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Friday, 29 May 2009

Noisy neighbours

Recently new neighbours moved in next door to my semi-detached, country home with a screaming baby, unneutered Tom cat and a Golden Retriever bitch. I have three German Shorthaired Pointers, one male and two bitches.
The Golden Retriever is shut out in their garden for 30-90 minutes at a time and whines to go back into the house. If I let my dogs out for a wee or a bit of fresh air, the Golden Retriever launches herself barking at the dividing fence. Fortunately I had this raised to above 6ft some time ago, so she cannot get in. The neighbours seem quite happy about her attacking the fence, whereas I have to ensure that my dogs hardly go into the garden, other than to answer the 'call of nature' and I stand there with them, telling them to ignore the other dog!.
The whining in the morning particularly distresses my male dog, who thinks the Golden Retriever wants to get into our garden and so he barks. The neighbour then complained and told me that my dogs needed a 'dog shrink' but it is his dog that is causing the problem.
Should I put my house up for sale? The previous neighbours did not have a dog, nor did they make as much noise as this new lot. What can I do?
Angela Boyd


  1. Perhaps your neighbours are struggling to give their dog adequate attention, whilst coping with the exhausting demands of a new baby? You could always ask if there is anything you could do to help!

  2. I definitely would not go into the garden less than before. Why should you, you were happily living there with your three dogs. You shouldn't have to hide away because of this neighbour.
    I would try to get your dogs unfazed by the presence of the Lab next door and if it persists in jumping at your fence, let it, as long as it doesn't break it down.
    Quite honestly, it sounds a potential nightmare but the best thing is to be very calm and polite and carry on as usual.
    The new neighbour does sound rather uncivilised, I must say, so you will have to keep a steely but not unfriendly demeanour.
    I am in the same situation - we have awful neighbours - noisy humans, not dogs.
    We can't enjoy our garden because it means having to follow their every conversation, they talk so loudly. And they are sitting out every day!
    It's tempting to move. I hope you can resolve your situation.

  3. You are unlikely to change your neighbours' behaviour, so I too would concentrate on teaching your dogs to completely ignore what is happening on the other side of the fence! If your neighbours' dog receives no response (ie your dogs - understandably - barking in return) to its antisocial behaviour, you may find it gives up pretty quickly! Use your garden as much as possible, so that the neighbours' dog quickly considers you and your dogs to be commomplace and uninteresting...

  4. Hi Angela,

    You could always try the friendly approach.
    If your male dog thinks their Goldie is trying to get into his garden and objects maybe you could suggest to your neighbours that you introduce the dogs and they might become friends.
    Why not go for a walk together with the dogs on leads, then as they get used to each other's scent try walking them next to each other until they seem relaxed in each other's company.
    When and if you feel they are getting on well try letting them run around together in a large area like a field. (I would suggest just one of your dogs at a time though.)

    Maybe if they can become friends the barking will stop.

    It sounds like a lot of trouble to go to, but moving house is a lot of trouble too.

    If your neighbours have a screaming baby maybe their stress levels are higher than yours.

  5. Our neighbour deliberately bounces up and down on his trampoline making noises at the dogs - they go crazy! we have given up trying to ask them to face the other way and not antagonise the dogs. I need a 15' fence!!!!!!!!!We have planted trees now!

  6. How very annoying for you! I would definitely not sell just because of one inconsdirate neighbour - you could end up moving all over the place to avoid them!

    Instead I would use your garden lots as suggested above to get your neighbours dogs used to seeing yours. Hopefully they will then become so boring and common that the issues will stop.