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What to do with barking dogs in Canberra?

By Madam Cholet - 16 July 2010 80

We live next door to a rented property that is tenanted by two blokes with a large dog. The problem we are having is that when said blokes decide to go to the pub after work and not come home for hours the dog barks. And barks, and barks, and barks.

Basically, until someone gets home and lets her in.  The other weekend, no one came home…..so you can imagine what sort of night it was.

We have recently placed a complaint with animal services regarding the noise and as part of this have submitted a 10 day dog diary plus extensive details of how the barking affects us and what we have tried to do to resolve it.

I am wondering if anyone else has been through this process and what the outcome was.

What I have found is that we are in the dark as to what animal services are now doing.

They said that they would do spot checks on the property to try to confirm our complaint and also talk to neighbours.

I have no idea if they have done this. All I know is that they confirmed receipt of my documentation.

Can I be assured that they will check the problem out properly and try to be at the property when we suggest the dog barks? And then what happens? What can they do?

I’m not that hopeful, and with summer not that far away, I am really not looking forward to having to open the windows.

Other action we have taken is to talk to their rental agency and to the dog owner himself. The RE pretends to be interested, whilst the owner, to put it bluntly does not have much going on upstairs – and I’m not talking about the house they live in.

I also have concerns that this is a very large and unfriendly dog, (by the owners own admission), and that the RE has been somewhat derelict in their duty in ensuring that the dog is contained on the property. The owner of the dog recently received 64 stitches when his dog got into a scrap with some other large dogs outside the property.

I have a 2 year old son who enjoys pottering around the front yard with me and I am understandably worried that this dog is not trustworthy and that the fence that contains it is not secure enough.

Should I take this concern to the RE? Do they have a duty to ensure that when a dog is allowed on one of their properties that it is secure and that the dog is not a threat? I would say yes, but then again, I’m pretty fed up.

If anyone is able to offer me any light at the end of a very murky tunnel I would really appreciate it.

What’s Your opinion?


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80 Responses to
What to do with barking dogs in Canberra?
preacher 11:05 am 16 Jul 10

I’m there with Inappropriate. I had a yappy dog (since deceased), and had several unsigned notes from irrate neighbours.
Dogs generally bark because they’re bored or lonely.

If the neighbour doesn’t care, maybe you can take the active solution and walk the dog to try to wear him out. Unlikely to happen I know, because then you’re responsible for the dogs safety.
Dog anti-bark collars work, but if the neighbour doesn’t care, again, you’re out of luck.
De-barking is cruel and dangerous. And expensive for the neighbour. Cuts into their beer money.
Ultrasonic over-the-fence gizmos didn’t work on my dogs. Just confused him, and made him bark at it.
Marrow bones are a good solution, until you neighbour accuses you of trying to bait his dog. Marrow bones will actually wear out a dog.
Tams is useless. They don’t care. They’re just there to make you feel warm and fuzzy.

Best solution – either adapt, move or buy a good pair of earplugs.

Thumper 10:58 am 16 Jul 10

De-barking a dog sounds kinda harsh to me…

Ringbarking a dog is apparently worse.

Inappropriate 10:42 am 16 Jul 10

As someone who had a noisy dog that made the neighbours complain: TAMS did nothing. All I got was a letter informing me that someone had made a complaint and that they would be monitoring the situation, but nothing came of it.

In the end though, I got rid of the dog as she was better off elsewhere and not cooped up in a backyard all day.

Thumper 10:20 am 16 Jul 10

The owners never tell them to be quite.

Quite what?

Wraith 10:09 am 16 Jul 10

Two words – Air Rifle.

p1 10:09 am 16 Jul 10

De-barking a dog sounds kinda harsh to me…

M0les 9:57 am 16 Jul 10

I own a dog that likes to defend his territory (Mostly when we’re not there).
We got an amazingly cheap and tacky ultrasonic bark-stop collar of eBay. To my surprise it actually seems to work quite well. We only put it on him when we need him to shaddap (e.g. going out at night), because the low build quality has let it with a bit of a hair trigger.

_Maybe_ the dog’s owners would permit you to get one of these for their dog, but it sounds like this is not going to be a viable option.

OTOH, there are similar ultrasonic over-the-fence gizmos that look like birdhouses. Can’t say how effective they are or whether there might be legal/cruelty issues. I doubt it’s considered “cruel” as it’s very similar the audio-collar that vets prescribe (Anyway, seems less cruel than de-barking IMHO).

p1 9:56 am 16 Jul 10

Joker said :

Buy a bag of marrow bones and chuck one over the fence occasionally. That should shut it up.

I really like this answer. Practical, not cruel, reasonably cheap, and if you work at your interaction with the dog you might even be able to train it to shut up without the bribe.

Or you could poison the owners.

Rollersk8r 9:43 am 16 Jul 10

We’ve had similar problems, which we thought were finally over when the old dog died of natural causes. The neighbour then became highly abusive and accused us of killing the dog! We’ve been on great terms ever since! (As much as I may have felt like it at times, I would never kill a dog.)

Anyway – they went straight out and replaced it with an equally stupid barking dog, which they weren’t there to hear 95% of the time.

We did the same as you and submitted a complaint. They did come around to check and, after a long wait, sent us a letter saying that nobody else had a problem with it. Extremely frustrating. We’re just very lucky they finally realised how bored and neglected their pet was and they gave it away.

So on the one hand it’s good that there is a complaints process – but good luck with getting any result out of it.

Joker 9:24 am 16 Jul 10

Buy a bag of marrow bones and chuck one over the fence occasionally. That should shut it up.

UrbanAdventure.org 9:21 am 16 Jul 10

I’ve also had this problem. I’ve made multiple complaints, submitted multiple dog barking diaries and the lousy Queanbeyan Council does stuff all because to do so will cost money to take the dog owner to court. I found out the neighbour’s number and used to ring them up to ask them to please quiten down their dog. That didn’t work either because they’d just abuse me and let their dog continue barking. Other neighbours used to yell at this neighbour over the fence and more than the occasional firework were thrown over their fence. I myself felt tempted to do something akin to that, but retrained myself.

Really, the only options to resolve the issue in the end are the illegal ones. Since I’m law abiding, after three years of complaints the damn dog down the street is still barking it’s head off. Though I’m definetly not advocating it, I realise why people resort to poisioning dogs or dognapping them and dumping them in the bush.

I just try ignore the thing and live in the hope and knowledge that dogs live shorter lives than humans and eventually the bugger will die. Pity thye neighbours won’t.

I don’t hate much in life, but yeah, things that deprive me of sleep occasionally get put on my list.

Pandy 9:09 am 16 Jul 10

Leave a box of snail bait by the letter box?

Seriously, as a dog(s) owner, if they were causing neighbiours grief, i would have them de-barked.

BundahBoy 9:07 am 16 Jul 10

Kill them all

trickyxr 8:52 am 16 Jul 10

We have the same problem with next doors two dogs, We cant walk out our back door without the dogs going off, The owners never tell them to be quite. Someone has complained to the government as we recieved a letter in the post asking if we had any issues with the noise from the dogs, I replied that i did and that it was a real concern etc, 6 months later nothing has changed.

pptvb 8:50 am 16 Jul 10

I’ve always wondered how dog owners are the only ones that can’t hear their dogs incessant barking.
I’ve tried official complaints, un-official complaints, un-subtle hints, threats to owners, threats to animals…… none seem to work.
Good luck.

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