This era dogs are used as passive-aggressive weapons: what bullets are to guns, barking is to dogs. Barking kills--a slow, painful death of a million bee stings. Communities should focus on the root cause of the conflict between barking dog and innocent human: the barking is the root cause. It's the BARKING that's the source of the conflict. The source of the conflict is not the barking-sufferer's REACTION to barking, whatever that reaction may be. Chronic barking is molestation. The party at fault is the household with the barker(s). It doesn't matter what the sufferer-of-barking does to try to get the barking to stop--they feel desperate because they're not getting support from the outlying community to get the barking stopped. I'm not talking about partial-barking stopped--I mean 100%-barking stopped. The barking-sufferer has a right to enjoy his or her patch of real estate unmolested by barking. The barker needs to get gone.
In a conflict between one person and a dog, the human should win out every time. Human rights trump dog rights. Who is it who pays the mortgage or rent? Not dogs. Why do we as society allow dogs to have more rights than people? Barking is a serious offense: barking makes people--literally--insane. Chronic barking causes the barking-sufferer to not be able to meet his obligations in paying the mortgage or rent and put food on the table. People, obtaining dogs, who like to "have their own petty egos petted," are clueless as to what it takes to truly care for a dog. Being the guardian of a dog is a lifelong commitment--and dogs cost money. Leaving dog(s) in a yard unattended and unloved is a hazard to anyone who is not the owner and who is within earshot of the barking. A barker is a menace. A barker is a health hazard. A barker is an "ignored" dog--it's time we see chronic barking for what it is: ANIMAL NEGLECT. Things have to be done, by the community, on behalf of the barking-sufferer.
Communities should give power to law enforcement to seize yard barkers without the dog owner's knowledge, impound the dog(s). Or 6 months in jail. Or a $1,000 fine. If I had my wish, the dog would be euthanized within 24 hours.
Residents become hostile after years of their communities having more sympathy for barkers than for barking-sufferers, communities who spit on human need for peace and quiet where they live. Having dogs growing up, I used to like dogs. No more. Because of chronic yard barkers, I learned to loathe dogs--all dogs--always--everywhere. Barkers are REALLY, REALLY bad public relations for dogs in general. Barking gives the whole canine species a bad name.
You know, how would you feel if you went to go poop in your own toilet, the next-door neighbor's dog heard you from outside, barked continuously 5 feet from where you're doing your business? How would you feel if you put a dish in the microwave oven, the other next-door neighbor's dog heard you from outside, barked continuously 5 feet from where you're trying to eat a pleasant meal? How would you feel if the phone rings, you answer it, the next-door neighbor's dog heard you from outside, barked continuously 5 feet from where you're trying to have a conversation where you yell into the phone "I can't hear you. What'd you say?" How would you feel if the only place you could sleep was a closet floor on the other side of the house from the barker? And finally, how would you feel if this went on, day and night, for five years? Answer honestly, because you would not have had a good night's sleep in five years. How would YOU feel?
Dogs have no business around human dwelling areas. Dogs are "guests" and as such, must behave. If dogs don't behave, banish them. Dog be gone, or dog de-barked.
Mediation implies there is something to mediate, as if with chronic barking there is middle-ground or compromise. Sorry, but I'm not going to compromise my physical need for a safe and sane soundscape around my home. The dog leaves.