When it comes to excuses offered by irresponsible dog owners, this one has to top the list. Here's my suggested dialogue...
Irresponsible Dog Owner: Dogs bark. That's what they do.
You: Yes, and some dogs bark. Andbarkandbarkandbarkandbarkandbark.
I guarantee you that they'll beg you to please stop the "barkandbarkandbark" line. At that point, you say, "Welcome to my world."
Whether the irresponsible dog owner will take the hint is another matter. Many of them are so clueless that they don't realize that their dog's noise is causing even a little bit of inconvenience to others.
Here's a fun factoid, courtesy of Dr. Craig Mixon's excellent BarkingDogs.net site:
"Humans around the world began to selectively breed wolves or the
descendants of wolves. They sought to make each successive generation
more in the likeness of what they conceptualized as the ideal canid
companion. Over time, through the process of selective breeding, the
descendants of those first cubs ceased to be wolves and evolved into
"Some of the humans who genetically engineered the evolution of the dog
had little use for canines that barked much, so they selected breeding
stock that was more vocally restrained. Those dogs are the ancestors of
today's quieter breeds.
"On the other hand, some humans intentionally bred dogs who showed a
marked predisposition to vocalize. Out of those dogs came, among
others, today's terriers who lapse into intense, frantic barking with
little or no provocation.
"So, we say that some dogs just 'naturally' tend to bark a lot, which
really means that, by virtue of their genetics, they are predisposed to
bark. It's important to note that having a genetic predisposition to
bark doesn't mean that the dog has to bark. It just means that he is
inclined to do so."
You can read more at Dr. Mixon's Why Dogs Bark page.
The Department of Shameless Self-Promotion. If you'd like to drop a not-so-subtle hint to the irresponsible dog owners in your life, well, there's my QuietBarkingDogs store.