Please help me shut this dog up.
May 21, 2011 9:49 AM   Subscribe

How can I get my neighbors to silence their constantly barking dog, considering I'm not sure how to communicate with them?

I've been putting up with my neighbor's dog for a long time now, and it's finally getting to the point where I just can't deal with it any more. The dog barks and howls non-stop for literally hours at a time, and I can hear it through the wall when I'm in my living room. It's infuriating.

The main problem I have is that I'm not sure how to complain to my neighbors. I live in a block of flats, and they live in the block of flats next to me. I don't actually know what flat in the building they stay in. So my first problem would be gaining access to their building, and even if I managed that I wouldn't know which door to knock on. How can I figure out how to get to them?

Also, I really don't want to have some awkward or confrontational exchange with people I've never met. All I want is for them to stop their dog from barking constantly, or if they are incapable of controlling him, to give the dog to someone who can take care of him properly.

Any ideas on how to get access to these people considering they are in a different building and I don't know their exact address?
posted by Spamfactor to Human Relations (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Can you file a noise complaint with the police?
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:58 AM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

You might have to wait outside the building and ask people going in. Chances are if it's a non-stop barking dog, residents in the building will know who you are talking about. I really feel for you, as dog barking is horrendous to put up with (for me, anyway). After that, though, you would either have to leave a note, knock on their door, or find out who the landlord is and complain to them. Not sure how likely any of those scenarios are to work. You may be better off concentrating on sound proofing your place.
posted by JenMarie at 9:59 AM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yes, I would file a complaint with the police.
posted by sweetkid at 9:59 AM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

"Can you file a noise complaint with the police?"

I did consider that but considering I can't give them an exact address and would simply have to say "The people in the building next to mine" I'm not sure what they could do. I don't want to ask the police to check the whole building for dogs. Also, my preference would be to ask the owners directly before involving authorities.
posted by Spamfactor at 10:01 AM on May 21, 2011

If the dog is barking/howling constantly, the police will be able to hear it, and they'll verify that it's a nuisance. At that point they'll figure out whose dog it is and take it from there.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:03 AM on May 21, 2011 [8 favorites]

Any windows adjacent? I'd get a broom handle and bang on their window when the dog is barking, try to talk to them that way. Yeah maybe that's a bit aggressive but they are really putting you out. If they know that this is the reaction they'll get moving forward maybe it will be an incentive for them to STFU with the dog.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:12 AM on May 21, 2011

Have you tried talking to, or filing a complaint with, the building's management?
posted by kitty teeth at 10:20 AM on May 21, 2011 [7 favorites]

In my city most buildings have a sign outside on the building with the manager's name. I'd try complaining there before going to the police. You can see the address on the outside of the building and if you think it's next to you and you're on the second floor, for example, you have a good guess to the address.
posted by Bunglegirl at 10:25 AM on May 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

Agreed that an easy first step would be to contact that building's management or landlord. If there isn't a sign on the front door you could google the property name or address and probably find contact info that way. Call or email or write a letter. It doesn't matter that you don't know the exact apartment or renter's name, they'll have a way of figuring it out. They probably have a record of all the flats with pets, because they probably paid a deposit. They might even have other complaints about this dog on record. You should make sure to request that they let you know what action they have taken, once they've taken it and if you feel like putting the pressure on, mention that you are considering filing a noise complaint with the police.

If the landlord/management are unresponsive, then file a noise complaint with police. Again, doesn't matter you don't know the apartment, they'll figure it out.
posted by dahliachewswell at 10:34 AM on May 21, 2011

This exact situation (minus the "how do I find their dog?") is discussed in the book Difficult Conversations. It's a book totally worth reading.
posted by salvia at 10:41 AM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Barker Breaker
posted by rhizome at 11:31 AM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Call the cops and/or animal control, give them as much information as you can, and let them do the investigating. That's what they're for.
posted by Etrigan at 12:57 PM on May 21, 2011

Inhale been using a dog whistle app which is free if you have an iPhone or iPod. It helps. Getting the management involved is FAR safer than talking directly with these people.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 4:22 PM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

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