About to Lose a Sale due to Barking Dogs

Real Estate Agent with WebMLS.net


During a hot summer a while back, I was rehabbing a 4 BR home. The neighbor had seven dogs (yes seven) that yelped non-stop during the entire day. Every time I walked in the back yard, the barking rose to new volume levels. They wanted only one thing - to bite me on every limb and play tug-of-war with my body. I literally could not hear myself think. Even when I was inside the house, they would bark at me when I passed the window (which was 65 feet away). I had talked with their owner about it, and (of course) he saw no problem with the dogs and did nothing.

So after I had completed the 6-week rehab, I was contacted by a couple who wanted to see the home. I scheduled the showing, and after I hung up, my first thought was "Oh no -  the dogs". There is no way anyone would buy a home next door to that going on all day. What do I do? I thought about stuffing pork chops with Valium, but I didn't have any, and had no way to get any. (Besides, I love dogs and wouldn't take a chance of harming them in any way).

That night I was watching Animal Planet, and it was about training dogs! (Yes there is a God). They were using spray bottles filled with water to lightly discipline the puppies. I thought "Wow. I never would have thought of that". So the next day out came the 100' hose from my shed. I hooked it up with a stream sprayer nozzel and went to the home to face the 7 full-grown german sheppards that were determined to ruin my sale.

I had serious doubts about this, but I at least had to try. As I hooked up the hose and turned on the valve, the dogs were singing a full chorus of "Won't you come over and play with me". I walked up to the fense and let the fun begin. As soon as each dog was sprayed they immediately shut up, tucked their tail and ran into their kennel. Every time they stuck their necks out - I let em have it. Water, water and more water. I then enjoyed a rare and beautiful thing - Silence. It had never been so quiet. The great thing about it was that it was harmless to the dogs. It was just water. I thought about the dogs owner catching me doing this, and I thought I'd say I was watering his lawn for him, (being a good neighbor and all). Trouble was that he had no grass. The dogs killed it.

Anyway, I did this routine with the dogs every day for the next 5 days until the showing was supposed to happen. The buyers and I met at the property and we immediately walked to the back yard to give the house a going over. I entered the yard first, and noticed all seven of them were out. As soon as they saw me walking toward them, they ran for cover! It had worked! We didn't hear a peep out of them the whole time. I later struck a deal with the buyers and sold the home that day! I can only say thank you Animal Planet (and God).

                                                        --BC in Columbus, Ohio






Hello everyone and thanks for responding. Concerning disclosure issues, I did tell the buyers about the dogs that day (before the sale). The buyers really loved the home and welcomed the advice on how to handle it if it became an issue again.  Due to some complaints from other neighbors, the dog's owner had to find homes for most of his flock. The real sad part of this story was my water bill for that month.

Be well.    ---bc

Comments (7)

Randy L. Prothero
eXp Realty - Hollister, MO
Missouri REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

I recently sold a home where the next door neighbor's dogs scared away a couple of buyers.  We could have used that trick.

Oct 23, 2007 06:21 PM
Brett Noel
Keller Williams - Paso Robles, CA

gREAT STORY,  iTS FUNNY, i WAS WONDERING ABOUT FULL DISCLOSURE ABOUT known nuisances?  I wonder if the dogs barked for the new buyers?

Oct 23, 2007 06:22 PM
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

That was my thought as well. Since the dogs (more than a couple pets-more like a kennel) bark so insesively, how did you handle the disclosure and what repercussions might you suffer if these dogs either continue to be a nuisance by barking or end up getting lose and causing even more problems.

I think the water idea might have been a good temp solution but I am not sure that some local governing agency might have had a more lasting solution.

Oct 23, 2007 06:33 PM
Independent Leadership & Financial Fitness Consultant - Pleasant Grove, UT

dang, that is a great idea...can't get my own dog to stop barking at times...great idea..

The other problem is the owner probably doesn't let the dog out enough, but that's another issue all together. 

Oct 23, 2007 06:40 PM
Ken Realivent
Realivent - San Francisco, CA
Great trick!  
Oct 23, 2007 07:04 PM
Nancy Brenner
Referral Associates of Georgia, Inc. - Roswell, GA
Roswell Georgia Real Estate Agent
Glad to see that you disclosed the dog problem.  Gladder still that the buyers wanted to buy the house anyway!
Oct 23, 2007 08:27 PM
Chris B

That's pretty nasty. Do you really think the dogs will stay quiet all the time after the home is sold? Of course not.


You were only concerned about your profit -- not about doing the right thing to future buyers.

Aug 20, 2013 11:33 AM