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Old 07.12.2009, 20:16
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Re: Noise complaint about dog barking, what to do?

This is what I have now:

noise-complaint-about-dog-barking-what-do-sp_a0102.jpg

A Great Dane, just turned 1 year and fortunately he does not bark at all.
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Old 07.12.2009, 21:24
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Re: Noise complaint about dog barking, what to do?

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Is anyone aware of a thread on rules about noise caused by barking dogs?

If not, perhaps someone can help me with my concern:

We live in a detached house with a backyard in Basel. We looked for such house to accommodate our 3 year old Lab and two children. Our dog is very gentle, but barks when she hears strange noises while she is playing in the backyard. Our neighbor whose house faces the yard has complained on the second day we moved in that our dog was barking too loud, too late at night. We apologized. Since then we've been going out of our way to make sure our dog does not bark after 10 pm and before 7 am. Despite this, the neighbor shouts through his window at my dog and me whenever our dog barks even once (before 10:00 pm), which sets my dog off to a barking frenzy. What can I do about this incessant complaining by this man which is bordering harassment? My two children are too afraid to play in their own backyard.
Sorry to say this but if a dog barks at the drop of a hat at any strange noises after 7am and before 10pm, I too, as a dog lover will be driven up the wall. There is a new dog in my neighbourhood - a yappy little brat of a pomeranian. She barks excessively when she's out of the house to signal to the dogs in the neighbourhood that she's out and about and drives my dog nuts.

But I've used Ian Dunbar's method of when to "SHUSH' and cease the barking on cue to very good results. My dog now knows to shut up when the "Shush" command isssued. About 80-90% success rate. Try it.

However, I wonder if its your neighbour being too fussy. Giving both parties the benefit of the doubt, I will first explain to him that you are working on the problem but do let him know that ALL dogs bark. Its a characteristic, like wagging their tails or licking their balls. If he's expecting zero barking, then you got a difficult neighbour on your hands.

Good luck.
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Old 07.12.2009, 23:21
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Re: Noise complaint about dog barking, what to do?

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However, I wonder if its your neighbor being too fussy. Giving both parties the benefit of the doubt, I will first explain to him that you are working on the problem but do let him know that ALL dogs bark. Its a characteristic, like wagging their tails or licking their balls. If he's expecting zero barking, then you got a difficult neighbor on your hands.
Summerrain makes a very good point here - while responsible dog owners seek to control barking in consideration of neighbors, by the same token non-dog owning/loving folks must also realize that 'normal' barking is indeed allowed. I fear people forget this, and sometimes need a gentle reminder.

To the OP - if you think your neighbor is being difficult, keep a diary of exactly when and how long the dog barks. If a formal complaint is lodged, you will be in a better position to defend yourself from exaggeration if you have a record.

(You'll also be in a better position to further your dog's training, as a record can help you identify triggers you may have missed.)

A dog is not a machine - he/she is a living creature with instinctive behaviors. The right to an 'artgerecht' life is protected under the TschG. So... while I think we can all agree that excessive or continuous barking is annoying, wrong, and should be stopped - dogs must be allowed to express themselves naturally now and again with a woof or two.

To complain at the first bark is over the top, and depending on the situation could be harassment. To allow a dog to continue barking is irresponsible, and complaints would then be justified. Both sides need to be exercise a little common sense and courtesy.

It's all about compromise and treating each other with respect - and it's usually easier to begin doing so over a glass of fine wine.
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Old 07.12.2009, 23:52
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Re: Noise complaint about dog barking, what to do?

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Is anyone aware of a thread on rules about noise caused by barking dogs?
Before looking for the rule book, have you considered common courtesy?

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If not, perhaps someone can help me with my concern:

We live in a detached house with a backyard in Basel. We looked for such house to accommodate our 3 year old Lab and two children. Our dog is very gentle, but barks when she hears strange noises while she is playing in the backyard. Our neighbor whose house faces the yard has complained on the second day we moved in that our dog was barking too loud, too late at night. We apologized. Since then we've been going out of our way to make sure our dog does not bark after 10 pm and before 7 am. Despite this, the neighbor shouts through his window at my dog and me whenever our dog barks even once (before 10:00 pm), which sets my dog off to a barking frenzy. What can I do about this incessant complaining by this man which is bordering harassment? My two children are too afraid to play in their own backyard.
May be reduce/stop the incessant barking by your dog which is bordering a very inconsiderate dog ownership

You have received some good advice on how to do that, but I think you need a more fundamental change in how you are seeing the situation, before you can improve the situation.
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Old 08.12.2009, 00:27
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Re: Noise complaint about dog barking, what to do?

One thing I don't quite understand - kids and dogs are similar in that they both make a lot of noise which is natural to them. But a kid crying or screaming is considered normal noise, but a dog barking (and I don't mean a dog left outside alone all day, constantly barking because it is lonley/hot/thirsty/miserable) is a nuisance. Both are annoying. Both are normal behaviors. The only thing you can do for both is teach them when crying/screaming or barking is or isn't acceptable. But the dog owner can have repercussions from their dog's barking....
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Old 08.12.2009, 00:32
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Re: Noise complaint about dog barking, what to do?

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One thing I don't quite understand - kids and dogs are similar in that they both make a lot of noise which is natural to them. But a kid crying or screaming is considered normal noise, but a dog barking (and I don't mean a dog left outside alone all day, constantly barking because it is lonley/hot/thirsty/miserable) is a nuisance. Both are annoying. Both are normal behaviors. The only thing you can do for both is teach them when crying/screaming or barking is or isn't acceptable. But the dog owner can have repercussions from their dog's barking....
Duh, the difference is, kids are the progeny of humans. Dogs are of another species. To even compare them at the same logical level may sound offensive to some members of the human species.
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Old 08.12.2009, 00:33
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Re: Noise complaint about dog barking, what to do?

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Duh, the difference is, kids are the progeny of humans. Dogs are of another species. To even compare them at the same logical level may sound offensive to some members of the canine species.
Fixed that for you
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Old 08.12.2009, 01:00
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Re: Noise complaint about dog barking, what to do?

The kind of neighbourhood where you live is a big factor in noise tolerance. We are surrounded by houses with families and trampolines!!! I had no idea how many kids can jump on one of those trampolines and for just how long. Our dogs bark at certain times (meal times) and when they play together. We choose when to play with them outside knowing they will bark, so we limit the time of play. It is not hours on end, and nowhere near the level of noise the kids make on their trampolines or in their backyard pools in the summer.

Our dogs don't bark at the horses that go by, or people unless they have a dog. Then it's like saying hello, in my opinion. Our dogs will bark at cats but most of the neighbourhood cats know better than to come near anymore.

When we moved into our neighbourhood, we knew it was lively. We had visited the area a lot to check it out. Not everyone does this enough. We never knew just how lively. It's a great relief to us that with 3 dogs and a cockatoo we aren't bothering anyone. Fortunately we have space indoors where the dogs can play which is when they actually bark the most.

Otherwise our dogs are not barkers so I have no experience trying to control barking. When we are not home, and the doorbell rings, they don't bark. I have been told this by the postman and neighbours. They only do so when we are home.

In order not to sour your relationship with the neighbours, I think it is best for the OP to try and control the barking, if at all possible.
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Old 08.12.2009, 01:29
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Re: Noise complaint about dog barking, what to do?

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(As a dog lover, I do find it rather unfair that cats are considered (as decided by a German court) as such an integral part of European culture that one is expected to put up a certain amount of nuisance, like them doing their business in your garden. )
As cat owner/lover, I am aware of this "nuisance" (thinking also of kids playing by), but there is no much I can do about.. It is a bit more complicate for a cat owner to spot where their pets decide to leave their business, because most of the time they bury it or do in hidden places, like inside bushes. I have very rarely found something but it was more out of lack, because in that moment I looked out of the window and caught him doing it! otherwise it is like "looking for a needle in a haystack"!! My cat has two litters inside the house by the way, more than that I cannot do (as well as keeping him healthy, parasite free, etc..).

I think we just need to be more tolerant with any "nuisance" one cannot really control - while you can turn down you tv, you cannot always make a dog stop barking (or a child stop screaming..)
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  #30  
Old 08.12.2009, 16:13
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Re: Noise complaint about dog barking, what to do?

Thanks everyone for all the great advice and constructive criticisms. I love this Forum for helping out a newbie adjust to so many different challenges of settling in.

I get what you mean. I was going to approch my neighbor on a positive note, let him know we're working on controling our dog's barking. A nice bottle of wine and flowers will hopefully sooth this man's shattered nerves a little. But as someone said, dogs bark. That's what they do, and honestly, except for the first 3 nights after we arrived dazed, our dog has never really barked out side much because I'm right there with her, and as soon as she lets out one woof, she was dragged into the house. I should have mentioned, this neighbor is also compaining that he can hear my dog bark IN THE HOUSE when I leave her home alone. And this is the part I want to know if it is illegal for dog to bark in his own house during the day light hours? As I mentioned, we live in a detached house. My neighbor's house is at least 20 meters away, with none of his windows facing our way. And have you seen the way these old Swiss homes are built and insulated? You couldn't hear anything going on inside the house with windows and doors closed shut!

I apologized to two other neighbors in case they were also bothered by our dog, and they said that they didn't think our dog was making a lot of noise. One of them actually said that it was reassuring to have a dog bark once in a while, with several break-ins in the recent months! Breaks-ins in CH? Oh, yes. Our house was one of those that got broke in to, but before we moved in. Go figure why anyone would break into an empty house.

Oh, well. There are all kinds of people. And as long as we're going to live here, my goal is to live with everyone in harmony. If it takes humbling myself to my rather fussy neighbor with offers of fine wine and pleasantries, that is what it will take.

Thanks, again. Have a great day!!
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Old 08.12.2009, 16:31
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Re: Noise complaint about dog barking, what to do?

My dog rarely barks, but, according to my neighbors, rarely barking is still too much for them and they complained. We bought an Aboistop collar and it fixed the problem, as it sprays the dog with compressed air when they bark. My dog quickly associated barking indoors with getting sprayed. Problem solved.


I've seen them for sale at all the big pet stores (some vets sell them, too). Here's the manufacturer's website:
http://www.dynavet.com/ie4net4/angla...stop/spray.htm
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Old 08.12.2009, 17:03
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Re: Noise complaint about dog barking, what to do?

Cocoloco,

Sounds like your neighbor is simply a difficult person. If your other neighbors are not bothered, you probably don't have to worry overmuch. Sadly, there are more than a few folks round here whose hobby seems to be pot-stirring.

Yes, barking in the house is a problem if the noise is excessive and audible to someone outside. As another poster pointed out, though, the definition of excessive is not clear - and this is where conflicts can develop. One man's ceiling is another man's floor, and all that. The hardest thing for me, coming from a 'louder' culture, was understanding exactly what was considered normal for the über-quiet Swiss.

Make a friendly overture to your complaining neighbor, try to resolve this peacefully among yourselves - but your friendly overtures should be met halfway. If your dog is not barking excessively and your neighbor still complains, be prepared then to defend him from unreasonable demands. Gather evidence.

First, determine what can be heard when you are not at home. Go through the motions you normally do when you leave the house, but instead of leaving sit on your stoop where your dog can't see or hear you, and record what happens for a few hours. (Bring a good book!) Does your dog bark, how long, how loud. Can you hear him from a meter away, from 5 meters, from 10, from 20? Do this several times, keep a journal.

Hire a (Swiss) dog trainer to do the same, to assess whether he/she thinks that your dog's barking is excessive. A professional's opinion would carry greater weight in a dispute.

If the neighbor won't let up, you may need to get a sitter in whenever you leave the house. I had to do this for a while - not to keep the dogs quiet (as they already were) but to have a witness to the fact that the dogs weren't barking during the times when they were accused of doing so.

If you have evidence that your dog is not barking excessively, then speak to your neighbor again, politely but firmly. Tell him that you know your rights, that your dog is not making excessive noise, and he must stop harassing you. Often difficult neighbors back off when they realize you are prepared to (politely) push back.

If you neighbor is a determined nutter/ pot-stirrer/ dog-hater, you will need to decide if you can live with his antics or not. You might speak to your Gemeinde about some kind of mediation process - but think that step through carefully first. If things can't be resolved peacefully amongs yourselves, better outcomes are rarely brought by outsiders.

Facing a similarly difficult neighbor when we first moved to Switzerland, I decided in the end that, although I was in the right, living near a dog-hater simply wasn't worth the stress. I moved at the first opportunity. Life's too short, my dogs deserved better.

Hoping for the best, for you and your dog.

Last edited by meloncollie; 08.12.2009 at 17:46.
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  #33  
Old 08.12.2009, 17:44
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Re: Noise complaint about dog barking, what to do?

Nickyboy,

A word of caution - although you mentioned compressed air, the collar you linked is a citronella collar, which I believe is considered 'mittels chemischer Stoffe' and forbidden under Art. 76.2 of the TschV. I would suggest dog owners check with the BVet if one has any questions about what is or is not allowed.

http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/4/455.1.de.pdf

I would also caution dog owners not to use adversives or punishment devices when a dog is unattended.

Discussions of the whole philosophy of the place of adversives in training aside the use of such devices when one is not right there to control the timing runs the risk of teaching the dog something all together different from what was intended - sometimes with tragic consequences.

Just sayin'.

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My dog rarely barks, but, according to my neighbors, rarely barking is still too much for them and they complained. We bought an Aboistop collar and it fixed the problem, as it sprays the dog with compressed air when they bark. My dog quickly associated barking indoors with getting sprayed. Problem solved.


I've seen them for sale at all the big pet stores (some vets sell them, too). Here's the manufacturer's website:
http://www.dynavet.com/ie4net4/angla...stop/spray.htm
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Old 09.12.2009, 17:47
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Re: Noise complaint about dog barking, what to do?

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Duh, the difference is, kids are the progeny of humans. Dogs are of another species. To even compare them at the same logical level may sound offensive to some members of the human species.
A dog doesnt care if you're rich or poor. Interesting or dull. Smart or stupid. Give him water, food, walks and most importantly, your heart and he'll give you his unconditionally, right till the very end.

So yes you are right - I am offended that some humans can even be compared to dogs.
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Old 09.12.2009, 18:09
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Re: Noise complaint about dog barking, what to do?

On top of that, it does not address the underlying problem. If the dog is an attention seeker and therefore barks, it may help. If it is because of fear/uncertainty for strangers etc, it can even make it worse.

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Nickyboy,

A word of caution - although you mentioned compressed air, the collar you linked is a citronella collar, which I believe is considered 'mittels chemischer Stoffe' and forbidden under Art. 76.2 of the TschV. I would suggest dog owners check with the BVet if one has any questions about what is or is not allowed.

http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/4/455.1.de.pdf

I would also caution dog owners not to use adversives or punishment devices when a dog is unattended.

Discussions of the whole philosophy of the place of adversives in training aside the use of such devices when one is not right there to control the timing runs the risk of teaching the dog something all together different from what was intended - sometimes with tragic consequences.

Just sayin'.
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Old 09.12.2009, 21:09
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Re: Noise complaint about dog barking, what to do?

On the subject of spray collars, here is a good article by Clarissa v. Reinhardt (author of Stress In Dogs, and founder of Animal Learn - a well respected trainer).

http://www.animal-learn.de/

(Click on 'Tipps rund um den Hund', then on 'Citronella Collars'.)
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Old 09.12.2009, 21:25
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Re: Noise complaint about dog barking, what to do?

If your neighbour is shouting and this triggers the barking, file a complaint with the police. From what you've said, this makes the dog bark, nothing else.

I know someone who had a neighbour barking at their dog and filed a complaint. The barking stopped....
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Old 14.12.2009, 09:43
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Re: Noise complaint about dog barking, what to do?

Hello all I have just joined,
This may or may not help. I have 3 Maremma and a Pyrenean all of whom bark long and loud if anything is wrong. I have mine on 5 acres but even so barking could be a problem.

When we are rehoming these Livestock guard dogs we always suggest that neighbours are introduced. Particularly if they are companion dogs. Every time the dog reacts to the neighbour after this it's important that you speak to the dog and if necissary bring it in. The more it carries on the more it thinks it is doing a good job. You as it's leader need to set the boundaries.

My crew are extremly independent and are not compliant dogs by the very nature of the work they are bred for. But by being a strong firm leader they can be taught what is ok and what is not. Being consistant and setting boundaries is very important.

Time out area such as a laundary for short stays is also a useful tool

Liz
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Old 14.12.2009, 11:14
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Re: Noise complaint about dog barking, what to do?

We have a similar problem; our dog is not so friendly, and doesn't like the neigbours who in turn dont like her. This was our solution.

Two very effective methods you should combine.

Buy a muzzle for the animal that you can put on them in the evening if you see trouble beforeletting them out, so that they cannot bark very loudly. In the summer take some dog biscuits with you in the garden and distract the dog with them when they are tempted to bark; call them back when they are barking and give them a reward. Our dog quickly learnt to respond quickly when we called her; even if barking... and she is almost 10 years now- so much for teaching a old dog new tricks.

Whatever you do not leave the dog unattended for any longer then he/she needs to do their business in the garden alone. The core issue is not how loud your dog barks or for that matter at what; it is the time it takes for her to settle down subsequently. We used to live next door to a family who kept dogs in the garden 24/7. When they started barking; they would do so for 30 minutes at a time, that was a pain in the arse. If your dog barks now and again when the neigbour teases her by shouting things out of their window, then I am sorry but they are simply a**eholes.

I dont agree with the majority of posters here weening about dogs and noise. My dog protects my family and my property; thats her job. If she judges you to be a threat then she will bark at you. If you dont listen and come to close she will bite you. That what dogs do...
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Old 14.12.2009, 11:21
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Re: Noise complaint about dog barking, what to do?

Should have mentioned by brother had one of those electric shock collars on his dog; it malfunctioned (lucky when my brother was around) and he had a hell of a time getting the thing off the dog; while it was continuously shocking the poor animal.

I wouldn't use a shock collar or the chemical spray for that very reason.
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