Have you ever had thefeeling that you want to throttle your neighbour?
Surely the most common reason for such a heinous, uncivil thought is barking dogs.
Picture this: It’s the weekend. After a long, hard week at work, you find a few spare moments to sit in the garden. It’s a blue sky. The sun is shining. A cold beer is at hand. Or perhaps a cup of tea. There’s no lawnmowers to be heard. The tradesmen who’d been making a racket through the week have mercifully departed.
The kids of the neighbourhood are out playing sport. Or maybe they’re trapped in digital mania. Wherever they are, they can’t be heard screaming, whining or crying.It’s quiet. But just as you sit down in your reclining chair, it starts.
It could be the yap-yap next door. Or the beastly, guttural roar of the German shepherd over the back. It might be the dogs cruelly locked in cages across the road, whosemain purpose seems to be pumping out puppies for profit.
It’s enough to drive you back inside.But then sometimes the piercing sound of a barking dog travels through walls.Sometimes it penetrates skulls, sending people barking mad.
Have you ever noticed that cacophony of barks that sometimes occurs in the neighbourhood? It’s like a barking chorus. It’s like the dogs have joined together in a loud and obnoxious conversation about what they’ve just had to eat or who’s the toughest.
Then there’s the jealous bark. This never fails to happen when an owner walks adog past other dogs perennially stuck behind fences.
The odd barkfest is a pain in the backside, but it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes dogs bark.It’snuisance barkingthat can test the patience of the most zen-like humans.That is, dogs that bark often.
What’s going on with the owners of these dogs? They seem to be letting the dogs bark. Aren’t they bothered themselves by the barking? Or have they become immune to it –like those people who live near railway lines?
They might yell “shut up Spot” or “Fido, stop it” every now and then. Funnily enough, this doesn’t seem to have much effect.Perhaps these people tried to stop their dog barking, buthad no luck. So they just gave up.
Some councils have stated that barking dogs create more disputes between neighbours than any other issue, and result in a large number of complaints to council every year.
In February this year, a dispute about barking dogs led to a man being shot in the chest in Victoria.In 2005, a barking dog was poisoned to death in San Jose, California. The owner received a note on her gate, which said: “Your dog was barking. If you don’t do something about it, I will”.
Like I said, barking dogs make people mad.So why do dogs bark?
For instance, Newcastle council’s website says: “Barking is simply one way dogs communicate and can mean anything from playfulness to danger”.
The council says some reasons for dogs barking are: Being chained to a fixed point and not having enough room to move around; being deliberately or unintentionally provoked by people or other roaming animals; not being properly trained; being lonely, sick, hungry or generally neglected and not getting enough exercise.
Now there’s an idea. How about taking your dog for a walk every day?