Monday, May 21, 2012

Why is it so annoying, anyway?

I had an acquaintance submit this question to me the other day:  Why is the noise of barking dogs so totally annoying?  Excellent question.  Why IS it so totally annoying?  Why does it irritate such a large number of people?   I believe that the barking (and biting) epidemic is about to create a huge backlash, but that is a subject for another time.
Here is why I believe barking dog noise is a toxin like no other:
1)      It is excessively loud.  Dogs  bark at 105 decibels, loud enough to damage human hearing.  This incessant noise travels long distances and penetrates walls and windows.  No human being could “communicate” this loudly.  You would quickly lose your voice if you tried to compete.
2)      It is of a shrill nature.  Many dogs make a screeching or yelping noise that is particularly irritating.  It is the proverbial “fingernails on the blackboard”.  It is an intolerable irritant that is used as a torture method by military and police organizations the world over.
3)      It is not a natural sound.  Barking dogs are not the wind or the rain.  We are bombarded with this toxic and useless noise due to the voluntary lifestyle choices of our neighbors. 
4)      It serves no useful purpose.  Can the BS about it being a watchdog, that worthless pe(s)t is “guarding” me from my own front porch.  It also barks at absolutely nothing.  Day and night.
5)      It disrupts useful activity.  Pursuant to the last point, while it is by definition useless, it interferes with useful human activities such as sleeping, working, pursuing hobbies, studying, pursuing social activities, communicating, etc… etc… etc… etc… ad nauseum.
6)      It is nearly incurable.   Your fate of being tortured by a neighbor via their pet is similar to a diagnosis of an incurable and only marginal treatable disease.  There is no known cure and it is going to torment you forever.  You know, or will soon learn, the authorities are certainly on the side of your tormenter.  You can never escape as all of our neighborhoods and public places are awash in useless, toxic noise from barking dogs.  You can soundproof your house and wear earplugs to bed (marginally treatable) but you soon realize your quality of life is gone. 
7)      You realize you are helpless.  Your impotent anger will build and build until it consumes you.  Pursuant to the last point, you eventually realize that your neighbor has a pass on almost all bad behaviors.  The fact that they own a dog empowers them to literally destroy your life.  They are empowered to:  destroy your health, lower your property values, destroy your career, slander you throughout the community, turn the government against you, lie, cheat, and spew mindless drivel.  Hey, they can KILL you on your own property unprovoked and nothing will happen to them!   They can use their dog as a weapon against you and you KNOW there is nothing you can do about it.  They are nothing but legally endorsed thugs.
8)      Your mind and spirit disintegrates.   You come to hate your own home.  You don’t know when it is going to start or how long it is going to last when it does.  You cannot plan anything.  Your life as you know it is over.   Your life is being controlled by the thug next door and there is nothing you can do about it.  You have no legal protection and you are unable to take any “self help” as you know that any action against the owner or their pet will result in you being sued or going to prison. 


  1. i completely agree with 1-8 but i would like to add:

    9) a barking dog is indicative of a bored, frustrated, neglected dog.

    i am tired of people getting dogs as ornaments.

  2. Thank you for this have told my family's story !!!

  3. This is an outstanding summary of life in hell!

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  5. Dawn, I agree. Anyone who is a true animal lover or mindful of animal welfare in any way recognizes that typical chronic barking is due to a VERY unhappy dog. Its a bit analogous to a crying baby. It is scared; lonely; hungry; etc... etc... Being tied up or penned outdoors is not a suitable environment for most dogs.

  6. It's true - "Being tied up or penned outdoors is not a suitable environment for most dogs" and when those dogs feel abandoned by their "pack leader" (the owner) such as when he goes off to work for the day or is otherwise absent, then this extremely social animal is relegated to conditions of psychological torture.

    Leaving a dog unattended in such circumstances constitutes animal cruelty.

    You can agree with this by signing the online petition here:

  7. Animal Uncontrol, you have absolutely, positively nailed it. And thank you for helping to bring this blog to life. The barkosphere has needed it for a long time.

  8. Very good list. Another reason I find it so annoying is because it's the sign of a lazy/selfish owner. These people could put a stop to their dogs barking if they really wanted to. But the fact that they would rather let their dog annoy the neighbors says quite a bit about the types of people they are.

  9. This is a tremendous summing up of the frustration of living close to unreasonable persons whose dogs are barking excessively. I too have come to hate my lovely home. I haven't slept properly in years. Many of my neighbors and I have tried to reason with these people. We have even taken them to court but to no avail. The grinding anticipation is the worst aspect. You know the dogs are going to erupt, now, or ten minutes from now, belting out their antagonisms for five minutes, for five hours.... It is no way to live nor be treated.