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We often mistake our dog’s bark as a way of communicating with us and other animals, which is the case sometimes. However, our dog’s body language is the best form of communication with you and also other dogs. Dog barking nuisance can be as a result of various reasons based on the nature of your dog.
However, even as much as we want to entertain our dogs, barking can become a problem, especially if he does it more often. This kind of behavior is frustrating and is termed as a dog barking nuisance in the neighborhood, which can actually lead to legal complaints from your neighbors.
We can debate whether dogs bark to communicate or to express themselves, but then again, we cannot forget that dogs in the wild do not bark often. In fact, they can only bark for valid reasons, for instance, oncoming danger, to relate to other animals.
Domestication and breeding, however, has led to dogs becoming even more vocal, since some of them are bred for herding and security purposes. This is why it is important to choose your pup carefully in order to avoid getting a barker in your apartment which could actually result in legal complaints against your dog by your neighbors.
Some of the reasons why your dog is barking excessively may include;
This is one of the most common forms of barking in dogs, whereby your dog will bark because he has noticed something unusual. For instance, unusual noise could lead to excessive barking, especially if your dog cannot see where the noise is coming from. This could be your neighbor walking up the stairs, or a stranger approaching your door.
Your dog could also be barking at other animals and pets around the compound, and in most cases, you should be able to check out the motivation for barking.
When your dog is angry at something, he is definitely going to bark at the cause of his frustrations. This kind of barking is usually consistent until his needs are met or the motivation has been removed from his sight.
Frustration barking is usually directed at something else, and usually not his owner. If you have other pets around your household, you may consider putting them in a different area from your dog to make sure that he is no longer barking.
Some dogs are quite friendly and will bark at you and other people and animals just to greet them. Doorbells can also trigger him to bark as he anticipates to see who is on the other side of the door.
He might actually bark at you when you get home in effort to greet you after a long day of being away from you. Some dogs will also bark at people passing by, trying to greet them.
Most dogs bark to demand something from their master. For instance, your dog might bark at you just to get your attention, or even get some treatment. Giving him what he wants will only encourage the behavior.
Avoid looking at your dog whenever he is barking for your attention, or even giving him the treat he is crying for. Instead, ignoring your dog will train him out of the habit, but you might receive several complaints from your neighbors.
To be able to eliminate dog barking nuisance, you should investigate your dog in order to know his motivation for barking. Through this, you can be able to control your dog through training and other behavioral techniques.
My neighbor is complaining of a dog barking nuisance
Most people do not know how to react after their neighbor complains of a dog barking nuisance. However, it is important to take your neighbor’s complaint seriously and investigate your dog’s behavior. For instance, if you leave your dog at home alone all day and he has developed a barking habit, you may not be aware.
Below are some of the steps you can take if your neighbors are complaining of your barking dog;
Listen to your neighbor
This is where we mostly go wrong, by ignoring your neighbor’s complaint, you will be forcing them to seek legal options. Instead, you should listen to what they have to say without getting defensive or admitting to the accusations.
However, it is important to avoid arguing with your neighbor, and instead, listen to them and let them know that you understand their point of view. This will work for you in that they will feel like you are considering their pleas and you are willing to correct the behavior.
You may also go ahead and apologize for the disturbance and ask them how often it happens in order to make your neighbor feel like they have been heard and they are sure you will address the dog barking problem.
Apologize for your dog
Chances are that you are going to live with your neighbor for quite some time, and thus the need to live in harmony with them. In the case your neighbor complains to you about your dog barking, you should be able to apologize to them for your dog’s behavior.
People always want to feel appreciated and respected and apologizing for the barking nuisance will be one step ahead on the road to maintaining a good relationship with your neighbor. This way, you will avoid legal complaints and also you will have enough time to correct the behavior before it becomes chronic.
In the case where your neighbor has left you a note, it is also important to make sure that you let them know that you are sorry for your dog’s behavior as well as assure them that you will do something about it.
Be empathetic with your neighbor
Well, it is really hard to see things from your neighbor’s perspective, especially when we are on the receiving side. For instance, if your neighbor complains about your dog keeping you awake, chances are that you might be tempted to be defensive and ignore their complaints since you love your puppy.
However, once you ignore your neighbor’s complaint, they are likely to take more serious steps to maintain their peace. It is important to get yourself in their shoes to be able to see things from their perspective.
This way, you will understand why they have been complaining about your dog. Even though our dogs can actually keep us awake all night, we sometimes do not bother to correct the behavior. However, living with other people will require you to take steps in controlling the behavior.
Investigate your dog
When your neighbors complain about your dog barking, it is important to study him in order to tell why he has developed the habit. Spending some more time with him is a great idea as you will be able to monitor his behavioral patterns.
This way, you will be able to know how to correct this behavior, based on the cause. For instance, if your dog is barking whenever you leave him alone at home, you should have him checked by a veterinarian to rule out any underlying anxiety disorders.
Once you have determined the reason as to why he is barking, it will be easier to take the steps to correct the behavior. In most cases, thorough training is an essential part of training your dog to stop barking.
You can even pretend to be away from home just to listen to him and determine the time and frequency of his barking. This way, you will be able to identify the things that trigger him to bark. You should not stop at this but instead, you should be able to devise a way to curb dog barking nuisance.
Observe Dog Laws
Depending on the state you live in, you should always make sure that you are observing all dog laws. For instance, most countries actually enforce leash laws strictly.
Even though this is not in any way related to barking nuisance, observing the laws will make it easier for you to control your dog, and also keep them from threatening your neighbors and passersby. The leash law is one of the most common dog laws in most countries, with the government and councils reinforcing it.
The leash law is mainly used to control roaming dogs that could cause several issues in the neighborhood. For instance, your dog could be threatening to people and hence the need for a leash at all times you are out walking him outside.
When your dog is on a leash you will also be protecting your dog from the possible spread of diseases and parasites.
How to stop dog barking nuisance
Once you have determined the cause of the excessive barking, you should be able to correct the behavior. However, it will take you some extra effort so that you can be able to train him and prevent him from barking.
The good thing about dogs is that they can learn to obey commands quickly, which makes training efficient to curb barking nuisance. Below are some of the best techniques you can use to curb the barking problem;
Don’t yell at your dog
When you yell at your dog as he might think that you are joining in the barking and thus he will feel encouraged. Dog, like humans, can feel energies, which makes them sensitive pets you can keep. He is likely to feel the annoyance from you and instead of staying calm, he will continue barking,
Train your dog
This is one of the most important routines you can have for your dog as it eases your relationship. When you can be able to control and correct all the behavioral vices in dogs. For instance, you may consider training your dog to stop barking and offering him a treat every time he gets it right.
However, as much as offering and bribing your dog with treats might work, it is important to make sure that you do not reward him to stop barking. Instead, you should give him a treat when he has already stopped and is quiet. This way, your dog will always keep calm because he expects his reward.
Training your dog will take time and so much of your energy but if you are doing it right, you will never have to deal with this kind of problem anymore. Since training may take some time, it is important to be patient with your dog and also consistent in order to avoid confusing him with different tricks.
Relocate your dog
Dogs that bark at guests at the door or even passersby should be relocated in order to curb the vice. For instance, if your dog spends his day at the window staring and barking at other pets and people on the outside, you should consider dropping your drapes before leaving. This way, you will be blocking his view and thus you will have removed the motivation for barking.
Desensitize your dog to the motivation
Like mentioned earlier, you should always investigate the reason for your dog barking before you decide on the next steps to stop him. By desensitizing your dog to the barking stimuli, you will be curbing the vice completely, but it will take time and also your neighbors might not be exactly patient with you as you help him get used to the stimulus.
You can be able to do this by making him face the stimuli until he gets used to it and stops barking at it. For instance, if your dog barks at your friend, you should make him meet them often so as he can get used to it. However, things that bring fear and anxiety to your dog might not work well with this technique.
You may end up exposing your puppy to more fear and thus they might develop anxiety disorders.
Exercising your dog is also a crucial step in curbing dog bark nuisance, as you will always have a healthy dog and he will sleep from the physical activity.
It is crucial that you listen to your neighbor’s complaints and stop your dog from barking before getting any legal complaints. You should also apologize for your dog and ask them for a few days to come up with a plan to stop the barking. Maintaining a good relationship with your neighbor is important and thus the need to curb nuisance barking.