Salisbury Press

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Respectfully Yours: Barking dog

Friday, October 5, 2018 by JACQUELYN YOUST Special to The Press in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn, My neighbor’s dog barks periodically throughout the day and it’s getting on my nerves. I don’t want to disrupt a good relationship between my neighbor and me. What can I do?

Dear Reader,

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but when your neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking, it can become a nightmare. There are some things you can do to regain peace and quiet without starting a war with your neighbor.

Give your neighbors the benefit of the doubt. There’s a possibility they don’t realize their dog is barking so much and aggravating you.

Start by talking to them about the barking. Please avoid harsh accusations since that will only make them defensive.

Don’t be tempted to leave an anonymous note on in their mailbox. Talking to them in person is best.

Dogs bark. It’s what they do. It might help to find out what is causing the barking. It could be something fairly simple to remedy, like boredom, loneliness, or territorial defense.

You can also try politely asking your neighbor if you can meet their dog. Making friends with the dog may curb the barking. Perhaps, if the dog gets to know you and your scent it may help the dog see you as family and not a danger.

If the dog barks every time you walk outside, blocking its view of your property might help. Dogs are territorial. But if it can’t see you, it might not bark. Try planting some privacy shrubs or put up a fence between you and the neighbor’s yard.

I encourage you to talk with dog owners directly to try to resolve the issue. If you feel you have exhausted other avenues, find out if your town has a dog-barking ordinance. It might be the action you need to take.

Respectfully Yours, Jacquelyn

Have a question? Email: Jacquelyn Youst is owner of the Pennsylvania Academy of Protocol, specializing in etiquette training. She is on the board of directors of the National Civility Foundation. All Rights Reserved © 2018 Jacquelyn Youst