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

Dear RV Shrink:rvshrink
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

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6 Thoughts to “Dog owner’s “bite” worse than dog’s bark”

  1. Ron in Texas

    My wife and I do not have pets (we are in the minority) and I do not like yapping dogs. Most of our “camping” friends travel with dogs and cats, are careful about bothering others and have found ways to keep their dogs quiet while they are away. One couple travels with three dogs and a cat and found that leaving a TV on keeps everything calm. I think most RVers are respectful of others. Unfortunately there are some who simply don’t care and will do as they please as long as they can get away with.

  2. Laura

    Thanks to the little boxes we all carry in our pockets these days, it’s possible to end these hangdog arguments before they start. When the RV park neighbors’ little angels start their barking, I just hit “record” on my mobile phone’s voice recorder. Then I play the recording for the manager or camp host. It’s an effective means of showing people exactly what is going on. They simply cannot argue with a recording of their little darlings going bananas barking!

  3. Elaine Schuster

    We have two dogs who love to bark. We can get them to stop when we are there, but if we are gone, say in a restaurant or shopping, they can go nuts. I acquired a bark deterrent. It looks like a little plastic house. I used it a few times. Now all I have to do is leave it where they can see it. I don’t have to turn it on. This one will work for 50 feet. You could get one and just keep it in your RV and the neighbor dogs would hear it and not bark.
    Here is a comparison of several different kinds of bark stoppers.

  4. Terry

    Most campground rules, like hotel rules, prohibit leaving pets on site unattended. Time to enforce that rule. For the sake of the pets’ safety in case of fire, as well as the other park residents’ sanity. After all, we paid for tranquility not a dog kennel atmosphere.

  5. BB

    In similar situations, I have never found a dog(s) owner(s) who thought their precious could possibly bark in their absence. Never received an apology or offer to keep the animal quiet but why do they think you would ever bring it up in the first place?! I refuse to stay in areas with a dog(s) anywhere around.

  6. Robbie

    As campground hosts, we have found that most people believe their pets are angels when they are not present. Your best bet is at the time of the barking, alert the campground host or ranger and let them deal with the problem, first-hand.

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