A barking dog can be extremely nerve-wracking. It is even more true when the dog isn't even yours. If you have a neighbor whose dog has a yapping problem, then there are several things to do to potentially help the situation. Here is a look at some of the options to try:
Inquire About the Dog
The first option is to talk to your neighbor about the barking. Many dogs bark because they're bored and lonely when locked in an apartment or yard all day, and are fine and calm when their owner comes home. If this sounds right, then a conversation with the neighbor is in order. Often, this is enough for the owner to take responsibility for his or her pet, and to get them what they need. The more you take this approach with kindness and concern, the more likely you are to instigate it being solved. There may be other neighbors (even yourself) willing to walk a lonely dog midday with the owner's permission, or to bring another local dog around for a play date. Other friends may have stories about how their anxious dog needed Prozac, essential flower homeopathic drops or a thunder shirt to deal with the stresses of his or her life. The more this becomes a group effort to solve (with the owner's permission, of course), the more likely you are to help the pup.
Eliminate Barking Triggers
Some dogs have barking triggers that set them off. Is the dog barking all the time at everything or do certain things drive Fido nuts? As an example, if the dog only barks when you ride your bike past his yard, that would be a trigger. One easy solution, for you at least, would be to walk your bike past Fido. If the dog hates foot traffic and barks at the front window, ask the owner if they can keep him in a room where he can't see people.
Report the Dog
This is only for people who are not reasonable to work with, and who are violating some kind of law. If the dog is in an apartment, is annoying everyone, and you cannot get help from the owner, you can speak to your landlord about how the dog is disturbing the peace. If the dog is neglected in a neighbor's yard outside without proper care, you can speak to the humane society.
If nothing works, or if you have an uncooperative owner and no recourse, the final solution is to soundproof your place. Big hardware stores can help you find soundproofing panels to use on the walls in your home, and you can invest in white noise machines and thicker windows as well.