Thursday, November 30, 2023


Dog owner’s “bite” worse than dog’s bark

Dear RV Shrink:
I love dogs. Cats aren’t bad either. But lately while camping I find I am having problems dealing with barking dogs. It might be my age. The noise never used to annoy me.

Recently I was parked next to a couple who had two little barkers. They were quiet while the couple were in camp, but as soon as they left the dogs would begin to bark and not stop until they returned.

Thinking they didn’t realize that the dogs barked while they were gone, I mentioned it to them. They jumped right down my throat in defense of their pets and refused to believe that the dogs would bark that much. I just moved on. It is one of the things I like about RV living, I can vote with my wheels.

I thought I handled this situation very diplomatically but as it turned out they took my information as an assault. Should I just keep my mouth shut and move on or handle these situations differently? —Barking up the wrong tree in Tallahassee

Dear Barking:
If you have read enough of my blog, you already know I too have a problem keeping my mouth shut.

I know many people feel that the campground host or other authority should be the one to deal with these problems. Oftentimes, that is not an option. Perhaps the manager is not comfortable with a confrontation, there is absentee campground management, or a host of other reasons (pun intended).

Sometimes it gives the grievance more weight than you feel it needs by involving some official action and you think a friendly conversation could solve the situation more easily. You will find there are different folks with different strokes. You just happened onto someone with a combative attitude to your pet peeve.

In most cases, if handled in a polite manner, you would have received an apology. Most times a dog’s bark is worse than his owner’s bite, but obviously not in your case. Better luck next time.

Remember, 99.9 percent of campground neighbors you deal with will be the total opposite of those you dealt with in this instance. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-books, including the brand-new Book 2 in his two-book series: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.




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Carson Axtell (@guest_48585)
4 years ago

The sad fact is that too many people get a dog to keep them company so they won’t get lonely, but then have NO PROBLEM abandoning their dog(s) to loneliness and anxiety for hours when they want to go out and play elsewhere or go to work. They dump their loneliness on their pets, but never give a second thought to the suffering they transfer onto their dogs… Such people don’t deserve the unquestioning love of their canine companions.

Darrel (@guest_48416)
4 years ago

Record the dogs barking, and be prepared to play it.

Mike Sherman (@guest_48279)
4 years ago

We camp host seasonally and deal with this issue daily. Most parks have rules….no barking dogs. Let management deal with it. We usually have the camper’s cell number. We call them, requesting they return to their rig immediately. We also advise them that any further complaints will result in their mandatory departure from the park. Works every time.

Terri R (@guest_48269)
4 years ago

I will usually approach people also when their dogs are yapping in their absence. I have a bit of an inside track on the info that can help (as a veterinarian) & most seem really willing to try the antibark device I offer to loan them for a bit (tell them my dog needs it but I carry 2 just in case – not true but it takes them off of defense).
Really wish people understood that it is anxiety & dogs can almost always be trained out of it if only they would work with a trainer / behavioralist / veterinarian. Locally we have a veterinary behavioralist that makes the initial visit & then you are on her 6 month consultation list for tune ups. Great way to deal with problems when you are on the road

Stefan trestyn (@guest_48263)
4 years ago

There is an app for that. Download stop barking dogs. It creates a high pitched sound that they don’t like.
For those of you that think it’s bad to do that, take care of your barking dog and we will not have to do that.
When a child starts to cry the parents usually take the child someplace. Why do you think dogs have more rights

Bob Godfrey (@guest_48194)
4 years ago

We just had this exact problem in the campground where we are staying for 2 weeks. Our neighbor directly behind us obviously must work during the day and their dog starts barking @ 7AM and continues throughout the day until they return. I mentioned it to management and 3 days later (at least for now) it is quiet but then it’s Saturday and the folks are probably home or have taken the dog with them. But in reality, it is up to campground management to enforce the rules but far too often they don’t.

Thomas Becher (@guest_48185)
4 years ago

My back yard neighbors 2wiener dogs barked non stop from the time the owners left for work in the morning till they got home at night. I used my smart phone to record them,walked over to the house as said, listen to this, I have to. They said they didn’t realize and from them on kept them in the house in an interior room. Never had a problem again. I think they don’t know because they’re not there to hear.. But by having a recording helped prove a point.

Tom Fitch (@guest_48170)
4 years ago

It might help to suggest a solution to the dog’s human when you tell them of the barking. Dogs bark when they are stressed and confused about whether or not their human will return. Usually this can be remedied by some training. The human will need to put in some time leaving the dogs alone for very short times and work up to longer time intervals. When you are gone for a few minutes and the dogs start to bark, burst in the door with a firm “no”. Try leaving again over and over until you have quiet dogs when you return. At this point, you give much praise, love, treats, etc. Celebrate the small victories and then try for longer periods of time. Greatly reward the success’s, reprimand with a firm “no” when they bark. In time, they will get there! Or…always take the dogs with you and don’t leave them alone. That’s a win-win for all parties concerned!

Rusty (@guest_48140)
4 years ago

A few years ago while spending time in KOA’s Steamboat Springs, our Rv neighbor upon returning from town visit, asked us if the dog barked. I said yes from the time you two left until you returned. They said, “our dog suffers from separation anxiety” which we’re trying to cure.

Bob Haddock (@guest_48139)
4 years ago

Been to many parks where the little yappers start after people leave them in their rvs. I have to admit that my patience gets shorter every time it happens.

Ed D. (@guest_48130)
4 years ago

I would suggest reading the rules and regulations for any Campground prior to booking there. Most have written rules regarding this situation. It is the responsibility of the Park Management to “handle” these situations. If a Park doesn’t have rules addressing this problem, I would suggest finding another park. Being confrontational with a neighbor (even if you are right) is never a good thing.

CRAIG SEITZ (@guest_48125)
4 years ago

As a recently retired police officer, i can attest that barking dogs are a no win situation. Most neighbors that call to complain wish to remain anonymous. Trust me, the dog owner knows who u are. This ends up with the owner having hard feelings towards the caller. Most owners will say “i wish they had talked to me instead of calling the cops.” But rarely do they really want this. Most when told about the barking, become defensive and u still end up with hard feelings between neighbors….

Jeannie (@guest_48136)
4 years ago

I totally agree. I live in a mobile home court and and barking dogs or loud music has been a problem at times. I used to try to talk to people nicely about it and, with one recent exception, it did not end well. Either they wouldn’t believe that their little darling was a barker or that they had the right to play loud music. I don’t bother to talk to people anymore; I just let the police deal with it. That’s what they get paid for (though not enough for the risks and abuse they get) and, at least, that avoids a physical response from the offending neighbor.

Loneoutdoorsman (@guest_48116)
4 years ago

Ey hate those little barking rats that people call dogs.

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