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Constant barking driving me mad

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Jochan, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Jochan

    Jochan PetForums Junior

    Jun 16, 2012
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    Hi all. I'm not sure whether this is the right place to put this thread but I do need to vent about it and hopefully get some advice.

    Our next door neighbour has a German Shepherd bitch that they have had from a puppy. She is now around 2 years old I would say. Its a small end of terrace house with mum, step dad and three kids in it.

    The dog was highly strung right from the beginning and, despite their assurances to us that they had owned GSD's before and had plenty of experience with them, it rapidly became apparent that, well meaning as they were, they actually have no idea. From about 6 months old, she became the alpha dog in the house (when the man of the house isn't there). They leave her along for long periods of time (often 8 or 10 hours a day) whilst they are at work or out at evenings and weekends. Our dog gets more exercise in a day than this poor thing does in a week.

    The biggest problem is that, primarily I would say because she is bored poo-less and very very under-exercised, she has given herself the job of 'guarding' the street from her vantage point in the front window. Absolutely everything (and I do mean everything) is barked at; postmen, delivery men, children playing, cats, other dogs, cars pulling in and out of the street, bits of litter being blown up the street and on and on and on. If she gets out, she sees everything and everyone as a potential threat to her 'pack' including the other small children that live in and around our little cul-de-sac. Its not unusual for her to bark solidly for 6 or 8 hours a day. Longer in the summer on the odd day that the weather is actually good enough for the children to go out and play. She will even challenge me through the fence if I am in my garden the same time as she is out.

    With my other half working nights and having to sleep during the day, this is becoming a serious issue. Notwithstanding the fact that its already attempted to bite my OH, me and my son already.

    We get on with our neighbours and its not like they don't know its a problem. Depending on where they are walking her, she is sometimes muzzled when out but often not. They just don't seem to know how to deal with it. I don't want to fall out with them but there is a limit as to how much longer I can put up with it. The major worry is that the next time she gets out someone won't be so lucky and will end up in hospital, possibly scarred for life.

    I admire their devotion to the dog however surely, unless they change the way they deal with her, give her more to do, more training, more exercise and (probably most importantly with a dog of that size) ensure she is farther down the pack order, things will only continue to get worse.

    We have checked the law on this and it seems that unless she actually does attack someone, and then on public land, there is nothing that can be done. The RSPCA won't want to know as she is being fed and walked etc and there is no abuse.

    If anyone has any thoughts, I would be grateful to hear them.

    Whilst writing though, I would like to say a big 'thank you' to all of you who have offered help and advise through our first few months of dog ownership. Bob the 'mute is doing well, is the envy of everyone in the neighbourhood and is an absolute star.
  2. Bagrat

    Bagrat PetForums VIP

    Jun 4, 2012
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    Oh poor you. If you get on ok with them could you suggest that dog does not have free access to front window aka bark making machine. It's a well established routine now so any training would probably take a lot more commitment and time than they have. Management may be the only option.
  3. alison11

    alison11 PetForums Member

    Jul 11, 2012
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    Its such a difficult situation, it sounds like a nightmare to live next to the dog especially knowing its not the dog's fault. The way you have written your post came across very diplomatic - would you be able to speak to your neighbours in a similar way? If it was me and a neighbour I got on with came to me and put it how you have I would just feel so bad that I was putting them through that especially with your OH working nights.

    Are they struggling because they don't really know what to do and would they be open to advice? Or do they already think they know what they are doing? From the sounds of it your dog is doing really well so they may well be willing to take your advice!
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