Whenever I mention the recent news story about Charlie, the golden retriever in Australia who got the Guinness world record for having the loudest bark on the planet (and who can resist mentioning said story?) people have one of two reactions:
- I’m glad Charlie doesn’t live next door to me,” or
- “I bet the dog who lives next door to me would beat Charlie’s record.”
Given that (according to the Humane Society) 39% of U.S. households own at least one dog, adding up to a grand total of about 78 million dogs in this country, it’s fair to say that plenty of homeowners have experienced living next door to a dog. And dogs bark.
According to scientists, they bark to greet people, they bark out of alarm, and they bark as a warning. Dog owners could probably tell you about a few other barks, but it’s taking the science world a long time to admit that these aren’t just random “woofs.”
But back to the neighbor issue. Not every dog barks a lot, nor or at rock-band decibel levels like Charlie’s, but the ones that do can certainly be a nuisance — and I mean that in the legal sense of the world.
Mary Randolph, author of Every Dog’s Legal Guide, suggests, “If a barking dog problem in your neighborhood doesn’t improve after your efforts to work something out, it’s time to check your local laws and see what your legal options are.” Find out more in Nolo’s section on “Neighborhood Dogs.”