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Neighbours complaining about our dogs, help

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  • 24-01-2011 9:28pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 38


    Hi everyone

    We own a semi-detached house with a very big garden. We rescued 2 dogs from abusive owners and our dogs our our life. They are treated very well, they are very healthy and very loved, I just feel like I need to say that first

    When we are in work, one of our dogs stays inside and one outside, as the older one hates being outside and vice versa for the younger one. Let me also point out that our dogs stay in the house when we return from work at 6pm. They dont EVER bark in the evening/night, there isnt a peep out of them at night/evening, ever.

    My husband and I have to work 8 hours a day to pay our mortgage. Our next door neighbours (renting) recently complained to us that the dogs bark when we are not there. We hadn't known but we apologised, but there wasn't much we could do. They asked a couple of times when we'd see them outside, whether we had come to a solution to stop the barking.

    Then tonight the woman next door called in, guns blazing, F*ing and blinding at my husband, that she is going to call the district court and report us etc etc and my husband has been in tears since

    We are trying to find somewhere to buy citronella collars (we are hugely against the shock collars) to try resolve the problem, but what we want to know is, can our dogs be taken off us? What can happen? We are trying to find a resolution. Our dogs mean the world to us, we volunteer at the shelter, we donate to animal charities every month, we are not bad people.

    We are too... polite I guess is the word... to tell them we can hear them just as well as they can hear our dogs. Their child screams the house down, they argue a lot, bang around a lot, and scream at their child a lot. The walls are obviously very thin in these houses. I am not trying to compensate, I know a barking dog can be annoying.

    We are just looking for any advice

    Thanks


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,412 ✭✭✭toadfly


    Hi OP, are the dogs well exercised?


  • Registered Users Posts: 38 dmg11234


    Hi, yes they are well exercised


  • Registered Users Posts: 217 ✭✭spadesaspade


    the dogs might be in need of excercise. My dog was like this and he was walked every day. i thought this was enought for him but it wasn't. so i gave some local kids a few quid to just take him out on the lead with them while they played and he loved it and is exhausted when he gets back. Suppose they all have different characters at the end of the day. Hope you's get it sorted


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,576 ✭✭✭thebiglad


    I love dogs but our rear neighbour has a dog which constantly barks - if I am home during day, have to close the windows at back of house - particularly annoying in summer.

    You probably do not appreciate just how annoying it is, perhaps as soon as you get home they quieten down.

    I am with your neighbour on this, sorry.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Politics Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 81,309 CMod ✭✭✭✭coffee_cake


    Maybe you could bring them for longer walks in the morning before you leave?

    Could you also try practising leaving the house in the evening and having a listen - there are probably exercises you can do to get them used to being on their own


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,458 ✭✭✭ppink


    if i were in your shoes I would call the environment section of the council myself. you dont have to give your name but just ask them what the situation is with dogs barking during daylight hours.
    can you try to leave the older dog in for now? I would be scared to leave him out if they are that angry about it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,032 ✭✭✭✭tk123


    dmg11234 wrote: »
    We hadn't known but we apologised, but there wasn't much we could do.

    What have you done OP to try and sort the problem? What are they left with to keep them busy/entertained? How much excercise in the morning before work?

    Have you contacted the neighbors on the other side to see if the dogs are disturbing them - assuming they're not miles away.

    Have you set up a dictaphone/camera to try and find out what is making the dogs bark - there was a post a while back and it turned out the posters cat was strolling along the fence and setting the dog off :pac:

    Have you tried leaving in the morning to see if they freak out?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,874 ✭✭✭EGAR


    Control of Dogs Act states:
    Barking Dogs

    Excessive dog barking that causes a nuisance is an offence. Your District Court can make an order requiring the reduction of excessive barking by a dog, can limit the number of dogs that can be kept on a premises or can direct that a dog be delivered to a dog warden as an unwanted dog.

    You can make a complaint about excessive barking to the District Court under Noise Regulations. Before you do this, you must first inform the dog owner of your intention by completing a special form under the Control of Dogs Act, 1986. These forms are available from your local authority.


  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭Dan I Am


    From the tone of your post I think you must know in your heart that this is really not an acceptable thing to inflict on your neighbours (even if they are only renters:rolleyes:). As you say, they have already mentioned this to you 3 or 4 (or more?) times, and you haven't actually done anything to rectify the situation yet.

    You really should get onto this as a top priority before the situation escalates one way or another. Have you tried keeping the 2 dogs together inside during the day. It may not be your 'outdside' dog's favourite, but if the extra company helps quieten them down, well.. tough.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,327 ✭✭✭Merch


    I'm with your neighbour on this, you dont seem to appreciate how annoying this is, I'd love to have a dog/s but i wouldn't leave them on their own for that long. I considered I might not be able to get up way early to walk them to tire them out, plus dogs need attention, 8 hours without their master is a lot.
    I'd suggest putting the two dogs together inside, is the neighbours house attached to yours?
    I used to do nights and shift work and it was pretty infuriating not being able to sleep or even unwind on your day off just because someone decided to have dogs but spends all day away from them and then the poor animal barks incessantly.
    Dogs need lots of attention.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,842 ✭✭✭shinikins


    Hi OP, you are obviously in a difficult situation. Your trying to do the best for your dog, and I applaud that, but perhaps until you source citronella collars for the dogs you should keep the offending animal indoors? Your dog can be forcibly removed if the court finds that it is creating a nuisance. If it does go as far as court proceedings it is up to you to prove that you have been trying to find a solution that suits both you and your neighbour.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 51,687 Mod ✭✭✭✭Stheno


    Op I'd try keeping both dogs indoors, have you any idea why your second dog does not like being indoors?

    Have you tried leaving Kongs or chew toys with them to keep them distracted?

    What about getting a dog walker in to break up the day?


  • Registered Users Posts: 705 ✭✭✭CTU_Agent


    Hi OP, I have been in this situation in the past. Our neighbours dog was constantly barking every morning and night

    From the complainants point of view The process takes the form of:
    • Complain to the owner, ask them to address the dogs barking issues
    • If this fails, records dates, times etc
    • District court proceedings follow, inform owners of your intentions to go to court
    • Owner and Complainant put forward their arguments in court
    • If owners can prove they have taken reasonable steps to address the problem, most likely owners and dogs will be fine
    • If problem persists court can order the removal of the animals from the premises/fine etc etc

    I have two huskys myself and they really mean a lot to us, so if this was to happen we would be heartbroken. I would suggest a 'squirt' collar of some sort, and maybe some kongs (available at all pet stores)stuffed with treats to keep them occupied whilst at work. I have found milk bottles with the cap on full of treats to be useful, perhaps leaving both dogs together would help keep them busy?

    Barking dogs can be quite annoying for neighbours and I am sure, because I have been on both side,s that loud non dog related neighbours are very annoying too. It would be great if you could monitor the dogs behaviours whilst at work yourselves maybe with a recorder just to be sure your neighbours claims are warranted.

    Best of luck guys.....


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,772 ✭✭✭✭Whispered


    OP rather than find out where you legally stand with regards to your dogs being taken (and I highly doubt they can based on the amount of constant barkers around here) you're doing better to put your time into finding a solution. :)

    To be honest "there is not much we can do" is a bit of a cop out. I don't know if you ever lived with a barker near you, it's not nice and just because it's during daylight hours and not in the evening does not justify your neighbours having to listen to your dogs make noise all day. Think of an alarm going off all day, it's going to really annoy you. The fact they are renting has absolutely nothing to do with the situation :confused:

    I have to say, while I'm sure it was a horrible experience for your neighbour to go mad like that, they did try to speak to you about it first and you appear to have done nothing. They then reminded you a few times. I think it's wrong of you to compre day to day life noises of children, conversations, fights etc with the nuisance noise of two dogs barking all day, they are not comparable.

    Fair play for thinking of the collar, it's probably a good start - and I'm so glad to hear you say you disagree with shock collars.

    Your dogs are most likely barking through boredom or attention seeking. Seeing as how you're not there to give attention, I assume it's through boredom. If you didn't know thy were barking of course there is nothing you could have done, so since you were told, what have you done to try fix the problem? How long do they walk for in the morning? What toys etc do you leave for them? If you increase exercise dramatically, and change the type of exercise it should help. Maybe try finding somewhere for them to swim, even twice a week. Walks in new areas, allowing them to stop and sniff and explore, off lead time whenever possible and see if you can get a dog walker to break up their day. You can also try to give them more interesting things to do, kongs, toys, etc might make a difference.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,378 ✭✭✭ISDW


    Have they said whether its the inside or outside dog thats barking, or is it both of them? Maybe they really miss each other, and need to be together. If they don't bark when you're home, that could be because they are then together.

    Have you ever set up a video camera or similar to record them while you're out? A friend of mine had the same situation, and the neighbours were very aggressive to them, but when they recorded their home while they were out at work, the dogs were quiet. Until the neighbours came and banged on the doors, which they seemed to do throughout the day at different times:mad:

    If your neighbours are very noisy, then that could actually be making your dogs bark, if they are hearing people shouting at each other, they may like to join in.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,524 ✭✭✭Zapperzy


    ISDW wrote: »
    Have they said whether its the inside or outside dog thats barking, or is it both of them? Maybe they really miss each other, and need to be together. If they don't bark when you're home, that could be because they are then together.

    Have you ever set up a video camera or similar to record them while you're out? A friend of mine had the same situation, and the neighbours were very aggressive to them, but when they recorded their home while they were out at work, the dogs were quiet. Until the neighbours came and banged on the doors, which they seemed to do throughout the day at different times:mad:

    If your neighbours are very noisy, then that could actually be making your dogs bark, if they are hearing people shouting at each other, they may like to join in.

    +1 Set up a camera or webcam first to find out if it is your dogs barking (if your in an estate it may not actually be your dogs barking unless of course they can actually see them barking), and secondly to find out why their barking. Are they barking at something like a cat that hangs around, passing traffic, your neighbours argueing etc.?
    If it is boredom, give them things to ease the boredom, a short walk in the morning, some stuffed kongs, see about hiring a dog walker to come in half way through the day to bring him for a short walk, or even a willing neighbour who might pop in for 20 minutes to play ball around the garden to tire them out.

    Considering barking dogs is a common problem I highly doubt it is likely for anyone to take your dogs away. You still should do something to stop the barking though. I too live beside neighbours with incredibly loud children with parents who shout back at them equally as loud, those kids have also teased my dog through the fence and thrown 6' ft wooden lats among many other things at him over the fence, so I can appreciate how annoying that is too. :(


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,842 ✭✭✭shinikins


    We had neighbours many years ago like yours Zapperzy, they used to turn the hose on our dogs and throw stones at them. I crawled out by the side of the fence one day so they wouldn't see me, and had our own hose ready and waiting. As soon as they started pegging rocks over i leapt up and soaked them, never happened again.

    Its very possible that the neighbours have created some sort of trigger for the dog barking, OP has not said whether they are newly moved in. If they have just moved to the area and the dog is reacting to the new sounds next door, then finding a solution may be easier. Put a camera in the window and film the dog, see what makes it bark and start from there.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1 sharon ryan


    Hi,
    My husband and I are in exactly the same boat............we have two lovely doggies but they do bark outside during the day while we are at work. After a complaint from the neighbours we found an anti barking system from petsafe. Its a little device, looks like a bird house that you hang from a tree or a wall outside (its weatherproof). When the dogs bark it emits a sound that we can't hear but that they don't like. They haven't barked at all since we got it. It costs around sixty euro and takes one 9v battery (which will need to be changed about fortnightly!). We think its ideal a not as cruel as the collars. Good luck, hope it helps!:)

    http://www.petsafe.net/Intl/AU/Products/Bark-Control/Ultrasonic/Outdoor-Bark-Control.aspx


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,973 ✭✭✭Chris_Heilong


    If they are only barking during the day while you are at work then that should not be a problem, just because some unemployed git next door want to sleep till 1 in the day, tell them to suck it up. do you hear much noise from them after 11 at night, if so tell them you want to speak to their landlord that shoud scare them a bit. Dogs have the right to bark, just not 24 7.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,378 ✭✭✭ISDW


    If they are only barking during the day while you are at work then that should not be a problem, just because some unemployed git next door want to sleep till 1 in the day, tell them to suck it up. do you hear much noise from them after 11 at night, if so tell them you want to speak to their landlord that shoud scare them a bit. Dogs have the right to bark, just not 24 7.

    Sorry, I think thats a little bit unfair, the person next door might work shifts and be out working at night and home during the day. They may also have a young child that needs to sleep during the day. I don't know, but I just don't think that you can make assumptions like that.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,524 ✭✭✭Zapperzy


    If they are only barking during the day while you are at work then that should not be a problem, just because some unemployed git next door want to sleep till 1 in the day, tell them to suck it up. do you hear much noise from them after 11 at night, if so tell them you want to speak to their landlord that shoud scare them a bit. Dogs have the right to bark, just not 24 7.

    The odd 1 or 2 barks during the day yes I would deem acceptable, they are animals of course, but constant yap, yap, yap, yap, yap will drive people to despair. Not fair on people who work nights and sleep during the day, not only that but people who might like to relax in their own home, depending on where the dog is located and how loud the bark is the noise can come into the house through air vents and seem very loud to the point you have to turn the tv up to hear it properly, (the side of our house acts like a tunnel and echos sounds like dogs barking which then come in the vent, sometimes a dog may as well be in out sitting room if there's a dog barking outside somewhere).


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,973 ✭✭✭Chris_Heilong


    I just worry that the Neighbors are exaggerating, the OP has expressed that their neighbors are annoying and noisy and that they are aware of the fact that they are just renting, If the OP can put up with the noise from nextdoor then so should the Neighbor, what about the neighbor on the other side, have they expressed the same attitude towards your dogs?

    I remember we used to live(last year) beside a Jack Russel who would bark non stop, actually the only reason I can say this is because someone mentioned it while in the house, I had become so accustomed to it I could not even hear it anymore.

    Im glad everyone is giving the Neighbors the benefit of the doubt but it could also be the opposite case and the Neighbors are just not nice people, I agree with others, the OP needs to set up a camera and see whats going on.


  • Registered Users Posts: 370 ✭✭martian1980


    I just worry that the Neighbors are exaggerating, the OP has expressed that their neighbors are annoying and noisy and that they are aware of the fact that they are just renting, If the OP can put up with the noise from nextdoor then so should the Neighbor, what about the neighbor on the other side, have they expressed the same attitude towards your dogs?

    I remember we used to live(last year) beside a Jack Russel who would bark non stop, actually the only reason I can say this is because someone mentioned it while in the house, I had become so accustomed to it I could not even hear it anymore.

    Im glad everyone is giving the Neighbors the benefit of the doubt but it could also be the opposite case and the Neighbors are just not nice people, I agree with others, the OP needs to set up a camera and see whats going on.

    Explain "Just Renting". Does mean that they have less rights than owner-occupiers, or that their distress just doesn't matter as much?


  • Registered Users Posts: 45 Mistymaud


    OP, look at it this way, would you want to work all day with a dog sat outside the window barking? It's irritating at best. The fact is that no matter who your neighbours are they are entitled to go about their daily activities in (relative) peace and quiet.
    I've got 3 dogs and would be mortified if they barked all day. Heck, I can't stand it for 5 minutes myself.

    The other side of the coin is that one of the dogs is barking because of a reason and as a responsible dog owner you should want to know why s/he is doing this. The animal could be distressed at being outside all day.

    Dogs usually bark to call in the pack, so my guess is that your dog is bored. You say it doesn't like being in the house (I'm just presuming it's the one outside that is barking) so I'd hazzard a guess on it being destructive if you leave it inside all day? Why not get one of the balls that you put food in to keep it occupied, and, as other posters have suggested, a few toys to keep it entertained?

    To be honest I'm coming from the dog's perspective here (I don't think you say how long you've had them) but you have to look at how acceptable it is to leave 'some' dogs alone all day without them exhibiting stress behaviour.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45 Mistymaud


    Had another think about this one after re-reading your post.

    Firstly I agree that you should define the cause and extent of the barking. You can video the dogs or even get a dictaphone that activates on noise.

    Secondly you don't actually say whether one or both dogs are barking. You do say however that neither of the dogs bark when you are at home. This leads me to two conclusions; Firstly, any noise the neighbours are making is not triggering the barking, and Secondly, the dogs are more relaxed in your company (or possibly because both dogs are together at these times)

    You also don't say what behaviour the dogs are exhibiting to show they don't like being in/outdoors. I'm still with the destructive theme on the outdoor dog. Maybe it actually likes being indoors but you don't like the damage it causes?
    If that is the case then you have to try to amend the destructive behaviour rather than pass the problem on to your neighbours.

    You also seem more concerned that you are going to get into trouble/lose the dogs rather than anything else.

    Bottom line is, the neighbour did ask you, apparently a few times and quite nicely, to try and stop the dogs barking. You did nothing.
    The authorities will ask you exactly the same thing (although they will probably ask the neighbours to prove the dogs are causing a nuisance)
    If there is a problem and you have made no attempts to remedy it, then you will have to take whatever they hand out on the chin.
    Best thing to do is to make a genuine effort to establish the cause of the problem (and if it actually exists) and solve it. Best for all concerned and that includes the dogs - in fact, primarily it is for their benefit.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,327 ✭✭✭Merch


    I just worry that the Neighbors are exaggerating, the OP has expressed that their neighbors are annoying and noisy and that they are aware of the fact that they are just renting, If the OP can put up with the noise from nextdoor then so should the Neighbor, what about the neighbor on the other side, have they expressed the same attitude towards your dogs?

    I remember we used to live(last year) beside a Jack Russel who would bark non stop, actually the only reason I can say this is because someone mentioned it while in the house, I had become so accustomed to it I could not even hear it anymore.

    Im glad everyone is giving the Neighbors the benefit of the doubt but it could also be the opposite case and the Neighbors are just not nice people, I agree with others, the OP needs to set up a camera and see whats going on.

    Renting? so what
    Regarding what the neighbours on the other side say? they may be shielded from the noise by trees or just dont want to say anything because they dont want to get on the OPs bad side? I've seen that where people would tolerate barking dogs and a person that grumbled privately wouldn't say anything publicly because they were concerned about causing bad feelings
    Getting accustomed to it really isn't a long term solution, just because you might be happy with that doesnt mean anyone else finds that an acceptable solution.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 113 ✭✭suraheg


    why dont you try doggie daycare or a dog walker. theyre obviously bored during the day, hence the barking. try kongs too. work a treat


  • Registered Users Posts: 152 ✭✭crally


    hi

    i had this same issue before with my dogs. i kept them inside during the day. end of barking and hopefully happy dogs. exercised in the morning before you leave.


  • Registered Users Posts: 38 dmg11234


    Hi everyone thanks for your replies.

    I ordered the citronella collars that night and they arrived this morning. In the meantime the neighbours have been quite vicious with us, shouting remarks and the most recent was the husband barking at me when I in my front garden on Friday. He just stood there looking like a crazy maniac barking and giving me a filthy look, which really upset me.

    I have spoken again to my other neighbour and she insists that my dog only barks now and then, it is definitely not nuisance barking it is only when someone walks by or drives by

    Also thanks for the suggestions but I honestly have tons of toys - Kongs, squeaky toys, teddies, balls. I have left both dogs in the house today although I feel it is unfair on the younger one as she loves the garden.

    If this doesn't work I dont know what to do. I think some of you took me up wrong about the renting thing, I didn't say anything about them having less rights than me or anything.

    They dont work nights, they dont work at all

    The walls are very thin in the houses, I can hear them sneeze, argue, shout at their kid, walk up their stairs, can hear their kid scream and have tantrums, can hear them blaring music, etc, so obviously the walls are very thin but they also need to remember that that works both ways, I want peace and quiet too after working hard all day! I would mention this to them except I am quite scared of them, they are odd, especially after the husband barking at me.

    My dogs get walked in the morning before work and then again in the evening. They are like babies to us and in no way are they neglected or not loved. I WANT to get along with my neighbours, but they are difficult in every way. They complained when my nephews were playing in my back garden on a sunday afternoon last summer, they said they were being too loud (they were laughing and playing football)

    Thanks again for all your advice
    x


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,172 ✭✭✭cosmic


    dmg11234 wrote: »
    In the meantime the neighbours have been quite vicious with us, shouting remarks and the most recent was the husband barking at me when I in my front garden on Friday. He just stood there looking like a crazy maniac barking and giving me a filthy look, which really upset me.

    Whatever about your dogs barking, that kind of behaviour is harassment. I'd waste no time in reporting them to their landlord.


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