What to do when a dog barks in an apartment building?

Many dogs now live in apartment buildings, bringing joy not only to their owners but also to neighbors. However, at times, disruptive barking can strain neighborly relations. Here's what to do if your furry friend barks when alone or if constant howling is heard from a neighbor.

You should focus on remote work, but the neighbor's puppy cries for its owner. Nerves are on edge as the upstairs dog barks every time the morning paper lands the floor. On the hallway mat awaits an angry note from the neighbor: the dog has been making noise for hours again.

Issues related to a dog's vocalizations are unfortunately common in apartment buildings. Occasional barking during the day is part of normal life, but repeated and prolonged barking or howling should be addressed. Fixing the problem is in everyone's interest, as the situation is stressful for neighbors, the dog, and the dog owner alike.

First, have a conversation with the dog owner

If there's disturbing barking from the other side of the wall, it's always advisable to first have a polite discussion with the neighbor. They might already be working to address the situation or may not be aware at all that the dog is noisy when left alone. Teaching a dog to be quiet doesn't happen overnight, so the training phase may require patience from other residents.

If talking to the neighbor doesn't help, the disruptive noise doesn't cease within a reasonable time, or the dog barks at night, it's a good idea to contact the building's service manager or property manager, who can assist in resolving the situation.

Address disruptive noise promptly

When a dog moves into a new home, it's important to teach it the manners of apartment living right away. However, if you find out that your dog is barking or howling disruptively, the problem needs to be addressed promptly. It's also courteous to leave a note on the building's bulletin board about it. This way, other residents know that you're training your dog and are likely to be more understanding.

 Whether the dog's loud behavior stems from guarding or separation anxiety, there are various ways to address the issue.

The most important thing is to start regular and consistent training immediately, and you can find helpful tips online or in books.

For assistance with separation anxiety, you might explore various apps that allow you to monitor your dog's alone time and soothe the dog while you're away. You can also try leaving the radio on or providing the dog with calming activities during periods of solitude.

If independent training doesn't yield results, don't hesitate to seek help from a veterinarian or a dog trainer. Another option is to find a care facility for the dog, such as a doggy daycare or a nearby dog sitter.

Sources: Finnish Federation for Animal Welfare (SEY), Kotitalo