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Neighbour’s noisy dogs

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livetoclimblivetoclimb Forumite
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Please move if this is in the wrong place.

TL/DR; Neighbours have noisy dogs and I’m not sure whether to say anything.

Hi everyone, just after a little advice in more of a ‘what would you do’ sense than a ‘watch how my temper goes from 0-60 real quick’ sense. I’ll try and keep it brief - it concerns neighbours dogs and barking.

I bought a house around 8 months ago in a quiet village, on a small lane half way along a short row of semi detached houses. Gardens border each other separated by 6 foot fences so quite private. 

My neighbours have been here for many years. They have a few kids and six dogs. They’re quite different to me, but seem like nice people and are always friendly when I see them. I don’t think anyone works as they never seem to go out with any regularity (even pre-lockdown).

The problem is that their dogs bark almost constantly. They’re small ‘yappy’ dogs, and I have never seen them outside of her garden. My office room overlooks the lane so I would have noticed if they were out being walked. I can only assume that the dogs are simply bored, and this causes their constant barking. Of course, I’ve noticed this more since working from home full time during lockdown, but I work from home 2-3 days a week normally - I suppose it’s just started bugging me more recently since I’ve started noticing it daily. It often goes on into the night and isn’t uncommon after 10:30 or even 11pm. 

I have a dog - but she never barks back (amazingly, since she’s 7 months old), presumably as she’s never known them not to bark next door. I’m not remotely bothered by ‘normal’ levels of dog noise. I do know that if my dog was constantly barking I’d be mortified. When the barking continues for too long the dogs are usually yelled at to be quiet which shuts them up for all of five minutes. 

I like the neighbours and don’t want to harm relations, and I’m not aware of anyone else openly annoyed by the dogs (although the house beyond theirs is currently vacant). My partner feels we should just ignore it. If I’m correct in my assumption that the dogs are simply bored, with no walks and only a relatively small garden, much of which is concreted over, then to say anything could be rather insulting as I’d be inferring that it’s poor pet ownership - but by not saying anything I’m allowing it to continue.

What would you do in my position?
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Replies

  • avoidtheupsidedownbottlesavoidtheupsidedownbottles Forumite
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    You failed to notice the six dogs before buying the house?
  • livetoclimblivetoclimb Forumite
    39 posts
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    You failed to notice the six dogs before buying the house?
    Correct. We looked around 3 times and visited the area for a walk several times before we made an offer. No dogs mentioned, and we didn’t hear them or see them.
  • avoidtheupsidedownbottlesavoidtheupsidedownbottles Forumite
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    You failed to notice the six dogs before buying the house?
    Correct. We looked around 3 times and visited the area for a walk several times before we made an offer. No dogs mentioned, and we didn’t hear them or see them.
    Wonder whether the owner or EA bribed the neighbour to keep them quiet during viewings?  
    Anyway I hope you get some constructive answers; it can't be a pleasant situation.  
  • edited 8 June at 11:42PM
    [Deleted User][Deleted User]
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    edited 8 June at 11:42PM
    Small yappy dogs can sometimes be the worst culprits for constant barking.

    My dog hardly barks indoors and minimally outside. She is very territorial and barks if she hears dogs in the distance. If there are no dogs she won't bark. She sometimes barks for a short while at the neighbour when out in the garden if she can here him pottering around behind the fence but I call her indoors and she stops. Other days she completely ignores him. Her worst issue is barking when the hoover comes out. She gets aggressive and goes for it. 

    As you say there could well be an element of boredom there. I wouldn't find it offensive if someone knocked at my door and said they were trying to work from home and was there a way of keeping the dog from barking constantly. I'd actually feel very embarrassed. There is no quick fix to stop a dog from barking that has not known any different. 
  • SempleSemple Forumite
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    It's a tricky one, and almost one that will certainly damage relations. 

    Our little pup has a very loud bark rather than a yap, and there are certainly many times that he likes to just stretch his lungs with some continuous barking at nothing in particular. I'm always very worried about disturbing the neighbours, but thankfully he very rarely barks from late evening right through to the following morning. 

    Anyway, as you say, by hinting at the nuisance/boredom barking, would almost insinuate lazy dog ownership and could certainly sour relations. 
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    If you get on with them bring it up in a friendly way when you are having a chat with them.  Just a comment of 'your dogs seem to bark a lot.' (  particularly if the dogs bark when you are speaking to them) or 'your dogs seem to like barking.', ' your dogs like the sound of their own voices ' and see what the reaction is.
  • PiersHudsonPiersHudson Forumite
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    Davemm79 said:
    Small yappy dogs can sometimes be the worst culprits for constant barking.

    My dog hardly barks indoors and minimally outside. She is very territorial and barks if she hears dogs in the distance. If there are no dogs she won't bark. She sometimes barks for a short while at the neighbour when out in the garden if she can here him pottering around behind the fence but I call her indoors and she stops. Other days she completely ignores him. Her worst issue is barking when the hoover comes out. She gets aggressive and goes for it. 

    As you say there could well be an element of boredom there. I wouldn't find it offensive if someone knocked at my door and said they were trying to work from home and was there a way of keeping the dog from barking constantly. I'd actually feel very embarrassed. There is no quick fix to stop a dog from barking that has not known any different. 

    Oh yes, my neighbour has a little dog and he's ten times worse than a big one
  • PollyPainterPollyPainter Forumite
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    But failing to walk six dogs who only have access to a small outdoor space IS an indication that your neighbours are inadequate pet owners!
  • FireflyawayFireflyaway Forumite
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    I think the correct thing would be to speak to them politely and mention how the noise is disturbing you. However.....  in reality I have to say I'd probably not do anything. I hate conflict and if the dogs bark as much as you say, the owners obviously don't care and I'd say they would be unlikely to change. They may even get defensive and cause relations to sour further. 
  • comeandgocomeandgo Forumite
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    The dogs will be there for years and years, if this is annoying you I think you need to do something.  Why would they have so many, are they breeding them?  It is not natural for dogs to bark all the time.  Do you go out walks?  Could you offer to take some of them with you?  Could you invite one of the couple over for afternoon tea?  I would imagine if you invite both then children would come too, and possibly dogs!  When at tea they may notice how loud their dogs are in your house or you could try and bring the conversation round to it.
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