Why Does My Neighbors Dog Never Stop Barking?


Barking dogs can often be a nuisance for neighbors, resulting in the deterioration of relationships. In fact, recent surveys show that excessive dog barking is one of the most common sources of disputes between neighbors. One study found that nearly 1 in 5 noise complaints to local councils were related to barking dogs.

For the frustrated neighbor, a constantly barking dog can negatively impact sleep, work and overall quality of life. On the other side, many dog owners are unaware their pet is causing issues or struggle to control excessive vocalizations. Getting to the root of the barking issue requires understanding the potential reasons behind it.

This article explores the common causes of frequent barking, steps owners can take, how to approach a neighbor, and legal recourse options for the neighborhood. The goal is to provide solutions and restore peace, while also recognizing dogs express themselves naturally through barking.

Reasons Dogs Bark

Dogs bark for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes of excessive or nuisance barking include:

  • Territorial/Protective Barking: Dogs are naturally protective of their territory and will bark to alert others to stay away. This includes barking at passersby, delivery people, or animals trespassing on their property. Dogs may also bark excessively when they hear or see something unfamiliar that they perceive as a threat. [1]
  • Boredom: Dogs left alone for long periods with insufficient exercise and mental stimulation may bark out of boredom and frustration. Bored dogs often bark to release pent-up energy and get attention. [2]
  • Separation Anxiety: Dogs with separation anxiety frequently vocalize when left alone as an attempt to get their owner to return. The barking stems from stress and panic over being separated from their person. [3]
  • Attention-Seeking: Dogs may bark persistently to get attention from owners, guests, or passersby. They learn that barking elicits a response. [2]

Breeds Prone to Barking

Certain dog breeds are more prone to frequent barking than others. According to research, the breeds that tend to be the most vocal include beagles, chihuahuas, Yorkshire terriers, miniature schnauzers, West Highland white terriers, Shetland sheepdogs, poodles, shiba inus, dachshunds, and basenjis.

Of these breeds, chihuahuas consistently rank as one of the most talkative. Despite their small size, chihuahuas have a tendency to bark frequently and loudly, making them particularly annoying to neighbors. Beagles are also known for their loud, baying barks that carry over long distances.

In general, smaller breeds tend to be more vocal and excitable in their barking habits. However, larger breeds like basset hounds and bloodhounds can also be quite vocal with their deep bays and howls.

It’s important to note that while breed tendencies can contribute to barking, each individual dog is different. Proper training and exercise are key to curbing excessive vocalization in any breed.

When Dogs Bark

Dogs may bark more during certain times of day and in response to specific triggers. According to the American Kennel Club1, dogs often bark first thing in the morning when they wake up and see people moving around. They may also bark more in the late evening and at night, as there are more people and activity outside at these times. Many dogs will bark when people approach their homes, alerting their owners. The sight, sound or smell of other dogs, animals and bikes can also trigger more barking. Owners should take note of when their dog barks most and look for patterns or triggers that prompt the barking.

Effects of Excessive Barking

Excessive and uncontrolled barking can have serious effects on neighbors exposed to the noise as well as risks for the barking dog. According to Barking Dogs, the noise of a dog’s barking can be extremely detrimental to the health and emotional well-being of neighbors.

The persistent noise can cause high levels of annoyance and stress. Being kept awake by barking dogs night after night can lead to sleep deprivation with severe effects. The ongoing exposure to noise pollution has been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.

For the owners, they may face damage to relationships with surrounding neighbors, formal complaints, and legal issues. Excessive barking can also indicate signs of distress, boredom, or lack of training in dogs. It can lead to behavioral problems that worsen over time without proper training.

Owner Responsibilities

One of the primary causes of excessive or incessant barking is a lack of exercise, training, and proper management by the dog’s owner. Dogs left isolated in backyards with minimal human interaction and stimulation are more prone to nuisance barking behaviors. Owners who fail to meet their dog’s needs for physical and mental exercise are likely to have a chronically barking dog on their hands.

Providing adequate daily walks, play time, and enrichment activities can help reduce boredom and barking in dogs. Attending obedience training classes allows owners to learn techniques for building engagement with their pet and addressing problematic behaviors like demand barking. Owners should also manage their environment to minimize triggers that provoke their dog to bark, such as closing curtains to block views of passersby.

Approaching the neighbor in a friendly, non-confrontational manner to discuss their dog’s barking can allow both parties to find mutually agreeable solutions. However, owners bear the ultimate responsibility for addressing excessive vocalizations from their pet.

Approaching the Neighbor

When a neighbor’s dog barks excessively, it’s understandable to feel frustrated. However, it’s important to approach the situation politely. Start by having an in-person conversation at a time when the barking is not occurring. Remain calm and friendly as you explain how the barking affects you. Suggest potential solutions like keeping the dog inside while they are away or providing more walks, toys, and training for the dog. Offer to help find a trainer or provide recommendations for bark collars. The key is to be helpful rather than demanding. With patience and understanding, you can usually reach an agreement. Your neighbor likely wants to resolve the issue too.

As the ASPCA advises, “Do not confront the dog owner when the dog is barking. Go to your neighbor when the dog is quiet. Getting into an argument will not help to solve the problem and may potentially damage neighborly relations” (https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/neighbors-dog-barks-constantly/). Maintaining positive interactions is essential.

Formal Complaints

At some point, if the barking continues unabated, you may need to file a formal complaint with the proper authorities. There are a few options for submitting official grievances about a neighbor’s dog’s barking:

Contact your landlord – If you rent, reach out to your landlord or property manager first. Many rental agreements prohibit excessive noise, so they may be able to intervene or threaten eviction if the issue persists.

Call animal control – Most cities and counties have animal control departments or humane societies that handle noise complaints. They will usually investigate and issue warnings or citations if necessary.[1]

File a nuisance claim – Persistent dog barking may violate local noise or nuisance ordinances. You can file a complaint with the police department or code enforcement agency, which may result in fines for the owner.[2]

Take legal action – As a last resort, you can sue the neighbor in small claims court for the nuisance. You’ll need evidence like recordings of the barking and attempts to resolve it. If you win, the owner may have to pay fines or muzzle/remove the dog.

Before taking formal action, make sure to document all your previous attempts to discuss the issue civilly. The authorities will want to see you made an effort before getting them involved.

Devices to Stop Barking

There are various devices that can help curb excessive or nuisance barking from dogs. These include:

Bark collars detect barking and emit a stimulus to distract or deter the dog from barking. Popular types include citronella spray collars that spray a burst of citronella when barking occurs, and static shock collars that give a mild static correction 1. While controversial, studies show they can be effective at reducing barking when used properly.

Ultrasonic bark deterrents emit an ultrasonic sound when barking is detected that only dogs can hear. They are unpleasant for the dog but harmless. Popular ultrasonic anti-barking devices include the Modus Anti-Barking Device and the Dogtek Sonic Birdhouse 2.

Spray bark deterrents detect barking and emit a burst of citronella spray to interrupt and deter the dog from barking. They provide a safe and harmless deterrent without using shock. The PetSafe Spray Commander is a popular citronella spray deterrent collar.

Training aids such as clickers, treats, and bark-activated noisemakers can be used alongside positive reinforcement training to teach a dog to stop barking on command. This is the most humane long-term approach to controlling nuisance barking.


In summary, while persistent dog barking can be an annoying neighborhood nuisance, there are often reasonable explanations for the behavior as well as solutions to try. Certain breeds are more prone to vocalizing, and dogs may bark when bored, seeking attention, or responding to stimuli. Excessive barking should not be ignored though, as it could indicate an underlying problem. Responsible pet owners have an obligation to ensure their dogs are well cared for and not causing a disturbance.

Open communication and compromise between neighbors is key. If approaching the owner respectfully does not resolve the issue, there are noise ordinances and mediation resources to utilize while maintaining positive relations. With patience and understanding on both sides, disruptive barking can usually be mitigated.

The takeaway is to address such matters constructively and avoid escalating conflicts. Dogs bark instinctively, but considerate owners can curb excessive vocalizations that infringe on others’ peace and quiet.

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