It’s a known fact: every parent thinks their kid is the most precious and adorable baby, and every dog owner thinks their pup is a gift to the world. Whenever you’re home, your sweet little canine companion quietly lounges at your feet, undisturbed by the outside world’s distractions.
When you leave, however… Well, let’s just say it’s a different story. He’s the nuisance of the neighborhood. You get snarky texts from your neighbors about him barking his head off all day and, in a moment of desperation, you may or may not have looked it up to see if you can be evicted for your dog barking (if not, read on for the answer).
Wondering why your dog barks while you’re away — and how to stop it? Find out with this guide.
Why Is Your Dog Barking in Your Apartment?
One of the things that you love so much about your dog is that she’s got a unique personality. However, the reasons for your dog barking may differ from that of the pup across the hall, and how to stop your dog from barking when left alone may vary too.
Barking is a common, though noisy, way for a dog to communicate. They may be expressing frustration, fear, anxiety, or boredom. Maybe they can see things out the window, like people, cars, or other dogs. Or perhaps they are upset because they miss you and are afraid you aren’t coming home.
Dog Barks at Other Dogs or People
Can your dog see out of the window? Whether they perch on the back of the sofa to get a good view or can lay in their bed and survey the parking lot, your dog may be barking at people, cars, and other dogs passing by. An easy way to mitigate this is to draw the curtains so that they can’t see out. If you don’t want to block the light, invest in curtains that can be lowered from the top down. Your plants will thank you!
Another person that your dog could be barking at is a delivery person. If you receive frequent deliveries that drive your dog up the wall, consider putting a simple note on your door requesting that the driver doesn’t knock. You can even find fun door mats letting your delivery drivers and neighbors know that you’ve got a barky dog and not to knock.
Dog Barks When I Leave Apartment
Is your pup perfectly behaved when you’re around but starts acting up as soon as you shut the door? They could be experiencing boredom or separation anxiety.
When you’re home to play, they can bring you a toy for tug or tossing. They can even watch you or follow you around to keep an eye on what you’re doing. High-energy dogs are more prone to boredom and may require more stimulation to avoid barking or shredding your sofa.
Alternatively, they may be experiencing separation anxiety. They aren’t sure where you are or when you’re coming back and can use destructive and disruptive behavior to vent their fear. Solving separation anxiety can often call for professional intervention from a dog trainer.
Why Is My Dog Barking at Nothing?
Sometimes your dog may seem barking at the air, but don’t call a paranormal investigator just yet. Your dog has much better hearing and sense of smell than any human. That means that they may hear or smell things way before you do, and they are reacting to it. They could also be frightened by these unknown scents or sounds and barking as a defense mechanism.
While you can’t do much to keep your dog from hearing or smelling things, you may be able to take the edge off of it. Playing soothing music or dog-specific television can distract them from the other things they’re hearing. Even leaving the radio on can help mimic the sounds of a busy house, like when you’re home.
How Do You Stop A Dog From Barking?
Understanding why your dog is barking is the first step. Here are a few actions to stop your dog from barking in your apartment.
1. Choose a dog that’s good for apartments.
If you don’t have a dog yet, consider getting one of the best dog breeds for an apartment. Obviously, this isn’t something you can control once you have a dog, but kudos if you research before you adopt!
Lower energy and smaller dogs can be great additions to your limited space. Plus, a puppy who’s content to spend the day napping may be less likely to feel compelled to bark its head off while you’re gone.
2. Keep your dog entertained while you’re gone.
If your dog is bored, you’ll have to get creative to keep them entertained. Specially designed puzzles and toys can help keep their brains occupied. There are even interactive treat dispensers that you can control from your phone! Check-in with your vet before leaving your dog alone with treats or toys.
- Nanny Cam: You can’t text your dog yet, but you can video chat with them! Interactive cameras let you talk to your dog through your phone and even dispense treats. If you’re looking for something a little simpler or just trying to figure out what they’re doing all day, try a nanny camera or basic baby monitor that you can check from your phone.
- Puzzles, Games, and Treats: They make everything these days! Consider investing in interactive toys and puzzles that will keep your dog entertained. Snuffle mats, puzzle feeders, nesting toys, and more will keep your dog occupied and help prevent them from barking.
- Exercise: A tired dog is a happy dog! If your dog is restless and destructive or disruptive during the day, try tiring them out before you leave. A nice run, a long walk, a game of fetch, or a romp at the park may be necessary to get some energy out before you leave the house. That way, when you leave, they’ll be nice and sleepy!
3. Stop Your Dog From Barking with the Pros.
If you’re still at a loss for how to stop a dog barking when left alone, it may be time to turn to a professional dog trainer. A dog trainer can help your dog unlearn negative behaviors like barking for attention or separation anxiety.
Some dog trainers may recommend using an anti-barking device, such as a vibrating collar or a device that emits a high-pitched sound (only audible to the dog) when they bark. It’s essential to work with a professional when using devices like an e-collar to ensure you’re using it humanely and effectively, even if it is a no-shock dog bark collar.
How to Muffle the Sound of a Dog Barking in Apartment
Your dog likely won’t stop barking overnight. Consider taking steps to muffle the sound. Adding soft items like blankets and pillows to your house can help absorb sound. If you want to go a step further, you can invest in special blockers to go under your doors, as well as renter-friendly foam acoustic panels for the walls. They don’t have to be dull black, either – they now come in fun colors and patterns to disguise your sound-proofing efforts as art!
Can you be evicted for dog barking?
Maybe your neighbor has left a note on your door, texted you, or worse, reported you to your landlord. While you work on training your dog, make amends with your neighbors. A sweet treat like a coffee gift card and an apologetic note can go a long way to help your fellow apartment dwellers understand what’s going on and let them know you’re working on it!
Unfortunately, in most places, you can be evicted if your dog barks excessively. Some cities and states define the amount of time your dog barks; others just describe it as getting to the point of being “a nuisance.” This is another reason to make amends with your neighbors, as they could be the difference between getting kicked out of your apartment and not.
Find a Dog-Friendly Apartment With ApartmentSearch
If you feel your dog is not doing anything wrong, or maybe your loud neighbor is the reason for the barking, it may be time to consider moving. When apartment shopping, look for places with sturdy walls and consider a corner unit in a quiet area that isn’t surrounded by traffic or neighbors.
Is it time to find a new place for you and your furry friend? ApartmentSearch can help you identify pet-friendly apartment communities where you both can feel at home. Start looking for a new apartment today!