Managing a Neighbour’s Noisy Dog
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.