Thursday, October 6, 2011

Barking up the wrong RV

Dear Dr. R.V. 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 combative 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% of campground neighbors you deal with will be the total opposite of those you have dealt with in this instance.

--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink

##RVT818; ##RVT902


Anonymous said...

This is where a video camera or cell phone with video capability comes in real handy. Just take a few minutes of video and make sure you get footage that will "prove" it was indeed their dogs that are the transgressors. While it may not result in total resolution to the situation, at least it is not a "my word vs. their word" situation. Dogs are becoming a real nuisance everywhere and dog owners need to realize not everyone is enthralled with little Muffy and Fluffy.

Katrina said...

In my experience with dog owners, most will become combative like that. They usually do know their dog barks and have been told before. They just don't want to give up Rover, stay with Rover at all times, or have no idea how to shut him up. You are better off complaining to management or moving.

Anonymous said...

Oh my I ever agree! I can't begin to tell you how many times we have been subjected to a campsite neighbor's barkers. We have found it never does any good to ask them to take their dogs with them when they leave the campsite. We immediately go to the ranger/campground owner/someone with a badge. 9 times out of 10 the "host" will do nothing because they also have 2+ dogs and identify with the dog owners. Find somebody much higher up in authority or insist on speaking to the campround owner. What is it lately with the 2..3..4..or more dogs in the RV? First thing when they pull in to the site...out come the multiple dogs. Usually we find it easiest to just change sites if at all possible. Dachshounds (sp? sorry) seem to be the new little dog of choice. They don't bark...they SCREECH. And what don't these people understand about "Dog must be on 6 foot leash"? That's SIX feet, not 8 or 10 ft., and the OWNER MUST BE ON THE OTHER END! We are soooo tired of trying to take an evening stroll around the campground and having dog after dog race out to "greet" us. KEEP YOR DOG IN YOUR CAMPSITE...ON A LEASH. It's the RULE.

Anonymous said...

Offer a bottle of aspirin to the owners. 2 each for them, the remainder for the dogs.

Jo said...

I agree that there are a lot of campers out there that have no regard for fellow RV'rs. They do not scoop, they walk through other peoples campsites and pay no attention to their animals barking.
We have been full timing for 4 years now and find that the animals rule their owners. It is sad to see that people have lost the respect for their fellow RV'rs.
Many times we just move on instead of enjoying an area due to people's pet issues. The campground looses the money as well as the community due to what has become an issue.
Enjoy a warm winter!

Anonymous said...

I also am a dog owner but it makes me ferious when other owners don't pick up after there pets and let them rule the roost. It makes it harder on the ones that are responsible.

DogGone said...

We have two Shelties we take camping. We carry dog-doo bags in a roll on the leash and pick up after our dogs. They are always leashed and we have a fence (portable) at our campsite and fence them when we are outside. When we go in so do they. Sometimes we can not take them with us when we leave, but have a low volume radio on (it helps) and put bark collars on the dogs to stop the bark. I loathe those that do not obey the rules. It hurts all dog owners that care about their neighbors feelings.

Anonymous said...

A video is normally worthless as the barkers are usually inside the rv when the owners leave. If you try to do an audio recording, you have no proof that the animals barking are those that really are barking.

I think you handled it as well as can be expected, except maybe complaining to the host/owner/mgr. However, about all they can do is talk to the pet owners....I seriously doubt if they will make them leave.

Anonymous said...

Maybe those of you who threatened the animals should give up RV as it seems too stressful for you.

lostAnnfound said...

People like that make it difficult for responsible dog owners to take their dog(s) camping. My husband & I have been camping together for over 25 years, always with 1 or 2 dogs. We always pick up after them, they are leashed and we do not leave them alone. If there was any problem, I would be happy if the above writer told me so that that it could be corrected.

Wolfe said...

We BOUGHT our hard-sided RV *specifically* so that we could take our two (large!) dogs with us "camping", since tents DO NOT work well with dogs. So, that might be the answer to the "what's with all the dogs" asker.

That said, I fully agree with the original poster that MY dogs shouldn't be YOUR sound/poop problem outside of my campground -- my dogs ARE NOT permitted to bark or lunge, and ALWAYS leave with us if we leave the rig. They are trained to ONLY relieve themselves where I say to (yes, really!), and if they DO "doo" on someone else's site, I make sure to pick it up *completely*; if I find any other dog's "presents" on my walks, I clean those up too (why NOT if I have a bag with me -- it makes *everyone* happier to see MY dogs!).

And yes, if my dogs WERE to be anything but flawless campers, I WOULD want my neighbors to let me know about the issue directly so I could apologize and/or correct it. Feeling you need to call cops or whatnot is stupid, and harming my INNOCENT dogs WOULD earn you a bullet -- they ARE my kids, and I'm a both a diligent and defensive parent. You're complaining about bad pet owners, not me or the USUAL ones I've met.

Anonymous said...

As a RVer with a large dog I agree, owners must stepup and take responsibility for their pets. Yappy dogs are not fun to be around and if my dog was disturbing people I would want to know. 99% of the time we take our dog w/us when we leave the RV, but can't always. We leave the ac/heat on to drown out outsie noises and an iPod also. I have found that most of the dog poop that isn't picked up is from small dogs and find this most annoying. We ALWAYS pickup after our dog and usually others as I don't want to end up stepping in it when we are out with our dog who is ALWAYS on a short leash. It's nice if the grounds have fenced in areas to let the dogs run, however I have found once again, owners with smaller dogs don't always pickup and I end up doing the picking up in the dog runs. Bad owners give us all a bad wrap. Be responsible and make sure your dogs are good neighbors. Don't ruin it for all of us that love traveling with our pets.