29 Sep
It’s a Barkfest in My Neighborhood and My Dog is Getting Blamed

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

The route for our nightly dog walk takes us down a street that has four houses of dogs that bark. They aren’t in a row, but scattered down the street. About a month ago, the woman in the last dog barking house (she has yap-yap dogs) came outside when we walked by and gave us a dirty look. Then a couple of weeks ago, she was outside when we walked by, so I smiled and said hi.   In return, she gave me a dirty look and said,   “Oh, she’s walking her dog again.”

She   has now rudely complained to me that her dogs bark every time I walk by.   I find it really hard to believe that my dog is the only dog that her yap-yap dogs bark at. By the way, my dog is very well trained and doesn’t participate in any of the barking.

Am I wrong here? Should I do the mature thing and change our route?


Who Let the Rude Dog Owner Out



My most recent experience with dog ownership was our frantic, high energy lab mix that once chased after a one-armed jogger at the beach and nipped at his heels for the entire length of the shoreline, so I may not be the best judge of dog etiquette.

However, my mother knows all when it comes to man’s best friend. This is the woman who once gazed at my newborn daughter and said, “She’s so beautiful. She looks just like Lilly.” Lilly happens to be her dog and yes, she meant it as the greatest compliment one could bestow on a newborn baby.

So after reading your question, I immediately gave my mom a ring. She claims that some canines can dislike certain dogs, so it’s possible that these neighborhood dogs do have a problem with your pooch.   Of course, I don’t know if my mom can be trusted because she also insists that her beautiful dog Lilly never barks except when my family comes to visit her, which just can’t be true.

Now that we have established that my mother is probably a liar, let’s review your options.   Change your nightly walk, which sounds like the best idea since there are four houses with barking dogs and you can find a quieter street. Or torment this rude dog owner by walking your dog multiple times by her house every day and giving her gift wrapped dog muzzles for the holidays.   Your choice. I hate dealing with mean people, so I would take the high road, or rather the quieter road.

Good luck to you.

Kelcey, TMH

19 Responses to “It’s a Barkfest in My Neighborhood and My Dog is Getting Blamed”


Comment by rojopaul.

I vote for torment. She doesn’t own the street and you should be free to walk in your own neighborhood with your pooch!

Side note: If my neighbor two doors down lived by the yappers, he would be calling Animal Control. (Hmmmm, there’s a thought…Make a big to-do about copying down her address on your next walk and maybe she’ll obsess about you reporting her dogs for too much noise!)


Comment by A Mom on Spin.

This is why I don’t walk my dog.

Too much trouble. . .

Lisa Reply:

Too much trouble? Dogs – like any creatures dependent on you – require work. Even with a nice yard, a dog needs walks.

anonymous Reply:

Down boy. Mom on Spin is just joking.


Comment by California to New York City.

I would do both. Walk up and down and torment the neighbor for a night, and THEN switch permanently to a new street. I wouldn’t feel completely satisfied until I got my digs in first!


Comment by Wendi.

Just read this to my husband. His advice:

“Tell her to say ‘F*ck you, it’s a public sidewalk.'”

He’s always so nuanced like that.

Nora Reply:

….interesting my husband said the exact same thing(;


Comment by Alessa.

Arg! It bothers me that you’d have to change your route simply because the neighbour’s a *****!

If you like your route, I say stick to it. The high road may be best, but it’s not as fun 🙂


Comment by christy.

I’m a dog owner and walker – I would walk up and down that street morning, noon and night. With my screaming toddler and baby. But that’s just me. And I’ve just had a not-so-good night’s sleep. Talk to me when I’m well rested and I might side with Kelcey!


Comment by Marinka, TMH.

I’d start writing my Congressman to pass legislation outlawing those yap yap dogs right away. Or as soon as I figured out who my Congressman was.


Comment by HellTygr.

See, and here I am reading more into the situation and thinking the neighbor is giving the dirty looks and evil comments because *another* dog walker doesn’t scoop after his or her dog, and blaming WLTRDO. It’s just possible that there’s another side to the story. Not likely, as there are really nasty people out there, but it *is* possible.


Comment by Patty.

I have no dog (two cats), but I live on a street with many, many dogs. The two schnauzers next door NEVER, EVER shut up. The shepherd across the street, nicknamed Pavarotti, cooks off every time he hears a siren. And we won’t mention the other mutts. That said, everyone with a dog who DOESN’T live on the street walks their dogs on our street.

I wouldn’t recommend all-out war, but as an unwilling resident of the kennel, I am plugged into my iPod 24/7. It helps. You might suggest such a thing when you next see her. You might also use yours while walking; it prevents snarky conversations.


Comment by Bean.

Her dogs are the ones alerting to a non-threatening situation. Sounds like they need training. Otherwise, crabbypants is just training you to stay away from her yard.

If the barking bugs you, find a different street. Otherwise, I’d keep walking there. Her dogs’ behavior is not your responsibility.


Comment by JubanMama.

What about talking a walk withOUT your dogs one day? If her dogs are indeed still barking, even in the absence of your own dogs, then I say go up to her house, ring her doorbell, and politely point out that clearly her dogs are psychotic noise machines, and perhaps she should consider either keeping them indoors or else muzzle them so that the rest of the neighborhood isn’t tempted to file noise complaints against her?


Comment by annie.

Personally, I’d continue to walk the same route and when her yappie dogs started yapping, I’d stop right in front of her house and tie my shoes, have a drink of water, rearrange the songs on my MP3 and maybe even sit on the curb and read a book. I’m thoughtful that way.


Comment by thepsychobabble.

Her dogs’ barking, and behaviour, is not yours to control. I mean really, if they start barking at cars is she going to have the street barricaded off?


Comment by Leigh Ann.

Oh, I hate people like this. Nothing is ever their fault or their own problem. We have dogs on every side and back of our house, and they bark constantly. Mine? Rarely, even when he’s outside among the barkers. I think the difference is those dogs are outside ALL THE TIME. Let your dog in for some much needed attention!

My hubby seriously threatens to throw poison over the fence to the dog next door.


Comment by minipeds.

My noxious neighbor diagonally across the street rescues Dobermans, gets them all their shots and then sells them for a profit (nice, eh?). So there are, on average, 4-6 barking, untrained, fresh from the ASPCA, Dobermans who have a gate that faces the sidewalk. There are a lot of nice dog walkers in my neighborhood and usually you only hear clinking dog tags…til they get near her house.

She also tells the historic housing commission approx. every 6 months that my house is abandoned and that we’re squatters, so she’s great fun.


Comment by kokopuff.

Tasers work well. I have also stuffed Tylenol PMs into a hot dog and threw it over the fence.

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