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  • FIRST POST
    • Catapillerry
    • By Catapillerry 10th Jan 18, 12:35 PM
    • 11Posts
    • 17Thanks
    Catapillerry
    Dog barking
    • #1
    • 10th Jan 18, 12:35 PM
    Dog barking 10th Jan 18 at 12:35 PM
    Hello all,

    Constructive feedback welcome!

    About 4 years ago, my neighbours bought a German Shepherd. We've been neighbours for many years and have had a good relationship. To set the scene, we live in 1940's semi detached, with the driveways between the houses.
    About that same time, we had a baby - you can see the mismatch already (note we've all got older kids who played football in the back, free to cross the gardens for each others footballs, toys, etc)
    Since that time, our relationship has gone downhill completely. The dog is not a constant barker, but will bark very loudly at squirrels for a few minutes, or whine if left outside, etc - so that has caused a few issues for us.

    In summer it's particularly difficult - it can bark if you're out in the garden, and I mean very loudly when I say that, it'll bark at 8.30pm, and when the windows are open, immediately wake the youngest up. I sometimes work from home, and I've had clients asking on the phone if I live in a kennel - it's really very loud with the windows open, but bearable with them closed. When they get up at 6.30 in the morning (weekends too) it'll bark (they let it out to use the toilet) - which isn't a ridiculous time, but it immediately wakes my youngest up, so 6.30 is my wake up time, weekends and all.

    My child is a decent sleeper, but as his room is overlooking the garden and at the rear corner of the house, any barking sounds like it's in the room with him - it can literally light up the baby listener for a good minute or two.

    I've spoken with them to the point that there is nothing else to say - I've always been polite and the only time it's got heated was at their side when their teenager started swearing at me. It's a shame that a good relationship has been lost.

    Eventually I contacted the council, and they took it up for me, agreeing from the logs they asked me to keep that it seemed excessive. The next step was them putting noise equipment in to monitor it. They sent next door a letter, and he came round and went crazy - threatening with counter action (I presumed he'd spoken with someone about it and they said if he gets accused and it's another dog, for eg, he had a good case) It's worth noting that my adjoined neighbours have a dog, which barks, but I kind of get that it does at the postman, etc, and it's not really an issue. He almost took it that I was trying to drive him out - which I'm not, they were friends.

    It's obviously winter now, and with windows shut, and the dog in the house more, it's less impacting, so I've not yet authorised the council to do anything.

    The dog doesn't bark in the middle of the night, and doesn't constantly bark all day, so I know of people who have it far, far worse.

    What are your views? DO I have to put up and shut up now, and consider this something that has to be tolerated?

    P.S - he's got another German Shepherd now too, so that's how much he's bothered about it!
Page 1
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Jan 18, 12:38 PM
    • 61,314 Posts
    • 358,966 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    • #2
    • 10th Jan 18, 12:38 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Jan 18, 12:38 PM
    Only you know how it all looks from the dog's perspective .... but the barking could be reduced in some environments by them drilling small holes through their fencing. Many dogs will bark if they can hear noises/people but can't SEE what's going on. When dogs can see what's passing/going on they're not bothered by it. A few holes of about 2" drilled, so he can peer through, might be of some help to some people.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 10th Jan 18, 1:05 PM
    • 24,220 Posts
    • 67,022 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #3
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:05 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:05 PM
    Perhaps move your children’s bedrooms around?

    I have no idea if it’s excessive but if that room is most affected, then it probably makes sense to move a young child, who isn’t capable of settling themselves, to a different room.

    I’m not sure what the solution is next door. Presumably the council make their own decision and convince the neighbour to measure it, but dogs do bark and there are lots around, so it’s not as if the dog will simply be removed. You’re going to have to make some adaptations yourselves. Secondary glazing?
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 10-01-2018 at 1:08 PM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • another casualty
    • By another casualty 10th Jan 18, 1:28 PM
    • 3,257 Posts
    • 5,124 Thanks
    another casualty
    • #4
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:28 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:28 PM
    A difficult situation all round . Sorry to hear that youíve fallen out with the neighbours . Devils advocate : A bawling baby is worse ( for me than a dog . Sorry to say .
    Pastures new suggested a whole in the fence . Not a bad idea imho.
    If you never had any problems with the neighbours I wouldíve encouraged any of your family to say hello to the dog when youíre in the garden etc as the dog will get to know all of you and your patterns and things would be easier.
    There is a house I walk past ( on a corner ) and I think itís 3 dogs barking. I say hello . I can see one wagging its tail,through he bushes sometimes. Theyíre not always outside so I can tell the owners look after them.

    Doozer girl made good points also.
    I feel sorry for your situation as the baby is probably afraid of the dogs barking . I honestly donít know what else to suggest short of moving . If youíre a homeowner then you have a dispute to declare should you sell.
    I feel for the dog . It doesnít sound like itís on its own all day. That is cruelty .
    If there was a way of yourself and the neighbout making up then things would be easier. Doesnít sound like itíll happen though.

    Sorry if Iíve said the wrong thing , but I hope your situation eventually improves .
    • Catapillerry
    • By Catapillerry 10th Jan 18, 1:40 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    Catapillerry
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:40 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:40 PM
    Appreciate the comments.
    I'm obviously half in the "put up with it" camp because I've kept calm and constructive the whole time.
    Just to be clear, the dog barks at squirrels, not us, and the youngest is a good sleeper, but the noise is extremely loud.

    I think the council can remove the dog, but again, I don't want that to happen in the slightest, which is why I'm asking.

    It seems a shame that I should consider moving because someone has a dog - not the dog's fault I know.

    When I have seen them around I have made a fuss of the dog - non of us are scared of it, it's purely volume. As I say, imagine a baby listener with all the lights lit up every time it barks - that's how loud it is.
    Not only the child though - it's a shame that I can't go into my own garden when on the phone...Should other people's choices be able to affect your life that much? Maybe now too many people have dogs that is the way of things and I'm just going to have to suck it up!
    • another casualty
    • By another casualty 10th Jan 18, 1:55 PM
    • 3,257 Posts
    • 5,124 Thanks
    another casualty
    • #6
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:55 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:55 PM
    I may as well tell you of a situation I had put upon me , must be about 12 years ago now.
    I used to live in a purpose built 1960s maisonette. I was upstairs.
    My brothers boss got divorced ( wife threw him out unexpectedly) , so I thought of being there for him . So , I put him up ..with a barking dog! The dog was an ex rescue dog , and not only barked at squirrels, but also animal noises on t v .Oh, and if you say the wor cat, it barked loudly in excitement then.Did I mention the doorbell?? I was trying my hardest to keep quiet and did an incredibly good job keeping noise to a minimum .
    That lasted for approx a year and a half .
    I was the only person in a small close with a dog. Since then there were a couple of others with dogs before I moved.
    Sorry about that. I’ve got an absorbent mind .
    Wishing you the best outcome .
    • Catapillerry
    • By Catapillerry 10th Jan 18, 2:01 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    Catapillerry
    • #7
    • 10th Jan 18, 2:01 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Jan 18, 2:01 PM
    I may as well tell you of a situation I had put upon me , must be about 12 years ago now.
    I used to live in a purpose built 1960s maisonette. I was upstairs.
    My brothers boss got divorced ( wife threw him out unexpectedly) , so I thought of being there for him . So , I put him up ..with a barking dog! The dog was an ex rescue dog , and not only barked at squirrels, but also animal noises on t v .Oh, and if you say the wor cat, it barked loudly in excitement then.Did I mention the doorbell?? I was trying my hardest to keep quiet and did an incredibly good job keeping noise to a minimum .
    That lasted for approx a year and a half .
    I was the only person in a small close with a dog. Since then there were a couple of others with dogs before I moved.
    Sorry about that. Iíve got an absorbent mind .
    Wishing you the best outcome .
    Originally posted by another casualty
    "absorbent mind"! I've never heard that one before, but It makes sense!
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 10th Jan 18, 2:42 PM
    • 1,077 Posts
    • 769 Thanks
    teneighty
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 18, 2:42 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 18, 2:42 PM
    Sounds like the neighbour is not going to take steps to train the dog unless they are forced too, removal of the dog would be a last resort and would be a terrible shame.

    I have a couple of friends with GSD's and they can be very vocal and loud (the dogs not the friends) but with training it can be controlled and reduced, if not totally eliminated.

    Anything from correcting the dog every time it barks at the squirrels etc. to maybe having a bark collar. My dog will bark briefly at visitors or strange noises and helicopters bizarrely, but if it goes on for more than a few seconds I will tell him to shut up. My new neighbours told me how relieved they were when on their first day they heard the dog bark in the garden but immediately heard me stop it as they were worried I might be the sort of neighbour who would ignore the dog and just let it carry on barking.

    Might be worth posting in the pets section for more advice.
    • Catapillerry
    • By Catapillerry 10th Jan 18, 4:46 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    Catapillerry
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 18, 4:46 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 18, 4:46 PM
    My dog will bark briefly at visitors or strange noises and helicopters bizarrely, but if it goes on for more than a few seconds I will tell him to shut up. My new neighbours told me how relieved they were when on their first day they heard the dog bark in the garden but immediately heard me stop it as they were worried I might be the sort of neighbour who would ignore the dog and just let it carry on barking.
    .
    Originally posted by teneighty
    Exactly this. The adjoining people have a dog that also barks, but it's controlled so well, so it'll bark at the postman (understandable) then they tell it to shut up.
    It even barks at my son when he's in the garden, but within seconds they move it away from the situation, so it's just not a big issue.
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 10th Jan 18, 7:45 PM
    • 837 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    sevenhills
    Exactly this. The adjoining people have a dog that also barks, but it's controlled so well, so it'll bark at the postman (understandable) then they tell it to shut up.
    It even barks at my son when he's in the garden, but within seconds they move it away from the situation, so it's just not a big issue.
    Originally posted by Catapillerry
    My border collie will sometimes bark at random, when I am asleep, because she has caught the scent of a fox.
    She doesn't do it all the time, I do wonder what my adjoining neighbours think.

    The bond between owner and dog can be very strong, the dogs are not going anywhere. Maybe you could offer to pay for a trainer to visit?

    • missile
    • By missile 10th Jan 18, 7:59 PM
    • 9,147 Posts
    • 4,477 Thanks
    missile
    .... I think the council can remove the dog, but again, I don't want that to happen ...
    Originally posted by Catapillerry
    You are too considerate IMHO, anyone who cannot control their dog should not be permitted to keep one.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • boingsaidzebedee
    • By boingsaidzebedee 10th Jan 18, 9:00 PM
    • 154 Posts
    • 596 Thanks
    boingsaidzebedee
    Had a similar problem.
    They were redeveloping the local Greyhound Track and I bought the electric motor,running gear and imitation hare.
    I installed this to run on a continuous circuit along the top of the garden fence and set it going.
    The next door German Shepherd spotted it and started chasing.
    Two days later it dropped dead from exhaustion.
    Unfortunately the squirrel which lives in my garden elm tree fell off a branch laughing and broke his leg.He has now engaged a no win no fee team of solicitors who inform me they intend to sue my bottom off.
    • ROY47
    • By ROY47 10th Jan 18, 9:12 PM
    • 482 Posts
    • 229 Thanks
    ROY47
    We had same problem a few years ago
    Neighbours moved away luckily

    I reckon all dog owners are deaf !
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 11th Jan 18, 2:05 AM
    • 23,996 Posts
    • 90,239 Thanks
    Davesnave
    When you said:
    "Eventually I contacted the council, and they took it up for me, agreeing from the logs they asked me to keep that it seemed excessive. The next step was them putting noise equipment in to monitor it. They sent next door a letter, and he came round and went crazy - threatening with counter action"

    I'm taking this to mean that you didn't follow through and ask the council to install the monitoring equipment. In that case, it's still an option, come summer.

    Meanwhile the neighbour has bought another GSD, possibly as company for the other, but maybe to assert themselves against the 'threat' you now pose to them.

    It's difficult. There's no telling if the council will find the noise excessive, even if it's as loud as GSDs can be. If they considered it OTT, they could require your neighbour to control the dog, and if that was shown not to work, start issuing fines. However, all this is theory and maybe unlikely to happen with intermittent noise. As you recognise, some dogs bark most of the time and councils reserve expensive prosecutions for extreme cases. My own council is so reluctant, it suggests people take out private prosecutions! It's possible, but it's fraught with difficulties..

    So, you have to decide whether to offer an olive branch or a big stick. In the back of my mind would be the thought that many owners are not mentally capable of controlling their dogs, even if they wanted to.

    I'd certainly wait to see what happens with two dogs. In my limited experience, two dogs do set each other off, so the noise could well increase, in which case moving might be be the better option, rather than a protracted battle that no one wins, simply because no one can.
    Last edited by Davesnave; 11-01-2018 at 8:30 AM. Reason: typos etc.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Katapolt
    • By Katapolt 11th Jan 18, 10:42 AM
    • 96 Posts
    • 106 Thanks
    Katapolt
    stick some business cards through their door for local dog trainers, or walkers who can come and take the dogs out in the day to keep them occupied. Sounds like the poor things are bored.
    FTB 2017
    Currently dealing with a Quarter Life Crisis
    • JulieElizabeth
    • By JulieElizabeth 11th Jan 18, 4:48 PM
    • 1,906 Posts
    • 27,792 Thanks
    JulieElizabeth
    There is a wee yappie dog that is left out in the back yard of a house near to me. This means I can't open a kitchen window or back door in the summer. It yaps loudly and often for prolonged periods of time.


    Can't offer advice but I feel your pain.
    NO MORE HANDWASH GLITCHES PLEASE
    • krlyr
    • By krlyr 15th Jan 18, 10:33 PM
    • 5,851 Posts
    • 12,047 Thanks
    krlyr
    Dogs bark. Just like babies will cry...if their household noise is loud in your house then chances are your household noises are probably loud in theirs too. Maybe that's why they don't have too much pity for you?

    Unfortunately GSDs can have quite a booming bark and some can be more vocal than others. I'm fortunate that mine is more of a grumbler than a whiner or barker but he will still bark at the postman etc...I've done some training to reduce it, and if I'm home then I will ask him to be quiet (I don't enjoy listening to it, let alone the neighbours!), but ultimately he is a dog not a robot so there are some times where he will bark (especially if I'm not about).

    I think if the relationship has broken down that badly then you're either going to have to continue down the council route and deal with the fallout (I'm not really sure what he can do to counter you - you're not harassing him if there's noise there and you're working with the council to establish if it is a nuisance or not) or find some ways to soundproof the room/house a bit better.


    stick some business cards through their door for local dog trainers, or walkers who can come and take the dogs out in the day to keep them occupied. Sounds like the poor things are bored.
    Originally posted by Katapolt
    Might not be bored at all - can just be a breed trait. Or a dog trait!
    • Bigphil1474
    • By Bigphil1474 16th Jan 18, 12:16 PM
    • 716 Posts
    • 297 Thanks
    Bigphil1474
    Depends where you live, but the council I work for has to establish if it is a statutory nuisance, and if so they can take action. If they establish a stat. nuisance then they can require the owners to take all reasonable steps to shut the dog up. How the owner does that is up to them, but it could be through training, or not allowing the dog outside unless someone is with it etc. etc. Either way, it's not your problem. Some councils work to the Noise Act so can issue fines to the responsible person.


    They wouldn't usually remove the dog unless all other avenues have been thoroughly explored - mainly because it costs a fortune and isn't good PR.
    • sambo84
    • By sambo84 16th Jan 18, 4:56 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    sambo84
    If you say the dog only barks and squirrels and when you are in the garden then it doesnt sound like the dog is barking all day excessively, dogs are allowed to bark some of the time as they are living beings, not robots. The loudness of the dogs bark isnt really relevents its whether it is barking for excessively long periods. I think the council would drop the case if you tried to take it further anyway and you would no doubt damage the relationship you have with your neighbour irreprably and then have to declair it when you come to sell your property that you had neighbourly disputes. I would also assume that your neighbours have had to put up with your baby screaming in the night, your kids making noise in the garden throughout the years...... it doesnt seem worth falling out any more over.
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