I'm an Australian mother who writes in her free time. I enjoy writing lifestyle and "how-to" articles.
How to Approach Your Neighbour About Their Barking Dog
Each year, thousands of people make complaints to local government bodies about their neighbour's barking dogs. So many complaints are made that many local councils now have their own brochures and webpages specifically outlining what actions you can consider taking if you are experiencing offensive noise caused by your neighbour's dog.
Usually, the council will advise you to attempt to resolve this matter with your neighbour yourself before making any type of formal complaint. This is because your neighbour may not be aware that their beloved companion is causing a disturbance, and if you make them aware of the problem, they may be able to rectify it swiftly without any formal investigations being needed.
Confronting a Neighbour About a Dog
This advice seems reasonable, however, the problem is that it can be quite difficult to approach a neighbour about this subject, especially if you don't know them well and can't judge what their reaction may be. Or maybe you do know them and know they adore their pet more than anything else in the world! You might also be afraid that what you have to say will come across the wrong way, and that your once-friendly neighbour may go to war with you forever (or at the very least, start an argument with you while you're standing there at their front door and your other neighbours are listening).
The Dog Owner May Not Be Aware of the Problem
Some people will make a formal complaint without speaking to their neighbour as they are too fearful to approach them. This might be understandable, but it might also cause greater distress for the dog owner who may not be aware of the problem their pet is causing you. It may come as a shock to them when they answer their door one day and are greeted by a government official. How would you like it? Others, due to the same worries, will just put up with the dog's barking and not say anything.
Why Writing a Letter Is a Good Option
Another option is to write your neighbour a non-threatening letter about it. Here is an example of one such letter that could assist you if you decide to write to your neighbour about their barking dog.
I am your neighbour at number 120 Sunny Street. I'm sorry I don't know you well, but my name is Victoria and I've been at this address with my husband and son for two years. We also have a new baby girl.
I don't mean to cause you any upset, but for the past few months, I've noticed that the dog in your yard has been barking very early in the morning, starting at around 6 am. It seems to bark constantly for the next few hours, and I thought I should make you aware of this, as you may not be home at this time and, therefore, may not be aware.
Unfortunately, the noise seems quite noticeable inside our house, even with the windows and doors shut, and it has been disturbing our sleep in the mornings.
I am a pet lover and don't mean to cause you any distress, I just wanted to inform you of this so that you may have the opportunity to find a solution to our problem.
With kind regards,
Additional Tips for Confronting Your Neighbour
Notice that in the sample letter, there is no threat made to make a formal complaint, and the tone of the letter is friendly and factual. Here are some additional tips for writing:
- It's important to let your neighbour know what times you are hearing the barking because this may assist them in addressing the cause of the problem.
- You could send the letter anonymously without your address details in the first paragraph, should you not want your neighbour to know who wrote the letter.
- Some dogs are considered part of the family, so you do need to be sensitive about approaching your neighbour with a complaint about their dog and in the wording of the letter you write to them.
Why Is My Neighbour's Dog Barking?
Dogs bark for a variety of reasons:
- It dog could be tied to a fixed point and unable to move around freely.
- They could lack the proper food and shelter conditions.
- It could be bored and lonely.
- It may be distressed and/or in danger.
Make sure to rule out any immediate problems. Should the dog require professional assistance, you may want to take a different approach.
Video: How to Report Animal Cruelty Cases
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Tiana on July 07, 2020:
My neighbour has two large dogs, small house. Dogs bark the whole time neighbour leaves property. They stop when neighbour gets home. I have spoken nicely heads up dogs barking. Iv offered mediation and after 3 years sent a letter re barking dogs. Council has been involved but I live rural and have no witnesses. What can I now do. My live feels like purgatory in my own house. 3 years consistent to intermittent barking. Help!
~ on March 31, 2020:
Agree with the person below, it should be pretty obvious that a barking dog disturbs your neighbours.
Grrr on March 29, 2020:
You say how sensitive the letter should be but are the dog owners being sensitive? At all?
Karima on February 27, 2020:
How to write formal letter dog barking?
nilakshi on February 23, 2019:
Michael. on September 19, 2017:
Barking never ends.
Tomas Straupis on May 04, 2017:
This should work unless your neibhor is a complete d**k. Great writing.
T on February 22, 2017:
Thank you so so much! Our neighbor's dog barks all night long. I am going CRAZY!
J on October 21, 2016:
Thanks so much for this! Great way to keep things friendly in the neighborhood while dealing with a very difficult subject.
Bruce on October 02, 2016:
NICE SAMPLE LETTER!
Brandee on June 05, 2016:
Thank you this is very helpful.
CaliGirl on November 30, 2015:
Thank you so much for this wonderful template!
AustralianNappies (author) from Australia on February 16, 2015:
They can be so annoying and really impact on your lifestyle when they're left to bark like that!
peachy from Home Sweet Home on January 01, 2015:
i have 2 neighbors with noisy dogs. In front of my house, the neighbor has 3 small dogs that barks like mad dogs. Behind my house I have another neighbor with 3 small dogs too, barking like nobody business. Other neighbors did talked to them but they ignore because they are rich people
AustralianNappies (author) from Australia on August 31, 2014:
Anne Gillingham from Los Angeles, CA on August 28, 2014:
Very good, actually.
addarsh on November 19, 2013:
Nicole Moana on June 17, 2012:
Iv been trying time figure out how to approach my neighbour behind us, I think your letter format is the best way to go. Great wording :)
Tubias on May 15, 2012:
Great help thanks. Very diplomatic....
AustralianNappies (author) from Australia on April 07, 2011:
Thankyou for your comment Teylina. RSPCA stands for The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
AustralianNappies (author) from Australia on April 07, 2011:
Thanks Simone Smith, I appreciate your feedback.
Teylina on April 07, 2011:
Good hub. Informative. Hope some people w/barking dogs get your point about excessive barking being a symptom. In the US, we have the ASPCA (Association). What's the R for? Curious. Regional, maybe?
Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on April 07, 2011:
GREAT template -people can be rather touchy about their pets, and you've dealt with that emotionality very well. I just might be using this!