In my last blog I talked about fencing, which is one of the biggest causes of disputes amongst neighbours, but an equally common cause of disputes is barking dogs.
While your neighbour is away (and sometimes even when they aren’t), their dog can get up to all sorts of things, least of which is incessant barking, which can cause strain on your relationship.
So how do you approach a neighbour about their barking or misbehaving dog?
If you know your neighbour:
- Go and talk to them when you see their car in the driveway, and mention to them that their dog has been barking quite often and that you thought they should know.
- If you have done the first step and things haven’t improved then pop over again and let your neighbour know that their dog’s behaviour has become rather bad of late, and that you think something might need to be done so the neighbourhood doesn’t get cranky about it.
- You may like to ask other neighbours if they’re feeling the same way as you about the dog in question, and see if they can approach your neighbour as well. If multiple people raise the issue then this may increase its importance with the dog’s owner.
- If the issue doesn’t go away and it is really bothering you then you can contact the Moorabool Shire Council. This should only be done as a last resort though, as it can cause friction between you and your neighbour and it could potentially make for a very unpleasant situation for everyone involved.
If you don’t know your neighbour:
- If you’re not comfortable knocking on their door and talking to your neighbours then write a note and pop it in their letterbox. Put your name and house number on it, and word it very politely so that they can approach you for further information or talk to you about it at a later date. It’s best not to be anonymous as your neighbours may want to find out if the problem is fixed or not, so they’ll need to know who to ask.
- If you know other neighbours or people in the community, you can do the same as in step 3 above.
- If things done improve then drop another note in the dog owner’s letterbox, and maybe look up and suggest some local dog obedience classes. It’s best to word your letter as a concerned animal lover, showing that you’re empathetic and trying to help with possible solutions rather than simply complaining.
- Again, as a last resort, contact the local Council for further advice on handling the dog barking situation if nothing improves over time.
It’s important to remember that some dogs take time to settle in and get to know their surroundings. If you always keep the dog’s best interests in mind, you should find that the problem can be solved by helping the owner realise that there is a problem that they need to fix.