Dear PoPville – Every Sat. Morning a Dog in Mt. P Wakes up the Entire Block!

Not the dog in question, this dog was actually very chill

“Dear PoP,

I’m trying my best to come up with a diplomatic solution to this problem and I hope you can help by posting this letter!

I live right in Mt. Pleasant, with my bedroom window directly facing Heller’s Bakery. For the past several months, every Saturday morning someone goes into Heller’s and ties his or her dog out front–and leaves it out there all alone for sometimes up to an hour. The dog get very upset and yelps and yelps and yelps at the top of its little canine lungs.

Two things: don’t you think this is cruel to the animal? This isn’t a temper tantrum this dog is having–my friend says it just wants a donut!–it’s a fit of pain and sadness that its tied to some poll while its owner sits inside, apparently deaf to its cries.

On a more selfish note, this dog is waking up the entire neighborhood. I sit here writing this now [Sat.] at 10:30 am which isn’t an unreasonable time to be awakened, but sometimes it’s 8:30 or 9 am, which is a bit much on a Saturday morning when sometimes all you want is to wake up naturally at a later hour after a long hard workweek, don’t you think?

I’m at my wit’s end, and short of marching into Heller’s and demanding to know the identity of the owner, I don’t know what to do to solve this problem. Heller’s is my neighborhood bakery, and I know the people who work there and don’t want to start a fight or make a scene, because chances are I won’t be very nice to whoever in there is waking me up every Saturday morning AND borderline abusing his or her pooch!”

In mid-March we had an epic conversation about a similar incident in Adams Morgan. For this specific instance – if the dog is tied up for an hour – I’m just gonna straight say it – that is bullshit. If the dog is barking/yelping for up to an hour with no attention, no matter what time of day it is, that is bullshit. It’s even worse that it’s before 9am on the weekend.

So what would you guys do? I’m afraid I think the only solution is to go to the bakery the next time this happens and talk calmly to the owner. Say something like – what a cute/cool dog but I’ve noticed he/she has been barking every Sat. morning for a long time – is there anything we can do about this? Short and sweet and friendly is the key in my opinion.

Right? Or do you think the reader (and I) have unrealistic expectations? Would it make a difference if the dog was only barking/crying for 15 minutes?

173 Comment

  • Is the dog’s name Molly?

  • Agree the best solution is to talk to the owner of the dog and you’ll probably get the best result if you try to be as nice as possible about it.

    It is illegal to tie your dog up anywhere except maybe your yard. I’ve done it a hundred times while picking up food or whatever, but never for more than a few minutes and my dog just hangs out and behaves himself.

    • Didn’t some one a few weeks ago ask PoP about another dog tied up along a sidewalk and the owner, when alerted, got all snippy? Maybe the best result is snippy and huffy.

      I’d go with calling animal control.

    • Yes, please talk to the owner, but if you come off all snippy, you’ve guaranteed that the person won’t give a crap about your problem. It’s possible the owner has NO idea his/her dog is causing so much distress to others, so why not assume that scenario before you get all combative?

      Why is talking to the other person always bypassed for far more confrontational methods? Give people a chance before you write them off!

  • ok, seriously, if you can’t take the dog where you are going, LEAVE YOUR DOG AT HOME!! how hard is that?

  • I also live on Mt. P St. This dog was started barking around 9:30 Saturday morning. At 11:30, I walked by on my way yoga and talked to a woman who was also concerned about the dog who said she was going to call the Humane Society. When I got out of yoga at 12:30, the dog was gone. I’m guessing the owner was not in Heller’s since all morning people were standing around the dog looking concerned (I went over to Heller’s for breakfast too). To sum up, yelling at people in Heller’s probably won’t solve the problem, but calling the Humane Society might.

  • oh and it’s a big fluffy white dog.

  • bfinpetworth

    And we’re off!

  • Over/Under on # of comments in this thread: 75.

  • 1) Talking directly to her/his (not “its”) guardian is best.

    2) Can’t find this person, call Animal Control (through 311) and report the incident. It may take them a while to get there, but if the dog is tied up and barking for an hour that’s completely inappropriate. Few minutes to run in and out is one thing, extended periods NO.

    • I’ve been very impressed with Animal Control’s response time. Ok, so the most recent call was about a potentially-rabid raccoon, but they were there in 10 minutes. I wonder if they’re one of the rare agencies that has an uncommonly high level of morale and professionalism, like WASA.

      • I’ve had to call several times and have been impressed as well. AC really does a great job. My most recent call wasn’t that great, but understandable. It was around 2am on a weekend and they had one officer covering the entire city, so they couldn’t tell me how long it would take. The issue was resolved in about 40 minutes, I called back and let them know. They were very friendly and professional.

      • me

        Wow. I think they should establish an offshoot called Teen Thug Control, so you can call when you’re being threatened and they will actually come out and respond. (NOTE: Before people jump all over me, it’s a joke. I’m not saying kids are actually animals.)

    • Heading off topic here, but “its” is perfectly fine when describing an animal. Many of us still see a distinction between people and non-people. More to the point, many (if not most) of us can’t tell the gender of an animal by sight so he/she is totally impractical.

  • Are you, as an honest to god adult really complaining about a noise bothering you at 8:30 or 9am in the morning?

    You are legally allowed to do construction on Saturdays starting at 7:00am and you are complaining about a dog barking?

    Yes…the readers expectations are ridiculous

    • Agree.

      I will be outside the OP’s window with my gas powered weed eater this saturday if anyone wants to join me with their lawn equipment!

    • I would. Why not? It is inconsiderate as hell on multiple levels, and totally preventable. To expect one “honest to god adult” as you put it to act in a responsible manner and take care of their animal is not an unrealistic or unreasonable request in any way.

      I agree with PoP 100% – a dog being left alone for that long in a public space is total bullshit.

      • To expect to be able to quitely sleep past 9:00am in a city with no outside noise on a Saturday (any day for that matter) is ridiculous, and to publically complain about it is even worse.

        • Prince Of Petworth

          This is not the point of the post. Good lord. Seriously.

          • I thought it was. Is the point that the dog sohuld not be tied up? Cause we discussed that one to death already…

          • Then the title shouldn’t read “…a dog in MtP wakes up the entire block!”

          • I disagree, PoP. It’s at least half the issue as presented by the OP. If it were happening at noon, the time of day would not have even been mentioned.

          • Ummm POP.

            The title is

            “Every Sat. Morning a Dog in Mt. P Wakes up the Entire Block!”

            Not “abandoned dog”, or “dog left tied alone”, or any of that.

            Then the person spends half the post talking about being awakened and yelping, and golly gee…its unreasonable to be awakened before 9am on a saturday…

            So “good lord, seriously” it is…

          • What do you expect PoP? I agree with everyone else- if you truly intended this to be a post about tying up a dog, didn’t we beat that dead horse already?

            The only other issue the OP has that it wakes them up on Saturday mornings! If that is the case, then maybe a chat will do. But in my opinion yours and the OP’s expectations are WAY too high for people who live in a densely populated urban areas.

        • They didn’t ask for “no outside noise” – OP was complaining about one specific dog, barking incessantly for an hour, weekly, at times ranging from 8:30 am to 10 am on Saturday. That would bug me whether I was sleeping, gardening, reading the paper or doing whatever it is that YOU think people should be doing at that time of the morning.
          If it’s not a problem, I’ll just let my dog bark outside your window at 11pm on a weeknight for an hour, I’m sure it won’t be a problem for you.

          Also responsible adult /= 9-5 job. Some people have different schedules and I’m sick of hearing that catching up on sleep on the weekend or sleeping past 7am during the week makes you some kind of slacker.

          • I am sick of slackers saying that there is such a thing as “catching up on sleep”

          • Its slacking to sleep in a little on the weekends?

            I feel like quite the clairvoyant, yesterday I told joker he needed more sleep. Obviously i was right. Photodork, you could use some too.

            There is nothing wrong with sleeping in a little on the weekends! If I dont have a compelling reason to be up early, I wont be up early.

          • OP does have a compelling reason to get up… a white dog barking outside of his/her window compelled him/her to write in and ask for advice on how to handle it. I have one important question though – What is good at this bakery, because I want to be there Sat at 0800 to see this hellhound?

          • I said nothing about sleeping in.

    • There is something particularly annoying about the sound of a dog barking incessantly. Construction noise and traffic noise can somehow more easily become “white noise,” but dog barking is really hard to block out. I paid extra for a condo with a lovely terrace in a nice block only to find out there is a rottweiler in a fenced back yard on one side of me, who is left outside to bark pretty much all day long, and several small yippy dogs in a building to the right of me. Needless to say, I’m not getting nearly as much enjoyment out of my terrace as I had looked forward to. My experience with people who seem to be oblivious to the barking of their own dogs is that they are not particularly responsive to people who talk with them about it. (Sigh!)

    • Agreed. I have buses and emergency vehicles going up my street all the time, and at my old place I was subjected to screaming children from approximately 7am to 11pm. There’s always going to be some sort of noise when you live this close to other people and businesses. I have a barky dog myself and try to avoid putting her in situations where she’s going to bark excessively, but there’s only so much you can do. I do think leaving a dog tied up unattended in a public place is wrong, even if you’re just popping ina bakery for a box of donuts.

    • This is also the location of the northern terminus of the 42, which runs very frequently, and the H buses, plus the farmers market. Is OP able to sleep through this racket but not the dog? just sayin…

    • 7am saturday construction is, in theory, rude. When I lived in NYC, the city decided 3am would be the best time to jackhammer the street…. good times. 9am dog barking isn’t a big deal. just think of it as a wake up call. if it’s really that bothersome, take a deep breath, go over to heller’s when the dog is raising hell(er) (haha) and politely ask to whom the dog belongs. explain that the whole neighborhood can’t sleep in because of their dog and then duck 🙂

  • i think the bigger issue here isn’t the dog waking anybody up, but the dog being neglected for hours at a time.

    • If thats so, the OP shouldn’t have included the following:

      “On a more selfish note, this dog is waking up the entire neighborhood. I sit here writing this now [Sat.] at 10:30 am which isn’t an unreasonable time to be awakened, but sometimes it’s 8:30 or 9 am, which is a bit much on a Saturday morning when sometimes all you want is to wake up naturally at a later hour after a long hard workweek, don’t you think?

      Awww…someone had to wake up before noon!

    • not to the people who are trying to sleep in!

  • Isn’t 8:30 or 9 later than you would wake up during the week? I know I’m making the assumption that the OP is a 9-5er, but that’s th eimpression I get.

  • Next time, go out and tie a little note to its collar with your name and number and the topic you would like to discuss with the owner. Or take the dog across the street and see how long it takes the owner to figure out where it is.

    • you don’t “take” someones dog, anymore than you would take their car.

      We are a lost society, when posting to a blog is the first response, rather than talking to a person. Unless of course the op thinks their life might be endangered… but this is not the case.

      Is speaking so difficult for people nowadays? If that doesn’t work, call animal control.

      Now, if I can shoot the guy who every saturday decides to weedwhack at 7:30 am, I would. And I’d whistle while I did it. That’s a post!

  • i used to have this problem with neighbor’s rooster, so we ate it. not sure that would work in this situation.

  • or just go into Hellers and ask who’s dog it is, and have the discussion right there.

    • So obvious. The adult-children of DC continue to crowdsource the solution to every problem.

      • Considering someone wrote in about doing that and I lot of people were critical of her approach, I guess it makes sense to think that’s a bad idea.

        • There’s a big difference between a discussion (which is the obvious thing to do) and a righteous lecture (which is what the other person admits she delivered).

          • Yes, exactly.

            And as much as I think if you live in the city you have to be prepared to hear some noise by 9AM, there’s also a big difference between “I’m sorry, but every week your dog bothers the whole neighborhood for an hour” and “I’m sorry, but your dog looks sad that you have been away from it for 15 minutes.”

  • Put a note next to it.. Free Dog, no rehoming fee.

  • If the dog started barking at the time people normally wake up on the weekday, say around 6, then yes it would be inconsiderate. But 9? Give me a break. Even during my clubbing days I liked to be up by 8 on a Saturday.

    • bfinpetworth

      Disagree. Normal unavoidable city noise is one thing. The rude and thoughtless behavior of one person is a separate issue. Living in a city does NOT mean you lose all obligation to be a good citizen.

    • MsNesbitt

      Sure, I like to be up by 8AM too, but that doesn’t mean I want to share breakfast with the sound of a dog who won’t stop barking for an hour. I think it’s a legitimate opinion to want to be able to go about your day – whether you’re awake or sleeping in – without having a noise that’s preventable and unnecessary disrupting you.

    • I can’t beleive you got up at the crack of 8am on a Saturday to go club dogs. Oh wait, did I misinterpret something?

  • Call the cops and complain about the noise. No, it’s not the end of the world, but it’s a significant quality of life issue and it’s illegal to tie your dog up and illegal to disturb the peace, both of which this person is doing.

    You also might post on the MtP message boards – I know some of the local police officers particpate there.

  • just steal the dog. that will teach the owner a lesson.

  • two words: Sound machine. Can sleep through the noise!

  • bfinpetworth

    Could it be an employee’s dog? I don’t think most people hang out at Heller’s for hours at a time. You might try asking around to the various businesses in that vicinity.

    • me

      Why the hell would anyone take their dog to work when they are just going to tie it up outside? I don’t think that anyone would be that dumb. Maybe I’m giving people too much credit?

  • I’m familiar with the feeling of not being in a very “polite” frame of mind when I’ve had my sleep disrupted — if you’re concerned about being overly b***chy, just fake that you’re really sleepy when you go into Heller’s and refuse to let yourself get riled up. If the owner isn’t inside, sit next to the dog while you call Animal Control or the police, and be sure that the employees inside Heller’s can tell the owner where to go to claim their pooch – hopefully having it “relocated” due to their negligence will make them realize this is not an OK thing to do and also a huge hassle for them if they ever do it again.

    When I lived in Mt P, I would repeatedly hear the same woman in the mornings — she would let her dog run off-leash in the alley outside my window and then begin yelling its’ name repeatedly when, surprise surprise, it went deep into someone’s yard and didn’t come back to her. People are stupid, but a surprising number of people are willing to change if someone makes them aware that what they’re doing has a negative effect on the people around them.

  • I actually have a somewhat similar problem – I live in Adams Morgan in Lanier Heights and my new neighbors have put a doggy door on their back roof so that their small dog can go out there when it wants. I also have access to my back roof, right off my bedroom. Unfortunately, all this dog does is yap loudly (it is one of those small ones like Buffalo Bill’s). It is out there as late as 11 and as early as 7 everyday.

    Anyway, I’ve asked them to quiet the dog and they seem totally oblivious as to how obnoxious it is. Non-stop dog barking is abrasive. It isn’t a matter of sleep – it is annoying and frustrating when I’m just trying to relax.

  • My dog barks a lot on walks, almost nonstop, and I worry that I’m disturbing the neighbors. What should I do? Bark collars and muzzles seem cruel. I asked around but everyone else has non-barking dogs.

    • move to the country?

      • eat a lot of peaches

      • I wish. When I bring her to my parents’ house in the country she doesn’t bark at all!

        I have to say, it’s remarkable how warmly people respond to her barking. With the exception of an elderly woman who snapped at me once, most people react by smiling, laughing, saying something cute to the dog, or making a lighthearted remark about her. At worst they just ignore her. And my immediate neighbors have assured me repeatedly that the barking does not bother them, though I think they’re being too forgiving.

        I think I’ll give the citronella collar a try…

        • sound machines, radio on NPR for the sound of voices, fans – anything that helps to block sound will help to calm the dog. Everytime dog barks, use the command to quiet it, treat, repeat.

          My dog barks a bit sometimes. It is a pain, but we all deal.

        • does your dog bark at black people, specifically? my friend’s dog, without fail, barks at black people and no one else. it’s really embarrassing, especially living in columbia heights.

          • She barks at everyone, but my other dog is like that. My theory is that a lot of black people are afraid of dogs, or not around them enough to feel totally comfortable, and the dog can sense it.

        • please dont do the citronella. the dog just needs a bit of guidance and those collars are only a temporary solution. i would recommend picking up a dvd or something regarding the barking. i have a breed that is genetically programmed to bark when she hears a door knock. her breed was originally used as guard dogs on boats so when the pirates came aboard, her breed would BARK BARK BARK as a sign that something new was on board (yes really!!).

    • A friend’s dog responded really well to a citronella bark collar that sprays citronella in front of a dog’s nose as a deterrent. My dog’s trainer taught me to treat her immediately after she stops barking but it’s not that effective for us.

    • Bark collars aren’t cruel. But they do get your attention. (And it’s an odd position to worry about your problem publicly but not be willing to take the obvious corrective measure.)

      A guy who once wore a bark collar and barked progressively louder to see just how much of a jolt it gave me. (It wasn’t that bad, seriously.)

    • Shock collars are most definitely inhumane.

      Have you tried engaging your dog on walks? Perhaps with tiny treats in a bait bag or a favorite toy? When s/he’s quiet, treat. Barking, no treat. Positive reinforcement. Over and over and over and OVER. haha

      Clicker training is also a great tactic and most dogs respond very quickly to the method. You can practice clicking at home, on walks, at feeding time, etc, until you eventually don’t even need the clicker. If you google Karen Pryor you’ll find a lot of good resources on the subject, and you can pick up a clicker at any supply store for a couple dollars.

      • The treat technique doesn’t work– all we end up doing is standing in front of our house for 15 minutes while she barks and barks and barks at everyone passing by.

        • So she only barks at people passing your house? Or while on the walk? Have you worked with her to learn the “quiet” command? And/or “focus?” Perhaps she’s not food motivated?

          We have hounds so are definitely in the barky category, but we’ve also learned what triggers them. If I can catch a trigger coming up (and I realize you can’t always!), we immediately change direction.

          Also, are you familiar with NILIF (Nothing In Life Is Free)? You have to be strict, and everyone in your house must be consistent, but I’ve seen it be extremely effective for dogs with particular behavior issues, including barking. We go back to this every now and then when our dogs get a little “lazy.” Good for people too. 🙂

          I know we’re getting a bit away from the topic, but there are so many helpful resources out there, including hiring a trainer if you feel you/your dog need one, but checking out the resources from Dogwise, Karen Pryor, and Victoria Stilwell are great places to start.

          • She barks at unfamiliar people and dogs. I’m all for being strict if I can find a method that she responds to.

  • Go over and attach a nice letter to the dog for the owner. Or stand there and pet it while you’re dialing animal control and when the person comes out, confront them. Or follow them home, get their address, and write them a letter. Face to face confrontation when angry might not make sense. Or write a letter to the owners of Hellers asking them to ask the dog owner. Should be solvable really once the owner knows their impact on the community, you’d think in a civil society like we have here in DC.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Asking for advice is not being passive aggressive.

  • For neighbor’s barking dogs try an ultrasonic bark stopping device. (Unless you live on a street with lots of trucks & buses.)

    • I thought about getting one of these but read they don’t really work. Have you tried it?

      • I did – and it definitely caught the dog’s attention. It is meant to startle the dog to stop the barking – not sound persistently – but my street is too noisy. Constant triggering would have been both cruel and ineffective.

        Plus I only bought it after several polite but fruitless conversations with my neighbor. (Maybe he doesn’t like being put out in the front yard alone for a hour? He’s a dog, he’s supposed to bark.)

  • Cut the leash. Or leave a note saying “next time, I will cut the leash”, if you want to be all considerate.

  • get up and feed it a laxative every day that it is parked and barking.

  • Dude, I can’t believe some of you people are suggesting stealing the dog, letting it loose, or feeding it laxatives. Why are you going to punish the dog for the owner’s negligence?

    I stayed a friend’s place this past weekend and walked by Heller’s on Saturday morning and distinctly remember this dog and how loud it was barking. This is not just a “share the city” type noise – it was a piercing noise I could hear for blocks. I think if you can’t try to talk to the owner to let them know that they are causing a real nuisance by leaving the dog tied up for that long, then I think calling the humane society/animal control is a good idea.

    • We punish children for the negligence of their parents, such is life.

      Hopefully the dog runs into Heller’s and knocks over tables like a bad scene from Molly & Me.

  • With a request for the fewest amount of smartass comments possible, I have a question for the denizens of PoPville:

    I have a rescue dog. She almost never barks at home. And when she does, my neighbors cannot hear her… I’ve asked. When I leave her outside a coffee shop, however, she barks. Very sadly. Not aggressive to persons or dogs. Just very obviously anxious as to whether I am coming back. The coffee shop in my neighborhood is rather slow. And I have been told that she won’t stop the coffee-shop barking unless I continue to practice with her, leaving and coming back.

    So — in the eyes of PoPville, for how long is it reasonable for me to leave her out there (just to get a coffee to go, not to dine in as with the Diner drama a couple of months ago)? 2 minutes? 5 minutes? 8 minutes? Does it make a difference that part of the reason it’s longer is because the coffee shop is slow?

    • One other fact that some people seem to have found relevant — this is usually between 10 and noon, never early in the morning.

      • Sorry, friend–I’m sure you don’t want to hear it, but the solution here is just leave your dog at home (or shell out for a nice coffee maker at home, so you can walk and drink coffee without tying your dog up). If you can tell that it stresses your dog out, why do it? Also, given the nature of teenagers/strangers/uppity busybodies/dog thieves, why put yourself in this situation unnecessarily?

        • Get a Toddy Cold Press “machine”. For one person, it lasts at least a week, and you have awesome iced coffee all week!

    • Respectfully, I don’t think it’s reasonable to leave your dog outside the coffee shop for any length of time. Sure, many of us owners do so, but it’s out of laziness and I will be the first to admit I shouldn’t do it. If your dog is that anxious, it’s not helping her to be left alone outside and she could panic and become a problem for other people or dogs passing by.

    • My dog is also a non-barker at home and is great on the leash, but if I leave her outside anywhere, she literally loses her shit and goes bat-nuts crazy.

      I’ve tried working with her on it, and it just doesn’t work at all. I personally gave up and never take her anywhere if I think I need to tie her up; I”m afraid she’ll hurt herself or snap at someone trying to pet her (she’s never bitten anyone, but she’s a dog, so you never know).

      I don’t think it’s ever worth it, and I would say you shouldn’t ever leave her tied up. My suggestion is to befriend the local coffee shop folk and slowly work your way up to having them bring out your coffee. This means also leaving them a good tip (think 30% for starters) and always getting the same thing.

      If you really must leave the dog tied up, I’d go with 2-3 minutes tops.

    • I personally think it is not acceptable to leave your dog unattended for any amount of time. That is why it is, in fact, illegal to do so.

      I have 2 dogs, and for a number of reasons, I would never leave them unattended outside of an establishment I was in. Get them out for a walk before you run to your coffee shop for your cup of joe. Walk down the to coffee spot with a friend and have one person run in and the other stay outside with the dog.

      Leaving a dog unattended is irresponsible. Would you leave any other defenseless creature you care about tethered to a pole while you run in for coffee?

      • Like a baby?

        • It actually used to be common, in my grandmother’s day, for women to leave their baby strollers outside the store when they went shopping.

        • I avoided this comparison to keep the “it is not a person, it is a DOG” people from jumping in.

      • It is illegal “because you personally think it is not acceptable?” I doubt that, unless you are personally responsible for the entirety of the DC Code.

        There are many things that are illegal that are still deemed reasonable by many people. “In fact,” there is a legal term for such things, malum prohibitum.

    • I wouldn’t have a problem with 5-10 minutes. I don’t know many people who would.

    • I think 15 minutes is reasonable. I would adjust that up or down a few minutes depending on how anxious and/or loud the dog is when left alone.

      Obviously some people will disagree (like the LisaT types who dont see a distinction between people and non-people or the jokesters who think the dog should be stolen/let loose to teach the owner a leason).

      However, the majority of your dog-friendly city neighbors probably dont fall into either of these categories.

      • “Obviously some people will disagree (like the LisaT types who dont see a distinction between people and non-people”

        Wow. Mind readers to boot. I’m not sure where this or the other comments above are coming from. I did not say that. I didn’t even imply it.

        Anyway, Anon, if you look at some of the resources in my post from 3:27 you might find some helpful suggestions/training tips. I’ve worked with a few anxious dogs, and very very brief time periods, building up to a longer duration, is generally the recommended course. This worked well for us in dealing with a dog who doesn’t like to be left home alone. But I do agree with the other suggestions about possibly not taking your dog with you on errands. Your dog may just not be the type who can handle that. You will have to figure that out together, but the fact that you’re THINKING about it clearly shows you’re ahead of the game. Best of luck to you and your pooch!

      • Waiting more than 5 minutes for coffee in a coffee shop is nuts in any world – dog or not.

    • Thanks for the thoughtful responses.

  • So many internet tough guys!

    Anyway, is the issue that the OP feels bad for the dog, or that he/she wants to sleep until noon?

    I get up at 5:30 AM every day (sometimes I “sleep in” until 6:30 on the weekend), but I usually go to sleep between 10 and 11 pm, but I don’t complain that people like to hang around outside at 10:30 pm when I’m going to sleep. It’s a city, and unless it happens between 1am and 6am (key sleep hours), I think you have to let it go. Get some headphones or a white noise machine.

    If, on the other hand, you’re concerned for the dog’s welfare, seek out the owner by 1) asking around. If the fails, 2) leave a note. If that fails, 3) call the city or humane society.

    Also, check the collar (if the dog doesn’t bite) to see if there is a contact phone number on it.

  • Move away from a commercial strip. Living on a busy street exposes one to a risk of associated noises and smells that may not occur elsewhere.

    But wait, dogs bark everywhere so you may still be awakened and annoyed. Dogs inappropriately tied up outside bark on quieter city blocks away from commercial strips, in small towns and at farmhouses located at the end of long, winding country roads.

    Best, actually, is to get something for your bedroom that makes white noise if you really want to try and sleep the day away on Mt. Pleasant St.

  • Under 10 minutes wouldn’t bother me…unless I lived above the coffee shop and was constantly hearing people’s dogs barking for 10 minutes each!

    Honestly, this is a city and I do think a general level of noise is something that people have to be willing to handle. (I have full-on emergency sirens go by my second-floor window approximately every 13 minutes – I live around the corner from a fire station – and I don’t even register them anymore.) Most adults understand that dogs (small children, partying neighbors, etc.) make some extra noise. The issue is whether the dog’s owner (baby’s parent, partying dude next door) is taking steps to minimize unnecessary trouble and inconvenience for everyone else. To me, leaving a dog for 5-10 minutes while you grab a cup of coffee isn’t a big deal. Leaving a dog for more than an hour every Saturday while its piercing barks disturb everyone around it (and yes, I’ve heard this particular dog as well and it has an extra-annoying bark) is bad for the dog and disrespectful to the neighbors.

    tl;dr: to me, under 10 minutes is fine.

  • As a side note, I have learned from this POP site that the residents of DC are all completely inept.

    The answer to every Dear POP question is: “Get off your damn computer and speak to the person face -to-face.”

    There – it’s done. No more need for any future Dear POP questions; now we can move on to more “Doorknob of the Day” posts.

    • Thanks, now can you work on a cure for cancer?

      • I’m actually working on it! Aren’t you glad I took a break to respond to this question?

      • Snarkiness aside, I think who dat man’s got a point. Somebody else said it here, too: seems like people would much rather type out an anonymous post to a whole bunch of strangers (risking all kinds of abuse, by the way), than take action on their own accord.

        If you strip out the jokes and abuse, there are a ton of good options being presented here, none of which should have required crowdsourcing to come up with.

        Talking is what stands out most to me. Talk to the owner (if you can determine who that is), or talk to Heller’s, or leave a *nice* note on the dog’s collar, etc, etc.

        Interact with your neighbors in a calm, respectful way and you just might get somewhere. Yes, sometimes you pull back a bloody stump, but at least you tried.

  • The issue here is both that OP feels bad for this dog and is annoyed that he/she has to listen to the dog whine and bark for hours. I’m not a pet person at all and it bothered me because the dog was obviously upset.

    I went to Heller’s that morning and this dog was out there for a while (I was there for about 20 minutes and it was freaking out pretty much the entire time.) The dog is basically tied up there every Saturday morning as far as I can recall. It wasn’t apparent who the owner was or if they were even in Heller’s.

  • Not sure if this point was already made… If the tied up dog is in trouble, I always sit with it until the owner comes back. This is usually on a very hot day, a very cold day, or if the dog is a pitbull. Wouldn’t want someone stealing a pitbull for obvious reasons. Anyway, I wait for the owner, smile when they return and just say, “Just looking after your dog for you. Have a good one.”

    • This is a good approach. You’re not coming off as rude or judgemental, but it makes the owner think twice about doing it again.

  • Have you tried calling/contacting Hellers? Have them do the dirty work for you, I mean, it is their customer.

  • It’s been said before but I have to say it again – nothing brings out the PoP posters like a thread on:
    1)crime/gentrification (no such thing as a post about crime that doesn’t devolve into a screed on gentrification); and
    2) inconsiderate dog owners.

    • Don’t forget driving vs. cycling!

      Can you only imagine what would happen if a white H Street real estate broker intern were cycling to NOVA with their dog next to them, while cutting off a RCP commuter, holding a pro streetcar banner and wearing a “Free Molly” T-shirt.

      Heads would explode!

  • This is why people let dogs go. This is why the open gates and let dogs out. This is why they unhook leashes.

    The owner needs a warning.

    • You could also just download a white noise mp3 and loop it if you have an ipod dock.

      Sounds of waves are also good, or you could get a CD of Loons next time you’re in LL Bean.

    • +1000

      We have this geriatric-plastic bad boy and sleep like babies. Serious pro tip.

  • The dog might be hungry. You should order it some food next time. May I suggest the fried stuffed olives (doggie portion), the meatballs – braised with tomatoes, but leave off the rosemary, and the skillet mussels with drawn butter.

  • Could this post possibly exceed the cluster-fudge that was yesterday’s RCP extravaganza????

  • Kind of arrogant to claim the whole block is being woken up when it’s probably just you.

  • I actually don’t think it’s the time that matters. I have dinner at 6 p.m., which is just when a neighbor lets his two dogs out for an hour. The neighbor is across the street, and I eat in the back of the house, but the barks are so loud, they interrupt my dinner conversation. It’s obnoxious when all I want to do is relax with my honey.

    I would love to eat outside and enjoy my fabulous porch, but the neighbors smoke, and there would still be the dogs.

    I don’t know why I would be arrested for breaking into someone’s house to install a noisemaker or for injecting people with the chemicals of smoke, and these people can just do what they want in a different form.

  • In a sociology project in school we discussed about having a bunch of people live in a condo complex without any Condo Management or Homeowners association to see how people would resolve issues or socialize with neighbors.

    It was regarding culutural differences how multi unit buildings in many other countries operate without any sort of proper associations or board and how the people there are more friendly towards each other whereas in the US, people call the condo associations for the tiniest issues they may have with their neighbors…

    • Good lord! Sounds like Lord of the Flies! Were you able to scrub all the blood off the walls?

    • “Many other countries” like which? Sesame Street or Rwanda? Somalia? Sri Lanka? Georgia? 3rd Reich Germany? Industrial age tenements anywhere? Your sociology professor might need a good bounce down a multi-unit stairway.

  • Print out this thread and attach it to the dog’s collar.

  • One word people: earplugs. Perhaps the finest item ever sold at your local CVS, Walgreens, or Rite Aid location. I got hooked while living in NYC – you want loud and obnoxious noise? That’s the real nation’s capitol.

    • you don’t really understand what a capitol is, do you? hint: it doesn’t mean a nation’s biggest city.

      bonus hint: dc is the real capital.

    • New York is the nations arm pit. Sorry but that’s the truth.

      • You obviously haven’t been to much of the country. Parts of New York are indeed gross, but if you consider New York to be Manhattan, and the closest neighborhoods over the East River in Brooklyn, then New York is the greatest city in the US and possibly the world.

        THAT’s the truth.

  • Call PETA. They’ll know what to do.


  • The point is civility, being a good neighbor and city living. One of my former neighbors had a neurotic dogs, a standard poodle, who bark/yelped constantly when it’s guardian/owner/mommy left it alone. (I lived in the apartment below them.) When it was pointed out to her, she did nothing about it. Didn’t care. Didn’t bother her. And of course, she had no shame. People, if you can’t be bothered to train your pet not to be a public nuisance then move to the country where you belong and get a few acres. No one cares about your yelping/barking dog out in the country because no one can hear them.

  • me

    Stupid idea- what if, in order to catch the owner so that you can speak to them about their dog, you just force yourself to wake up early one Saturday and see them when they tie the dog up? You can sacrifice one morning of sleeping in if it will help the situation.

  • I witnessed the owner of the dog tie it up in front of Hellers and go inside. He sat right in the window and watched people getting jumped on by the dog and try to calm it down. He left when he was done eating.

Comments are closed.