Barking - what's reasonable?

Posted by: BasiaBear

Barking - what's reasonable? - 03/06/15 02:41 PM

My past neighbors always used to tell me how quiet Basia is and that they would never know there was a dog living next door. Now, many of you know I have just moved to a different location...

Skip to the past two days. Basia has apparently barked for about 5 minutes after me leaving for work and then sporadically here and there when someone enters the common hallway or when the neighbor takes her boxer out to go potty. IMO, this is normal and acceptable behaviour and I do not consider this to be nuisance barking. But the fact that the landlord is already texting me about it tells me that it is not acceptable for him. And now my anxiety is high.

Do I get a bark collar? If it was non stop barking just because I wouldn't hesitate, but I don't think this is the right circumstance to punish her. I don't think this behaviour will stop on it's own either, I don't think it's a product of her new environment, but rather a product of her natural guarding tendencies.

The lease stipulated "no barkers" (written just like that) which I took to mean nuisance barking - not a zero tolerance.
Posted by: middleofnowhere

Re: Barking - what's reasonable? - 03/06/15 07:31 PM

Try a white noise machine, leave the radio & TV on etc. See if that helps. Can you shut her in a room that is remote from the common hallway?
Posted by: Kayos

Re: Barking - what's reasonable? - 03/06/15 08:42 PM

Good advice from middle. Dogs bark but barking to excess is irritating and a nuisance. You might also try recording her if you have the ability to do so.

Stufffed Kongs, interactive toys, radio, TV etc can help. So can Benadryl 45 minutes before you leave.
Posted by: BasiaBear

Re: Barking - what's reasonable? - 03/07/15 08:50 AM

The white noise might help, didn't think of that one. I don't own a tv or radio though and the computer comes to work with me but I can get a little radio today. I gave her a bully stick on day one and a stuffed kong on day two but when I came home they were still there. She only seems to occupy herself with chew things if I'm present. I'm going to continue to feed her meals in a kong even when I'm here so she gets used to it.

Benadryl doesn't affect basia and there are no separate rooms here so those two are out.

Thanks for the inputs.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Barking - what's reasonable? - 03/07/15 04:26 PM

This is new to her, so may get better or worse?

I would record so you have an idea of exactly what is going on.

Does she do this when you are home?
Posted by: Shilohsmom

Re: Barking - what's reasonable? - 03/07/15 05:08 PM

Boy, this is a hard one. I agree with the suggestion about recording her if you can. This is the only way you can honestly assess what is really going on.

The other suggestions are great too but it doesn't sound like they are working.

I really hate to say this, mostly because I think dogs have a right to bark some, but this might be a case where a bark collar could help. I can imagine how hard it is to find housing that allows dogs, let alone a big dog. The lease is clear that they don't tolerate barkers and your already getting texts from the landlord about this...I just would hate to see you have to move because of this.

As far as what amount of barking is reasonable I think that varies depending on the surroundings. I live in an area that has a smaller number of houses, everyone has big front yards and back yards, we're surrounded by mountains and most people work during the day. Thankfully, so as my little Eli is a barker. Here is really not an issue. If we lived closer to other people I could see where it would be a huge problem and there is no doubt I'd have to have a bark collar on him 24/7.

I so hope your able to resolve this with your precious pup. I don't think she is doing anything wrong, she is just doing what dogs do.
Posted by: middleofnowhere

Re: Barking - what's reasonable? - 03/07/15 09:31 PM

I guess that if the landlord considers it a problem, it is a problem. You can pick up a TV real cheap at junk stores and radios, too. Maybe get some padding for the walls?

I really hate to see this ideal setup for you bite the dust.
Posted by: Brooklyn

Re: Barking - what's reasonable? - 03/08/15 08:40 AM

The fact that the landlord has already put you on notice means that you have little wiggle room here. You must quickly solve the problem or you will be forced to find another place. It is likely that you will face the same problem in another place where there is activity.

A drastic situation requires that you act now. I have a very vocal dog and she reacts by barking at different noises. It is not a problem for me inside because I am around and can redirect her. When outside in my yard that is another story. My backyard is fenced in, but I have kennel which I put Sadie in when working in the front yard or sometimes cleaning. I live on a main road and want to make sure she doesn't dig out and get hit by a car. She started what I call nuisance barking and not wanting a problem with my neighbors I got a bark collar. Quickly she learned not to bark and I do not have to use it regularly. I give her a minute or two to calm down is she doesn't I get the bark collar and put it on her. That stops the barking immediately.

Posted by: BasiaBear

Re: Barking - what's reasonable? - 03/08/15 10:43 AM

I may be over worried. He may have just been letting me know as a way to keep the communication open, but it still has me on high anxiety. Saw him on Friday as I was getting in from work and asked him about it. He was just leaving so it was a brief conversation but he said it wasn't really bad but that she seemed stressed/anxious and that hopefully it will get better and that "we'll see how it goes." I think the part that bugs me most is not knowing exactly what is and what is not acceptable in his eyes, so it's a conversation that needs to happen.

I found a sweet antique radio at a consignment shop down the road and a bark collar has been ordered. I will also try some things to limit window access.

Originally Posted By: MaxaLisa
Does she do this when you are home?

I'm not surprised at her barking at the other dog when she can see him out the window. It happens when I'm home and I easily redirect. She doesn't bark at general people traffic when I'm home. And our old place was a small brownstone w/ 2apts per floor - so lots of people traffic - and it never elicited vocalizations. Barking when I leave for work is new. Maybe it's the fact that she can literally see me get in the car and drive away - that is new to her.

Originally Posted By: Shilohsmom
As far as what amount of barking is reasonable I think that varies depending on the surroundings.
There are no neighbors, we're on 250 acres.

Originally Posted By: middleofnowhere
I really hate to see this ideal setup for you bite the dust.

Me too!!!
Posted by: Shilohsmom

Re: Barking - what's reasonable? - 03/08/15 12:28 PM

Danielle I went back to your 'Hey' post and it helped remind me of where you live now. I had forgot and was thinking you were in some type of apartment/condo complex or something like that (it's called chemo brain eek)

You have just the lady with the boxer and the owners there so I'm thinking this is going to work out for you. I would just suggest doing what you are doing which is keeping the communication going between you and the owner. Its a new place for your pup so I'm really not surprised that she might act a little differently at first, especially when she sees you leaving her in a place that she may not feel like its her home yet.

I'm glad you ordered the bark collar but I'm thinking you may not need it. This could all be due to her settling in her new place and trying to figure things out.

I so wish you the best and I think its going to work out just fine.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Barking - what's reasonable? - 03/08/15 02:56 PM

This is all very new I would think and she's probably still a bit anxious about her surroundings.

When you are home with her, you might try working on "watch" with her? I think restricting visual access when you aren't there might help a lot. I've seen those blog posts where people put those fuzzy window coverins on the window that blur stuff and it really calms the dog.
Posted by: Qyn

Re: Barking - what's reasonable? - 03/11/15 08:48 AM

Can you explain your situation please? On 250 acres how is she seeing other dogs and how is her barking effecting anyone? Are you in a central house shared with others but surrounded by acreage?
Posted by: BasiaBear

Re: Barking - what's reasonable? - 03/11/15 04:05 PM

Alison, it is one house but broken into 3 units. Basia and I are on the top floor and so is the other tenant and her dog, while the owners live on the bottom floor. The owner is also self employed and works from home so he is there all day. I guess my neighbor must be home during the day as well if she's taking her dog out. She takes him out into the front of the house to do his business which is in direct view from the only 2 windows basia has access to.

I did make 3 strategic changes that seem to work. (1) Turned on the radio (2) blocked the window (3) put her breakfast down on the floor and immediately scurried out without saying a word.

He told me she barked twice but very briefly. I asked him to tell me if it ever is a nuisance for him and so far so good. Fingers crossed. Thanks for the suggestions and words of encouragement smile
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Barking - what's reasonable? - 03/11/15 10:25 PM

Sounds very promising - glad things are better - hoping things stay okay and get even better.
Posted by: middleofnowhere

Re: Barking - what's reasonable? - 03/12/15 12:26 AM

OK! Hope the good work continues. Maybe you could talk the other tenant into a less obvious "toilet"?