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funkdaddy's avatar

Neighbor's dog bellows all day, is there a fix?

Asked by funkdaddy (17765points) November 5th, 2015

One of our backyard neighbors has a fairly large (~60lbs) dog that is left outside each day, I’m assuming while they aren’t home. The dog spends most of the day half howling/half bellowing about every three seconds for hours at a time.

The first time it happened about 3 months ago, I assumed the dog was in distress so climbed the wooden fence to have a look. The dog has shelter, isn’t tied or tangled, has food and water, and basically just looks bored while it bellows. When it saw me, it started barking like a normal dog would. The dog is essentially fine, but does this for several hours each day.

And it’s not as if anyone’s dying because of the noise. It’s annoying at about the same level as a smoke detector with a low battery, so I hoped the dog would get used to being outside and stop. That hasn’t happened.

I was going to drop a quick note to the neighbor, but I really don’t have any solutions to suggest, or even know if it’s a problem that can be fixed. They may also just not be aware he’s such a persistent vocalist.

Dog friendly flutherers, is there a cause and fix for the “I’m alone in the back yard” puppy blues?

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15 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Many options.
You could talk to the owner, or call the cops. Maybe poisoned tog dreats.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Don’t know if it will work BUT Ultrasonic Anti Bark Off Limiter it would be worth a try. Just get a lot of 9 volt batteries.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I suffered from this same problem a number of years ago. We have noise ordinances where I lived at the time, so I called the police. They instructed me to call animal welfare, which I did. They sent an officer who listened to the noise for 10 minutes and issued a citation.

I suggest you call the police and ask about your alternatives. It is a serious problem that affects the quality of your life.

Of course, I would also suggest you talk to your neighbor first, if you can.

Coloma's avatar

The owners have an obligation to keep the dog quiet for the neighbors sake. I’d agree with and suggest, what @Tropical_Willie mentions, a bark collar. If used correctly the dog will soon be conditioned to not bark and after awhile they could probably remove it and only use it if the problem returns.

filmfann's avatar

A guy I knew used an ultrasonic device. He stayed up all night, hitting the button just after each bark. It did the trick, though I don’t know how humane it is.

Pachy's avatar

I’ve suffered the same maddening problem for eight years and never found a solution. But @Hawaii_Jake has motivated to contact animal control again.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I used to have a Weimerana living next door to me. When his owners were away, he would moo like a cow. I seriously thought they’d bought a calf at first! It was a long time ago, and I can’t remember what they did to stop him mooing. He was just lonely for his human mum and dad. They didn’t believe me at first when I told them about the noise. And then the owner came home, parked up the road and walked down so he could hear for himself. Sounded just like a cow and quite loud. I just checked with the person, and apparently he just stopped doing it. That doesn’t help you much, apart from the idea that I think the dog was missing his owners. Perhaps a radio or some noise playing during the day might help.

syz's avatar

Dogs are social animals – to lock one away by himself all day every day is cruel. I would gather some information on doggy day care for them.

longgone's avatar

The cause will probably either be boredom, or genuine separation anxiety. The first one is more likely, and it’s easier to “cure”, too – so I’m assuming it is that, for now.

Does the dog get enough exercise and mental stimulation? If he doesn’t, this will be difficult to stop. Dogs who go stir-crazy are truly suffering. Their days consist of endlessly repeating routines, and barking is the only way they can relieve their daily boredom, even if it’s just for seconds at a time. People who can’t afford to spend time with their pet should not own highly social animals.

If he does get daily exercise and fun, you have a few options:

Suggest a dog walker (if the dog likes people) or a doggie day care (if the dog likes dogs). Are there any dog lovers who have extra time on their hands in your neighbourhood? Older people who can’t afford a dog for themselves? Teens?

There are toys dogs can play with on their own. I’ve heard good things about Tether-Tugs, and my young dog loves his giant herding ball. There are also balls which move around.

Additionally, there are various toys which dispense food. If you could get your neighbours to stop feeding the dog from a bowl, turning his days into scavenger hunts, that would help both the dog and yourself. I like Kongs, and the Kong Wobbler. The Wobbler can be filled with kibble, the regular Kongs can be filled with canned food, or anything that fits into them. Then, they are often frozen. That will make them last longer. Dogs love Kongs because chewing and licking are calming to them, much like humans sucking their thumbs.

Both spray and shock collars are abusive, if they work. Good rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t use it on a toddler, don’t use it on a dog. Their grasp of the world is comparable, as is their likelihood at becoming traumatized or feeling pain.

ibstubro's avatar

I think @Earthbound_Misfit has probably hit this on the head: “They didn’t believe me at first when I told them about the noise.”

They’re probably totally oblivious and will take action when notified.
I’d just say to them, “You probably don’t know this, but…”
Then if you have an email address, you could record and hour of the noise and email it to them. lol

gondwanalon's avatar

Good communication with the neighbor helps. My neighbor is oblivious to the relentless barking his dogs do. I have to go over there and say something like, “John your dog has been barking for the last X hours straight. Please do something to make him stop.” That works for a while until a few days later when the relentless barking starts again.

funkdaddy's avatar

Thanks for all the responses and ideas.

I don’t really want to call the police, it just has a way of escalating things that I’d rather not be on either side of. That and I’m so sick of having the police called on me when I walk around the neighborhood after dark that it feels hypocritical. Totally understand there are times for it, just not this one.

The “neighbor’s” yard butts up to mine, but to get their front door it’s probably 10 blocks because they’re on a cul-de-sac that doesn’t really connect. I think I’ll probably scope the yard out again when the dog is back there and see what he’s got to play with. Then drop a note and toy of some sort on their porch with my contact info. It seems the best first step to actually getting it fixed, and that’s worth a few dollars and a note card.

I’ll let you guys know how it goes and thanks again.

longgone's avatar


That seems like a great idea. Good for you!

If you happen to get a foot-dispensing toy (which I’d recommend), try giving it to them already filled, if you can pull it off. I’ve given out Kongs before, and people tend to just stuff them in a drawer somewhere. Can’t put away a Kong filled with canned dog food – and once people see how happy and busy their dogs become, most will be motivated to re-fill.

RocketGuy's avatar

Those ultrasonic things work on my neighbor’s dogs – they stop barking after a few beeps. Mine needs a new 9V battery every month. Thank goodness for Costco.

jca's avatar

I agree with a conversation rather than a call to the cops. Dogs are pack animals and when there’s no member of their pack (which can include humans), they get anxious. What the dog really needs is another doggy friend. The owner is probably oblivious. Maybe he’s not home all day so he doesn’t realize. It’s sad for the dog. He really needs a friend and he also needs an advocate.

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