How to silence a yapping dog
November 4, 2007 2:23 PM   Subscribe

Our neighbour's little dog barks incessantly for them to let him inside. He'll yap continuously for 30 minutes or longer, at 11pm at night, 3am or 5am in the morning.

Their back door, where he scratches and whines, is pretty much outside our bedroom window. They're probably sleeping obliviously in the other side of their giant house, although how they can't hear him is beyond me. This happens pretty much every day and it's horrible. The weather's too warm for us to close our window. I'm just about to write them a note.

Apart from keeping him inside, can they do anything to train him to SHUT THE HELL UP? I want to be armed with suggestions if the neighbours decide there's nothing they can do. Is there anything we can do from our side of the fence?
posted by mooza to Pets & Animals (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Ask them to keep their dog inside at night, or install a dog door, as it is keeping the neighborhood awake.
posted by chundo at 2:27 PM on November 4, 2007

1) call them when it happens. They'll be embarrassed and will deal with the problem.

2) doggy door. If he's a yapper, they can get a small one that won't let burglars in.
posted by jenkinsEar at 2:29 PM on November 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

Um, make a noise complaint to the cops? If your neighbors are not willing to keep the dog in at night then that's about your only option.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 2:44 PM on November 4, 2007

Best answer: My parents' dog was a yappy little puppy at first. They trained him to Shut Up Already And Save The Barking For Important Stuff by shaking an empty soda can with a few coins in it whenever he started yapping. Supposedly dogs really hate that noise and it seemed to work (he's a quiet well-mannered pooch now). Maybe lean out your window and try this on your neighbors' dog if your neighbors won't do it?
posted by Quietgal at 2:47 PM on November 4, 2007 [2 favorites]

Have you talked to your neighbors? Perhaps they are clueless as to how their dog's barking affects your sleep and peace of mind. The first step to take is a friendly chat with the dog's owners. "Hey, Jim and Jane, I don't know if you realize this, but your dog barks loudly to be let in late at night, and it's disturbing our sleep. Could you please train him not to bark, get a doggy door, keep him inside or do whatever it takes to keep him from making lots of noise at night? Thank you! We really appreciate it." Perhaps you can also refer them to dog training classes.

If your neighbors react badly or defensively, or if they continue to ignore the problem, talk to your other neighbors. Maybe they're disturbed by the yapping, too. Then everyone who is bothered should help compose, and then sign, a letter alerting the dog's owners that the noise is still going on and something must be done, because it's disturbing the right of the neighbors to peaceful enjoyment of their own homes (not to mention restful sleep).

Still no results? Then it's time to call the police and/or a mediation service.

However, since these are your neighbors, and it's best to maintain cordial relations with neighbors if at all possible, the first step you should take is always, always to talk to the dog's owners.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 3:02 PM on November 4, 2007

I like the idea of calling. Be polite on the phone, but call every time the dog barks at night for more than a few minutes.

If they won't respond to the dog, maybe they'll respond to the phone.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 3:08 PM on November 4, 2007

Man, just talk to them and give them a chance to do the right thing. You even admitted that they might possibly be on the other side of the house where they can't hear it like you can.

I am just blown away by some of the almost Seinfeldian suggestions on AskMe for dealing with these problems (Sue them for nuisance), when people haven't made an effort to see if their neighbors are decent and reasonable people. Get outside some, people.

/end rant
posted by 4ster at 3:20 PM on November 4, 2007

If the dog doesn't have access to water or shelter, and that's why it's yapping, you need to call animal services. Otherwise, file a noise complaint.

Composing a letter with all of your neighbors is a huge waste of time and will be way more insulting than sending a policeman over. The point in requesting politely is that they might not realize it's a problem--getting a bunch of people on your side will only make them more defensive and more stubborn about their "right" to have a dog.

If a policeman stopping by doesn't work (and believe me, if these people have decided to be stubborn assholes, it may not) I think it's time to break out your hose.
posted by almostmanda at 3:22 PM on November 4, 2007

I would have a lot of satisfaction by calling them -- especially if you are super chipper and happy (like Ned Flanders).

"Hey Roger! How are you? Listen, me and the wife are trying to get some shut eye and lassie keeps barking out back. Could you let her in? Sorry to bother. Have a great day at work!"
posted by maxpower at 3:23 PM on November 4, 2007

Borrow a big dog with a loud bark, and train it to bark when the little one barks. They'll soon be out to complain about the noise at 5AM, which is your chance to mention the noise their dog makes.

Or just invest in a water pistol, and squirt the dog when in yaps.
posted by Solomon at 3:39 PM on November 4, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks Quietgal I will try that! Another other similar tricks I can try that aren't mean to the annoying dog would be great.

I'm pretty sure they know about the yappiness, I can sometimes hear them deal with the dog during the day to ill effect (until they just let it inside which is a great solution for us). Anyway I'll have a chat to them so they know.

Thanks everyone.
posted by mooza at 4:05 PM on November 4, 2007

If the owners are totally uncooperative, you could also try using one of those devices that sends out ultrasonic signals when the dog barks. Something like this.
posted by sotalia at 4:08 PM on November 4, 2007

I second (or third) the suggestion to phone the owners when the dog barks and be so nice and chatty. Brilliant!

And please don't take out any anger or aggression on the poor pup. He/she is probably dying for affection and/or attention. "Bad" dogs, irritating dogs, barking dogs are usually the fault of stupid, uncaring people.
posted by Smalltown Girl at 8:10 PM on November 4, 2007

Quietgal's suggestion seems to make sense, because my parents recently had a professional around to train their new dog and he gave them little bags with metal things in them that make a horrible jangly metal sound. The dogs shut up immediately when they hear them. If they're particularly excitable, Mum will throw the bag on the ground nearby.
posted by robcorr at 10:13 PM on November 4, 2007

I would urge not spraying the dog with water on these cold nights.
posted by Pallas Athena at 2:33 AM on November 5, 2007

We had (and still have, to some degree) a similar problem with our neighbor's two Jack Russell Terriers. It's compounded by the fact that the neighbors are deaf. Sure, we tried talking to them, in increasing levels of earnestness, but it turned out they're inconsiderate assholes, too. We tried the ultrasonic trainer, and pennies in a can, and talking to the dogs in soothing tones, etc., etc., etc. The only thing that has had any lasting effect is a visit from the police at 5 am, repeated every few months. Hope you have better luck than we did.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:10 AM on November 5, 2007

Had a barking nuisance dog next door. This solved the problem completely: pet-safe electronic no-barking collar. It gives the dog a little zap when s/he barks. The barking was actually making the dog more neurotic and with the collar the dog stopped woofing and became more relaxed. You might suggest this to your neighbors?

You might also make a log, documenting the noise before calling the police...
posted by nickyskye at 11:49 PM on November 5, 2007

As a dog owner, I have been on the other side of this fence. I appreciated getting notice that pup was bothering someone. Further, the doggie door solution solved the running in and out problem as well. I was relieve not to have to get up and let pup out each time he approached and scratched at the door. The other training solutions are reasonable.
A log with date, time , duration of disturbance will be needed IF you have to push harder.
posted by Agamenticus at 5:38 AM on November 6, 2007

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