December 14, 2013

No matter how you spin it, barking annoying

Dear Dog Lady,

What is considered reasonable barking?

I have two large, young energetic dogs. We have two acres of wooded land at our country home and my dogs are contained by an invisible fence. My neighbor, whose house is at least 200 feet from us, has complained about the dogs barking. We now confine them in the house after 9 p.m. and try to control their barking during the day. I want to be a responsible neighbor, but my dogs are going to bark if they see deer or other wildlife in the woods or hear other dogs barking. We share a driveway and they bark at my neighbor’s car when it passes our house. They both are very friendly, sweet dogs so it’s not a matter of my neighbor feeling threatened by them.

— Janet

A: Don’t rationalize about barking. It’s annoying. Also, the sight and sound of dogs barking can be scary for people.

You’re taking a good step by confining the dogs at night and working to control their barking during the day. Keep making the effort to be a good neighbor. 


Dear Dog Lady,

Our wheaten terrier, Maggie, has lately started to scratch the carpet as if she’s digging dirt. She has never done this before and it started only last week. She’s quite furious about this. What gives? Is there something in the carpet that she smells or wants? She only stops when we tell her to, but it’s annoying and puzzling. Any advice?

— Craig

A: Unfortunately, she can’t bury her past and her powerful terrier go-to-ground genes. Dig she must. Have you given her anything precious in the last week — a bone, a very special treat, a new toy? She could be trying to hide her stuff. Also, is it cooler under the carpet than on top? Probably. She might be trying to unearth a cool spot.

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