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How can I make my neighbors' dogs stop barking?

In this 20-40-60 Etiquette Extra, a panel of area men answer a question about barking dogs.
Oklahoman Published: April 1, 2013
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You also could discuss the barking at your local homeowners meeting and try and get direction from the board members on neighborhood guidelines regarding excessive noise. There is no reason for you or your husband to feel trapped in the situation, as communication can usually fix the issue.

BRAD MCNEILL, 40s, owner, A&B Paving: If dogs are constantly barking then you need to say something to the neighbors. If they bark whenever you go out in your backyard then you need to say something to the neighbors. If the dogs bark at your kids playing in the backyard then you need to say something to your neighbors.

You live in your house and shouldn't be a prisoner in it. Be cordial and “neighborly” when you discuss things with the neighbors. Don't be angry or you will create a problem that is far worse than a barking dog. It sounds like they are aware of the potential problem so they should understand. If the problem continues, then call the police. They can get cited for disturbing the peace and that will get their attention.

SCOTT KINNARD, 50s, chief executive officer of A La Mode Inc.: It's obvious from their comments the neighbors knew their dogs could be annoying when they moved in. So, they won't be surprised when they're told the barking has become a problem. If they ask about the delayed reaction, it's appropriate to let them know their dogs were tolerated as long as possible.

CLAY HEALEY, 50s, Owner, AIC Title Service, LLC: It is never too late to bring it up! Your neighbors went to the trouble of telling you to contact them, so by golly shoot 'em a friendly email or initiate a friendly lawn conversation and mention that lately the dogs have been barking an awful lot; is there anything you can do? They initiated the discussion in the first place, so it seems ultimately proper to bring up the issue if you do have a problem.

RON JAMES, 60s, independent oil producer: Your husband has every right to enjoy the comfort and tranquility of the home. If your neighbors are taking that away from him by not controlling their dogs, then something has to give. He should go next door and let the neighbors know that the dogs are a real problem. Hopefully, they are like the vast majority of neighbors here in Oklahoma and they will take the necessary steps to quiet the neighborhood.

Bad dogs have bad parents. This problem is their responsibility to correct.