My Neighbors Leave Their Pandemic Puppy Outside and It Barks All the Time | Ask the Rev. | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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My Neighbors Leave Their Pandemic Puppy Outside and It Barks All the Time

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Dear Reverend,

My neighbors got a pandemic puppy, now a full-grown dog, that they leave in the backyard for long periods of time. The dog barks at anything that moves for hours on end or whimpers and whines to be let back inside. On a recent Monday, it had been outside and barking long enough to sound hoarse when I got home at 6 p.m. It continued to bark for another hour and a half before someone came to let it inside. I don't know what to do. It's so distressing to have to listen to and is driving me crazy. I don't know these people, and I rent my apartment.

Dog-Eared (female, 45)

Dear Dog-Eared,

Most dogs aren't considered adults until they are at least 2 years old. The pandemic has only been around a little more than a year, so your neighbor's dog can't be fully grown yet. Hopefully the fuzzy buddy will outgrow the barking stage, but there are some things you can do in the meantime.

Try to find a way to befriend your neighbors and bring up the barking in a nonconfrontational way. It's possible they have become accustomed to the noise and might not realize how annoying it is for others. If talking to them face-to-face isn't your cup of tea, a polite note might do the trick.

Before you contact them, keep track of the times the dog is barking for a few days so you can let them know when it's the most bothersome. Look up a few dog trainers in your area that you can suggest. Perhaps recommend they try a bark collar or an ultrasonic bark-deterrent device. It's always good to offer solutions rather than complain about the problem.

The barking isn't going to stop overnight, so you should also figure out ways to better soundproof your house. Keep your windows and doors closed. Play music, run a fan or get a white-noise machine. Anything that keeps you from focusing on the barking will help you maintain your sanity.

As a last resort, if the problem goes unresolved, you can file a formal noise complaint with the authorities. However, if there's ever reason to believe that any animal is being abused or neglected, contact your local police or animal control immediately.

Good luck and God bless,

The Reverend

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