Dear Aunty Lisa,
I am writing to you seeking advice as a frustrated Zimbabwean homeowner. I live next door to a family whose two dogs bark constantly, disrupting my sleep and peace of mind.
The dogs bark at all hours of the day and night and their loud yapping carries clearly into my house. I have tried speaking to my neighbours about the issue but they insist the dogs are not a problem.
As a result, I am losing sleep and experiencing increased stress and anxiety. The lack of sleep is also impacting my productivity during the day.
Aunty Lisa, do you have any advice on how I can persuade my neighbours to better control their dogs? I would like to resolve this issue amicably without causing conflict or resentment. But something must be done as the situation is negatively impacting my quality of life.
Any suggestions you could offer would be greatly appreciated. I hope to hear from you soon.
A Sleep-Deprived Neighbour
Aunty Lisa Responds:
Dear Sleep-Deprived Neighbour,
I understand your frustration with the constant barking disturbing your sleep and peace of mind. Not getting enough rest can seriously impact one’s health and well-being.
My first suggestion would be to have another friendly chat with your neighbours. Explain in a calm but firm manner how the barking is severely disrupting your life. Say you want to maintain a good relationship with them and see if you can agree on solutions to reduce the noise.
Some options to propose:
• Ask them to keep the dogs in the backyard, not near your shared fence, during late night and early morning quiet hours.
• Suggest they invest in a bark collar or citronella spray that releases a scent when the dogs bark, conditioning them to bark less.
• Offer to split the cost of making improvements that could help, like installing sound-dampening fences.
If another conversation doesn’t resolve the issue, you may have to involve local authorities. Most areas have noise disturbance bylaws that place limits on excessive dog barking.
But try to remain polite and neighbourly through the process. Explain that you simply need some peace and quiet in your own home. I hope your neighbours will understand and take appropriate steps to control their barking dogs. Please do write back if you have any other questions.
Wishing you a good night’s sleep soon,