How to Bark Back

I have a dog situation.

A few weeks ago, I started hearing a dog barking in my parking lot. My building faces several apartment buildings, so it took me a minute to figure out that the barking was coming from the balcony of one of those buildings. A dog is often on that balcony–it appears that it can go freely in and out of the apartment.

The barking doesn’t happen every day, but when the dog decides to bark, it continues constantly for hours. The saddest thing is that it’s a sad bark–it is not the bark of a happy dog. It’s an anguished bark.

I don’t know if anything technically wrong is happening, much less something illegal. I’ve thought about calling in a noise complaint, but do police care about dogs that bark too much? That’s pretty much a dog’s only job.

And if I did report it, how would I even tell them where it’s coming from? Literally the only description I have is, “That balcony over there.” (see photo–the building’s parking lot is gated)

What do you think? Have you ever encountered anything like this?

4 thoughts on “How to Bark Back”

  1. I don’t know about where you are; here in San Jose, CA there are “good neighbor” mediation services provided by the county through the animal shelter to try and resolve things peacefully. To get a true complaint filed, you’ve got to have corroborating statements from surrounding neighbors to build a “class action” case (for lack of a better term). I’m not sure what the penalties are for continuing to allow a nuisance barker to annoy the neighbors. I’m sure it can amount to fines and possibly end up with the dog taken away.

    If the owner is gone all day working, they may not know that the dog is making people crazy. Alternatives to the current situation would be: crating the dog inside when he’s gone and hiring a dog walker to take the dog out sometime during the day, or (probably preferred) putting the dog in a doggy daycare & training facility during the day.

    You might be able to get the apartment number from the property manager.

    • Interesting. That sounds like a lot of work!

      When the dog is in bark mode, it happens late into the night. I think the owner knows about that. But you’re right that they may not know about it during the day.

  2. Well then that may rule out my original thought that it was separation anxiety… unless the person actually works night. I can’t imagine the owner would want to live with that racket when he’s trying to sleep. Not all areas have neighborhood programs this extensive. You should maybe see what your local animal shelter’s website says – or what the City’s noise ordinance says. However, if it doesn’t happen every day, I’m not sure they’ll be too excited about it.

    My former neighbors had a dog they didn’t take care of and never let in the house. The thing would bark and shriek at the fence every time my dogs went outside. That dog finally died. Blessed silence. Then a couple months later I heard a yap from next door. They had gotten another puppy! Ack! I came home one day and found that puppy greeting me in my driveway. I disappeared him and got him adopted through a friend who does dog rescue. It wasn’t long before I saw Moving Sale signs on their house! WOOHOO! But I digress…

    • Sara: I’ll keep an eye on the owner’s presence. He/she seems to be home whenever I glance over there at night, but that’s circumstantial.

      That’s awesome of you to take action to help the neglected dog!


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