What to do about a barking dog, yours or a neighbors.
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Updated: November 1, 2011
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Your Dog Barking - Your Neighbors' Dog Barking
Dog barking is a normal and healthy activity for dogs. It has great benefits of alerting others when danger is present and has saved many human lives.
What is acceptable? When a dog is playing it is perfectly acceptable that they bark. If they are sleeping or resting, it is acceptable that they bark if they hear something alarming.
Barking for a short period of time (up to 5 minutes per hour no more than 4 times a day) between 9am and 9pm should be acceptable for any neighborhood or neighbor.
What if they bark more often? If a dog is barking more often there may be a problem. A dog will bark out of boredom or for attention. These are unacceptable situations for the dog, your family and the neighbors.
The first question to ask is why is the dog barking. You may want to speak with a trainer or if you are an APA VIP member call in to the member answer line. Some of the most obvious reasons are boredom, frustration, or a problem in their environment. be sure that your dog is not crated for extended periods of time and is getting plenty of interaction and exercise. Try to picture what the dogs day is like. Anything that you would find frustrating we are sure he finds frustrating.
We also want to explore what you should never use to stop your dog from barking. Bark collars and anti-barking devices should never be used as they serve to confuse the pet and create severe anxiety. You need to investigate the root of the problem and provide solutions. It is the only humane option.
What to do about a neighbors dog barking?
We all realize that neighbors can be annoying. Certainly from time to time their pets can be annoying. The first question we need to ask ourselves is, is the barking excessive? As we have discussed above the APA feels that barking for a short period of time is an acceptable part of pet ownership. In most cases this limits barking to the period of time that the dog is engaged in play activities with the owner or for a short period as another pet passes, or a delivery truck drives by.
So what do you do when the neighbors dog barks excessively? If your relationship with them is such that you can speak to them personally about it that is always the best course of action. Anytime you discuss a negative it is very important to be respectful and diplomatic. We recommend using a statement like, "I've noticed your dogs have been barking a lot recently. I wouldn't mind so much if I couldn't hear them in the house however it has become very annoying". After your discussion let them know how much you appreciate their cooperation and possibly ask them if it would be okay if you contacted them if the barking continues.
Another option available to you is the Good Neighbor Program offered by the American Pet Association. You can find more information about this program at myAPAonline.org