it would be a cacophony. If they were just barking for general recreation, it would also be unpleasantly noisy in the extreme. The only dog in our immediate (and as far as I've seen, general) neighborhood who does that is a young beagle who is left out on the balcony, alone, pretty much 24/7, and is bored out of his poor doggy brain. This is cearly a case of egregious neglect, though I don't suppose his owners understand that, apparently feeling that generally feeding and sheltering him is sufficient.

Perhaps because we live nearly on top of each other (and in the case of the houses that have become apartments - literally on top of each other), dog owners are very attuned to the potential problem, and their distress and scolding leads the dogs to reign in barking... or perhaps the dogs, being more exposed to human and other activity in the nearby, adjust their own level of reaction to stimuli. Anyway, I'd just like to add my own [subjective] data to the discussion, and suggest that perhaps that more suburban and rural areas with their larger lot sizes and acreage might actually spawn worse dog barking nuisance effects than more intimate situations... much in the same way that your neighbors way out in the country know pretty much every move you make, and may become unwelcomely intrusive, while city neighbors may not recognize you at all.
posted by taz at 5:59 AM on July 31, 2009


taz, I bet that it's not the dogs adapting to the environment so much as owners selecting dogs for the environment, just like you did ("not a big barker, not aggressive, not a "guarder," not a cat chaser"). Just a guess. Obviously, dogs WILL adapt to their environment, including how much attention their owners pay to them. (Poor beagle!!)
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:01 AM on July 31, 2009


Probably not, SuperSquirrel, since adoption via rescue/shelter is a pretty new concept here, and I'd venture to guess that most people here would think that they were getting a defective dog (or something) somehow if they did that. :( There are also almost no thrift shops, used-clothes/items/etc. shops, or garage/sidewalk sales here; everybody wants new, and except for fairly young people of the newer and more enlightened generation, I think people here have been mostly the same about pets. Of course, maybe they've all just been shedding the barkers and trying out other dogs til they get ones that bark less, but I sense that the difference is with the dogs themselves...
posted by taz at 8:18 AM on July 31, 2009


If it's my neighbor it can be any one of your comments EXCEPT the first one. I can't tell you how many times the owner has been out there yelling "ENOUGH" at his two dogs. I guess thats way he can say he's "trying". And no they don't obey. He has absolutely no control over them. He does try at times, but then gives up and lets them continue barking and goes in the house. Sometimes they bark for hours on end at each other, people passing by, to get in the house, and sometimes nothing at all. They'll just bark, look around, and bark some more, morning, noon and/or evening. 80% of the days. They do have their days off once in a while ( can't figure this out) and just when you start to enjoy it, Fido and Rover are off and barking again.

But my other two neighbors with dogs I wouldn't have a clue as to which of your comments they are thinking. I've heard the the one dog bark only once in a year and a half. Its a Yellow Retriever. The other neighbor's dog I haven't heard bark at all in over a year. Small something or other. Similar to a a poodle.

Yes, we owned a dog. And yes we trained it. I like well trained dogs. Some people try harder than others at training. Some people have no respect for their neighbors and don't try to train them at all.

And to those who say its the same as other noises such as leaf blowers or lawnmowers, etc., it isn't. Nobody uses a lawnmower, snowblower or a leaf blower 80% of the days in a year.
posted by Taurid at 12:28 AM on February 3, 2010


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