If Fido is your best friend, there is a good chance he is missing you while you are gone during the day for work. You have been receiving letters from your homeowners association manager about your dog barking while you’re out at work and the other letters about not picking up the feces and always having your dog off the leash in the common area. If this describes you – it turns out, you are the owner of the “dog next door.”
These are common incidents at most homeowner associations. Most owners are oblivious of problems their dogs cause because they see their pets not as animals but as family members, and like family members they all seem to look the other away of their pets faults.
Dogs left alone all day get bored and restless, and many find relief in barking. Some respond noisily to any and all activity. But, nothing is as annoying as incessant barking — even for dog lovers. However, if you still insist on purchasing in a Homeowners Association, please consider some of these fixes for a barking dog to keep the noise down in your area. Your neighbors will thank you!
- Training. Always the first recommendation for any behavioral problem! Help is as close as the Yellow Pages. Training not only helps your dog, you’ll be surprised how much it helps you too. You may get some insight into why your dog barks so much, or what it is trying to communicate.
- Citronella collars. A humane alternative to the electric-shock, anti-barking collar and costs about the same. Available on the web and in pet stores. Check out this option at www.citronellacollar.org.
- Confinement. Sometimes simply bringing an outspoken dog indoors or confining it to a crate can cut down on the disturbance to neighbors.
- Reduce stimulus. Close drapes to help muffle street noise, or leave a radio on to mask it. Disconnect telephones and doorbells before leaving your home if they upset your dog or make it bark.
- Companionship. Dogs are pack animals; they need companionship — a cat, bird, or another dog. Consider a mid-day visit from a pet-sitting service, or drop your pooch off at a friend’s place or a day-care facility once or twice a week.