Noisy Neighbor's Dog-- should I leave a note?

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So I live in a 4-story apartment building on the 2nd floor, and a new person or couple with a dog moved in on the 1st floor recently. Lately I am home during the day and I'm starting to notice a pattern-- their dog whines and barks for about 5 hours in the morning/afternoon, and on some days, like tonight, again for several hours at night. The whining/barking is on and off, but mostly on.

Is the dog ok (I have a cat and haven't had dogs since childhood)? They do this when they're lonely or need to go out? Should I let the neighbors know their dog is crying while they're gone by leaving a note? Or do they already know and they just don't care, or dogs just do this? A neighbor upstairs has one and she never does this. I don't want to be a jerk, but it's an awful sound. It gives me a similar alarmed feeling as to when a baby is crying.
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Yes, leave a nice note. This happened to me also, and I left a note.

I had read that if you leave a dog alone with a loud ticking clock wrapped in a soft towel in the dog's favorite place, it can comfort the dog. You might suggest that - explain that you think the dog is lonely. I don't know whether the people I left the note with took this suggestion but the dog stopped crying.

However, I totally defer to Claudine 19 and other dog owners. I will be very interested to hear what the solution to this is.
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How long since they moved in? It might be that the dog is just nervous about being in a new place. My downstairs neighbor had an Australian shepherd and it took about two weeks before she finally did calm down and stopped crying and barking.


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Thanks for your replies. I am not sure when they moved in, but I am pretty sure it was within the past couple weeks. A first I thought there was something wrong with the dog that had been living here, but then I saw the new dog a couple days ago. Hopefully the dog just needs to adjust. I will leave a note and include the suggestion about leaving a ticking clock on while they are gone. I also seem to think I've heard that dogs like music left on? I hope other dog owners will have suggestions. I wouldn't even mind walking the dog if I am home.
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It's possible the owner doesn't know the dog is doing this so I'd either leave a note or talk to the owner in person. However, if it doesn't either stop quickly or the owner tells you they're working on it, talk to the apartment manager. People who who have dogs that bark incessantly shouldn't live in apartments.
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It's possible the owner doesn't know the dog is doing this so I'd either leave a note or talk to the owner in person. However, if it doesn't either stop quickly or the owner tells you they're working on it, talk to the apartment manager. People who who have dogs that bark incessantly shouldn't live in apartments.
Originally Posted by mrspoppers
I'm realizing I'm a bit nervous about confronting people about noise, because the last time I did, a couple years ago, quite gently and politely I thought, the guy cursed at me and threatened me, then lied about what I had said to the landlord. I subsequently moved to a different section of the building. City life. Sigh. Hopefully this building and these neighbors will be different. If I don't run into them this weekend when I can casually bring it up, I will leave a note. If there's no change after a bit of time, I guess it's time to call the landlord.

Curlypearl, what happened after you left a note?
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Limit oils, butters, glycerin.
I had a similar thing happen to me when I knocked on a neighbor's door about loud music. It was awful, even though I was nice about it. I think this would turn out different if you approached it like, "Hey, you might not realize your dog cries for hours when you leave. Is he okay?" Dog owners know this isn't acceptable. I wouldn't go directly to them a second time though. They either take care of it or they're *******s.

I say this as a dog owner.
I wouldn't talk to the dog owners, I'd go to building management instead and let them know my concerns, and then the landlord or super can deal with them. Too many people are irrational about these things and will hold a grudge....this way the issue gets addressed, and you remain anonymous! Plus they are much more likely to listen to their landlord than some neighbor. Unless you live in the sort of place where neighbors care about each other and like, know each other's names, I guess.
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I had a dog who would cry as if she were dying when I left. I didn't know it, and only discovered it YEARS after I had her when one day I forgot something and went back into the house to get it, and heard hear leaning against the back door crying. I never figured out a way to help her, and my other dog wasn't comfort for her either. I certainly wouldn't have expected to be able to live in an apartment with her, though if I did would have loved to be told early on when I got her. Maybe the clock or something else would have helped her if I'd known about it so I could have tried earlier. (Also, I've never had luck with anxiety meds helping a dog... but they apparently help a lot of other people's dogs!)
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NetG, I hear you on your comment, but on a receiving end. I rent the downstairs apartment from my sister and BIL. They have a...well, some kind of pure bred little dog. The puffy long-haired kind. I love dogs, we have always had dogs my whole life. But this one is a whole new ball of wax for me.

When they leave and cannot take the dog with them, they will kennel him in their bedroom, which is directly above mine...right above my air vent. And he barks and whines for hours without stopping. Nothing can soothe this dog. Not ticking clocks not music, and not his favorite toys. Not even anxiety meds, which they wouldn't buy him...I bought them because he was keeping me awake sometimes.

I think part of it is that they almost never leave him alone. Some of it may be that it's a high-strung breed. I don't know. But it kinda rips my heart out to listen to him bark, whine and cry when they leave him. And it upsets me that they insist on putting him in their room when they know he does it and it's right above my room.

I would recommend letting the landlord handle the situation. That way you don't have to deal with an ugly confrontation if the owners get defensive.

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I think part of it is that they almost never leave him alone. Some of it may be that it's a high-strung breed. I don't know. But it kinda rips my heart out to listen to him bark, whine and cry when they leave him. And it upsets me that they insist on putting him in their room when they know he does it and it's right above my room.
Originally Posted by SunshineGrrl
In my case, she was a Chow mix, and she lived up to the breed standard in that to her, life's meaning was protecting me. So hanging out with another dog all day simply wasn't what life was about for her. It broke my heart to learn what she was like when I was gone, and by then there was no consoling her. I definitely wouldn't have left her somewhere that she disturbed someone else (but she was a dog who couldn't be kenneled, or locked indoors - she would hurt herself seeming to panic in a kennel, and destroy walls trying to get out.)

I would leave the note anonymously for someone with whom I wasn't close because there are too many stories of people taking things out on someone else if they know who to blame.
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-Speckla

But at least the pews never attend yoga!
Unless you leave an anonymous note, i would let mgmt handle it.

My dogs are barking as I type this. Two yapping poms. I try to get them in and out (our backyard), so as not to inconvenience my neighbors. If the little one sees a lizard-YAP, a squirrel-YAP, you get my drift.
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Wow! I guess I was very lucky that my neighbor was considerate! It sounds like anonymous or telling management is the way to go.

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I like the idea of talking to them first. Going straight to management seems harsh to me.


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I like the idea of talking to them first. Going straight to management seems harsh to me.


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Originally Posted by Springcurl
Agreed. To me management is the option after talking to him directly doesn't work.
A friendly and gently worded note might be a good first step. Something like "Hi neighbour, I don't know if you realize, but your dog seems really upset ... blah blah..."

If the note doesn't work, and as you don't know the neighbour, going to management might be safest plan. Do what makes you feel safest.

If I don't know the person and have no idea what their mental state seems like or if they are reasonable, I'd go to management.

- man goes to speak to his noisy neighbour ... neighbour has a machete ... man loses a hand

- woman speaks to next door neighbour about noisy dogs (dreadful yappy things) ... later someone complains to municipality ... neighbour rudely confronts woman, accuses her of making the complaint, and gets into an argument because he won't believe it was not her ... he was wrong, it was a different neighbour

Last edited by damsel_fly; 05-19-2012 at 09:43 AM. Reason: forgot the note
Hmm, I am torn as to what to do, after hearing everyone's suggestions. My natural inclination was to leave a note signed with my name and apartment #, or talk to them. (I like to be friends or at least on a friendly, first-name basis with my neighbors, but it has rarely happened even when I've gone out of my way to welcome new tenants to the building. Most of the neighbors I've had don't even say hi back to me.) But given that people can react really badly to complaints, going to management makes sense. I don't even actually know if my building has a manager though! It would mean calling the law office where the lawyer landlord has us mail the rent. I've only talked to the realtor who works for the landlord and the maintenance person. I suppose I could leave a note and not include my apartment #. They won't know who I am by my first name so I'd be safe from them coming to my door and cursing me out. Maybe I'll try that first, and if there's no change in a week, call the landlord's office.
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Limit oils, butters, glycerin.
Ughhhh, I have been on both sides of this issue, and I do not envy you now!

When I was renting an attached townhouse in a big omplex, I ONCE left my dog outdoors in the enclosed patio area while i went to the supermarket one night. I was gone for maybe an hour. It was the first time I had ever done that...just thought he would enjoy being out bc it was such a nice night.

Well, apparently he barked the entire time. I had only one neighbor at the time (the end unit next to me wa vacant and there no units in front of or behind me).

The next day, I coincidentally went into the mng't office, and got a warning about my dog "left out all night barking."

I knew exactly who complained and it totally ruined our previously cordial relationship.

But then again, you don't know these people at all and they have access to where you live and breath.

I guess my motivation would determine how I would handle the situation. If I was genuine;y concerned for the dog's wel being and felt sympathic toward the owners for having a miserable dog, etc., I might just tell them that and assure them that you weren't trying to get them in trouble.

But if your hope is to put an end to the noise at all costs, up to and including having them evicted, then I woud just deal directly w/ the mngr. (I'm sure the realtor could get that info for you.)
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I might try to "run into" them when they take the dog out for a walk. It might be more genuine coming up organically in introductory conversation, rather than a note that could be taken in any number of ways.

"So nice to finally meet you! And who is this? Are you having trouble adjusting to your new home, sweetface?"

If someone said that to me I'd 1. Ask what they mean, or at least become aware that something was going on when I'm not home, and 2. feel like they were being sympathetic, rather than complaining about it.

(I call dogs sweetface when I am introduced to them, for some reason.)
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I think Moppy's advice is really good. I worry when dogs bark for hours. It's a sign of anxiety.

Any time you act kindly toward an animal, a responsible owner (and decent person) is going to appreciate it (imo). If someone alerted me to a similar situation, I'd feel better about having them nearby if they asked if Buster/Betty/Buford/Bear was okay, instead of labeling him a problem. (I would also apologize, since I'm sensitive to noise, and am grateful when people keep the volume low, whatever it comes from.)

I hope this works out for everyone. And good "on" you for worrying about this dog.

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