How do you approach a neighbor about their dog’s barking?

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By: Brian MoriartyCC BY 2.0
My husband and I have no relationship with the people in the apartment next to mine, other than smiling at each other on the elevator, and so we’re at a bit of a loss about how to approach them about their dog’s barking waking my husband up during the day (he works evenings).

As far as we’ve been told, our building doesn’t allow dogs. Other neighbors say they’ve lived here for several years, much longer than we have, and got their dog shortly after moving in. So we don’t want to rat them out to management, since they’d be found to be in violation of the lease and may be evicted.

How can we bring it up without creating a negative relationship right from the get-go?Monica S.

Oh lordy, I totally feel you on this. This is what I hear every time a fire truck goes by (keep in mind we live next door to a fire station)…

Now, our building is totally dog-friendly, so all I have to do is talk to my apartment manager who gives our neighbors a warning. Which I would normally recommend, because I’m all about avoiding confrontation. But when alerting the manager may mean really fucking up your neighbors’ life, what to do!?

So, Homies, how would/have/do you approach your neighbors about their barking dogs?

Comments on How do you approach a neighbor about their dog’s barking?

  1. Do you like dogs, and/or can you fake it? I’d say maybe stop by sometime when you know they’re home, introduce yourself, chat a little and tell them you were wondering if you could meet their dog, because you just LOVE dogs, or you miss having a dog, or whatever. Then casually mention that you hear the dog barking a lot. If the owners have any shame they’ll say something like “oh gosh, I’m sorry!” and you can say “Yeah, I thought you would want to know.” Passive aggressive? Maaaaybe. Still better than leaving a note, and you might make a friend!

    • If I were the dog owner, this approach would not work. If you are really enthusiastic about my dog, and then tell me that you hear him barking during the day, but never explain that *it’s a problem for you,* I’m going to be oblivious. I don’t always catch subtext. Kind, honest, open communication is most effective, at least with me.

      If I were the dog owner… I’m not sure how I would solve the problem. How do you discourage a small, high strung dog from barking? Or, are there any sound proofing methods that would be effective? Is the dog alone during the day?

      • Excessive barking is usually due to boredom or a reactivity issue (usually to outside noises or sights). This can be solved by minimizing the outside noises to the dog (turning on a radio so the dog can’t hear outside noises as clearly, putting a fan on, etc.) Additionally, if they’re barking at seeing things outside, you can block off the windows.

        Boredom can be solved by exercising a dog more, doing training, and also giving them things to work on during the day like bones, kong toys, etc.

        Now, you cannot expect a dog to NEVER bark, but it should be reasonable.

      • We have a (big) dog next door to our house that barks as soon as the owner leaves at 5am in the morning til about 9ish EVERY DAY. like you we don’t talk to our neighbour, and I figure they don’t know their dog does it as it is only when he is not there. Every morning I think of constructing a nice note to let him know but I have yet to put it in his letterbox… could you do something like this?

    • After talking to the neighbors about the barking, if they still don’t make it stop a solution would be to record the barking and start playing it back at 3 AM. Place the speaker against the wall and cover it with a pillow to muffle the noise from your side.

  2. I would maybe put a nice letter stating ‘hey, you both seem like lovely people however whilst your at wprk\shopping your dog barks and its keeping the baby up\me awake\hubby is going nuts etc’, if you would like to chat my number is *** and maybe we could come to a solution together? Thankyou

    • I would not leave a letter/note because without the humanizing aspect of standing right in front of you, with your husband’s baggy sleep deprived eyes, it can seem impersonal and abrasive. I have had people talk to me about my dog barking in person, and even when they’re confrontational I’m more likely to try my hardest to make changes, then some note on my front door.

  3. As a dog owner I would obviously be concerned if my dogs barking was affecting someone else’s life.
    It is important to first think why is the dog barking? For example does another neighbours cat jump on the windowsill and make the dog bark? Is there a neighbour that bangs around loudly upstairs? My concern here is that if you straight up approach it as a ‘your dog is barking, fix it’ situation you could be bringing more people than you know into the situation. Perhaps you can ask them if they are aware of it or of the cause
    For example, my dog barks when next doors toy dog barks. From down the street I’m sure you don’t hear the toy breed but if I was approached I would need to approach my neighbour to address the root cause ( my girl very rarely barks first and not incessantly)

  4. I’m a dog owner and I would want to know if my dog was barking while I’m away. To me, this means the dog is distressed somehow and I would want to know that.

    I used to be one of those anti-crate people. I thought of it as putting your dog in a cage, not a den, and I was, admittedly, a bit judgey on the subject. When I adopted my Sadie (my third beagle), her old owners gave me her crate, which I promptly gave away on Craigslist. I spent a week on vacation getting to know Sadie and we fell in love forever and ever.

    A couple days after I went back to work, a neighbor hesitantly approached me and told me that Sadie had been barking all day when I was gone, which seemed odd to me because I hadn’t heard her bark even once since I adopted her the week before. Also, she wasn’t ever barking when I returned home at night. I assumed it must be some other neighbor’s dog, but I thought I should do a little reconnaissance to find out for sure. The next day, I left for 20 minutes, sneaking back to hang out outside my door and listen. Sure enough, I could hear Sadie in there barking away.

    Not knowing why she was doing this or what I could do about it, I called the rescue I adopted her from to get more details about her history. It turned out that I was her fifth family (including the one she was born into) in approximately three years. No wonder she had separation issues! Her second family (the ones who’d bought her from the breeder) kept her in a crate 24/7, like a guinea pig. The next family only kept her for a couple of months before giving her away to a fourth. The fourth family kept her for six months but also crated her even when they were home because their two-year-old kept hitting her. Rather than teach the toddler to not hit dogs, they crated Sadie and then gave her to a rescue group to rehome. As a result, it was surmised, Sadie would become very stressed at the idea of not being in the crate when she was home alone.

    I felt guilty as heck, but I bought a crate to see what would happen. Sure enough, the barking stopped and she seemed so much more relaxed when I got home—super happy to see me, but in a joyful way, not an “Oh my god, I’m freaking out here! WHERE have you been? I thought you were NEVER EVER coming back!” sort of way.

    Every day, when I left for work she would trot happily into the crate, curl up and go to sleep with her favorite toy and her blanket. It still totally bothered me, but she was happy as fuck, basically. One day, in my haste to get out the door, I forgot to latch the door properly and when I got home, she was chilling on the couch. Thereafter, I just left the door unlatched so she could get out if she wanted. A couple months after that, I put the crate away altogether. She’d learned to trust that I was coming back and was perfectly secure being home alone. She was relaxed and her anxiety completely disappeared, as did her separation anxiety.

    She’s an old lady now, more than ten at least. Two years ago, she was diagnosed with a severe form of diabetes that requires constant monitoring and shots twice a day. A year after that—typical for diabetic dogs—she went totally blind. When she lost her sight, some of her anxiety came back, as you can imagine. Being blind and alone would make anyone anxious, especially in such a large space with lots of things to bump into, not being able to see the boundaries. My solution was to move her bed into the kitchen and put up a gate so that she had the best of both worlds while I was away during the day—freedom to roam, but in a limited unencumbered space. She’s back to her old self!

    Bottom line: Tell you neighbors my story. Maybe one or the other of my solutions will work for them, too. In either case, if it were me being approached, I’d be touched that my neighbor was concerned enough about my pup’s distress that they spent their own personal time researching a way to help him or her out. I wouldn’t be irritated at you at all! On the contrary, I’d be really touched by your humanity.

    • My rescue pup also freaks the f*ck out if left alone and uncrated. As far as I can tell he runs frantically around the house looking for everyone which ends by him climbing the furniture and jumping over the gate into the library (where my husband’s computer is) and getting stuck in there trying frantically to get out (he does none of this when we’re home). After the third time this happened (and I kept rearranging my furniture to prevent it) I just went back to crating him when I leave. It’s rarely more than a few hours and he spends most of the time chilling on his bed even when I’m home so I don’t feel too guilty about it.

      Side note: He also doesn’t bark as much when he’s in the crate. When he’s out he barks every time someone comes too close to the house but not when he’s in the crate. I guess he thinks he’s off duty then?

  5. I has an issue with a neighbour’s dog who barked and cried day and night one weekend. I emailed and asked if everything was okay, he was barking a LOT, day and night. It turned out she was away for a long weekend and she’d arranged someone to stay with him, who preferred to just feed him and leave instead.

    Maybe framing it as a worry for the dog, and drop in that your husband works nights. You could also suggest people you know who’d be happy to walk him during the day, always nice to present a solution along with the problem!

  6. I am not a dog owner, but as a serial renter who seems to have crappy luck with neighbors, I can share my experience with almost the same scenario. We used to have next door neighbors with a dog who barked almost constantly if they weren’t home, and they worked nights. This poor dog sounded miserable, and we were losing a lot of sleep. After the first few weeks we’d lived there, we realized it wasn’t going to stop, and knocked on the door to ask politely if they knew their dog was barking while they were out. They were shocked, and didn’t believe me that it was as bad as I said; I offered to keep a “barking log” for them, which was refused (but which might be welcomed by folks who are invested in helping their pooch be happier at home), or to try to document it some other way, but this was just met with a snarky comment about how dogs just bark, no matter what. I reminded them of the clause in our lease about “quiet enjoyment of rented space” (check your lease for such language!), and that made them very nervous. Dogs weren’t allowed in that building, either, so I wasn’t particularly shocked when these neighbors moved out shortly after this confrontation. Better to leave on their own terms than be evicted, I suppose.

    • It’s worth noting that “quiet enjoyment of space” is actually a LEGAL RIGHT, whether it’s in the lease or not. If it comes to that, you’re protected against incessant barking dogs.

  7. I would be polite but obvious. I worry that my neighbors think my pups are annoying while I’m not home. I don’t think they bark, but you never know. If it were me, I would nicely approach them in person and say, “Hey I’m so-and-so from apt #. Just wanted to let you know that Fido howls for hours on end when you’re gone during the day. I’m worried about him, he sounds so upset. My husband is night shift so it’s been keeping him up. That’s how we noticed. I just figured you’d want to know.”

    Now here’s where the rubber meets the road. A good pup owner will be embarrassed and appreciative of the info. They will look into it ASAP, and try to find a solution. However, the fix might not be instantaneous. A little more graciousness on your part would be super great while they are troubleshooting. Either way, if husband can learn to sleep with like earplugs or something that might help, too.

    However, if they were a crappy person before we all know getting a dog doesn’t change that. It might end up you need to turn them in which is as bad deal for everyone. You’re the Grinch and the pup ends out on the street. This is why people shouldn’t have pets and non-pet friendly places.

  8. Sometimes dogs need more positive mental stimulation and not just the physical running around, to get all their energy out. The more mentally tired a dog is the more less likely they are to manifest “bad behaviors” like barking. Lots of times crating can be taught to dog owners to give dogs a safe place, or loose leash walking where the dog has to focus on you to get that physical and mental stimulation before they leave. Depends on the dog. Go ahead and talk to them. Be open and honest and drop them a name of a dog trainer or two in the area who can help resolve the problems with them. Just realize lots of people have this problem and just “live with it” when the dog may not be happy either! Another idea is to call the trainerbyoursekf and ket them know of your problem with the neighboor. Ive been called to peoples homes by neighboors before. I usually just say I am pet sitting or training down the hall and dropping off some information. Couldn’t help but notice your dog is having some issues and let them know I am of help. Sometimes having someone guide you through the steps and details helps everyone!

  9. I’m a sucker for dogs. As I’m typing this, my 1-year-old pit bull is snuggled up next to me on the couch.

    BUT, I’m also a sucker for sleep, and for the rights to my own space. If a neighbor’s dog was keeping me up – especially if I lived in a supposedly “dog-free” building – I’d be a little upset. You and your husband have the right to enjoy your apartment without unreasonable noise, and if it’s waking him up through the walls, it counts as unreasonable.

    I agree with all of the possible approaches given by the above posters – be polite, be friendly, but be assertive. Leave a note if you feel uncomfortable talking to them directly (the introvert in me would probably do this, and respond well to it, too).

    If the neighbors are receptive, give them some time – maybe a month? – to try to get the barking under control. (It won’t happen overnight.) Keep them updated if the barking continues. Be patient, but have a timeline for when you’d like this situation to be resolved. If they’re responsible, considerate dog-owners, they’ll make it work.

    But if they shut you down, get nasty or cold, or just downright ignore your request, you are well within your rights to “rat them out”. It’s your space, too. I know it sounds cruel, but responsible dog-owners shouldn’t bring dogs into non-dog spaces, especially if they can’t control bad dog behaviors.

    I hope the barking stops soon! Good luck to you!

  10. I have a dog who doesn’t bark in the apartment, but there are several dogs in the building who do bark, a lot. One of them belongs to my landlord. He knows his dog barks, he appears to be at a loss with his little guy πŸ™ so that might be a part of your neighbor’s situation. There are also people who suite sit for one of the tenants during the winter months and their dogs bark even more than my landlord’s and I have brought it up with the property manager (different person who lives off site) and when she brings it up with the sitters they just deny it… because I would just make up a story about their 3 dogs howling for 5 hours at a time, that sounds like a normal thing a person would do – right. So I guess the important thing to do would be to talk to the neighbor. They might be unaware, they might be trying and failing and need some support or new ideas, or they might just deny it and be jerks about it – but you won’t know until you reach out. Good luck!

  11. I totally feel you – barking dogs can drive you crazy! You should try to have a friendly conversation with the neighbors, but don’t be surprised if they already know about it: sometimes dog barking is very difficult or impossible to prevent. I have two very well trained german shepherd mixes, and under certain circumstances (like when the mailman comes) we just haven’t found a way to prevent a few minutes of barking, though luckily we don’t live in an apartment building.

  12. I would probably leave them a note first. Corporate Hierarchy (which I’ve been a part of for a while) taught me to start with the source before moving up. If the note doesn’t work Stop by when you know they are home (probably when the dog isn’t barking). Let them know your concerns, because they are definitely valid. If this doesn’t work you can let them know you will be speaking with management and then follow through or you can just speak with management.

    Also try to understand that sometimes these are unavoidable situations. Our dog is left home alone for 8+ hours a day. I have no way of knowing if she barks while we are gone, short of setting up a camera to check. We give her plenty to do, bones, treats, food/water and a kennel to hide in if she is scared for some reason. But sometimes when I’m walking up the stairs to our Apt I still hear her barking up a storm. Their only options may be getting rid of the dog or seeking out a kennel to place it in during the day; which are not always cost effective or even available options.

    As for your community being not pet friendly; I lived in an apartment complex that had grandfathered animals. Anyone living there prior to the complex being purchased by the current owners was allowed to keep their animal for a new pet rent rate. New tenants were not allowed to bring in animals. The dog could also be a service animal of some type. Such as for depression. Those animals are not usually trained in anything special, the owner just has a simple Dr’s note allowing them to have the dog per the law.

    I hope that whatever ends up happening is good for you and the Dog πŸ™‚

  13. Barking dogs are annoying for their dog owners, too, so please be kind if you approach these people. I know my dog barks, and I have been at my wits end to try and prevent it. We’ve done so many things, from crate training to in-home clicker training, and despite all of it the only thing that consistently works is a bark collar (which I HATE using, but do for short periods of time). I feel like I am drowning in barking dog syndrome, and when people have politely talked to me about it I have been much more pleased then when I have been shouted at. I am trying, I really am, but short of giving the dog away, I haven’t come to the right solution.

    In our house, my one neighbor came screaming at me over the fence, about how he retired to enjoy peace and quiet, and I just started crying because I was a stay-at-home mom with a toddler and I told him “I am doing the best that I can.” I then bought him a 6 pack of beer and some earplugs.

    Your husband needs sleep, so I would approach them and say that he works nights and it’s hard for him to sleep and wondering what they’ve tried already because there might be some other solutions for the barking that they haven’t thought of. Good luck πŸ™‚

    • Same with us. We have a corgi. She’s a service dog, so she’s been trained to lightly “speak” or “whisper”, which are just variations between a sharp alert bark and a low rumble woof (not a growl, as one person thoguht and complained she was aggressive when it was just an alert rumble, meant to wake my husband/caretaker). I live in pet friendly apartments and pay the fees and deposits even though by law I don’t have to, because I know that come night and the coyotes start cavorting in the woods, she’s up and alert and ready to defend her den and pack from her unknown cousins. Meaning, she barks. Really loudly. At 1 AM. Not just for coyotes either. She’ll go on full blown bark emergency alert if she so much as suspects something is amiss. Day or night. She rarely barks when I’m alone with her but the moment my husband comes home it’s a bark-fest. She’s a corgi. She will always bark no matter how well trained she is, it’s in her nature and it’s part of her job. Obviously we don’t want her barking at night when there’s no need for it, and we’re well aware all our neighbors can hear her. Our next door neighbors share bedroom and bathroom walls with us. One of the first comments when we met was her barking. We mentioned we had a dog, they mentioned they could hear her barking, we apologized and stated, “trust us, it hurts our ears/head more, we’re really really sorry!”

      And that was that. When her barking gets way too out of hand, putting a vest/sweater or thundershirt immediately quiets her down. It puts her in a relaxed/work mode and reduces her barking to only alerts. So my advice would be to talk to the neighbors first. Their dog might be an emotional support dog (which don’t require any training and just a Dr’s note, as someone else already mentioned; however an actual psychiatric service dog, or any other kind of actual service dog, do require specialty training that is specifically meant to directly mitigate/help their handler’s disability, “having a dog makes me feel better” is unfortunately not an action that counts fot SD though it definitely does for emotional support animals, hence the distinction between the two) which means he’s allowed in the building even if other pets aren’t. If so, the management should definitely already be aware. If this is the case and the barking is getting out of hand, you are allowed to file a complaint, the ADA is clear that emotional support animals and service animals cannot be disruptive and misbehaving, regardless of how well trained or not trained or how much their handler needs them around. But that’s a whole other issue so assuming it’s just a pet, I would still definitely just try talking to the neighbors first. You already know they’ve had the dog since they moved in. In one of those elevator rides, causually mention you’ve been hearing their dog bark a lot lately and hope everything is ok. This would let them know the dog is barking when they’re gone (which they might not be aware of) and that it’s loud enough to be disruptive. Hopefully they’ll try and find a solution/common ground. If they are aware and don’t care at all, then unfortunately it’s time to go to management about it. If it was me I’d prefer to be talked to first (passive aggressively or genuinely concerned, don’t care as long as we’re made aware that it is an issue), and then on to management.

      Good luck! A good night/day sleep is extremely important to function, so I can relate to your frustrations as well!

  14. Preferably, you could stop and knock and say honestly and briefly, “Hi, I’m Your neighbor in 2B, do you have a moment? Perhaps you’re unaware, but your little Jack Russell barks constantly from 11-3 every day. My husband works nights, so the disturbance is becoming quite a problem, not to mention the fact that management is sure to be receiving complaints from other tenants. I’m sure you’ll take care of it now that you know.

    If that’s too confrontational, start with a note:

    Step 1:
    Handwritten note, on a notecard or stationery:

    Dear neighbor,

    We’ve noticed that your pet’s barking during the day, particularly between _ & _ has become quite incessant, and we’re concerned that he may be distressed or that the building management will intervene. I’m certain you were unaware and will remedy the issue as promptly as possible.
    A Concerned Neighbor

    Step 2:
    Typed letter, business (#10) envelope

    Dear neighbor,

    Your pet’s barking during the day continues to be an issue. It’s possible have been unaware of the problem as the incessant barking occurred while you may be away at work, but we did send you a note on October 7th β€” perhaps you missed it?

    As we wrote last week, we’re concerned that your pet may be distressed, as the volume and duration of the dog’s barking is disturbing.

    Please attend to this issue at your earliest convenience, or we shall be forced to request that Animal Control and building management are notified.

    A Concerned Neighbor

    Step 3:

    Send copies of notes 1 & 2 to your local animal control and/or building maintenance with an equally cordial request for assistance, and let the chips fall where they may β€” you’ll have been exceedingly cordial and civilized, and needn’t feel a bit of remorse.

    • I wouldn’t go straight to animal control- if the dog gets taken (which it probably wouldn’t for this, but still) it’s very likely a death sentence, those shelters are usually not great places to be :-/ I’d rather see the whole family, dog and all, booted out to more dog-friendly accommodations.

  15. I find it sort of hard to believe that a dog could be barking all day, everyday in an apartment and management wouldn’t be aware that they have a dog :-/ (Many people are NOT too nice to report it to management.) It may be there under an emotional-support-animal type arrangement (which can allow people to have pets in non-pet-friendly living spaces, but doesn’t necessarily mean the pet is super well trained the way a service dog would be.)

    If the barking is occasional during the day (like for a few minutes when someone passes by the window) I’m honestly not sure there is that much the owner could/would/should do- dogs bark at things sometimes, and it’s daytime which is usually outside of stated quiet hours. If it’s constant, though, the dog is probably having separation anxiety issues and I’ll echo other commenters in saying that framing it kindly, (“I’m a little worried about your dog because he sounds very distressed during the day, I didn’t know if you knew since pets with separation anxiety usually don’t bark when their owners are home…”) might be all you need to do. Most owners will get the subtext- we know that barking dogs are annoying. If they still don’t seem to be trying anything to fix the problem, then maybe mention that it’s keeping your husband up and be a bit firmer.

    In the meantime… white noise machine?

  16. Man this article is about 3 days too late.

    I fostered a dog for a few days last week… a stray that showed up on my door step and since I couldn’t find his family, I held on to him for a couple days to find him a new family. One of our neighbors posted on a facebook page basically calling me out and telling me to make the dog be quiet. The dog was being a bit noisy, but it was the first night and my neighbor never talked to me individually. I think if you know who they are, a quick visit would be the kindest way to deal with this. It may be an awkward conversation, but I was mortified that the entire neighborhood saw the post about this dog we were fostering and the guy that posted was a bit embarrassed by his actions when he realized we were just fostering.

    If you can go by personally and say something politely that you know it can take time to train dogs, but ask if they know about the issue and see if together you can come up with a solution. For some people that would be a bark collar, for others it would be doggy day care, or crating, or a dog walker coming in the middle of the day. There are a myriad of ways to make this better, but if they don’t know there’s a problem, they don’t know they need to find a solution.

  17. So, here’s how a neighbor confronted us about our sharp-voiced puppy. He wandered to our yard when my husband was letting the dogs out, and proceeded to yell at him about his working third shift and the puppy waking him up when he was trying to sleep during the day. Said neighbor was also drunk, pushed my husband around, and threatened to have our dogs taken away by whatever means necessary. We called the cops and filed a formal complaint against him. The officer was able to find out what times in particular were crucial for his sleep. The puppy is now an adult (still sharp-voiced, but calmed down considerably) and working with those hours, we haven’t had another unpleasant visit since.

    I’ve never been comfortable living inside the city limits, and after that experience I was afraid to work in my garden (it’s positioned so my back would be turned towards said neighbor’s house).

    I wish the neighbor would have just come to us (sober, of course) and spoke to us about the issue. We knew the puppy barked, and had been working with him, but didn’t know how badly he was affecting that neighbor. It must have been bugging said neighbor a long time and if we’d known the particular hours he needed quiet, we could have fixed the situation sooner.

  18. You are much nicer than I would be! If dogs aren’t allowed in the building, then maybe your neighbors need to find a new place to live. I would be very tempted to rat them out. Perhaps that’s not a very neighborly or fair position, but when your neighbors chose to get a dog even though your building doesn’t allow dogs, they (probably knowingly) took a risk.

    • I’m a dog owner, and I have to agree with this. I looked thoroughly for a building that allowed dogs, found one, and I pay for it. There are many other buildings that are nicer, in better hoods, etc. – but my responsibility to my dog and my neighbors (and my sanity) led me to play by the rules.
      I would ensure that your lease does indeed say that no dogs are allowed, and make a call to the building management. You can request that it be kept confidential, so there won’t be any backlash, and remember to document whom you spoke with and what the follow through would be.
      If it clearly states in the lease no dogs, it’s kind of a big deal that your neighbs got one anyway, without considering how it would effect those living around them. I would also question and be cautious of approaching anyone who blatantly disregarded the rules like that…it’s possible that they may not be too friendly or willing to do anything about the issue.

  19. Perhaps I am the mean one here … I am a dog lover, I have a beagle who cries so pitifully when we leave – like I hear him in the parking lot. We’ve had one complaint at our last apartment, but it was made to us in a note and we promptly called management to see if had any more complaints and took steps to find a solution.
    In our new apartment building, we introduced beagle to our neighbors, told them to please tell us if he barks or bothers them and three years later – no complaints.
    When people moved into a rental, they understand that there will be noise. But this apartment doesn’t allow dogs, so it assumed that no one will have to deal with dog noise. That is completely unfair to YOU and your neighbors.
    Again, I love dogs, but THEY are the ones breaking the rules. I would give one friendly heads up, and if it continues, off to management I would go.

  20. Mum, a nurse who’s often on night shifts, had this problem. She said something along the lines of “Hello, I’m [name] and a shift worker. I need to sleep through the day and your dog is keeping me up. Can you please address that?” in a friendly conversational tone. A few days later when she had 3 days off and the neighbor had taken steps to quiet her dogs, Mum baked the neighbor a delicious cake as thanks.

    It seems to me that all of you are making this more difficult than it needs to be! Make sure you follow up with an expression of thanks after action has been taken by the owner. Everyone appreciates appreciation! πŸ™‚

  21. I would talk to them in person! I was targeted by some really awfully mean neighbors for my dog’s barking when I first got her. She was an abused rescue with all sorts of anxiety. Crating had the opposite effect on her that it seemed to have for most of the dogs mentioned above (with the added bonus of her forgetting her name and that she was house trained after spending even a half hour in one). My neighbors didn’t speak to me at all and instead immediately posted a notice on my door from animal control. They wouldn’t even acknowledge me. I was a student, as were my roommates so the dog was rarely left alone, but at that point I was taking her with me everywhere I could and skipping class if it meant leaving her alone to avoid animal control showing up at my door. Crate, bark collars (multiple), multiple training schools (regular obedience and anxiety prevention training), nothing helped except doggie downers. I ended up losing my boyfriend and my grades were tanking. What finally worked? A full day of being left alone in my parents house where the neighbors didn’t care if she barked all day. Once she learned that it didn’t get her more attention, it stopped. I wish my neighbors had given me at least a couple of days to figure it out before calling animal control. Would’ve saved me months of anxiety ridden hell.

  22. The last apartment we had was in the country and our neighbor had an aggressive barker that she would leave outside off of a leash all day while she was at work. I bought a bag of cheap biscuits and fed them to him until he stopped barking at me.

  23. Woof! All these comments are super hitting home for me! My husband and I adopted a puppy and moved into our current apartment a week later. Knowing the pup was still in training mode we took pains to introduce ourselves to everyone in our apartment (there are only 3 other units) and give them our contact information with pleas to contact us if the dog ever was a bother to them.

    Almost a year later, we’ve received several complaints from one of our building-mates. Once because the dog was running around supervised in the backyard (which is a shared space). Several complaints about barking. My husband and I have done lots of training around our pups separation anxiety, and I watch the pup as often as I can from work on our nanny cam and have never seen him bark at all. Requests to the neighbor for more information (When is he barking? How long is he barking? Does it happen at a specific time? Does there seem to be a trigger?) have proved fruitless. Like other commenters, I care deeply about the well being of my pets and about being a good community member. But being neighbors is a two-way street. Living in close quarters requires compromise from all parties.

    If the barking is causing your family hardship, if it is constant, for long periods of time, then of course you should say something about it. If the dog woofs once at the mailman – well, perhaps that is the price you pay for living in a community.

  24. My neighbor has a German Sheppard that starts barking the second he’s let out, and continues to bark as he runs around the yard, and until he’s called back inside. Sometimes it starts at 7am and goes until 11pm. Sometimes later. This week, I was awoken by it at 5:40am. The worst part of the problem is that our bedroom butts agains his yard, so we hear it all. My wife works graveyard at the local hospital, and is constantly waken by the barking. I’m blown away that the owner sees no problem with his dog doing this, as there’s zero possibility that he’s unaware. It’s a German Sheppard, and it’s bark is deep and loud. I resent being put in the position to have to tell another grown man that he needs to manage his animal. Suggestions?

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