While it is normal for dogs to bark as a form of communication, too much barking can become distressing to neighbors. When is barking considered excessive? Intervention may be needed if you hear a neighbor’s dog bark multiple days a week for an extended period of time.
Reasons dogs bark:
- Protecting territory or to threaten intruders. This type of barking can include growling and usually includes fast, multiple barks in short, loud bursts that typically end once the stimulus is gone.
- Social isolation or boredom. A slow, repetitive bark that can go on for more than 15 minutes at a time. May include howling or yowls.
- Anxiety. A dog may feel fear or anxiety when left alone. The dog might also bark when they hear, smell or see other animals in the area who startle the dog.
What you can do to help:
- Many times, the dog’s guardian is unaware of their excessive barking. Don’t assume they don’t care! Approach your neighbor with a willingness to help and be understanding of their circumstance or situation.
- It’s best to keep an open line of communication with your neighbor. If your neighbor gets to know you and learns about the situation in a non-threatening manner, it is more likely they will be willing to help solve the problem. If you approach them from a place of empathy, they will be more likely to empathize with your situation, too. If they feel threatened, they might become defensive and less likely to comply.
- Be patient! It can take some time for the pet guardian to change routines and for the dog to begin responding to new training. If the barking doesn’t subside after two weeks, ask how things are going before assuming your neighbor hasn’t tried. Begin keeping a log of when (dates and time of day) and how long the dog has been barking and inform your neighbor whether things are improving or worsening.
When to get Animal Control Officers involved:
- If you suspect an animal has been abandoned, does not have access to shelter or is deprived of food or water, please contact our animal control dispatch number at 626.792.7151 ext. 102.
- If the pet owner has been made aware of your concerns and has not taken action to rectify the situation, you may contact our Animal Control team or visit our website for information on the process of filing a formal public nuisance complaint against the pet owner to declare their pet(s) a “public nuisance” under the law.*
*Pasadena Humane handles barking dog complaints for our Animal Control service areas only. Visit pasadenahumane.org for a complete list of service areas.
We are always here to help! You can find additional behavior and training resources at pasadenahumane.org/behavior.