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Old 02-17-2019, 08:20 PM #1
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Default Noisy neighbor... headaches... *argh*

I'm in a townhouse, so I share walls on both sides with neighbors.

My neighbor on one side has two chihuahuas. And these things are like little demon mutts from the depths of... someplace very fiery.

They're fine when she's there, but when she goes out, if anything sets them off... they will literally bark for up to an hour straight before calming down, and there is no where in my house where I can escape the sound.

It is so frustrating.

We've talked about it, and she got a device to use when she's out late at night or traveling... after the bark for a few seconds, the device makes a sound and the dogs quiet down. Great! I'm honestly so incredibly grateful that she got this...

But yesterday, she left in the afternoon to get groceries. She was gone for 30 minutes, and they barked the entire time.

Today she was out helping a friend, and they barked for 45 minutes straight... as I lay in bed, with the beginnings of a migraine... I tried turning on the TV, but I could still hear them. I tried going into the office (further from the wall that we share, plus the computer makes white noise), and I could still hear them.

I sent her a note asking her, nicely, to make sure the device was still working and didn't need batteries, and she replied that she only uses it at night.

I understand why she wouldn't turn it on if she's just running out for groceries, but it's *maddening* - even if it's only 1pm - to have this inescapable noise that I can't escape from in my own home.

I ended up with a headache from it... that last for the last... oh 8 hours or so. Didn't get finished with my chores or cooking or anything, because I've been in pain most of the day.

I am so miserable. I guess I'm lucky that it's not every day, but omg.

I think I need to find some sort of dog whistle or something that is strong enough to go through the walls??? Does anyone have any experience with this?

I wish I could move, but I own my house, and no clue where I would go (things are expensive around here). I'm kind of hating my life right now.

Any other advice? Only other thing I can think of is to find someone that does soundproofing and see if they can do anything, at least for my bedroom... I think it would be worth it, but, ugh... cost.

thanks for listening. it just upsets me that she doesn't have to live with the barking... they're quiet when she's there... i wish she had to sit for 45 minutes listening to it too
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:10 PM #2
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Default Re: Noisy neighbor... headaches... *argh*

I'm sorry you have to deal w/ dog racket! I have not dealt w barking, but have dealt with...other...neighbor noise issues. My solution was to buy ear plugs, listen to music, and also complain to mgmt of my apt. I hope it gets better for you.
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:46 AM #3
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Default Re: Noisy neighbor... headaches... *argh*

Tell her that this is still a big issue and that they go on for x minutes when she is gone during the day. Tape it if you have to to show her.I assume you own the condo and that there is no manager. I think that city codes actually cover noise issues and that you could actually contact the police, tho I always think it’s better not to escalate a situation unless you have to.
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:38 AM #4
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Default Re: Noisy neighbor... headaches... *argh*

I'm so sorry you're hurting so much, guilloche I agree with all the others. Tape the dogs barking if it's necessary. That way you'll show her exactly what you mean when you compain about the dogs barking too much. I also agree about trying ear plugs. They could be quite useful. I think a dog whistle is a great idea! I'd suggest to buy one if you can. I'm so sorry you have to go through all of this. It must be really painful for you. Please don't give up. I hope things will get better soon for you. Remember that we're here for you if you need it. Feel free to PM me anytime. Let me know if I can do something to help you. Wish you good luck! Let us know how it goes. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:47 AM #5
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Default Re: Noisy neighbor... headaches... *argh*

I feel for you. My husband and I rent and we share a wall on one side. This couple (also renting) moved in next door last July. The prior tenant was respectful about the noise levels, but these people are not. They also have a dog that howls and barks constantly when left alone. Plus, the husband seems to be running an illegal furniture workshop in his backyard, which is right by our bedroom – it’s constant sawing, hammering, and drilling all day. And, they have 6-7 cats that fight on our roof.


On the other side it’s our elderly landlord who is hard of hearing and opens up her whole house with the TV at maximum volume. And across the street a woman gives choir classes with 10 people singing for hours. There is no respect any more for the fact we live in close quarters.


This whole situation has been the kick in the butt we needed to finally buy our own detached house in a peaceful area. We're moving soon. However, your situation, owning, is obviously more complicated. Is there any sort of homeowner’s association for your townhouses you could ask for advice? If that doesn’t help, I guess you should start to look in to the noise ordinances there. It sounds like you’ve already made a fair share of attempts to deal with your neighbor directly.



I hope you can find a solution. Not being able to be at peace in your own home is terrible!
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:08 AM #6
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Default Re: Noisy neighbor... headaches... *argh*

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I am so miserable. I guess I'm lucky that it's not every day, but omg.
Do you have an HOA? In mine there are noise rules and you will be fined for such noise. Also if dogs become a problem the HOA can demand they are removed. You have a right to quiet enjoyment.
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:39 AM #7
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Default Re: Noisy neighbor... headaches... *argh*

Record their dog and then push your radio or player up against where their bedroom is and blast it at night. If they have an issue well its their dog...
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:40 AM #8
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Default Re: Noisy neighbor... headaches... *argh*

Thanks everyone... I appreciate the support and feedback. I didn't sleep very well last night (no noise, but I was still holding on to the stress from this) and am just bleary and tired today.

My neighbor has otherwise been great. She got the device that stops them from barking and uses it at night, especially when she's traveling. She also gave me the number for the woman who walks her dogs when she's out of town, so if they're noisy at night, that woman can come over and calm them down.

So, it's not like she's being awful, and I'm afraid that she might be getting sick of me, since we don't really socialize, I only contact her about the dogs. (But I'm also an introvert and really don't want to hang out/socialize with my neighbors!)

I totally should have put in earplugs - I have some! I just forgot, in the midst of all that noise. I've been trying to do a new form of treatment lately (neurofeedback) and, unfortunately, it's increased my headaches a lot... like 8 in the last 12 days so I'm probably not at my best to start with.

Still... I can't imagine she'd be OK with a car alarm going off outside her front door for 45 minutes, even if it's the middle of the day. It's just a crazy amount of noise.

Any suggestions for recording? I've heard that the newer phones don't record background noises very well, because they're built to filter out noise and just focus on your voice?

KnitChick - Thanks, and I'm sorry that you've had to deal with other noisy neighbors. I really, really wish that condos/apartments were actually built better. I bet a lot could be done if they'd build them with noise reduction as a goal... because it seems like such a common problem.

It's so stressful, I don't understand why they don't take more steps to help people have quiet environments! And, thanks for the suggestions... I totally forgot about earplugs, and I have several pairs. I'll have to dig them up and make sure I leave them someplace where I can see them!

luvyrself - Thanks for the suggestions. I did tell her how long they barked, though I phrased it as checking that the device was still working. It's hard, b/c I think she feels a bit defensive... it was just one email, but I told her about both days. For Saturday, when they barked for 30 minutes then stopped when she got home, she basically said that she was only gone for 30 minutes (to run to the grocery store), and that's probably why they barked (because she left). It seems like the thought of her dogs barking for 30 minutes straight doesn't really sink in at all...

It's terrible, but I wish I could record them and follow her around the store playing the tape! Like, "OK, but do you see how stressful this is when you're trying to get something done and can't escape it?!?"

MickeyCheeky - Thank you for your really sweet response! I'm looking at the dog whistles online, but it's not clear if they'll work through the wall... or if they'll even be enough to stop the dogs (versus introducing a new noise that they may want to bark more at). I should have pulled out my earplugs, but totally forgot.

Really, I wish I could move into a detached house... but I live alone, and I'm nervous about being in a full house by myself.

The silly thing is, I actually love animals and always wanted a dog... but after this, I think I want to find a place that doesn't allow dogs!

[b]rechu[/u] - Oh wow... all the noise you've had to deal with sounds crazy! I'm so glad you guys are getting your own house... it's kind of nuts, isn't it?

I tried looking at noise ordinances last night, but didn't find anything useful... maybe will try again, although earplugs during the day may be enough. Luckily, it's usually not that often, it just happened to be both days this weekend. I think it feels worse because there's no way to know when they're going to stop or if/when she's coming home. After about 20 minutes, it starts to feel a little hopeless... and they're dogs, so it's not like they're going to understand anything. Like, I can't just bang on the wall, because that's likely to freak them out more.

Emily Fox Seaton - Thanks! Yeah, we have an HOA... I'll have to double check what the rules are for noise. For some reason, I'm thinking the rules are really more around not being loud at night, not sure that they have anything written in them about the day...

But, I'm also a little afraid that if I go to the HOA, I'm going to look unreasonable, since she's done some things already (the device at night, giving me the number of her dog walker).

I really wish I could just move... ughhhh.

Thanks everyone, thanks for listening and for the advice!
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:00 AM #9
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Default Re: Noisy neighbor... headaches... *argh*

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Originally Posted by guilloche View Post
Emily Fox Seaton - Thanks! Yeah, we have an HOA... I'll have to double check what the rules are for noise. For some reason, I'm thinking the rules are really more around not being loud at night, not sure that they have anything written in them about the day...!
My condo rules do talk about noise at night but in the master deed it does give the condo the right to remove any pet for any reason. Just pointing that out could be enough to make her take it seriously.

I wouldn't worry about looking unreasonable. It isn't unreasonable to want quiet enjoyment. Some people are just the type who try their best to skirt he rules and you have to be harsh with them.

She is the one who needs to move.

Also, if others have complained you will be adding to their claim. You have been reasonable in talking to your neighbor.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:49 AM #10
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Default Re: Noisy neighbor... headaches... *argh*

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Thanks everyone... I appreciate the support and feedback. I didn't sleep very well last night (no noise, but I was still holding on to the stress from this) and am just bleary and tired today.

rechu - Oh wow... all the noise you've had to deal with sounds crazy! I'm so glad you guys are getting your own house... it's kind of nuts, isn't it?

It is completely nuts! I have problems sleeping also from the stress of our living situation. One day my husband and I were having a beer out in our yard to destress after work. Our landlord had the TV on very loud. Then the choir started, and then the sawing. The trifecta! We couldn't even have a conversation.


That is why buying a detached house was a priority even if we had to move out of the city to afford one.There is a decent separation between houses and the house seems to have really good acoustic insulation. We tested it with the radio when we were out there yesterday. The new neighborhood has been quiet every time we visit.



We have dogs, but I work from home, so I can generally calm them down. A friend two doors down says that when alone they bark a bit at first, but calm down quickly. Or, they bark because the Jehova's Witnesses, someone selling stuff, etc. is wandering around. But all the dogs bark at that. Our current street is dead end with a gate, but no one closes the gate so random people enter. The new house is in a gated community and the living room looks over the back yard, so they won't even have much to bark at!
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