Monday, January 20, 2014


A gringo moves into an apartment in Mexico only to discover that his landlord's dog barks…a lot. After one particularly frustrating and sleepless night, followed by a day of endless yapping, the tenant finally works up the courage to complain to the landlord.
"Isn't there something you can do about that dog barking all the time?" he asks, trying to restrain his fury.
"But señor, why do you listen?"the landlord asks.

Why, indeed? It's a question I've often discussed with ex-pat friends, many of whom have dealt with the issue of unwanted noise in Mexico. Appreciation of noise is definitely one of those cultural divides. Over the years, I've been able to develop a slightly more Buddha-like attitude to disturbances beyond my control, but being from New York City, where complaining is an art form, there's always a part of me that screams out for justice.

The problem got bad in my neighborhood a few months back when someone across the street got a new dog and left it on the roof unattended, and then left for work all day. It went on for months. You could hear the pain in the poor dog's throat. One day I counted more than 10 hours of non-stop barking. We were able to identify the building where the dog lived, but hesitated to contact the owners directly, not knowing how they might respond.

But guess what? There was relief available from our very own municipal government! You can contact the Procuraduría Ambiental y del Ordenamiento Territorial del DF and make a complaint about any environmental issue. You can make a denuncia on the internet through their website:


            Or even better, go directly to the office at Medellin 202. 4to. Piso, Colonia Roma Norte
                                                         (Click HERE for map link)

Eventually we got an email, in elaborate beaurocrat-ese, saying that someone had visited the dog's owners and seen 'Nina' and her 4 pups. There was no elaboration about how the matter was handled, but we haven't heard a peep since. 


Retired Teacher said...

It's not a problem unique to Mexico. Back home in Ohio I had a new next-door neighbor who would leave the house at night and leave the dogs in the back yard to bark all night. I had to call the police three times before the barking (at least in the middle of the night) finally stopped. Of course now the neighbor doesn't speak to me.
I've had the same problem at a couple places that I've rented in Mexico, but nothing comparable to what you experienced. (By the way, I once rented your place a couple years ago, and never had a problem with barking dogs.) It's nice to know that there is a number that one can call. I wonder if other cities in Mexico have a similar office.
Gracias por la información.

Jesus Chairez said...

Welcome to Mexico City, Silence is prohibited is what I always say. Glad to know there is recourse.

Siauliai said...

10 hours of non-stop barking sounds like a catastroph, it is impossible to live in these conditions. Similar situation has nerver occurred to me before, but if it does, now I know the solution.

kate said...

Earplugs and a fan running, even in the winter months ( facing away from me), helps. When we remodeled our home here, we put in double glazed windows, and they are amazing for reducing the noise! Even the gallos don't wake me. I hope Nina has a better place to sleep (or bark) these days.

Anonymous said...

Unabated noise was probably the number one reason I finally gave up on living in Mexico...and inability to share the pain of these wretched animals. Add blasting radios, firecrackers starting at one in the morning, quinceaneras till dawn that shook the building like an earthquake. Hey it's their country, so I left.

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Barking Dogs said...

Great post! Been reading a lot about stopping dogs around here from barking

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Anonymous said...

So there's a number where you can complain. Great! But does anyone actually do anything?

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