Misophonia Trigger: Dog Barking

by | Jun 10, 2014 | Triggers | 31 comments

barking misophonia
barking misophonia

Barking: immediately destroys cuteness

Misophonia Rating: 10/10

This is an odd one…

I’m not even 100% sure it counts as misophonia, so I’d be really interested to get your feedback.

We have a dog at work. A beautiful little thing, who greets us with leaps and bounds and tail wags in the morning and then lies on a rug serenely for the rest of the day. She’s perfectly behaved and really is a calming influence on everyone.

However… every now and then she’ll start barking. It’s normally because a post man has rung the buzzer or someone unfamiliar has walked by so this is a totally normal dog reaction, but it sends me into an absolute flying panic. Barking really gets my heart racing and I don’t know what to do with myself.

My immediate reaction is to glance at the owner (who I work with) with a furious, accusatory look in my eyes that says: “WHY THE HELL AREN’T YOU DOING ANYTHING?!!”

I then start rationalising with myself, as you so often have to do with misophonia, that actually neither him or the dog are doing anything wrong. The problem is I still can’t cope so 9 times out of 10 I’ll get up and pick her up and cuddle her to try and calm her down. She then stops barking and my heart stops racing…

But this is one of those weird ones where I think: “doesn’t everyone else find the sound of a dog barking annoying?” And if so, to what degree?

I guess the simple distinction here might be that as well as finding it irritating, I/we have a strong physical response to this particular sound (heart racing, mind racing etc) where as others just find it a bit annoying.



31 Comments

  1. Panos

    I don’t think that it’s an odd one! Unfortunately I have it too. I ‘ve aquired it not long ago. It’s been 20 days but it’s very intense. It seems that my neighbourhood is full of dogs that keep on barking, that I haven’t noticed before. I try to rationalize, thinking that if it didn’t bother me before it shouldn’t be bothering me now, but it doesn’t help. I keep suffering! What to do? Are there any coping strategies about this? I have very violent thoughts about dogs and dog’s owners and I hate it. I still love to have contact with dogs when they are not barking and I used to like them very much. Please help!!!

    Reply
    • Malinda

      This. The sun goes down and the neighbors dogs start barking. I’m in the country. No disturbing the peace laws exist. Now the other neighbor has decided he needs a dog that barks all night too. So they have bark battles until the sun comes up. Needless to say I haven’t slept much since November. I’ve talked to them. I’ve offered help. The response was “I don’t hear them as much, they are fine.” It’s because they are barking towards my house!! I get so angry I could lose my temper. Tonight it had me in tears and that’s why I’m still awake at 3:24 am

      Reply
  2. Allergic to Sound

    Thanks for the comment Panos. It’s so difficult. For me it’s the hair-raising panic. It really makes my heart jump (as if someone’s fired a gunshot). After that it settles into the usual ragey misophonia (as in WHY IS NO-ONE DOING ANYTHING TO STOP THIS NOISE).

    I think what you are currently doing is the best coping strategy and it works for me. While the barking is going on, I immediately start trying to rationalise it in my head. Things like… “the dog and/or owner isn’t intentionally trying to upset me”… “it didn’t bother be before, why should it now”… “this is an issue with my misophonia, no-one else, so don’t let it upset me”. The deeper and more focused you get into the internal analysis and the rationalising, the more it distracts you from the noise itself and your feelings associated with it.

    Reply
  3. Lea Gee

    Oh, I can sympathise with you on this one. It’s another sound that gets right through to me. I really can’t stand the repetitive sound of a dog’s bark. A previous neighbour had 2 dogs, one would bark then the other, so there was no break in the sound and they would drive me mad. It has meant that I’ve had to spend so much money on extra glazing wherever I’ve lived just to try to keep out the sound of dogs barking outside. It had always amazed me that other people seemed immune to barking and, yes, like you, I’ve had to understand that it’s the misphonia that’s the problem and other people just don’t understand.

    Reply
  4. XL

    As I am typing this right now, there are two little annoying yappers that are letting out and it’s 9PM. Ever since a few weeks ago, my reaction towards barking dogs has gotten worse. There are two households that are the driving force of this problem. The two yappers I’ve just mentioned, live a block a away adjacent to our house and the other is just on the other side of the street facing our house, which has a beagle-sized dog that barks not so incessantly, but loud. It’s from this one dog that I have developed my hatred towards barking dogs and possibly dogs in general. Every time the dogs bark, I close the windows and turn up the volume of the background noise (Brown noise) I listen to the computer to suppress the noise of the barking. It is very tough to live in a neighborhood that allows noisy dogs. I often have thoughts of ending the lives of the dogs by any means or moving, but both of them are out of the question and the only way that can solve this problem is through legal means if it’s going to work. If not, then…

    Reply
  5. Mike H.

    My issue is when I hear a barking dog,can be next to me or half block away. My left ear canal shakes. Do I have Misophonia?

    Reply
  6. Kayla

    16 year old here with Misophonia. Yes, dogs barking makes my hair stand up and it’s not odd at all. But, it’s not just barking. I also can’t stand a lot of other noises dogs make. Eating, drinking water (more specifically in the bigger breeds of dog because their mouths are bigger and produce more sound) And ESPECIALLY licking and smacking lips. It drives me absolutely insane to the point where I’m so frustrated that I don’t know how to react and I just cry in exhaustion. I’ve always had such emotional bonds and a deep love for animals all my life, but because my triggers have become so much worse I can’t stand them anymore and it hurts. I want to love and be loved by a dog, I’ve wanted to become a Vet since I was little, but because of Misophonia my dreams are completley smothered and I can’t be around dogs anymore. I guess that’s what life does huh? Just destroys you until you can’t take it anymore.

    Reply
    • Jenny

      I had never even heard of this until a couple days ago when i started googling “Why do i hate every noise my dog makes?” and it kept leading me to this, but i kept thinking “that can’t be right…” but then i started reading all these comments and yours is exactly how i feel. I love the dog, he’s one of my favorite breeds and he’s so sweet and cute and loving, but I feel like someone is rubbing two cheese graters together every time he makes ANY sound at all. drinking from his bowl, chewing his food, licking something, breathing, huffing, whining, yipping, howling “woowoo”ing (slight difference), anything. It all drives me insane. i have tried to hard to remind myself he’s literally just existing, there’s no reason for me to be angry, but it’s exhausting being around him, and nobody else in the house gets it. they think i hate the dog, and i don’t! i love him, he’s a great dog (seriously not a violent bone in his body, he loves EVERYONE) and he tries so hard to be a good doggy all the time, but i can tell he knows i get very frustrated with him all the time and i feel so bad, but even when i’m actively trying to ignore the feeling, it’s there, front and center.

      Reply
  7. Ariadna

    I do not suffer from misophonia, but I generally dislike noise. And to me, the absolute worse noise is dog barking, I hate it. I have always had dogs myself, but I have made the effort to control/manage/educate them so they do not bark or annoy anyone. Nothing worse than people that keep dogs and allow them to bark, bark, bark. It’s inconsiderate to neighbours and, besides, it generally means they are lousy dog owners: they do not exercise them enough, do not provide them with enough stimulation, company, can’t manage them, etc. How to act: send a nice anonimous letter asking to stop the barking, if no results, send a 2nd letter and threat with action(s), if no results, make a plan and ACT!

    Reply
    • Pissed Off, in VA

      I can tell you my experience in VA. I tried the anonymous letter to the owners of 3 incredibly loud annoying dogs behind us. Their barking has been going on for years and I had complained to the police a few times before that, supposedly anonymously. So imagine my surprise when they dropped an anonymous letter in my mailbox thanking me for my anonymous letter and saying that if I don’t stop wasting theirs and police time they will take legal action against me. How did they know it was me? Of course it was upsetting. I called the police to ask them about it and they just laughed and said if the owners wanted to waste their money they could try suing. A few weeks later the dogs were really getting on my nerves again to the point where I called the police and they put me through to animal control. He said would I like him to visit the owners. I asked if he could come to me first so I could talk to him. He could not have been nicer. I showed him the nasty letter from the owners and he again just shook his head and said that I was the one being inconvenienced by their dogs so they had no legal leg to stand on. He also made it very clear to me that It was my absolute right to call the police and complain about this. He offered to go round right there and then and talk to them. I was sorely tempted but I also knew that unless I was prepared for all out battle with them and much unpleasantness I would rather not at this time. I have put up with it but wanted to scream at them uncontrollably. I don’t like what it makes me feel and how I become. I am mad at them rather than the stupid mutt who knows no different. If they would just show a modicum of respect to my neighbors and I by telling them to be quiet, I could handle it but letting them go on and on is unacceptable. Strangely, or maybe not, it has become much better during COVID. They are home probably and realize how noisy their dogs are or maybe because the dogs have human interaction they don’t bark as much. It has started up again this week though.

      Reply
  8. Errr

    Yeah

    Wow. I totally agree.

    Screw barking dogs and their negligent/ignorant owners. It’s worse than fingernails on a chalkboard for me although I think I’ve learned to accept/control it to some level.

    For the most part it seems to boil down to some kind of control issue. Possibly exasperating an anger issue as well (at least in my experience)

    I have even fantasized about building an ultrasonic cannon that I could use to combat the issue but then I think that would probably be cruel to the animal. Perhaps just torture the owners instead?? Jk..

    Well there’s my little rant for the day. Thanks for listening ;D

    Reply
  9. Xanthe

    My sensitivity to this issue happened when I brought my baby daughter home from the hospital. I was in a heightened state of stress and had never spent so much time at home before! This problem has had a significant detrimental effect on my life. I can’t even enjoy the sunshine on my balcony and I have to brace myself every time I leave the house. I have to leave all the windows shut. I have found that putting the rangehood fan on is good white noise and tends to mask the sound. It definitely has a moral component, like a lot of misophonia. Why can’t the owners manage the issue?! When I approached my neighbours about it, they were nasty. Local councils where I live in Melbourne, Australia seem powerless to do anything about it – or uninterested. Dog owners are a significant part of their constituency, it’s true. Bon courage to all. It’s nice at least to not be alone with this.

    Reply
  10. Dave

    I have a few trigger sounds, but there is no sound that sends me as quickly over the edge like a barking dog. The neighborhood in which I live is full of them. Sometimes one of them barks and it gets the rest of them going. People who know how much this bothers me think that I hate dogs, but I really like dogs. I don’t have one because I don’t want to have to deal with all of the work to care for them (more of a cat person myself), but I’ve always loved them. Yet that doesn’t help when I hear one barking away and it sends me into a rage. Honestly, it makes me feel like a crazy person because nobody else seems to be bothered by it at all. And of course, any person that has a dog that barks without being stopped is automatically useless to me. People always joke around with me that I should just get a house in the middle of nowhere, where there is nobody else to bother me. The punchline of the joke is, that would be like heaven for me.

    Reply
    • SueAnn

      This sound like I wrote it word for word. You are not alone!

      Reply
  11. francisco

    My neighborhood has about nine, constantly, barking dogs. The worse part is that both adjacent neighbors have loud dogs and I’ve probably called the local police department on one of them approximately 10 times within 2018 to now. It helped a bit cause these selfish wastes of mass were letting their dog bark for, no exaggeration, hours nonstop while left alone in the house. I don’t know if they got fined or anything but they’ve became pretty rude towards us. Honestly, I rather have enemies than having to play friendly neighbor with some selfish jerk. I know this neighborhood will continue to have barking and perhaps my patience will drift to the point of everyone getting taken to court, lol. Seriously, there is a line being crossed when these noises invade your home from outside to inside. If you’re being bothered then call your local animal control or police department, tell them the address of the person with the dog(s) and that the dog has been barking for -estimated length that it’s been happening- then they’ll usually send a officer over that gives them a warning. And your report is kept anonymous. My heart goes out to all of you that, too, are suffering from this, whether it be from having misophonia or not. Isn’t it ridiculous that towns won’t allow chickens (which are more USEFUL) but allow these dogs that destroy our peace and cause much more noise? Sorry for the rant, I’m just letting off some steam. Maybe jail is more quiet? (Joke)

    Reply
    • SueAnne

      Totally Agree!

      Reply
  12. Chub

    You touched a sensitive subject. I can’t stand dog barking and for some reason I am filled with uncontrolled rage and want to kill both the dogs and owners.

    I tried talking to them but they said they can’t do anything and if I have a problem I should wear ear plugs. What an answer!

    Then, on the same night they started barking again so I jumped out the house in the middle of the night and started screaming and swearing at them the most insulting things you can imagine.

    The neighbours started being afraid of me and somehow the barking was heavily reduced. The dogs still bark but it’s far better now. I would say it has been reduced from 10 to 2. Still annoying but the beast within me doesn’t awake.

    Now, you have to realize that people who have barking dogs are people who have actually abandoned their dogs in their own houses just like they have abandoned their lives.

    Unfortunately, these people are dead in the head and don’t understand logic. Sad but true…

    I am a migraine sufferer and dog barking is like a knife to the head. I asked myself what can I do? I am a musician too so that multiplies the anger.

    The only thing you can do is scare the owners. Really, this is the only way you can treat someone who is dead in the head: Fear. That is the only language they understand. Scare them off so that they are afraid of their own shadow.

    How? Use your imagination, have fun and guess what! GET RID OF THE PROBLEM BECAUSE NO ONE IS GOING TO DO IT FOR YOU!

    I hope I helped you my friend 🙂

    Reply
    • John

      It’s common to hate the noise of barking dogs, even amongst people without misophonia. It’s why councils are inundated with barking complaints, why friction between neighbours is rife, and why it’s not uncommon for people to resort to cruel acts to make the noise stop.

      Reply
  13. Julie

    So it’s not just me then. I’m the woman in her nightgown telling the many dogs on my street to ‘shut the f*** up’ and ‘I’m going to KILL you.’ God forbid any of them actually does die; I’ll be the prime suspect. I hate dogs and I hate bad dog owners. I live in a high crime area so everyone has dogs that they encourage to bark and car alarms that they don’t shut off. Do what I did. Get on Amazon and buy the dog training thingee. It emits those high frequency sounds that only dogs can hear. Now I just open my front door, say SHUT UP, and the dog runs away. First few times you have to get really close to the dog but it seems to work. After that, just point it at the dog and RESULT.

    Reply
    • Rachel

      What is the thingy please, Julie? I’m desperate to do something – my scratty neighbours consider kicking their dogs into their postage-stamp sized garden to be their ‘exercise’

      Reply
      • Cee

        I know exactly how everyone is feeling with regards to dog barking.

        I live in a family friendly estate and for the majority of the time people are considerate and it’s quiet enough considering every household has kids and a dog. However, all last Summer I had to SUFFER because an owner in my street thought it’d be ok to let his Collie bark constantly all day everyday in the garden – WHILE HE WAS AT HOME. I put up with this issue from April right through to September. I thought about sending a letter but I was just too nervous. So I contacted my local council and they sent out a warning letter to his address. NOTHING CHANGED! But during the Winter months he keeps the dog inside so it’s been ok for a few months.

        End of March recently, the barking started again. I was beginning to get severe panic attacks and anxiety all over again. So what did I do?! Go over to his house at 2am and sent a letter through his letterbox. Basically saying enough is enough and this will NOT be tolerated any longer. In other words – SORT YOUR DOG OUT. That was almost 4 weeks ago, heard the dog bark TWICE since.

        I’m extremely grateful he actually listened and despite other dogs in the neighbourhood barking on occasion, it’s within its boundaries and it doesn’t affect me.

        Saying that, my other neighbour just bought a trampoline for her kids and they tease their Collie puppy and wind him up, so he barks incessantly for hours at the kids! 🙂 Owner doesn’t care either.

        I honestly just think people don’t know how much of an affect it can have on others and so, if it doesn’t affect them; it’s ok!

        Reply
        • SueAnn

          You hit the nail on the head. People think if it doesn’t affect them, then no one else should be affected either, and that is just plain wrong!

          Reply
  14. John harmon

    This is me 100% barking dogs making me feel like death. I am physically hurting and crippled when I hear them. I need a solution?

    Reply
    • Deftonez

      Im so glad im not the only one who stresses over dogs barking. I thought maybe i was insane. At least the cops think im insane cause i call about my neighbors dog and i dont care. I pay taxes and should have a right to peace and quiet. Ive even had thoughts og poisoning the dog. I just cant do it. Its not dogs fault , its the negligent lazy owners.

      Reply
  15. Sue Ann

    I am so glad I found this site. People look at me and shake their heads if I complain about barking dogs. Just try to put a FB post up about it and all the dog owners come out of hiding to defend themselves and their barking dogs. I am so glad to know I am not the only one that suffers from this. As a kid it never bothered me either, but now….I just don’t think anyone else’s sound should be loud enough to penetrate anyone else’s walls. I often think about when my sons were teenagers. They were never allowed to blast their radios/stereos. You can bet that the dog owners of the world would be the first to complain and call the police for the sound bothering their dogs. I know this sounds mean, but I chuckle to myself whenever they complain about fireworks sending their dogs into a tizzy. That is how I feel when a dog’s constant barking is heard through closed doors and windows. There is no way to shut the sound off but to drown it out with white noise. I do this, especially when I go to sleep (or I would never get any), but it bothers me if there were ever an emergency, would I be able to hear the first responders trying to call out to me? It is a shame, we have to to put up sound blocks instead of dog owners being held accountable. I once told a neighbor who let his 6 dogs out to pee at 5am that my sleep schedule should not revolve around his dogs’ pee schedule. I would wake up and not be able to fall back asleep. I finally changed bedrooms to the other side of the house. Shame, I had to be the one to accomodate. I’m done, rant over. It felt good to get that out to people who truly understand!

    Reply
  16. Lilly

    So glad I found this as well!! I’ve always been more sensitive to sounds to others, but it wasn’t until I met my Fiance that I realized how much of an issue I had with dogs. The weird thing is that I’ve always loved dogs! But I’ve never actually LIVED with one. We have a German Shepherd and OMG I can not stand it! It has taken a huge toll on our relationship and I feel horrible sometimes because I didn’t know I would have this reaction because I’ve never been in this situation. I actually have been to see a few therapists to see what could be done. For me, I would re-home the dog. I feel the dog would be so much happier in a home where all parties truly want it to be there. But my Fiance is too attached. So the next best thing was building a fence outside and now the dog is an outside dog. But I still can’t stand it! Now the dog barks at everything from the mailman to a squirrel in the yard. And anytime we have company the dog freaks out. It has actually become a visual trigger as well. Like as soon as I see the dog, that feeling comes in my stomach and chest and I just can’t stand it! Never thought this would happen but here we are…..

    Reply
    • Jenny

      That’s how i feel. i always loved huskies and now that i live with my fiance who has one, i absolutely can’t stand any sound he makes, but i love him, he’s so cute and sweet… he’s a good dog and i KNOW that, but i can’t seem to stop hating all the sounds he makes, and just seeing him i get anxious every time he comes near or looks like he’s about to make a noise of any kind. i feel so bad, but i can’t make it stop 🙁

      Reply
  17. Ian

    During quarantine I’ve counted 7 different dogs I can hear from my house, and they all have a schedule. At 8 I get woken up to a little yipper who barks until about 10. After that there’s this other dog that barks from 10:30 to 1 or 2 pm. 2 to 4 are the quietest hours. Some of the dogs don’t follow a schedule, so they’ll just bark randomly throughout the day. Then the evening barking crew barks from 5 to sundown. The loudest dog consistently barks in this time slot. My house is under constant siege, and I have to make the choice of going brain dead and deaf, or paranoid and hearing. I love dogs and have one myself, although lately I’ve come to see the barking ones more as hellhounds. I know I can’t do anything physical to the dogs, but this realization to the miso side of my brain locks my body into some sort of paralysis. This whole situation is crazy I’ve never been bothered by dogs barking before. I have no idea what to do. I’ve already asked the neighbors to keep the dogs quiet, but really nothing has helped

    Reply
  18. David

    I purchased my house in a residential neighborhood about 12 years ago. The barking didn’t bother me then. Now, it almost hurts my soul when I hear barking (if that makes any sense). It goes right to my spine. Every bark startles me somehow (even though I know the barking is coming). It makes me angry and gives me a panic attack feeling. I’m happy that I’m not the only one with this issue. My next house will be in the country with lots of land. I enjoy music (loud) and there’s no issues, so I don’t understand why dog barking gets to me.

    Reply
    • Grace

      Thank you all for your comments. I thought that I was totally alone but I realize now that I am not. My parents and I had a dog that I loved. I adored her. Her barking bothered me but it didn’t affect my mental health nearly as much. My parents and I now have a Belgian Shepherd who barks at everything that moves. Literally. She barks at people who are on the street walking by, people who come into the house, and at children. She barks so much and it drives me nuts. It really hurts my ears. My dad feels the same way but he seems to ignore it, and my mom isn’t bothered by it at all. Whenever I hear my dog bark, I get so angry. I get angry at the dog in my head and I’ve screamed at the dog. I’ve had thoughts that would scare you all, like I would rather die than hear this dog bark again or a thought like I want to kill this dog. Of course I never act on any of these but my thoughts make me feel like an insane person. I don’t know what to do. I’m working from home now too due to COVID and I’m on the phone all day so I can’t have background noise but my dog keeps barking away even though my parents try to stop her. I don’t know what to do. I feel helpless. Please tell me what to do. I feel crazy.

      Reply
      • Me

        HALLELUJAH!!! I am not alone. Dog noises drives me absolutely nuts!!! Licking,chewing,drinking and the the Oh my gosh so horrible barking! I can’t stand it. Go make your dog shut up…I can hear it..you can too!! 2 an and I’m on the porch yelling shut up!!!

        Reply

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