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Certified dog and cat behavior consultant Steve Dale discusses how to start a "barking intervention" with neighbors.
Certified dog and cat behavior consultant Steve Dale discusses how to start a "barking intervention" with neighbors. / George Doyle, Getty Images

My neighbor has gifted the neighborhood with a dog that barks incessantly. After 48 hours of non-stop barking, I was sure this poor creature was being neglected. Aside from calling the police, do you have an idea?

— L.W., San Diego

Before enlisting the long arm of the law, try a civil discussion with the neighbors — a barking intervention. They may truly be unaware the dog is barking incessantly while they’re away, and how neighbors are being affected. Ask another neighbor to join you, and get signatures from others. Express your concern for the dog, rather than focusing on your annoyance.

Dogs bark to communicate. It may be that moving to a new place and being left alone is causing the dog’s anxiety. Or perhaps this dog has always had separation issues. The good news: A vet can provide tools to help calm this pet.

Steve Dale is a certified dog and cat behavior consultant. Find more of his advice at http://pets.usaweekend.com.

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Contributing editor Steve Dale is a certified dog and cat behavior consultant. He writes a twice-weekly syndicated newspaper column and is the host of two syndicated radio shows. Most recently he is the author of two e-books that answer common (and some not-so-common) pet-behavior problems, Good Dog! and Good Cat! (available wherever e-books are sold).