My neighbors dog won't shut up...
Here in Reston, most of us live close enough to our neighbors to know if they have pets. Often times, and at inconvenient hours, we can hear the sound of a dog barking, and for some, it never ends! You can call animal control for a noise complaint, but if your neighbor knows it's you - or thinks it's you - you will be putting stress on your "neighborly-ness." So hear lies the problem - we have barking dogs, and owners who can't, won't, or just don't know how - to stop it.
Initially, let's address why they are barking. No matter the size of the dog - if it stands at the window all day - while owner is at work - and barks - it's essentially entertaining itself. Most dogs who do bark excessively, are lacking attention, exercise, boundaries, and structure. If the owner is home - then you should see the owner attempt to stop the barking. If they are not home - it is nicer to email or ask them politely. If that doesn't stop - I would go to the HOA or whoever is in charge of your complex (not sure if Reston Association does that), and ask them to warn the owner. If that doesn't work, then there is animal control - but most owners I come across feel embarrassed when discovering their dog is a nuisance, and want to remedy the situation immediately.
What if your dog is the barker?
The good news is you can fix it! Why does your dog bark? Are they bored? Protecting your house? Maybe the cat down the street is "taunting" them?! There are a few solutions to consider.
- Give your dog a midday break, let them get a little of that stimulation out.
- Send your dog to daycare, there are tons of affordable options for Reston.
- Crate your dog, if it's crate trained, which allows you more control of your dog's environment
- Take an early morning walk or jog to tire your pup out! Nothing is better than an exhausted dog!
- Get a bark collar (they make them for every size dog, including toy dogs!): There are collars which spray a citronella scent when triggered, and there are the stimulation "shock" collars. I do suggest trying it on yourself before your put it on your dog - different models are better than others. There is also a "sonic sound" for dogs to stop them from barking - but I find this RARELY works.
- Get your dog another dog! They can keep each other company during the day (but that also may mean two dogs barking - so you gotta get it under control!)
I have a dog - isn't barking allowed?
Yes of course. But excessive barking is not, ever, in any situation aside from an emergency. Barking is allowed in moderation. If a person comes to your door, window, home, yes your dog SHOULD bark! They are alerting of you a situation! Good dog! However, after you acknowledge the situation, you should ask your dog to be quiet and go back to a normal state of mind. Tell your dog to go lay down on their bed, crate, spot, etc... and you will take care of the visitor. The dog should then be quiet.
Barking is allowed during the day if you are not home and someone walks by your house. Your dog is protecting it's home, and yes this is allowed. Neighbors may not like it, but your dog has a right to bark if someone passes by. BUT - your dog CANNOT excessively bark. Then it is a disturbance. It's a fine line - and definitely depends on each individual situation - but overall, a few barks should be it. If you live in a place where people are walking by all day long constantly, then your dog will have to associate barking and guarding which just people who come to your door and/or windows. A dog just cannot bark all day.
What the county says:
Animals may not frequently howl, bark, meow, squawk or make noises that can be heard across property boundaries or through common walls within a building.
For complaints, contact the Police Department non-emergency number, 703-691-2131, TTY 711
What do you think?