Did a neighbor in your apartment building just bring home a new dog — as well as a lot of noise? While many of us can agree that we love dogs, it can be frustrating when a neighbor’s pet barks all night when you’re trying to sleep or throughout the day when you are trying to work or study.
If you’re dealing with a nonstop barking problem, you have a few courses of action. In this guide, we walk you through a few steps you can take to get your peace and quiet back.
Wait it out a little.
This is the path of least resistance. If you know that your neighbor just brought home a new puppy, it may be worth waiting a few more weeks if you can tolerate the noise to give them some space to train their dog to stop barking. Inexperienced dog owners may be overwhelmed with all that goes into dog training, so confronting them early on may end up hurting your relationship with them more than helping. Plus, it depends on the dog, but some puppies will grow into talkative adults while others grow into quieter ones.
Talk to your neighbor.
And by talk to your neighbor, we mean talk to them rather than leaving a note on their door, which can come across as passive aggressive. If the barking has gone on for too long and you haven’t had a face-to-face conversation with your neighbor about it yet, it’s time to give them a friendly knock on their door. Explain how their dog’s barking has been affecting your daily routine — whether it’s keeping you up at night, waking you early in the morning, or interrupting important work or study time during the day. An in-person conversation will give you each a chance to explain your situations in a productive conversation and to figure out a plan for moving forward.
Offer to help.
If you’re a dog person, you can offer to help out with the noisy pooch when you talk to your neighbor face to face. If they are gone during the day — causing their dog to bark out of boredom — and you spend most of the day at home, you can offer to drop by their apartment to take their dog out for a short walk or to give them a snack. Of course, this solution will only work as long as you are willing to put in the work — so it may not be for everyone.
Try soundproofing your apartment.
Did you know that you could decorate your way to a quieter apartment? If your neighbor is already doing all they can to keep their dog quiet, but you are still bothered by noise, then you can try a few affordable soundproofing solutions. To help absorb noise coming from a next-door neighbor, try adding wall hangings like tapestries to your space (the softer, the better). A tapestry hung on the ceiling can even help diminish sounds coming from constant barking upstairs. Bookshelves also help create a sound barrier between you and the pet owner next door.
Contact your landlord or property management company.
If you’ve spoken to your neighbor about their dog barking for long periods of time and have gotten nowhere, then contacting your landlord may be your next best option. Keep a log of how often and the time of day when your neighbor’s dog barks, as well as when you spoke to your neighbor about it, and bring this to your landlord rather than just a general noise complaint. You may even consider recording the audio of the excessive barking from your apartment. The more proof you are armed with the better. From that point, your landlord can approach your neighbor about keeping the noise down. If you live in a condo with a homeowner’s association, they may also have rules in place about barking. Just keep in mind that if you do get your landlord or property manager involved, then this will likely cause some friction with your neighbor — so be prepared for that outcome.
Take legal action.
As a last resort, if both your landlord and your neighbor are being unresponsive, you can take the legal route. However, similar to getting your landlord involved, this will likely lead to a lot of tension in your building. If you are willing to take that risk, then look into local ordinances in your municipality. There may be local laws in place about noise. If you feel as though your neighbor is breaking these laws, consider contacting a lawyer.
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