Chief: What Can I Do About Barking Dogs?

Canines can present neighborhood problems, the police chief says.

To the chief: I enjoy reading your articles and wanted to submit a question hoping you can give me some guidance on something. We have a neighbor who has two dogs and they have the Invisible fence, so that is nice, the dogs stay in their yard and do not wander. 

However, these dogs are left outside a lot and they bark almost constantly.  They are left outside for long periods when the owners are not home.  It’s just very disruptive to us to hear those dogs barking all the time. There have been many times where they will bark for an hour non-stop and it can really get on your nerves. I find it cruel to the dogs, but also inconsiderate as a neighbor as well to have this continue.

What I really wanted to know is what the best approach I can take is. Should I just simply contact the owners and alert them of this to see if they can consider keeping the dogs inside or getting a dog collar to prevent or reduce this barking?   

I just don’t want to create any neighbor tensions here by doing this, but I really cannot stand it anymore.  Your feedback is appreciated.


I understand your concern and frustration as many town residents have dogs however, not all dog owners are adept at making sure that these pets do not disturb their neighbors.  

I don’t know what relationship you have with your neighbor so I have no idea how they would react if you were to confront them with this issue.  Are your neighbors actually aware of the barking when they’re away?

In many cases, involving the police has a tendency to strain relationships between neighbors and could cause long-lasting tension that could be difficult to mend. On the other hand, everyone has the right to the quiet enjoyment of their property and not be subject to disruptive noises such as barking dogs, loud music and other disruptions.

Depending on your relationship, you may wish to speak with your neighbor and inform them of the situation. You can simply tell them that they are probably not aware of the disturbances created by their dogs because they are away. If they are reasonable, I’m sure they will take the necessary steps to ensure harmony in your neighborhood. 

If not, and the problem persists, then I recommend that you call the police department and we will have the dog officer investigate. Also, if you feel that the dogs are being neglected or mistreated in any way, call the police department immediately. 

Good luck with your situation and please let me know how things turn out.

Anyone with questions for the Chief’s Column may submit them by mail to the , 28 Providence Road, Grafton, MA 01519. You may also email your questions or comments to chief@graftonpolice.com. Please include an appropriate subject line, as I do not open suspicious email for obvious reasons. 

Normand A. Crepeau, Jr. is Grafton's Chief of Police.

Aud Egan June 12, 2012 at 06:07 PM
I have 2 dogs that bark and to prevent offending my neighbors, we got a citronella collar from amazon.com. It sprays citronella on the dogs snout when it barks and they learn very quickly not to bark when the collar is on. Now, most of the time, all I have to do is SHOW my dogs the collar and they'll shut up. It's humane, doesn't zap them but they really dislike the citronella spray.


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