Dogged denial leads to barking madness

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When it comes to excuses and denial, pet owners can be even worse than doting parents.  It’s never the dog or cat’s fault – there’s always some factor other than the bleeding obvious.

“I am being slowly driven out of by my neighbour’s dog’s barking,” writes Dog Dodger on the Flat Chat forum. “I live in a first floor apartment in a block of four. My neighbour and I share a small balcony that leads to stairs into the courtyard downstairs.

“She owns a dog that she insists on leaving outside all day on the shared area. This means I have to negotiate the dog whenever I need to go downstairs. Also, the dog is hypersensitive to any movement from people nearby.

“Over three years I have offered my neighbour ways in which she might train the dog, including at one stage offering to pay for a trainer. She insists that the dog is just guarding us all and that he is “getting better.

“I am at the end of my tether with this. It is impossible to talk to her anymore as she is completely oblivious to the effect this dog is having on my life. I love my apartment but I am close to breakdown with this constant barking.”

Firstly, does the dog have permission under your by-laws? If not, that gives you great leverage, but even if it does have permission, it can be removed if it is a nuisance.

Under section 151 of the  NSW strata Act, an adjudicator can order that even an animal that has permission must be removed, or that owner take steps to remedy the problem, if “causes a nuisance or hazard to the owner or an occupier of another lot or unreasonably interferes with the use and enjoyment of another lot or of the common property.”

It may also be in breach of a common by-law that forbids animals from being left alone on common property and, finally, can be subject of orders from the local council.

The dog probably needs to be inside her home with a neighbour or dog walker taking it walkies when she’s not there.

It’s time to tell the neighbour that this is her last chance. If she refuses to listen, tell her you are prepared to take action that could lead to her losing her dog, rather than you losing your home.

You can read the original post and responses HERE on the Forum.

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