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charli73

Neighbor Complaining About Barking..

85 posts in this topic

I would take whatever steps were needed to protect my dog from the crazy dog hating neighbour, if it meant debarking then so be it. Compared to a bait tossed over the fence or continual stress caused by harassment from a crazy person debarking is nothing.

Agree with this.

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I had a guy at our club who had the same problem with a neighbour "hearing" their dog bark - he put his dog into boarding for a week, informed the council he was doing so and asked the neighbour to record how many times the dog barked - neighbour still said the dog barked constantly. The council officer then went and told the neighbour that the dog hadn't even been in the suburb when they were supposedly hearing the barking. The complaint stopped right then and there.

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Steph M   

I had a guy at our club who had the same problem with a neighbour "hearing" their dog bark - he put his dog into boarding for a week, informed the council he was doing so and asked the neighbour to record how many times the dog barked - neighbour still said the dog barked constantly. The council officer then went and told the neighbour that the dog hadn't even been in the suburb when they were supposedly hearing the barking. The complaint stopped right then and there.

Much much much better than debarking. That seems like getting a scratch and lopping off your leg to me. Surely a last resort, try the boarding and video cameras. Perhaps ask your neighbours for statements and lots and lots of witnesses. Is it possible to have a minder come stay of a day? Lots of pet sitting services will drop in a few times a day for a play and a walk. It certainly can't hurt.

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Seita   

- You can go through freedom of information and get all the details of the investigation that Council has run which will tell you who lodged the complaint.

- If council isn't going to enforce any laws about barking or take any action against you then you have nothing to worry about from their end... my council will seize dogs if they are found to be causing a nuisance and the owner isn't cooperating...

- Someone mentioned bark count collars, again my council uses these and they are great but no better than video recordings which you are already doing.

- I think your neighbour could take you to small claims court and seek mediation etc or could go through to VCAT but they would need evidence that the dog is causing a nuisance and you could then also provide the evidence that your dog is not causing a nuisance.

- As for what action the complainer might take against your dog, can you keep the dog in the back yard and block any access to fences where the person could possibly throw something over the fence (bait etc?) or as others suggested keep dog locked inside when you are out to ensure that no harm comes to the dog. That plus a letter from a lawyers might work to stop the complaints once you find out who lodged the complaint.

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Have council got any good suggestions?

Perhaps ask them, "How far it can go?".

Be polite, reasonable and keen to stop annoying council staff over the issue.

I had a neighbour who blamed my dog for barking when it was hers! (a third neighbour complained0

Poor dog barked almost non-stop if she was out, but not a peep when she was home, even though it was in the backyard.

Complete Jekyll and Hyde.

Fortunately, was kind of obvious it was her dog as Golden Retriever at 30kg sounds very different to 7kg mini poodle!

E-collars (zap for barking) aren't designed to be worn for 8+hrs, so not an option if you're away 10hrs with work.

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- You can go through freedom of information and get all the details of the investigation that Council has run which will tell you who lodged the complaint.

Don't know about other States but not in NSW you wouldn't. The complainant's details would be supressed. You can only get that information if you or your dog was attacked by another dog and you were pursuing the owners legally for costs.

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Lollipup   

I'm sorry you are going through this - I can relate to the stress of it. We have lived in the area for 5 years with our 2 dogs. We never had a complaint and we would check with our neighbours from time to time whether there was any nuisance barking and they all said it was fine. We then bought our house and moved a few blocks over. I met the immediate neighbours and asked them to please tell us if there was ever any nuisance barking.

About a month after moving in I was at work and had 4 missed calls and a voicemail from the one mobile number. The voicemail abruptly informed me that my dogs were apparently barking all day every day, he is sick of it and fix it now. He didn't leave a name. I was very concerned. I put his mobile number into reverse phone lookup to see who he was and then confirmed by speaking to the neighbour behind me who it was and that he was a nutjob that hates animals and has complained about every dog and even cats in this area. He lives 2 doors up and the street behind me. I knew he was exaggerating as I had been home half the time so saying they were barking all day every day wasn't true.

I started leaving the dogs inside whenever I was out, I filmed them a few times and I made some alterations to the yard so that they could see less through the fences to bark at. I checked with all three immediate neighbours, two of which are home all day and none of them had an issue with my dogs barking excessively.

I then got two more calls from this man and let them go to voicemail again. Both times he called about my dogs barking - I was home. I had been home most the day both days and both times it was around 2:30 in the afternoon and something had made my dog bark for a few minutes at this time, for the first time all day. He immediately called to complain and in the messages said they were barking "all day" and "constantly." He basically sat there all day waiting for any barking then called me. He expects dogs to not bark, ever. He doesn't believe people should keep animals. There are a few of this type around and it sounds like you have also been unfortunate enough to live in earshot of one.

I have found out that he has complained about every dog in his street to the council, has left anonymous letters to people in my street about their dogs barking and about wandering cats threatening to lock them up if they come in his yard.

He eventually complained to the council. On a day that I know there was no barking. The council officer came and had a cuppa with me and was here for nearly 2 hours and observed no excessive barking. He played fetch with the dogs and there were a couple of barks during the play. I told him I'd get a phone call if it continued and he said that would be unreasonable as it's not considered excessive. He spoke to the complainer and advised him he did not find the complaint to be valid. The complainer said he had heard barking on Friday, when the council officer was playing with them. Council officer told him yes they barked a bit when they played with him and the complainer said, "well that's barking." He was told that it was not excessive and that he has to be able to prove they bark excessively for council to look into it again, which is something like 15 barks per 30 seconds or something. Thankfully I haven't heard anything since but I was stressed out.

When he kept calling me and I then saw him drive past my house slowly looking in, that was enough. I felt harrassed and very concerned that he might try to harm my dogs.

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mita   

She even says our dog barks at times we have gone out and taken the dog for a walk and she says we have lied. Even council says she is a bit 'odd'.

You're up against a person who has personal problems. It's not really about your dog. As you say, the other neighbours have supported you. There's been reality testing via that, as well as your records .... & it's on your side.

You say she's recently moved to your area. I'd bet my bottom dollar, this person has a history of making vexacious complaints. People like that, are no stranger to most councils.

Just out of interest, the Commonwealth Ombudsman has produced a manual about dealing with 'unreasonable complainants'.

http://www.ombudsman.gov.au/docs/better-practice-guides/Online_UnreasonableComplainantConductManual_CwthOmb.pdf

BTW Debarking doesn't silence dogs. It changes the pitch so the noise doesn't carry as much. When I first met debarked dogs (& didn't know it), I thought they had naturally sexy barks. Without the high pitches, the bark sounded husky.

Edited by mita

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pepe001   

The council man (ACT) I was involved with (re the dog reporting nutter) told me that over 95% of calls he receives about excessive barking were not about dogs at all but neighbours being unreasonable. He said the lengthy process required to take the matter further was designed to weed out a few nutters. I showed him my very large file on things I had been reported for and he was astounded that she was allowed to harass me so badly. But that is the point each section of the Gov must address complaints as they get it and not consider the history. In hindsight it didn't take long for each Dept to get sick of her. The police only too 3 visits before they told her they will not attend again. I guess they got sick of knocking at my door at 4 am and me answering the door weary eyes and in a dressing gown in the middle of a Canberra Winter.

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My neighbor complained about everything from barking dogs to signs down the street that were bent!!! people dont have a life...

Council letters phone calls and nothing could be done as the complainer has to have mediation with the people they complain about!!

So council has no power we also had 24 hour surveilance on all dogs recorded to hard drive as evidence so we had proof it was not our dogs.

Long story short this camera caught our neighbor throwing big rocks at our dog contacted rspca they did nothing as they could not prove it was my neighbor blah blah blah...

Then our dogs were baited with snail pellets all ok due to my quick thinking

In the end we made the neighbor move as we took care of the problem and made their life hell

Play the game complain about them everyday to.council ,epa, threaten them if you have too they will eventually cave and move in the end our neighbors moved right away changed their number plates and are shit scared they also installed a panic room in their new home so sucked in to them :-) dont f##k with the wrong people :-) hope this helps :-)

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Akayla   

Yes I have had a neighbour who made constant complaints. Council closed the case as it was proven without a doubt he was making false complaints. However since it was never about the barking but the fact my dog run blocked his view into my yard he took me to court. They do a pre hearing thing. He was told he would lose. Then he had to pay his lawyer and mine. That fixed it :laugh:

I will always fear he could bait them so they are in if Im out and I have a fake security camera.

He has been warned to leave me in peace and my lawyer will take action against him if he does not. His harrassment didnt start with council, that was just the end of a long story.

So keep recording and doing the right thing. If it does go further they will be the ones to look silly.

PS - I didnt read the whole thread so sorry if my post is no longer relivant.

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charli73

I was going to suggest going for a walk around your neighbourhood and telling them to let you know directly if they have any problem with your dog. I have a neighbour across the road who hates barking dogs but he's met mine and me and he's never complained about her. And she does bark some.

When I'm out she stays inside. That's me being paranoid plus there is no proper shelter for her in the back yard.

There's quite a few nutters in my burb who have complained about the barking of dogs that are not actually there at all. Some of the nearby dog owners keep a log of when they're home, when they're not and where their dogs are. And council checks (eventually) and are quite good at picking the nutters from the serious complaints.

One nutter actually goes and yells at his neighbour's dogs and then complains when they bark. If anything, he's training them to bark more.

All I can suggest now is keep in touch with your council and where they're at with it. If they think the person is a nutter, you're pretty safe. If they think you need to do something they will let you know in writing. Meanwhile - I keep my dog inside when I'm out. As it's much worse - legally - for someone to break into your house to get at your dog than it is for them to chuck something bad over your back fence.

And (the Victorian) council can't come into your house without your permission either, but they can go in your back yard.

I think the council rules and local government acts vary from place to place. I've never heard of "mediation" for dog barking or anything else.

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I had this problem a few years back because my front lawn grew too long (yes, really) The neighbour complained over and over to the council about my dogs barking all day (Step 1, they are shibas, they don't bark much,they scream/yodel)Council came out to check about 5 times, all the times my dogs were asleep. In fact, they didn't even bark at the strange man walking up to the gate. (Memo to future shiba owners, not big on the whole guard dog thing...) The guy from council was fine and ignored all complaints from my neighbour after that.

Er, she passed away a few months later, so that doesn't help at all.... :o

Edited by cannibalgoldfish

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Steph M   

In the end we made the neighbor move as we took care of the problem and made their life hell

Play the game complain about them everyday to.council ,epa, threaten them if you have too they will eventually cave and move in the end our neighbors moved right away changed their number plates and are shit scared they also installed a panic room in their new home so sucked in to them :-) dont f##k with the wrong people :-) hope this helps :-)

I would seriously advise against this. If they don't move, you're pretty stuffed. I would move myself if at all possible, if not the dogs would be in daycare or with a minder outside the home when I wasn't there and I would be doing meticulous checks of the yard and contacting the police every time this happened. Making them fear you is just the worst idea I've heard.

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The OP has already said she doesn't have time or the inclination to fight this, why people bother to suggest playing games with the neighbours and reporting them for essentially nothing is beyond me

It would be easier to have council declare and then get the dog debarked. Debarking if done properly can leave the dogs virtually silent. There's a couple of great vets in NSW who can manage this and I'm sure there'd be some in Vic too.

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Rosetta   

I can't believe the attitude to debarking in some of these posts. It is totally inappropriate to advocate such an extreme response to this situation. I can only say I am glad that debarking is strictly controlled when it seems to be the first option considered by some people. I can only recall hearing one dog that had been debarked and it made a hideous noise. It should only be used when the alternative is PTS IMO.

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Sorry, can't advise on council/ neighbour, but can you have dog inside when you're at work?

To minimise noise?

Noticed lots of people seemed to do this in Canberra - lots of dog barking at me, looking thru windows, but much less noise on the street!

I would consider having the dog inside too

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