“Jaw With John” – Dog Is All Bark

I live in a condo with six other units. The walls and floors are very well-insulated, but definitely not soundproof. We recently adopted a dog, “Princess,” from a family friend.

Princess is still young (two years old) and she’s a sweet dog who is (mostly) wonderful when we are home. If we are around, she’s extremely quiet and doesn’t bark at the other pets in the house or even when visitors come to the door.

Recently I left Princess alone. The next day my neighbor below told me that the dog barked for almost three hours. I apologized profusely and she assured me that it wasn’t a problem for her. Since Princess is kennel-trained, I thought that kenneling her when we are gone would solve the problem.

Two weeks later I learned that the dog continues to bark when she’s alone (albeit for a shorter period of time). Again I apologized and promised to work on training.

However, training will take some time. No other neighbors have complained but Princess is a rather large dog with a ferocious-sounding bark and (although she’s not) she looks like a restricted breed.

On one hand, I want to leave notes for my other neighbors apologizing for the noise (assuming they hear her) and asking for their patience. On the other hand, I worry that someone will use it against me and complain to animal control (or the authorities).

What would you do? If I leave a note, do you have suggested wording? — Puppy Parents

Dear Parents:

It’s only a problem if more people complain. There’s no need to preempt a complaint with a conciliatory note because who knows if your neighbors actually hear your dog? Also, if I were to hear a dog barking for a long period of time I wouldn’t think that the dog was in a bad home. I would think that the dog was lonely and/or missed you.

When I was training my chocolate lab, who is now 9 months old, I would put him in his crate and then just go outside and read for a few hours. I would hear him cry and moan but I knew that eventually he would tire out and calm down. Little by little the crying and barking waned and now he doesn’t bark when I am gone. It’s a process. You’ll be fine. It’s all a part of being a dog owner. If your neighbors tell you anything, remind them that you are training her and would ask for their patience.

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