Good Doggy Neighbors

Deb D’Andrea
Nederland, CO

I’ve cared for dogs and cats that live in neighborhoods where there are strict Association codes pertaining to dogs barking and cats mewing. While my dogs aren’t barkers except when appropriate, like if there’s an animal or person on my property; some dogs I sit for will stand outside and bark endlessly for extended periods. Sometimes they’re not barking at anything; but barking because they are bored, anxious, and lonely or love to listen to their own song. Barking can be a call to play, a warning alert, a sign of boredom and attention-seeking, and/or a response to other dogs barking.

There are several ways to help solve extended barking and the old saying; a tired dog is a happy dog applies. Exercise is essential in keeping their mind and body satisfied, with fun indoor games to help with wintertime boredom. Some dogs have anxiety separation and will bark when left alone. In these cases, a couple things I’ve found helpful are to leave the TV or radio on in your absence to keep them company, along with giving them a frozen peanut butter filled Kong to keep them busy. I’m not a supporter of shock collars and several smart pups will learn ways to get around these or get them off. I knew one dog that would bark until the batteries died so they could bark freely. And, yelling at a dog to be quiet just sounds like you’re joining in the barking.

If you’re a neighbor of a barking dog or mewing cat, each which can be equally annoying, listen to determine if the animals are reacting to others in the neighborhood and look to see if they’re barking at strangers walking by. While the barking can at times be annoying, it could help protect your home and valuables by them announcing intruders and other animals, and scare them away from their property and yours. Most dogs will bark a couple rounds of alarm barks and trail off after the threat has left. This is a good thing, so be careful when talking with your neighbor about their dog barking randomly as maybe they’re scaring off the local raccoon or thief.

As houses are close together, not only can we hear each other’s dogs and cats talking, but we can hear kids, adults, music and sometimes even the television through house walls. This is where being neighborly, going over and kindly sharing that you can hear their audio in your home, will usually nip any issue in the bud. It’s more challenging with barking dogs and mewing cats as talking is something dogs and cats do, it is something we want them to do; it is something we’ve trained them to do for 1,000’s of years since they’ve been by our side. They’re our protectors and will gladly announce intruders. So for those who have the barking or mewing critter next door, next time you hear them go out and see if there’s something they’re talking about, it could be someone breaking into your neighbors house or a bear getting into the trash!

Till next time. Deb D’Andrea, founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz, provides mobile Canine Massage, PawQuatics, Canine Agility and Petz Nanny Services. Her home-made dog treats are sold at local stores, and 4TheLuvOfDogz K9Birthday Cakes are available directly from her. Deb Petz Nanny’s for dogs, cats, birds, fish, horses, etc. Contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or