Man­ag­ing a Neigh­bour’s Noisy Dog

Reader's Digest Asia Pacific - - Pets -

You’re en­joy­ing a quiet evening at home when sud­denly your neigh­bour’s dog starts yap­ping and doesn’t stop. Sure, dogs need to bark ev­ery now and then, but if Fido is get­ting in the way of your daily life, you need to do some­thing.

Be­fore you take ac­tion, make a log of when the dog is be­ing dis­rup­tive, says eti­quette ex­pert Sharon Sch­weitzer. Record the dates and times when the bark­ing oc­curs to fig­ure out any pat­terns. “Ob­serve care­fully and get your facts straight,” says Sch­weitzer. You might no­tice the bark­ing or howl­ing only hap­pens when the own­ers are at work, or dur­ing thun­der­storms.

Af­ter two to three weeks, ap­proach your neigh­bours with the facts. “Since you’re try­ing to main­tain a good re­la­tion­ship, you can’t go stomp­ing down when you’re an­gry and frus­trated,” says Sch­weitzer. Plus, your neigh­bours might not even re­alise the BY MARISSA LALIBERTE bark­ing is a prob­lem, es­pe­cially if the worst noise oc­curs when they’re gone. Ex­plain the times when the bark­ing gets bad, then sug­gest a so­lu­tion. “You can sit and com­plain all day, but that will go nowhere,” says Sch­weitzer. Ask if the dog can stay in­side dur­ing storms, or rec­om­mend a dog train­ing class. Be open to com­pro­mise be­cause the own­ers might have other ideas about how to han­dle the noise. Be­friend­ing the pooch could help. Have your neigh­bours in­tro­duce you to their dog, and ask per­mis­sion to give it a treat. “If they be­come more com­fort­able in your pres­ence, they’re less likely to bark when they see you or when they’re in the back­yard,” says Sch­weitzer. You might even be able use com­mands such as ‘quiet’ once the dog trusts you. Avoid gos­sip­ing with other neigh­bours about the dog or start­ing a pe­ti­tion. “That’s when things es­ca­late.” Af­ter all, most peo­ple will want to solve the prob­lem.

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