As a leading California home inspection company we have encountered our fair share of unruly pets. But we only have to spend a few of hours with the noise of a barking dog. What about the homeowners living nearby?
Barking dogs can cause problems between neighbors, especially those that share walls in a townhome community. There are some tools and approaches that can make solving the problem easier, thus avoiding poor relationships with neighbors and costly legal battles.
You may be the owner of a barking dog, a homeowner/renter living with the noise from another neighbor’s dog or an HOA representative trying to find a solution to this problem. In any case, read on for effective ways to keep the peace in your residential community.
When You Are the Dog Owner
You may not even be aware of the extent of your dog’s barking. Your pet might behave like an angel when you’re at home, but that doesn’t mean this is true when you’re gone. If you receive a complaint from a neighbor, your HOA, or an animal control agency, take it seriously. The last thing you should do is ignore the matter and allow the situation to escalate.
First, you might take your dog to the vet to be sure that it isn’t suffering from a health condition. Next, consulting a professional dog trainer may help identify ways that you can train your dog to stay calm while you are away or at home.
You might also consider investing in an anti-barking collar. Not all of these collars involve shocking your beloved pup. A variety of anti-bark collars are available, some emit high-pitched sounds, while others spray a blast of citronella that can startle/repel a dog and cause it to stop barking. After a training period with an anti bark collar you should be able to take the collar off as your dog should learn that barking comes with undesirable consequences.
When Your Neighbor’s Dog Barks Excessively
Listening to a neighborhood dog barking incessantly may drive you crazy. Whether a nearby pooch keeps you up at night or interrupts your daytime routine, you can take steps to handle the issue. In most cases, your first step should be to discuss the problem with the dog’s owner. This person may not even realize that the barking is happening when he or she is not at home. If it happens when he or she is present, your neighbor might have grown immune to the sound.
If your neighbor refuses to cooperate, be sure to document your efforts, as well as the times that the barking occurs. You might be forced to contact an HOA representative or the local authorities for assistance.
When You Represent the HOA
Noise issues such as this can be problematic for HOA representatives. When a local resident raises this issue, you should consult the HOA rules and policies for guidance. If you are called upon to enforce a rule about barking or other noises, be kind and gentle in your delivery. Try to offer solutions to all involved parties, so the problem may be diffused instead of exacerbated. Often once a problem reaches the HOA manager there is already some bad blood between neighbors. It likely won’t be easy to reach an agreement on a resolution to the problem, but hopefully your community has established rules to cover the noise issue, and the parties involved are willing to compromise.
While you may encounter resistance to any change, gently suggesting possible solutions to reduce the problem may help. Try suggesting: training, anti-bark collars, confining to a crate or indoors (if typically left outdoors), close drapes to muffle noise and obscure visual stimuli, play a radio or TV to create a familiar noise to mask possible triggers, disconnect or silence phones or doorbells if they tend to trigger barking. Even providing information on pet sitters or pet care facilities could help. Providing this type of information, and not just letters and fines, will help you to establish a better relationship where you are seen as genuinely trying to help resolve the situation.
HomeGuard Home Inspectors: A Trusted Local Resource
HomeGuard is a leading California home, roof, and termite inspection service, providing inspections in the Bay Area, from San Jose to Novato, as well as in Greater Sacramento and now San Diego in Southern California. We are also a top provider of NHD reports. Contact us today for more information or call 855-331-1900.