The power of empathy

February 25, 2023

Many times I am contacted to help with nuisance barking – it can be from the dog owner of the dog itself or a neighbour subjected to the nuisance barking.

It is simple but not easy: it takes a community to help this dog! Why? Because it is hard to develop a training program to find an amicable resolution without relevant information. It is hard for the owner to do anything, especially if the dog is barking when the owner is absent. Cue the drumroll – neighbours who are home more than the owner can help! It must be noted that the following might not help at all:

  • Hitting the dog or the fence.
  • Verbally yelling at the dog in an aggressive/frustrated manner.
  • Teasing the dog through the fence (normally children).
  • Hosing or throwing objects at the dog.
  • Your own dog is starting or barking at the fence, setting off the other dog’s nuisance barking.

I like to use the template from the rangers and ask the dog owners to give it to their immediate neighbours (those who are home most of the time) to take notes for two weeks of the following:

  • Date, time and duration of the dog barking.
  • Reason for the dog barking (if known, e.g. cat on the fence, children teasing, etc.)
  • Noting what is happening in the immediate area, the dog is barking (is the neighbour doing gardening, etc.)
  • Where the dog is barking (front, back or side of property).
  • Any other relevant information to assist the dog owner in dealing with the issue?

I love how one of my friends sent this letter (I hope the copy is clear, let me know if it’s not) to one of her neighbour’s whose dog was a nuisance barker:


You May Also Like…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *