I have an intermittently barking dog, annoying the neighbors

I have 2 dogs. One barks, one doesn’t. I have new neighbors too. I have only spoken to the wife, and she seems nice. But she mentioned that Trooper’s barking was super annoying. I have a doggie door and he and the cats use it like Grand Central station. She said her husband was a trucker and he got up at 3 am so could I please keep him in from the evening on. I apologized and said I would. I have been bringing him in by about 8 or 9 o’clock. And he doesn’t bark continuously. I think he is barking at squirrels or raccoons but he will run back in the house and sleep and then go thru all this again.

The dogs both sleep all night. Last night, I brought him in a little early, and closed the back door around 7:30 or so. I got up around 5 to go to the bathroom, and Toffee, the old dog barked at me, I thought she wanted me to let her out, so I opened the door. Trooper must have gone out too. I never heard him barking, but when I got up this morning, my phone light, (land line in living room) was blinking. She called me to complain about him barking. I feel bad about this, but am resolved to keep him in from 7 to 7 I guess. I am retired and home all day. He mostly sleeps close to me. When I do go out, upon coming home I always find him asleep in his crate. I leave it open and he spends a lot of time in it.
I don’t want to make them angry, and he is in the house most of the time, but it is annoying when he starts barking. I was just looking at bark suppressing collars, but I have no idea what works and which ones don’t. Other than his barking, he is a very good dog. I realize that is a big but.

I have bought several toys and he isn’t the slightest bit interested in them. None of my dogs have ever been interested in catching balls or chasing them. I am pretty sure he is bored. He is a spaniel, not sure if he is more springer or cocker but definitely a spaniel. I was only told his people were old and couldn’t care for him anymore. He seems delighted to be here.

I am timidly asking for advice on bark suppression collars. I read most of the threads about barking dogs but this one is a little different than all those. I don’t think the citronella will work as he loves to get wet. As opposed to the other who doesn’t want to go out for days when it rains.

I don’t have any suggestions but want to thank you for taking the issue seriously and trying to resolve it.


Unless his barking is constant and a true nuisance, neighbor needs to be proactive in keeping windows closed, sleeping in ear plugs, noise machine to limit the disturbance.

Most noise ordinances don’t start till at least 9. What would happen if they lived to loud kids playing in the backyard. Keeping your dog in from 7-7 is not reasonable. I’m all for being considerate, but you get to enjoy your property as much as they do. If they really want quiet they need a large property.


Folks, geting a larger acreage might have been useful 150-200 years ago, when acreage was abundant and activities were often dictated by sunrise/sunset. But we’re long past that. Dogs are PETS and yes, they are a LUXURY. Barking dogs, especially during the night can be extremely disruptive for sleep, even if the barking is infrequent. In both the thread on “arena dust” and this thread, I find the overall attitude to be willfully ignorant and selfish. Why do you think so many laws and regs have been developed over the years including noise nuisance? Cause so many folks are only concerned about “me” and “what I want”. Sound travels, especially at night. Wind carries dust. Water carries soil downhill. Activities that produce anything that could be carried past your property line should be a consideration. and efforts made to reduce negative impacts.

That’s why I commend this dog owner for trying to find ways to mitigate her nuisance dog. She’s not being like the parents of screaming, shrieking kids who have learned to tune out the mayhem and expect everyone else to deal with it because “kids will be kids”. There is no reason for the dog to be allowed to bark during certain periods. He can be trained (unlike some humans who are too self-centered and obstinate). So to the dog owner again …



I agree that keeping him in 12 hours is silly. Maybe from 9pm to 7am is more reasonable. If her husband is sleeping at all different hours I can see how barking would be a nuisance if he is trying to sleep.

Maybe you could take him for walks during the day to help with the boredom and he may be happier to be in more.

One of our current dogs is a barker. Especially in the morning and evening when she is outside. I am thankful we have no neighbors anywhere near us.


I have heard to train them not to bark first you teach them to bark on command this leads to teaching them not to harm on command.

With the citronella collar I am guessing that it is the smell not the moisture that is being used.

Thank you for being willing to do something about a barking dog that is disturbing the neighbors.

It is the worst thing in the world to be trying to sleep, to NEED to sleep so you can do your job the next day, and having the neighbor’s dog constantly wake you up. Been there, done that.

We’ve always had Shelties. Otherwise known as yippy, yappy, spinny dogs. They were crated when we were not home. If we let them out during the day we’d keep an ear out. If they needed to go out at night then I’d stand on the back porch and wait. (This was in a neighborhood on postage-stamp sized lots.)

I’m not opposed to trying a collar, but what worked for us is supervision. They were house dogs. They just didn’t get to go outside by themselves for long enough to cause trouble. Yes they went for walks and played fetch in the yard and were with us if we were outside.


OP, would it be possible to make certain that outside time at “night” is supervised by you, so that if Barky McBarkerson needs to go out at zero-dark-thirty, he goes out, does his business and then comes right back in?
I wouldn’t think of it as “keeping the dog in” from 7-7 - you’re just limiting his unsupervised time. You can (and absolutely should) let him out later in the evening (or earlier in the morning, as you and he need), but if he can’t hang out there quietly, then why subject your neighbors (and yourself) to unnecessary noise?

ETA: @wsmoak - great minds think alike! :grin:


Bark suppressing collars work very well. You can choose to only have it on the dog when it is outside. They are activated by the dog’s vocal cords so they arent random and the dogs can do all other dog things. Take it off when you bring them in so they can bark inside as an alarm if necessary.

eta - I would not use a citronella collar. That is a punishment because the scent still affects the dog even after it stops barking.


Electronic bark collars worked very well for us. TSC purchases, let the dog bark once, then zapped on second bark. Dogs learned QUICKLY that zap was self-inflicted for continued barking. Such collars have to be fitted snugly on the neck. Depending on the hair coat, you might need to trim hair for better skin contact. Collars NEED removal part of the day, says so in the directions. Batteries have a limited life if they prevent a lot of barking, may need replacing often. My big dog learned quickly when barking was proper and what to ignore, so she only wore the collar for a short time. The 2 little dogs wore collars most of the time outside, no self control. Collars off when they come in.

An alternative could be muzzles. Many models available now. My daughter uses both the rubber and steel wire models to prevent her 2 females fighting. Both very dominant and not willing to give in to the other. Muzzles prevent Vet visits!! They can still make whiney noises, get drinks, but not bark or bite. Muzzles are a blessing so they can spend time outside playing and running in the yard, not crated all the time. She spends a lot of time walking, playing with each of them individually, so no one is just ignored.

I would check outside when I heard a bark, to find the mail or delivery person outside the fence. They pretty much did not bark at squirrels, birds. The big dog would bark at the motor bikes, I think the whine they make hurt her ears. The smaller dogs got with the program pretty fast, seldom more than one bark with the collars on. Shelty cross and a Corgi, both of which breeds hear EVERYTHING for miles around and announce it! I could not stand the barking, pitched to hit your last nerve, so I got the collars for me! If it bugs me, barking has to really bug the neighbors. We are country, but houses are not far apart. Long, skinny parcels. Sure do not want to annoy the neighbors!!

We are dealing with a similar situation because a kennel won’t control her dogs barking. This has been going on about 5 years now. Dogs outside bark loudly and continuously at random times, day and night. She is a nasty person to deal with unless you are a prospective buyer of a puppy. Shutting the windows does NOT help. Even wearing earplugs inside the house does not prevent hearing the dogs barking!! Neighbors banded together to attend Township meeting to complain. Everyone got to say their piece, it was all about the noise, not being able to sleep. She put on a real show acting so put-upon, crying, “her dogs are her life!”, how she was always being harassed by neighbors complaining to Animal Control. Actually AC refuses to take any of our calls, we get no response from him because he likes her. No more than 3-4 complaints on record against her for those years!

The Township Board told her flat out, barking is under HER control, fix the problem!! They have imposed several conditions to her being able to keep the kennel license. Have to say it has been incredibly quiet the last couple days!

I thought the Board was “reasonable” in their decision about conditions. Don’t think she will continue being peaceable after the 90 day test time, but MAYBE she will change.


Sorry but when living close together neighbors have to be reasonable in their expectations of each other. Dogs may be a luxury but are not robots. They are going to bark. Unless you live somewhere that has specifics about no dogs, you are going to hear them. It’s unfair of neighbor to complain every time the dog barks after 7pm. If it was after 9pm/midnight then neighbor would have a leg to stand on.

OP is awesome for wanting to help out her neighbor but it doesn’t seem like a reasonable request to me. OP can use strategies to keep her dog quiet but chances are, he’s going to bark occasionally.

Former townhouse dweller that understood dogs gonna be dogs.


Our dogs will bark at random stuff. I’m sure they could be annoying if we let them. They are inside with us and outside with us. We like having them with us. There is no reason for them to be outside alone. We can take them for walks to keep them exercised and satisfied. Our chore times are during reasonable hours, and usually, when it’s still light out. We take them out for night and morning potty times on a leash or under supervision. Nothing more annoying than an early morning barker when you’re trying to get that last hour of sleep. Dogs are happier and neighbors don’t complain.


Well, I talked to her today. She called me and she was friendly but it sounds to me like she would like a 7-7 curfew. He has been in here with me most of the day. He actually likes going out and frisking about in the yard, but then he started barking. Only lasted a few minutes.

The other dog is pretty old and has started being incontinent occasionally. She would never do that before, (she is 14 I think.) She doesn’t like going out at all. When it rains, she has begun to poop on the deck… Doesn’t like to wet the white slippies. But yesterday, she pooped in my bedroom, right by the open back door. Today, I went to the grocery store, and took her with me. Gone about a half hour, and she pooped in the car. Fortunately, her poop is solid, and not messy, but this is getting to be a problem. I know she wouldn’t do that in her right mind, but when she pees on the floor, she is lying in it. So I am sure she isn’t aware she is doing it. Poop, I dunno. I hate to deal with both of these at the same time. She has never liked going outside. If she could live in the house and never leave, she would be happy.

I have a doggie door to my solidly fenced back yard. They come and go as they please. Mostly, they are pleased to be as close to me as possible. I just now have to close my back door at night. I am not sure a 12 hour curfew will work, but I will work with her for now. It would be nice to actually have a friend next door.

I do have a dog, a terrier cross, and I’ve had neighbors stop to comment “oh, I didn’t know you had a dog”. And that was after I’d had her for 2 years. She’s not a robot and gets to live a dog’s dream life but barking at home or in the yard just doesn’t happen.

Sounds like there have been some good suggestions which is great to see. Best of luck!


I wouldn’t use the citronella collar. It sounds nice in theory, but dog noses are a lot more sensitive than ours are.
You can try an electronic bark collar. I would just issue the caution that I’ve seen dogs become more anxious and fearful with them. You have to monitor how it goes and be willing to ditch it.
I think that the best solution is probably not what you want to hear - go out with the dogs. Dogs don’t really find the best things to do on their own.
However, as far as my dogs never barking at home or in the yard … it’s a lofty goal, and one some people might not find necessarily desirable. Dogs can be a good deterrent for crime. I don’t enjoy dogs barking at night over nothing, though - and honestly it usually happens when a neighbor with an odd schedule chucks the dog outside really early or late. If you go out with the dog, you just don’t generally have the issue of nuisance barking.

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I’m sorry you’re dealing with that. Senility can happen with dogs. I’m not sure that’s incontinence related, but it might be. There is a medicine that helps older, spayed dogs hold their urine. Maybe your vet can help.

There’s no reason your younger dog can’t frisk in the yard and bark by day (ours do). There is a balance there. I have to be careful to set up our dogs for not barking when I don’t want them to because I don’t want to shush them too much. I need them to bark when they ought to. We’ve never had a doggie door, but if your older girl needs it, maybe you can put up a baby gate and set her up where she can go in and out as needed, while your younger dog is more contained?

I’m glad things are friendly with your neighbor.

Dogs outside barking during sleeping hours is not ok. Back when we were still blithely unaware, we’d let our dog head out alone to do his business during the night and he would occasionally include a short bark session at some nocturnal creature before coming back in.

We’re on enough acreage that I had no idea this was bothering the guy across the road, also a trucker. He let us know rather harshly (lack of sleep I’m guessing because he turned out to be a very nice man) and our dog was never out late at night again without us on the other end of a leash. That’s how we solved it.

I would negotiate 9pm-7am. 7-7 is not a small ask on their part. Any time your dogs are out after 9pm try to be with them.

For many dog owners it’s routine to walk the dogs in the evening. It wasn’t for us, we’d just open the door and out they’d go. Now I actually really enjoy that short walk before bed.

I’m sorry to hear about your other dog’s health problems. That must be worrisome!


The electronic bark collars work super well. My rescue dog used to have anxiety about me leaving and would just bark his head off until I returned. The rescue said they couldn’t place him because his barking problem was that bad.This was when I was in college and was not even supposed to have a dog in my no pets apartment (super responsible of 20 year old me, I know).

I didn’t love the idea of a bark collar but it was literally the best option between that, getting evicted, or getting rid of my dog. I still have the same bark collar 8 years later and I’ll use it any time he’s in a situation where I know he will be anxious and bark his head off unless the collar is on.


haven’t read all the comments, so if this is redundant i’m sorry.

I would: Take up my dogs’ water bowl at 6pm. I would take them out on a leash, (front OR back door, because when you have them on a leash it doesn’t matter if you go out along the road or not…and take them out one at a time if you can’t handle both at once, from 8pm until 8am.