Barking dogs and other forms of aural assault gravely degrade the quality of life of many in our community, including my own. In my own view, as a victim of nuisance dog barking, even the attitude displayed by other anti-noise activists in the previous forum has been unhelpful to me. That attitude is one of hostility of to dog owners and sometimes even to dogs and only seeking remedy by the enforcement of laws against dog barking or legal action, whilst opposing any measures on the part of the broader community to help dog owners who are sympathetic to our plight. When I suggested that there be council-subsidised programs to provide care for dogs during the day, or to train them against barking, a response on the forum was that we should not be expected to subsidise the needs of dog owners. That was only likely to guarantee that far fewer dog owners would be sympathetic leaving only coercion in some form as the only path along which to proceed. If people disturbed by dog barking are a clear majority of society, then our fight to remedy this situation would be relatively straightforward, but it seems to me that the majority of our society are either perpetrators of dog barking and other forms of aural assault or are indifferent to it. However, When I asked my nearest neighbour what he thought of the barking of two different pairs of dogs nearby through most of the day and through many evenings, he told me that it didn't bother him at all. If we are a minority , then the fight becomes harder. As one person who trains dogs and owners to prevent barking and other nuisance behaviour put to me earlier tonight, complaining to the Council about neighours' dogs could put us in a situation where we could find ourselves hated by most of those around us. I am not saying therefore that we should not make complaints, but before we do, it might be more prudent to give the offenders every opportunity to rectify the problem and even offer to help, perhaps by offering to let the dogs play in your yard while they are out as someone put to me. (In my own case that is not practical as my yard is not enclosed by a fence.) Perhaps, if they refuse to do anything, then at that point a complaint could be made to the council, but that course could still cause us to become unpopular. However, at least we would then be able say to people around us that we first tried our hardest to find other remedies. Another avenue which I would like to explore is, after taking every reasonable effort to get the problem fixed, to take direct reprisals against either the owner or their dogs. As an example, is it possible to direct load noise only audible to dogs in their direction every time they bark? Is it possible that that that would eventually deter them from nuisance barking? Also, if my own peace is utterly destroyed during the day, they why should the dog owners themselves be any more entitled to enjoy peace in the evenings? I imagine a good many could be made understand your point of view if you were to subject them to your own preferred music played loudly through loud speakers pointed in their direction. It does seem that playing music loudly all day long within my own house does sometimes make me less bothered by dog barking, although I can't yet absolutely vouch for it., However it is at a cost of not being able to hear my phone ring or people knocking on my front door. In any case, I believe I still should be entitled to work in peace rather than being subjected to noise, even if it is noise of my own choosing. I put these ideas not necessarily if they are good ideas, but rather in order to start a discussion that would help me and others find ways to rectify this problem. One final word: I want people who participate in this discussion to genuinely seek solutions that would allow for the reasonable needs of all sides of the debate to be met. If we just adopt the mindset that the other side are wrong and have no legitimate rights, then I don't see that this discussion can lead anywhere.
#moved-comment" id="moved-comment">About the posted comment "nuisance dogs and their owners": A bug in the older version of the Drupal content management system causes some links, including links to comments from the right hand side of candobetter.net not to always work. When the comment "nuisance dogs and their owners" was posted to this article, it was posted to the second comment page. Links to the second comment page don't work because of the bug. To get around this, I have (i) reposted the comment as a miscellaneous (Your Say) comment, (ii) disabled the posting of new comments to this article, and (iii) deleted the originally posted comment. Further comments are welcome including on the (Your Say pages. - James Sinnamon