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It may surprise you to know that Barking dog complaints far outweigh building noise and even late-night parties as to the winner in the noise complaints Department.
Shire Rangers are often caught in between angry neighbours and dog owners trying to find a satisfactory midway point between the parties.
The Dog Owner's view
Dog Owner "But it's a dog - and dogs are meant to bark" - "He's meant to be barking tell me when there is a problem" - "But I want my dog to bark" - "I have lived here for over xx years and never had a complaint before"
The Neighbours point of view
Neighbour "I don't mind the dog barking but not so late at night/Early in the morning/For half an hour non stop" - "I tried asking them to stop the dog barking but they did nothing about it" - "I am worried that the dog needs help with all the barking it is doing"
Both parties are correct in what they are saying and requesting - and at the end of the day, each person has a different 'tolerance level' for barking dog noise. For some people the noise goes unnoticed... for others, it can be like "slow water torture" OR... "Finger Nails down a BlackBoard"
So the Shire... who are charged with the 'unenviable duty' of keeping the peace, have to find some way of encouraging the dog owner to take action and do something about keeping the neighbourhood protected from excessive dog barking noise in order to stop the complaints. But... a dog should still be allowed to bark.
So what we are searching for is an... 'Acceptable level of Barking' There... I said it...
Ok... in my opinion folks, a dog is at great risk if it is left as is, and continues to bark and be a nuisance in the neighbourhood. Have you ever heard of or think that people may take things into their own hands if a dog continues to bark for months, and deprive them of sleep (or their family/babies/schoolchildren) We don't live in a perfect world.
This has been quite a hard question to answer and I would like to hear some comment on this - let me know how you decide what is excessive? ... Vets, Rangers, Senior Rangers... CEO's ??? lets hear it.
The Barking Dog Criteria - What is 'too much barking'
Some shires have set strict criteria, but it would also usually involve assessing the individual situation and even monitoring the house and the dog taking into consideration the reports, log-books and their own observations. This takes valuable time and man-power, shouldn't a dog owner take note and save the shire from these arduous duties?
At what point would a shire consider that a complaint is justified and that action needs to be taken?
- What times does the dog bark, how long does the dog continue to bark, AND, how many 'Barks' equals 'a bark' (Ok, sounds funny but, is one little 'woof'... a bark?)
So, it doesn't seem to be such an easy task to decipher an issue that has so many variables and points of subjective decision making. But someone has to make a decision and take action to see the results are produced.
lets, for the sake of saving a 2-hour 'debate' set aside the issue of 'neighbour vengeance and retribution'
(you know what I'm talking about... "He poisoned my tree because it was dropping leaves in his pool so I'm gonna make his life 'Hell' by complaining about his dog"
So here's the thing - If a neighbour is prepared to knock on someone's door or send them a letter (even though it might be anonymous) then they have pretty much had it up to the back teeth with the barking dog noise.
It takes a lot for someone to pluck up the courage to let someone know that their dog is disturbing the normal peace and quiet that they would expect to be entitled to in their own home.
Given the above, if you do get a note or something saying that the dog is barking too much, don't let the situation continue to the point that the rangers become involved (if they have not been as yet) --- Take Action ---
I would not go complaining to a neighbour about loud music unless it continued frequently and was of great disturbance to me... (So we should also remember that everybody's tolerance levels are different)
So working from that example, a neighbour who has put up with the barking for quite a long time may have been building up steam to the point where they think the right thing to do is to let the dog owner know. Then... It's actually reached a serious level well before the owner may even be aware that their dog is causing a nuisance.
Well we just opened up another contender for the big issues that we (and the rangers probably) hear all the time... "We're at work, so we don't even think it's our dog when we're home our dog never barks at all"
We are all living a lot closer in smaller yards and more than likely live in a 2 person working family, kids at school, Mum and Dad at work. Dogs hear more noises, can't see the cause and then start to learn a barking habit (along with other stimuli of course). Loneliness and possibly over-protectiveness when the rest of the pack is away can all be reasons for barking - but not an excuse, unfortunately.
It may not be your dog; it could be the dogs in your neighbourhood - Here are a few suggestions on how to reduce barking dog noise to an acceptable level but allow your dog to bark when it is needed and appropriate.
5 Easy steps to help reduce barking dog complaints.
1. Look at the reason the dog is barking and take note of the time of day. This will give a good indication as to the cause. You may be able to remove the cause or leave the dog in an area away from the cause.
2. Entertain and Distract – A dog at home alone needs to be kept mentally active.
3. Try blocking off the dog's view of the street or put up a barrier to move the dog away from busy streets or footpaths.
4. Engage the services of a home dog walker for a ‘lunchtime playtime’ a friendly neighbour may be willing to pop over to have a pat. Introduce your dog to the neighbours (your dog may find that they are not worth barking at after all). Your dog will become familiar with them and the strange noises they make.
5. Barking dog products. Speak to a specialist about products for retraining barking habits.
That Barking Dog next door…
There are products available to help control barking dogs next door or around the neighbourhood. The Out Door Sonic Bark House uses an uncomfortable high-pitched noise to distract the dog from barking.
Obligation-free expert advice 7 days a week. Rent before you buy options, 12-month trade-in policy, free training guides and videos, 60-day return policy and the best price guarantee to ensure that they get the very best solutions.
Call us now for more information - tell us a bit about your dog and the barking issue and we will see what we can suggest helping.
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|The Dog Line - Helping to make life easier for dogs and owners. Barking dog solutions, Escape proof Hidden Dog Fences, Dog Training Collars, and advice. Call seven days a week for a FREE consultation on having a well behaved and happy dog... 1300 THE DOG (1300 843 836) www.thedogline.com.au|