Posted by: Linda B | July 27, 2010

can it last

woof exhaustion

Uncomfortable. Awkward.

Telling your brand new neighbors [who have given you fresh veggies out of their garden] that their dogs are a nuisance, you are at your wits end and have come over to voice your frustration… well, it ain’t that fun.

I can see why lots of people never get up the nerve to do it, or find someone else to mediate.

I get there a few minutes early and (husband) lets me in. Apparently (wife) is downstairs administering to one of the dogs… two of them got in a fight. [Irony]

Meanwhile the dogs are clambering all over the place, barking and jumping on me.  (Husband) invites me down and then goes back upstairs, so I’m pretty much just standing there.. then (wife) comes out of another room and there are a pile of tiny puppies all over the place [more!!!!!].

I begin.  I try to be “nice”.  Imploring.

I feel very uncomfortable having to come over. We just didn’t see any other option.  We looked at 80+ houses, turned down several REALLY nice houses in nice areas because of one or two barking dogs in the yard and selected THIS house because we thought it was going to be very peaceful and our place to just get away from the world.. and it’s turned out to be anything but.

We’re getting no sleep, he’s so upset by it he couldn’t even come over to talk to them about it civilly and that he’s talked about selling the house.. and we’d lose everything if we did that.

(Wife) says, “I’m flabbergasted. I don’t know what to say. I told you we had 10 dogs…..”

I remain polite.  I remember her saying she breeds dogs, but during our walk through [on both occasions] there were only two dogs on the property and neither of them barked at us. We had NO idea there would be 10 [TEN!!!] BARKING dogs all the time, or we never NEVER would have bought the place.  Breeding is one thing, ten dogs is another… and 10 untrained or controlled dogs is something else.

They start at 6 in the morning.. they bark for 45 minutes at a time.. they bark when I walk out the door to get the mail, when I sweep out front, water the plants, they have gotten into fights at the fence [one’s currently injured now!] when I’ve tried to sweet talk or befriend them. I told her I’ve inadvertently [lie.. it’s been on purpose] made note of the time it’s taken one of them to come out and collect their barking dogs.. and it’s been anywhere from 20 minutes to 90 minutes.  90 minutes.

We are unhappy in our new home because we can’t even enjoy sitting out by the pool and talking quietly.  I can’t enjoy working in the yard or gardening because of the barking.  We can’t have a decent conversation in our own yard with friends or family without the dogs being out and barking.  They are even worse when I try to walk (my dog)… and that happens three times a day – I told her I was proud of (my dog) – given how much she doesn’t really like other dogs and in the face of the aggression 10 dogs have shown… she’s been amazing.

I tried to let (wife) know that a good guard dog barks to alert you to a possible intruder and then ceases when you tell them it’s okay.. and that’s not what (wife’s) dogs are doing.  I offered to help (wife & husband) find a trainer to work with then. I offered to help research anti-bark collars or “bark buster” devices that emit a sonic noise or spit Citronella spray to distract dogs – I even offered to help pay for them if it was a matter of cost.

I offered to come over in the evenings to let the dogs get used to us in hopes that would help.

Her response?  “The dogs bark, but they’d never hurt anyone… dogs do that, they bark. I don’t know what you want me to do.”

(The husband) finally returns at this point and I went through most of it again [in varying format].    I feel bad for him – the poor old guy looked like he might cry.  His response?  “They really do bark a lot.”

I realize I am  just repeating myself and they are looking perhaps even more uncomfortable than I am, so I leave with an “Obviously I’m not looking for an immediate answer.. or for you to fix things by tomorrow morning, but I’d really like if you guys talked about it, let me know if I can help find a trainer… if you have any other ideas… I don’t want to us to be “bad neighbors” … so just us know if there’s anything to do to help… and .. uh… I’ll let myself out…”

And I do [and would have paid money to be a fly on the wall after I left; LOVE to know what they said].

It’s about 2 hours later now and we’ve only heard one bark the whole evening.   Can it last?



  1. Here’s hoping it does 🙂

  2. 1. Home dog breeders are a pox on society and should be banned. It’s nothing more than a puppy mill. 4 million dogs are killed each year because of puppy mills.

    2. There certainly be some government unit that intervene – is there not a noise ordinance, nuisance ordinance or perhaps even a kennel law that is being broken?

    We have four dogs and yes they bark, but when they do I am all over their case and bring them back in the house. That’s just being a good neighbor.

    However, with all that said: did you think a dog breeder would always just have two?

    Good luck – tough situation, but you handled it as an adult, hope they respond the same way.

    • 1. I would agree on a great many cases of home breeders.
      2. Animal control referred me to the police, police referred me to the home owners association. They actually listened and said to let them know if we need more support (apparently the Prez of HOA is a lawyer… sorta w00t!)

      Like you, I let my dog bark her warning and she gets one more if I think it’s worth it, otherwise, I’m on her to let her know it’s “okay” and that she can shush.

      Sigh. I guess I’m a fool for thinking a breeder would be considerate of their neighbors and take the time to train their OWN dogs in the face of trying to sell to others.

      24 hours later though.. not a peep.. or a woof in this situation.

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