Barking Up the Wrong Tree: Controlling a Barking Dog in Your Community
A common question and concern that many property managers are faced with is how can a homeowner control their barking dog which may be causing a disturbance to their Association neighbors.
For those of you who may be experiencing an issue with a neighbor’s barking dog we recommend you take the following steps:
- Contact the Dog Owner. If you are comfortable with it, try politely approaching your neighbor to discuss the matter. The owner of the dog may not be aware that the dog is barking while they are away or that it’s a nuisance to their neighbors. You can even offer to walk the dog for your neighbor, which may go a long way to express your concern and understanding.
- Contact the Property Manager. If you are unable to resolve the barking dog with your neighbor you can contact your Property Manager for additional help. Depending on the Rules for your Community, there may be steps they can take to help alleviate the issue.
- Contact the Police. As a last resort, you may need to call the police – just keep in mind this could negatively impact your relationship with your neighbor. Barking dog complaints have been reported as one of the leading complaints that the local police receive (you aren’t alone).
Many dog owners consider their pet family and know that dogs vocalize to communicate with humans and to express themselves. It’s important to work with your dog as soon as you realize you have a barking problem but the solution isn’t always obvious. Here are a few helpful tips that may assist in limiting the barking dog in your household:
- Setting Up Limits. Limiting outside stimulation for your dog by covering items in your dog’s line of sight can be helpful. For example, you can close your blinds or curtains to limit site to the outside which may provoke barking. If your dog barks often when let out in the yard you may be able to cover the portion of your fence that your dog can see through to limit the external activity your dog can see when in the yard (check with your community leaders or Property Manager to double check on the guidelines regarding this type of change before making any alterations to your fence).
- Hiring a professional dog trainer might be a great fit for you and your dog in order to work on the concerns that may be causing your dog to bark frequently.
- Keeping your dog active with toys, balls or even personal items of yours, such as an old T-shirt or blanket (the smell can be comforting) can be very helpful if your dog barks frequently when left alone.
- For some dogs, simply leaving the TV or radio on can be helpful in soothing your dog and keeping them engaged.
- Whenever possible make sure your furry friend gets sufficient exercise so that they don’t have the energy to bark for extended periods of time.
- Doggy Daycare. Dog walking services and doggy daycare facilities have become more and more available over recent years and can often help occupy your dog when you are away from home.
PENCO Management, Inc. can help you manage your barking dog concerns in your Community Association, in addition to the other property maintenance, administrative, and financial services it provides for over 60 communities in the greater Delaware Valley including Bucks, Montgomery, and New Castle Counties.
Submitted by: T. Palmer