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Home > Dogs > 9 Things to Do When a Neighbor Complains About Your Dog Barking

9 Things to Do When a Neighbor Complains About Your Dog Barking

barking dog

Dogs bark primarily as a means of communication. They might bark because they are afraid, anxious, or to let you know of something they perceive as being a threat. They can also bark because they’re bored or frustrated. Barking when you leave the house is a common sign of separation anxiety.

While some barking is to be expected and accepted, excessive barking can be a problem. If your neighbor complains, it is likely that the excessive barking is happening while you’re out of the house, which tends to mean separation anxiety, but before you can hope to address the problem, you really need to get a clearer picture of what is happening. This way, you can identify any potential cause, which will help you take steps to remedy the situation.

Below are nine things to do if your neighbor has complained about your dog barking.

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The 9 Things You Can Do When Neighbors Complain About Your Dog Barking

1. Don’t Ignore the Problem

It is easy to get defensive or to ignore the problem in the hope it goes away when you get a complaint from a neighbor. But generally, neighbors don’t complain for no reason. And, because many dogs bark more when their humans are not home, it may be that your dog is causing a major noise disturbance when you’re not around to hear it. You need to address the problem before it escalates.

dog barking outdoor
Image Credit: Jne Valokuvaus, Shutterstock

2. Talk to Your Neighbor

Talk to your neighbor. Ask them how bad the problem is when it occurs, and apologize for the noise. Tell them that you will take action and try to limit the noise your dog makes. Hopefully, your neighbor will be understanding, and they may even work with you to help combat the problem.


3. Determine How Bad It Is

With that said, it is important not to just take your neighbor’s word for it. Speak to other neighbors and determine whether they can hear the problem. Set up a webcam or use an old phone or tablet and record your dog while you’re out of the house. Alternatively, you can get a video doorbell or security system and use this.

belgian sheepdog malinois barking
Image Credit: cynoclub, Shutterstock

4. Try to Identify the Cause

Separation anxiety is a common cause of excessive barking when an owner is not at home, but it is just one possible cause. Your dog could be getting startled or even scared while you’re out of the house. Or they might feel they need to protect the house from would-be intruders. If you can determine any triggers that set your dog off, you have a better chance of finding ways to avoid or eliminate those triggers.


5. Walk Before Work

If your dog is worn out when you leave the house, it will spend at least a portion of the time resting and recuperating. Get up a bit earlier and take your dog out. Alternatively, throw a toy around the backyard for ten minutes. This could be enough to at least prevent barking for the first hour or two of the day.

woman walking beagle dog in the park
Image By: New Africa, Shutterstock

6. Hire a Dog Walker

Ideally, if you can come back at lunchtime to walk your dog, you should. This will wear them out again and provide them with a little bit of company and comfort from your presence. Alternatively, consider hiring a dog walker or joining a dog walking group that connects you to people that are looking for dogs to walk. It can cost money to use a professional dog walking service, but it could also repair a fractious relationship with your neighbors while ensuring your dog gets adequate exercise and stimulation throughout the day.


7. Offer More Toys

Frustration and boredom are among the possible causes of excessive dog barking, and by providing toys for your dog, you can keep them entertained and stimulate them mentally and physically. Try interactive toys that really engage a dog’s brain, rather than a ball or a stuffed toy. Balls can be an especially bad choice because if the ball rolls under the couch and your dog can’t reach it, it could become another source of frustration for your canine family member.

white and black dog playing with a yellow toy on the grass
Image By: Justin Veenema, Unsplash

8. Minimize Access to Windows and Doors

Some dogs watch out of the window and keep an eye on the doors to protect the home while their owners are out. Your dog could be seeing and reacting to every passerby and every car that drives past. Try closing curtains or preventing your dog from getting into the rooms at the front of the house. If they can’t see people walking past the house, they won’t perceive them as being a threat.


9. Consult a Canine Behaviorist

If your dog is barking because it suffers from separation anxiety, you may need help from a professional canine behaviorist to help overcome the problem. They will not only help teach your dog to cope better when you’re not around, but they will teach you the steps you need to take to improve the situation.

Welsh Corgi dog being punished for bad behavior
Image By: Vitalii Matokha, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

Barking is a means of communication for dogs, and if your dog is barking excessively, you first need to determine what they are trying to communicate to you so that you can help them overcome any fear, anxiety, or other causes of barking. Speak to your neighbor and other neighbors, record your dog while you’re out, and ensure that they get plenty of exercise before you leave the house. If worse comes to worst, you can use the services of a canine behaviorist to help overcome any separation anxiety or other anxieties that cause barking.


Featured Image Credit: alexei_tm, Shutterstock

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