Wednesday, 18 July 2018
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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

In Homeowner Associations, Dogs Do Present Challenges

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 10 April 2018 20:30

Some may be old enough to remember the rock band from the 1970s called Three Dog Night. There is an interesting story behind their name. Australian aborigines domesticated and kept wild dogs (dingos). On cold nights they would customarily sleep with their dogs to keep warm. On colder nights they would sleep with two dogs, and if a night was especially cold, it was a "three dog night".

The relationship between man and dog goes back a long way. They brighten lives in ways humans can't. They're so forgiving and compliant. For many, they are the ideal companion. But for homeowner associations, dogs do present challenges.

Barking dogs can be a very contentious issues in an HOA. Many dog owners think that while other dogs may bark, theirs certainly doesn't. Let's come clean on this one. When left alone, all dogs bark. Some howl. It's their nature. They are social animals and when deprived of company, barking is a way of attracting it. But in the confines of a common wall community, barking generally attracts only the unwelcome attention of the neighbors.

Modern technology provides answers to the barking issue by surgical and non-surgical means. Surgery is considered in extreme cases when behavior modification can't be accomplished. Some of the bark control gizmos include:

Bark Control Collar (Shock). Automatically emits a battery powered electric shock when triggered by barking.

Bark Control Collar (Spray). Automatically emits a citronella (lemon) spray when triggered by barking.

Bark Control Collar (Ultrasonic). Automatically emits a high pitched sound.

Stationary Ultrasonic Unit. Automatically emits a high pitched sound without collar.

Portable Ultrasonic Unit. Emits a high pitched sound when triggered by a trainer.

Reports on effectiveness of these devices vary. They are battery controlled so making sure the batteries are working is essential. Whether shock, spray or ultrasound is more effective is subject to trial and error. But according to industry reports, over 2/3rds of those that reported using the devices for more than 90 days said behavior improved.

There is a belief that shock collars are the dog equivalent of Tasers (stun guns). But according to the industry, the level and duration of a collar shock is a tiny fraction of what a Taser does.

If a dog barks in the woods and there is no one there to hear it, is he still a bad dog? Since barking is bound to cause complaints in a homeowner association, be prepared to offer effective alternates to the owners of the offenders. Good boy.

For more on this topic, see www.Regenesis.net

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Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson owns Regenesis, a management consulting company that specializes in condominium and homeowner associations. He is a nationally recognized expert on HOA management issues.

Regenesis publishes The Regenesis Report, a monthly newsletter for HOA boards, developers and managers. To subscribe, go to Regenesis.net. He can be contacted by email at rich@regenesis.net.

www.regenesis.net

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