Few things in life are as annoying as having to listen to the constant bark, howl, whine or cry of another person's dog. The first reaction of many people faced with a barking dog problem is to call the authorities. But this is not always the best solution. This problem has been looked at nationally and the conclusions reached have been uniformly the same: Barking is a neighborhood problem.
Here are a few facts about the owners of barking dogs that may help you deal with what the situation:
- The owner of a barking dog often doesn't know the dog is barking.
- Owners may leave for work with a quiet dog in the back yard and return home to a quiet dog. The dog may only be barking because its owner is gone.
- The dog barking may be a comfort to the owner. Barking may tell the owner the dog is well and the property is protected. The owner may assume it gives neighbors the same feeling.
- The owner may be desensitized to the barking. People that are around barking dogs all of the time learn to tune out the noise.
- The owners may assume that because they haven't had anyone complain about the noise, that the barking doesn't bother anyone.
- Owners of barking dogs falling into the above categories are best dealt with as neighbors.
Letting the owner know that the dog's noise is disrupting your life can be very effective. People that do not first attempt to solve the problem as neighbors often begin long-term neighborhood feuds. Politely tell the person--in person, by text or email, or by phone--exactly what the nature of the annoyance is. Communicate things such as "I can't sleep"; "I can't hear my television"; "I work nights and sleep days"; or "I can't study because of the noise your dog is making". Neighborhood communication is a very important part of neighborhood security.
This Letter can be downloaded and printed at home to help residents solve barking issues between neighbors.
When to call us:
If these methods fail then you should call Northampton Animal Control at 413-587-1295. Do not try to silence the animal yourself or wait until you can no longer handle the barking. Tackle the problem early on.
If a normally quiet neighborhood dog is barking, you should check on the situation. Your neighbor might need assistance or they might have left the dog in the care of someone who is not showing up. If you need assistance in this situation, contact Northampton Public Safety at 413-587-1100.