However, my neighbor leaves nasty notes on my front door threatening legal action and has complained to Animal Control (I haven't been cited). I think he's a bully
Oh, you think he's a bully for insisting that your right to a barking dog ends with your four walls. That might be your first problem.
but I don't want to be sued.
A lawsuit is certainly a possibility.
Orange County law states that "nuisance" dog owners can be fined up to $500 for failing to control their pet, but are small inside dogs that yap during daylight hours considered nuisances?
From a legal standpoint it certainly could be.
- A private nuisance is a civil wrong; it is the unreasonable, unwarranted, or unlawful use of one's property in a manner that substantially interferes with the enjoyment or use of another individual's property, without an actual Trespass or physical invasion to the land.
Above quoted from:
We live in townhouses next door to each other in a dog-friendly community. Is he expecting too much?
There are other dogs that bark in the neighborhood, but because our homes abut each other, he singles out my pups.
Because he hears them the loudest. That's all that counts.
No other neighbors are complaining.
He's harrassing me
No, he isn't. He's expressing his right to peace and quiet.
I'm stressing about this. I don't know how much more I can do - today I left every radio in the house on. They're dogs - they bark.
Lots of dogs don't bark.
He should thank me for the early warning system!
That's your opinion. Also irrelevant.
Does he have legal recourse?
Yes. He can institute a private nuisance lawsuit as well as file a complaint with the authorities and get you fined. That seems like plenty of recourse to me.
How much am I expected to do as a dog owner to stop the barking?
Whatever it takes up to and including finding the dogs a new home where their barking can be muted by a greater distance from neighbors.
I can't afford doggie day care - I'm a single parent supporting two college students. I will continue to address the problem, but he's scaring me a little!
Frankly, if I was disturbed by barking on the other side of my wall I'd want to scare you, too.