neighbor's dogs BARKING!!

Posted by Daisy
Sep 24, 2009
The folks across the valley raise some kind of cattle protection dogs. They are large and run along the fence barking at cars passing by, us when we go up to check the ,mail, and at all hours at night or day. It probably doesn't bother them because they live higher up on the hill & the sound is reflected towards us not them. Others living on our side have complained, but to no avail and the dog's owners are very defensive about it. Any advice on how to approach them about this & still remain good neighbors? There are only a few people living in the valley and we all have large pieces of property (ours is 470 acres), but peace and quiet is one of the reasons we are here. A suggestion to contact the authorities won't work, others tried it. The dog breeders husband is a semi retired judge and the good old boy network works here in parts of Oregon.
Posted by KOPsarah
Sep 26, 2009
Hi daisey and thanks for your post,
This is a tricky situation indeed and one that is very hard to fix without cooperation from the owners or authorities. Do you have an inclination as to why the dogs bark for example does it seem to be territorial or boredom related? You could suggest a number of small changes that may help, to your neighbor without being too offensive for example you could try starting by saying you are a dog lover and you know dogs love to bark and communicate but you think the dogs would be happier if they got to know everyone in the little area better so that they would not feel anxious and protective every time they saw you going to the mail box etc. If you can get the dogs to know you and other neighbors well this could really help cut down the barking or at the very least you may be able to call out to the dogs when they start barking and they should recognize your voice and calm down.

You could also suggest toys, chews and other distractions for the dogs or even 'gift' them to the dogs with the owners permission. You could maybe talk to the owner about putting something over the fence along the road so that the dogs are not alerted every time the smallest thing happens outside their territory. This should make the dogs calmer which will surely be of benefit to the owners.

All of these possibilities rely on the owners cooperating and a bucket load of tact and patience on your part which will be very frustrating especially if despite all your efforts they show no interest. I can definitely sympathize with your situation and if I can think of anything else you can try I will let you know. In the mean time maybe you will have to make some contacts on the inside with the authorities too!