Bark Free Zone

Wednesday, November 9, 2011   /   by Justin Hoffmann

Bark Free Zone

Dog barking and the complaints they generate are an ancient partnership. Police report barking dogs rank as one of the highest number of complaints they receive. The typical causes for barking dogs are boredom, someone teasing the dog, loneliness, separation anxiety, health issues, distractions, lack of shade, food or water, and breeding. In other words, they bark at anything and everything for good reason or no reason at all. But knowing that dogs bark for a myriad of reasons doesn't change the need to deal with it. Here are some hints:

Contact Dog Owner. The dog's owner needs to be made aware of the problem. Many have become oblivious to the noise so discussing the situation calmly can often bring relief. In many instances, dogs bark when the owner is away from the home and the owner may not be aware of the problem. Dog owners tell animal control officers that they wished someone had talked to them before calling animal control. Even a polite note on the door with your name and number to discuss the problem is preferable to bringing in hired guns first thing.

Contact the HOA. If speaking with the dog owner does not work, contact the board or manager to request intervention. Every homeowner association has a rule against nuisances so the board has the right and duty to act when informed of one.

Contact Law Enforcement. Let's face it, the world is not a jerk free zone. Sometimes, calling the cops is the last and only resort. Sic'em.

Here are some helpful and humane alternatives to cure a barking dog:

Dog Obedience Training. There are a variety of companies that provide training to stop barking. Ask a professional trainer to speak on the subject at the Annual Owner Meeting with an opportunity to leave business cards and brochures.

Dog Daycare. Putting the dog in a controlled environment helps prevent boredom and removes the problem from the HOA. Look at it this way, would you leave your small children at home unsupervised. Remember Home Alone?

Citronella Anti-Bark Collar. This device humanely sprays a light mist of citronella in front of the dog's nose when the dog barks. Dogs do not like the hissing sound or the smell of the citronella.

Bark Free. This electronic device made by Lentek responds to a barking dog up to 50 feet away by emitting a high pitched tone that humans cannot hear and that dogs do not like.

Creating a bark free zone in the HOA is a nirvana worth pursuing. Move over rover and let Jimi take over.

by Richard Thompson

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