Dear Miss Behavin’: My new neighbor never seems to be home and her dogs bark all day long! How can I address the problem without being confrontational?

This is a great question and a very common one! I totally understand and appreciate your inclination to keep the peace between you and your neighbor. A good first step would be to introduce yourself in a neighborly way (maybe with some cookies for the human and the dogs!). You can gently let her know that you often hear her dogs during the day and thought they’d enjoy an extra treat.  Hopefully she will take the hint, or this will lead for a chance to bring up the issue more naturally in conversation.

It’s important to bear in mind that moving can be stressful for dogs, and they may simply need more time to adjust to their new home and neighborhood. If your neighbor expresses that she’d like to find some help for her dogs, feel free to refer her to Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA’s dog training classes, consultations, and free Behavior Helpline: (650)340-7022 ext. 183.

If she is not receptive or becomes defensive and the issue persists, you can call your local police department to issue a complaint for nuisance barking.  Despite what many people think, barking alone is not enough to warrant a welfare check from animal control and is considered a civil issue. If you are able to see the dogs for yourself and they lack food, water, and shelter, please contact Animal Rescue & Control at (650)340-8200 and request a welfare check to ensure the dogs are being properly cared for.

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