Approaching your neighbor can be a little awkward, uncomfortable and sometimes a bit intimidating, especially when it comes to talking to them about their barking dogs. Peoples dogs are like their family, and if they feel like you are being critical of them it could affect your relationship with your neighbor and the overall peace of your neighborhood. That is why communication in any relationship, including that with your neighbors is extremely important. You both have to live next to one another and any type of tension can make a simple trip to the mailbox a hostile one. We have compiled a list of the best ways to approach the barking situation and your neighbor.
It is important to take note when the barking is occurring and what might be causing it. Is it only when your neighbors are gone, when you come outside, when there is a loud noise like thunder or sirens, or is it constant? Document the times and for how long the barking occurs. We recommend doing this for about 2–3 weeks so you can see if there is a pattern and this will give you a good amount of evidence when approaching your neighbor.
Get a log to keep track of barking incidents.
Greet your neighbor, not when it’s 100° outside and they just got home with a car full of groceries, but when they are out checking the mail, or on a morning walk. Try not to start the conversation off about the dog. Make it more subtle by easing into the topic of barking. Something like “So my brother just got a new puppy, and he had a bad barking habit so they took him to a trainer and it’s like he’s a whole new dog”. Don’t ever approach your neighbor when you are already frustrated, things could quickly escalate.
Initiate contact with your neighbor through a polite note about the barking. You can write in the note that you would like to meet with them, and leave your number so you can successfully set a time to meet that’s good for both of you.
Here's a free printable version you can use.
Finding solutions to bring to your neighbor can be helpful. If you already have information on a bark deterrent such as the Dog Silencer, it can be beneficial to bring that information with you. Maybe your neighbor just didn't know where to go or how to even begin training their dog.
Be clear on your feelings and how the barking is affecting your daily activities. This would be a great time to show them the bark log that you created. Don’t threaten or make accusations, this can make your neighbor hostile and unwilling to cooperate.
This should always be the last step. If you have tried absolutely everything and your neighbor refuses to cooperate, or sees that there is no issue then law enforcement, animal control or your local HOA should be contacted. This is also a great time to bring your “bark log” and any other evidence that might help you get this issue resolved.