August 31, 2017

Surprisingly, the WaPo commenters side with the neighbors.

WaPo headline "Oregon court: Couple must ‘debark’ dogs — cut their vocal cords — after neighbors complain."

66 comments:

madAsHell said...

Pay wall??

Nonapod said...

Wow. That seems pretty extreme.

My parents adjacent neighbors have a pair of redbone coonhounds that they keep in a pen in their yard. They're very sweet dogs but they bark pretty much incessantly. You sort of tune out the constant baying din after a while though. Just part of life living in a rural area.

EDH said...

There's a different procedure, with a hunk of poisoned meat, known euphemistically as disembarking (from this mortal coil).

rhhardin said...

Just put a bark collar on them. Small battery, shock on bark at the exact moment when it has teaching value.

Soon the battery isn't necssary.

If you have time, wear the collar for a couple of weeks with no battery in it first, so the shock isn't associated with the collar. Then later you don't need the collar at all.

Ann Althouse said...

Notice that the lawsuit began in 2002. What a crazy length of time to go without solving the problem?

The neighbors got some big damages.

tcrosse said...

I always thought the bark collar should go on the dog's owner.

Yancey Ward said...

My grandfather had a dog that would bark all night long. He lived in a house isolated by a quarter mile on all sides where the neighbors couldn't hear this dog. However, I always limited my visits to day trips because I literally was unable to sleep, even with ear plugs.

If I had such a neighbor, you can be certain one of two things would happen- he would either train the dog to not bark, or that dog would end up dead eventually.

Jupiter said...

Anti-freeze.

traditionalguy said...

Must be a Muslim Judge. Allah hates dogs worse than Christians and Jews.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

rhhardin said...

Just put a bark collar on them. Small battery, shock on bark at the exact moment when it has teaching value.

That might work, but it might be an issue with multiple barking dogs, each dog getting shocked when any of them bark. Might throw off the training.

Thorley Winston said...

I found this link without the paywall.

Big Mike said...

I'm with tcrosse.

Birkel said...

The Leftist Collectivists want to exercise control.

The commenters are high on The Will to Power.

rhhardin said...

The bark collar only detects the dog it's on. It works on vibration plus sound.

Thorley Winston said...

From the story, it looks like the owners have repeatedly had problems with keeping their dogs under control over the years and each time they go to court, they keep insisting that the law doesn’t apply to them because they have a farm even after the court keeps rejecting the argument.

Thorley Winston said...

The Leftist Collectivists want to exercise control.

The commenters are high on The Will to Power.


I don’t know what the political leanings of the commenters are but it sounds like they read a story about someone who has repeatedly had problems keeping their dogs under control and sympathize with the neighbors. If you own an animal, you have a responsibility to make sure it stays on your property when it's not under your control and doesn't bother other people on theirs.

Birkel said...

Growing up, we had a neighbor who worked the night shift and slept during the day. We put our dog out during the day and it barked. The man threw rocks at our dog. My mother saw the man throwing rocks and told my father. My father knocked on the guys door and assured him that if he threw rocks at our dog again my father would drag him out of his own house, tie him to the chain on which we kept our dog, and throw rocks at him until he got the message.

The man never complained about the dog and never threw another rock.

We kept our dogs indoors at night.

Virgil Hilts said...

Why surprisingly? Dog owners assume a lot about how tolerant others are of their dogs.
If the owners refused to comply with a polite request, I would have dealt with this by hooking up extremely powerful and loud speakers pointed directly at the property, programmed to emit high volume piercing and painful frequencies that only dogs can hear for 30-60 seconds, with the switch tuned to activate upon the detection of a dog bark coming from the same direction. What's fair is fair.

Gahrie said...

I can't believe PETA will stand for this.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

My grandfather had a dog that would bark all night long.

Years ago, I had a neighbor whose house was just next door on the other side of the fence. Suburban living. I was working an evening shift and needed to sleep during the day.

Her dog would bark ALL day long while she was at work. It was incessant. I wondered why the dog didn't lose its voice. As a result, I couldn't sleep and was annoyed when awake. Once she came home and let her dog into the house....peace. Of course then I was about ready to leave and go to work.

I complained and she said. "He never barks when I am home". NO shit Sherlock!! You are home and he got what he wanted, company and inside.

SO....being the evil vindictive biatch that I can be. I recorded his barking and put it in a loop on a reel to reel tape. (Told you it was long ago.) Informed the other neighbors who were also irritated what I was about to do. I didn't have to work for a few days so about midnight I set up the recorder and some kick ass speakers, aimed them at her bedroom, put the volume on as loud as I possibly could and played her dog's daily serenade back at her when SHE was trying to sleep.

Told her that if she didn't stop her dog barking, put him in some sort of doggy day care or get rid of him (it wasn't his fault...she is the bad owner) that I would play this every single night and my boyfriend would do the same when I was at work.

Dog was sent to a 'babysitter' during the day and we had silence in the neighborhood again.

The end.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

LOL

I was typing my story while Virgil posted his comment. Great minds and all!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

In April 2015, a jury sided with the Kleins and ordered Szewc and Updegraff to pay them $238,000 in damages. Also in response to the suit, Judge Timothy Gerking ordered the couple to debark the mastiffs, since they hadn’t stopped them from barking using other means such as shock collars.

Damn, $238k is a lot of money. Probably cheaper to hire killers to murder the problem away. I mean, I guess--I haven't priced it out.

I'm not sure from the article if they breed the dogs as a business or if they breed them just to keep as "workers" on their "farm." I'm also not sure how they can have 3.2acres with--allegedly--enough sheep that they need dogs to protect them and not be considered a farm. I mean if they're NOT a farm then I would assume there would be regulations against having that many sheep, no?

Achilles said...

The people with the dogs are being assholes.

The neighbors are trying to figure the issue out in court.

Everyone is wrong.

The dogs are the only victims here if they are debarked.

Virgil Hilts said...

Dust Bunny Queen - you're my hero!

Mark said...

The need for multiple dogs as protection on that size of property seems a bit much.

Looking online, it suggests between 2-5 ewes per acre, so we are talking about a herd of 15 or less sheep. How many incessantly barking dogs do you need for a dozen sheep?

I feel for the neighbors ... this has been going on for 15+ years!

Poor dogs, to have such owners. I don't like the solution [which should be taking the dogs away from the people] - it seems like the symptom is being treated here, not the cause.

Pinandpuller said...

Check for an old well in their basement.

AllenS said...

I used to raise beef cattle. Believe me, the neighbors dogs can be a big problem. YUGE problem. You sometimes have to figure out a way to solve the problem, if your complaints fell on deaf ears.

Ann Althouse said...

I was surprised because the headline and most of the text were sympathetic ttoward the dogs and because I assume people are sentimental about dogs.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

There's more: "Szewc said the couple did debark the dogs, but it had disastrous effects in 2010. A cougar ran off with six lambs in a single week, she said."

mockturtle said...

I've seen some ranches use llamas to deter predators. I don't think they bark but they can spit a long way.

David said...

When we moved into our new house in Beaufort SC over a decade ago, we were warned of our next door neighbor's barking dogs. The warning was correct. When the owner was away at work, the dogs barked, not incessantly. They took a few breaks but a lot.

We were told that this had been going on for a long time. We decided to do something radical. We talked to our new neighbor, whom we barely knew, and told her that the dogs barked a lot and it was disturbing.

Within two days our neighbor stopped leaving the dogs out and put them inside when she was gone. For a few days she asked us to let them out in their pen briefly a couple of times a day. We did so. Once she could find someone else to do this regularly (within a week) we were relieved of that duty.

The neighbor is now a dear friend. She now has just one dog which is welcome in our house.

Apparently nobody had ever asked her before to keep the dogs inside while she was gone.

Fernandinande said...

3.4 acres = 385 by 385 feet. Not very big.

Jim S. said...

My mom had to do this for her dog about 20 years ago, for the same reason. He had an insanely loud bark and neighbors complained. Afterwards he was able to push air through his trachea so forcefully that it was still pretty loud.

Fernandinande said...

mockturtle said...
I've seen some ranches use llamas to deter predators.


They deter coyotes but not cougars or bears. Some people down the road from us have something like the "Pyrenean Mastiffs" (= "Great Pyrenees"?) to guard their llamas.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ mockturtle.

The sheep farms in our area always have several llamas out with the herd. The llamas are mean, can stomp a coyote to death (probably not a mountain lion) and are very very protective of "their" herd.

Mastiffs seem like a bad choice for sheep guarding dogs. There are plenty of other breeds that could do the job and which are bred for this. The acreage seems pretty small for a sheep farming operation.

I feel sorry for the dogs. They don't know any better and the owners are at fault. Instead of maiming the dogs, good owners would rehome them.

Thorley Winston said...

I was surprised because the headline and most of the text were sympathetic ttoward the dogs and because I assume people are sentimental about dogs.

A lot of the comments seem to side with the neighbors but of the “punish the owners not the dogs” variety. A lot of people seem to prefer that the dogs be taken away from the owner and they be prohibited from getting new ones rather than have the current dogs be surgically debarked.

mockturtle said...

Neighbors can be a royal PITA. I try to avoid having any.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

We've had a couple of dog problems on our street. Our next-door neighbor has a little terrier (a Yorkie, I think) who insists on defending my driveway from ... me. It's gotten worse as he ages. A little further on, there's a house with an electric dog fence, and two or three largeish dogs. I hate those things, but I must say it's made it easier for me to walk past.

Are these really the same dogs they were in 2002? Because 15 years is getting on for a dog, and that's assuming the mastiffs were newborn pups when the neighbors brought their suit.

I also agree that two mastiffs seem an awfully big guard detail for a dozen or so sheep.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

DBQ,

Agreed about the mastiffs. Border collies for me!

Meade said...

"No, Mama.

I know. But he was my dog. I'll do it"

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HoodlumDoodlum said...

mockturtle said...Neighbors can be a royal PITA. I try to avoid having any.

I've got to think $283k + whatever they sold their current place for would have bought them somewhere more isolated, yeah.

Jim at said...

It's not the dogs' fault their owners are a bunch of inconsiderate assholes.

If your dog barks incessantly? Address it.
It's not my responsibility to sit there and listen to it.

Dewave said...

Dogs loudly barking is a serious noise pollution issue. I no more want to live next do dogs continually emitting unpleasant sounds than I want to live next to pigs continually emitting unpleasant odors.

Some people simply cannot sleep through dogs barking (even if they can sleep through lawn mowers/leaf blowers), and some people work nights and have to sleep during the day.

Dog owners who leave their dogs outside during the day while they are gone are usually completely unaware of the scale of the problem. As soon as they are home and let the dogs in of course, the dogs are quiet.

Michael said...

DBQ . I have a similar tale. Backdoor neighbor's dog out all day and barks all day driving my wife mad. I got the guy;s cell phone # (his land line was unlisted, of course) and begged him to get a bark collar for the dog. He thought the collar would kill his dog. Listen, dumbass, do you think that is a good business model for the thousands of bark collars on the market? Get one. He didn't. So the next time I was home and the dog was barking I called him on his cell while he was at work. I put the phone up so he could hear the barking. Then I hung up. Then I called him again and let the barking go on. Then I hung up. Then I called him again and let the barking go on. On the fifth or sixth time I actually spoke to him. I said, if you think this is annoying what do you think it is like to have the dog barking all fucking day long. He was angry I used the f word. Not sure what he did but the dog doesn't bark anymore.

harrogate said...

That's disturbing. Also the glib references to poison meat, antifreeze, etc., are disturbing.

Also, How many complaints get lodged before its time to mutilate the dog? One night a neighbor gets annoyed and blammo?


Not saying I can't sympathize with neighbors who are subjected to barking dogs on the regular. But this is some sweeping, weird business right here.

Jim at said...

"Also the glib references to poison meat, antifreeze, etc., are disturbing."

I agree.

I'd much rather the suggestions being made be used on the owners.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rick Turley said...

Meade said...

"No, Mama.

I know. But he was my dog. I'll do it"


Garfield is a fan!

http://images.ucomics.com/comics/ga/1983/ga830425.gif

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Good one Michael. A more modern version of my tactic.

A few years ago our nearby neighbor (a couple of acres away) bought a dog for his daughter and they both immediately neglected the poor thing. It was chained up to the deck all day. Often the water bowl was knocked over and the dog would run itself around and around the deck posts until it was snugged up against the post like a maypole. Unable and to stupid to figure out how to unwind himself, I would go and unwind the dumb thing. Give it water and a few pats and then.....bark bark bark bark bark to infinity. Rinse and repeat...I'm retired now so I can take time to mess with HIS dog because I felt sorry for the dog.

We told him and he wasn't all that concerned. Said sorry and did nothing. I don't blame the dog. He was a young yellow lab. Bored out of his mind and lonely. I even called animal control to see the situation thinking that if THEY said something he might take care of his damned dog.

The final straw was my husband wanting to take a nap during the heat of the day so he could go out and pull some more pumps and do more plumbing after it cools down. Now it is on!!!

So. Hubby got an old fillet knife and wrote a nasty note. Took it to his front porch and STABBED the note into the door jamb. Suddenly the dog found a new home and the neighbor apologized. I guess he didn't think we were serious until we stabbed his door...the end again.

The things you have to do to get some people's attention.

hawkeyedjb said...

"One night a neighbor gets annoyed and blammo?"

Maybe one warning shot, but yup. I've lived near so many barking dogs, I'm almost to the point of eliminating the warning shot.

Fernandinande said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
Mastiffs seem like a bad choice for sheep guarding dogs.


"Mastiff" is a broad category - click on a few; most are, or were, used to guard and protect sheep and cattle, especially the "mountain dogs" which tend to have plenty of white fur.

Fernandinande said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
Bored out of his mind and lonely. I even called animal control to see the situation thinking that if THEY said something he might take care of his damned dog.


For a couple of years we were rescuing puppies abandoned on the desert and one of the rescue people we dealt with suggested "stealing" dogs if they're being mistreated, something which wasn't rare around there. Then she said "but they just get another one. Sigh."

We also seem to end up with neighbors dogs running loose and hanging around our house - in Utah nobody had fenced yards so when I walked with my dog (and later the one we 'rescued') I'd have a pack of sometimes five or six dogs.

The dog which had been basically living on our back porch for a year, except when it was out chasing cars, got adopted by the didnt-give-a-shit owner's dog-loving uncle.

Feste said...

The owners bought the dogs to be working dogs and should both mercy and for-profit sell them on the Basque sheepherder market as dogs that go beyond the bark of duty (I love these dogs already), fetching premium prices to cover attorney fees, unless Trump pardons the dogs and the owners ...

harrogate said...

"Maybe one warning shot, but yup. I've lived near so many barking dogs, I'm almost to the point of eliminating the warning shot."


You sound like a real peach of a neighbor.

The Godfather said...

In one of Thomas Tryon's novels, I think it was "Lady", a husband has his wife's dog surgically de-barked, and this is how we know that he is a cruel and rotten bastard and what happens to him later is no worse than he deserves (I don't remember what it is that happens to him because it was so long ago (40 or so years) that I read it, and I wouldn't tell you because you can still buy the book via the Althouse Amazon portal). (It's a good book, but "The Other" and "Harvest Home" are better -- also available through the portal.)

Dogs don't bark constantly unless they're in distress. Usually, in my experience and that of some other commenters here, it's just because they've been left alone too much. I would recommend that the neighbors put pressure on the owners, except it seems they've tried to do so, to the tune of almost a quarter million dollars, and it's done no good. If there's a way to do it, I'd have the dogs taken away from the owners, and bar them from getting any other dogs. Let the owners themselves guard their sheep from the wolves -- an occasional discharge from a fire arm shouldn't be that disturbing in a rural area.

damikesc said...

So, this isn't animal abuse apparently. Good to know.

Amy said...

A family member just mentioned to me that their HOA has a rule that after 10 min of consecutive barking, the owner is heavily fined. They don't have any problems.

I knoW that this is rural and therefore a little different. But people are protective of their peace/quiet and their undisturbed sleep. That is why the comments lean towards the neighbors.

Also, the length of time is perplexing. Large dogs usually have shorter life spans. The 15 year period this has been going on would most likely exceed the life of at least one of the dogs. I wonder if they have been replaced along the way.

I could never endure this situation for that long.

Todd Galle said...

My daughter wanted a dog, after our Golden Retriever went across the 'bridge'. My wife and I put certain constraints on any future canine acquisition specifications. NO SHEDDING (after said Golden), smaller size, no barking, and so on. The expectation was such a dog doesn't exist. She did her homework, and found a Wheaton Terrier. We were obliged to acquire said breed, and he has been an excellent companion. As for barking, he doesn't know really how it works. When he barks at a chipmunk or squirrel, or mailman, he barks, then jumps around looking for who made the noise. He might just be dumb, but he has papers. Can't say that for me.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

Mutilation is the solution for all kinds of awkward situations these days.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"I was surprised because the headline and most of the text were sympathetic ttoward the dogs and because I assume people are sentimental about dogs."

Hopefully wapo commenters are Amazon staff in Seattle. The city is filling up with tech nerds who are somewhere on the spectrum, hence lack sentimentality. Eventually I hope they take over from the lib loons that run stuff today.

Of course there'll still be loons around, so the sociopath nerds will be restrained.

RichardJohnson said...

EDH
There's a different procedure, with a hunk of poisoned meat, known euphemistically as disembarking (from this mortal coil).

It does happen. Decades ago, there was a dog in my neighborhood who barked incessantly. The dog got poisoned. As far as I know, the poisoner was never identified.

lee said...

I looked at Google maps on where these people lived. There is more going on here than dogs barking. They booth love on pretty large tracts, and dog owner had houses in three other directions similarly situated as complainers. For such a long battle, what is really going on.

And it seems like an awfully small property for raising sheep!?

Pinandpuller said...

Richard Johnson

"I've heard it said that poison is a woman's weapon."

JAORE said...

Debark the dogs, piece the ears of the complaining neighbors.

Flip a coin.

Rabel said...

The rest of the story.