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Remali
26th September 2006, 12:22 AM
I received a call today that has me terribly upset. I rent an apartment in a very nice newer building, it has 9 apartments and it's situated alongside some very nice woods, and I have great outdoor access for my dogs thru my patio doors, and a real nice private backyard area. Well, today I got a call from the apartment manager stating that when they were showing the apartment across the hall from my apt. that my dogs barked non-stop and that they sounded like "very stressed out and unhappy dogs". I was shocked! Both of my dogs are very happy, and very un-stressed, you won't find better, happier dogs. And while they may bark occasionally, they don't go on non-stop. I have asked another tenant in my building and she told me that she never hears my dogs barking. Perhaps with people moving heavy furniture out of the apartment across the hallway, it may have made the dogs bark, but I heard them moving today and there was a lot of stomping and banging around, so it's only reasonable that may get my dogs barking what with all that commotion. So, now I am very upset.... I like my apartment and do not want to lose it, but, bottom line is I will not ever give up my dogs. The apt. manager then told me to talk to my vet about it and do something about it....whatever that means, she obviously doesn't know a thing about dogs. I have occasionally left a cassette recorder going while I have left, to record what noise the dogs may have made, and it was minimal to none.

Anyway, I was just curious to see who else rents an apartment and what your experience has been. This is my first time ever living in an apartment building, previously I had been living with my elderly father as he was alone and having troubles getting around, but he passed away a year ago and I had to move out of his house as my sister then took over my father's house. I am now in a tizzy and trying to not get too upset, but finding a house to rent or apartment to rent, that allows dogs, isn't easy where I live, altho they are out there if you can find them. My dogs are my life, and I will not part with them, and I think the apt. manager is being unreasonable. I should also mention that there are other tenants (at least one that I know of for sure) that have dogs in my building.

Karlin
26th September 2006, 12:39 AM
I'd talk to your neighbours and ask for honest feedback. It may well have been that the dogs got very excited by people talking and moving in the hallway. Mine would get that way and then egg each other on, barking. If this is a rare occurence and you have nice neighbours, then you probably have nothing to worry about as long as the landlord doesn't have the option of saying 'move out', and your lease states dogs are allowed.

However keep in mind that dogs often act very differently when we are not there and also that behaviour can change over time. For example my dogs do now bark more with the addition of Lily, who is more of a barker, to the group. They all bark at cats which initially Jaspar and Leo did not do. So triggers can change and for this reason, it is good to keep re-asking neighbours about noise levels and make sutre they know they can always contact you if they are concerned about noise.

Finally one option may be to confine the dogs to a single room so they don't have the option of being triggered by noise outside the front door. Or block the hall entry off with a baby gate if you have one to keep them away from the door. I know my dogs bark more if they are in my front top bedroom which I use as an office. Hence I tend to keep them in the bedroom as it doesn't get street noise and only shares a wall with one neighbour who is fine about the dogs. The front room shares a wall with a house where I don;t really know the neighbours -- who rent -- outaside of me complaining about their string of parties this past summer!! So I am not inclinced to give them a reason to come back at me with a different noise issue. :lol:

The rukle with landlords is always to be polite and not give them any reason for getting rid of you. :) So my approach would be to note that you do speak regularly to the neighbours and know from speaking to them that this would have been a very unusual occurence -- that perhaps the dogs got overexcited due to the sound of people moving -- and thank her for tipping you off. Just say you will be talking to your vet and again to your neighbours as your friendships with neighbours mean any potential for disturbance to them would be a concern for you. 8)

Remali
26th September 2006, 01:06 AM
Thank you Karlin, good advice! I agree, I am going to talk to the people who live on my hallway, there are only 3 others on my hallway, and ask them how often they hear my dogs barking. And I also agree about being polite and nice to the apt. manager, I called her back immediately and I was nice to her and told her I was concerned.

Well, you know, that is true, about how dogs act when we aren't home, and I've noticed lately that my Poodle is a bit more barky, maybe due to tha added noise of the people moving. I wondered about confining them to my bedroom and the bathroom......but then I also wondered if that would make them more barky and more anxious since they're not used to being cooped-up like that, seems when I did keep them confined to the kitchen they got more agitated....altho, it may be worth a try!

At any rate, if I do end up having to make a choice, my dogs will stay with me forever, and I if I have to move, well, I guess I will figure out what to do if/when the time comes. One thing tho, I may be able to work from home in the not-too-distant future, so I am going to mention that to the apt. manager also.

KingstonsMom
26th September 2006, 01:39 AM
It doesn't sound like your apartment manager approached you in a very nice manner. I'd personally be upset if someone told me my dog was "unhappy." I'm very defensive of him though! :D

I also live in an apartment, and everytime I walk to or from my car I get barked at by two dogs on a second-story balcony. In fact, I hear them barking right now! So you are definitely not alone.

Check your lease for stipulations about pets. I highly doubt you can be kicked out of your apartment for "alleged" barking. If worse comes to worse and they ask you to leave, make sure they release you from any lease obligations.

It seems odd to me that your dogs would have a terrible barking fit just from someone showing an apartment next door. Do they bark when you are there and they hear someone outside? I can't relate to this because I hardly know what my Kingston's bark sounds like! How does the manager know it wasn't someone else's pets?

Sorry for your trouble. Good luck!!!

Karlin
26th September 2006, 01:43 AM
If you aren't using something like kongs you could try those as distractions. Also leaving a radio on helps blur out the sounds they might bark at. A second (or third etc) dog can really change behaviour patterns. It sounds like the manager over-reacting to me but it is good to make sure you have th e perspective of neighbours etc. :)

Remali
26th September 2006, 02:26 AM
My dogs really don't bark that much when I'm here at home, only if there is a really loud noise. Also there are some noisy people in the other building on the other side of the trees, and sometimes that makes them bark a bit. Otherwise, they are very good dogs and stay fairly quiet.

I do leave the radio on for them when I'm not home, and I leave them kongs and all kinds of things to chew on and play with.....they have my bed to plop on, and I have an apartment way at the end so it's more quiet where I'm at.

I also never leave them alone overnight, or over the weekend....I'd miss them too much anyway, lol! But, if I do go somewhere, I'm always home by suppertime at the latest, and it is very rare that I leave for the day on weekends anyway as I am kind of a homebody.

judy
26th September 2006, 09:53 AM
i can see why you're disturbed by the comment about your dogs being unhappy. What you describe sounds normal for dogs, to bark at an "intruder" noise, and noises around the home are often taken that way by dogs. So it doesn't mean they are unhappy dogs. it means they are concerned about a noise they hear which for all they know might be a problem of some kind. I live in an apartment and i really relate to how you're feeling about this. It's a vulnerable feeling, knowing you might have to lose your home. But if that was an exceptional case of barking and all your neighbors say they don't normally hear your dogs, i think the landlord would have a hard time evicting you over it.

I only have one adjacent neighbor. When Zack moved in, i gave her my office phone number and my cell number and asked her to call me any time he was barking. I checked with her regularly. She said that after I leave he will cry for about 5 minutes, or not necessarily cry, but the way she described it, it was like he was saying "where are you? Hello?" I'm sure he doesn't do it anymore but apparently he did this for several months. My neighbor was very reassuring, saying it didn't bother her at all, that she could barely hear it, it was very soft, and that it only lasted a few minutes and then he got quiet.

One day i was driving along and my cell phone rang and it was her, calling to tell me Zack was crying. She stressed that she was not calling to complain about it, she did not mind it, it was not easy for her to hear it, but she just thought i would want to know that he was crying, for about 20 minutes. I was already on my way home for lunch before she called, and i thanked her and came right home. She said when i got there that he had stopped around the time she called me.

Zack has gotten so he will bark a little at night out in the backyard, at squirrels or something. I keep a really tight rein on that. One bark out of his mouth and i ask him to come right inside. When he comes in i give him a small treat which has resulted in him coming right away when i call. It's high priority for me to be able to stop the barking as fast as possible.

good luck with that situation. i hope you get to work at home. That is the best.

Remali
28th September 2006, 01:35 AM
Thank you all so much for the replies. I was so darn upset, so the very next morning I called the apt. manager and talked to her again, told her I was concerned and mentioned that I spend a lot of time with my dogs and that they are very happy and not at all stressed dogs, and I told her that my Poodle has very odd and unusual bark, and it can sometimes sound as if he is freaking out over something, he has a weird yelping, screechy kind of bark. And I also told her I may be working from home sometime in the not-too-distant future. She then told me that she has not had any complaints, and she was a lot more nice and not rude to me like she had been the day before. So, maybe she was upset when my dogs barked when she was showing the other apartment, I guess I can sort of understand that, but I think she way over-reacted. Today when I came home from work the movers were moving the other apartment's belongings and I stopped by the outside door to listen before I came in the building, and I heard nothing - no barking. When I walked up the steps to my apartment I saw boxes and stuff all over in the hallway outside of my apt. door, and the people were right across the hallway from my door, moving things.....and best of all.....I didn't even hear a peep from my dogs! Woo hoo!! So, I am a bit more calm now and more hopeful that I won't be asked to leave. Like you said, hard to evict someone when no one has complained!

:D

Remali
28th September 2006, 01:38 AM
Another afterthought....if she happens to call me back again, I could tell her that she can give my phone number to any prospective renters, or if they'd like to meet me, that would be OK too. I gave my work number and home phone number to one of the gals who lived in one of the other apartments here, and I could always do that in this situation too. The things we'll do for our dogs eh?! But they are so worth it!!

judy
28th September 2006, 04:51 AM
that's great news. sounds like your dogs are very well behaved, and it sure does sound like the manager felt pressured to rent the place, and was afraid the sound of dogs barking (at all) might scare off a prospective tenant. When she said your dogs sounded stressed, she was probably projecting her own feelings onto the dogs.. anyway, i'm so glad your stress has been relieved.

if there ever is an attempt to evict you over your dogs, don't just accept it and give up your apartment without looking into the laws and court rulings in your state--it may be that the law is on your side. It is on the side of pet owners in many areas.

*Pauline*
28th September 2006, 12:29 PM
Tell you what I do if I think I've upset someone...I write a little note in a pretty card. Everyone likes getting a card so it defuses things. I think she probably got flustered and worried what the new tenants might think. But it was an unusual situation. Oh and make friends with the new neighbours quick!! icon_whistling

Remali
29th September 2006, 11:54 PM
Yes, I agree....I think she got all flustered too, and projected her own feelings on the dogs (she was worried about the prospective renter hearing my dogs). If it ever comes to eviction, I am going to put up a fight! Nobody here has complained and I know my dogs are good. But, I hope (and pray) it won't come to that, I don't think it will. The note on a pretty card is a great idea, I will remember that!

But, to update everyone.....when I stopped by the apt. manager's office today to pay my rent, she actually told me something nice! She said that she had to stop by my apt. building this afternoon and inspect that apt. across the hallway from me (something they routinely do when someone has moved out) and she told me that she didn't hear my dogs at all, they never barked! I was so proud of my boys! I told her that they were good little dogs and I was happy she told me that.

:D

selina
30th September 2006, 01:56 PM
I dont live in an apartment, but I have had this problem where we used to live. We had 5 acres and the neighbour across the road kept coming over and complaining about my dogs barking. I am home most of the time and knew it wasnt them. I was gutted that she would be so nasty and I told her time and again it wasnt mine. I asked my other neighbours and they didnt hear them. I worked out that it was my next door neighbours dogs that she could hear and that there was no way she could hear mine, but she kept on attacking me to the point that I found most of them new homes. It broke my heart but we couldnt just up and move at that stage. We have moved since then and now have neighbours closer to us than she was. Not one person has complained about my dogs and I ask them on a regular basis. No one likes barky dogs, but it is really upsetting when you know you are doing the right thing and you get accused because of your neighbours who dont keep their dogs quiet.

*Pauline*
30th September 2006, 05:56 PM
she told me that she didn't hear my dogs at all, they never barked! I was so proud of my boys! I told her that they were good little dogs and I was happy she told me that.


I think she regretted what she said. Nice of her to put you at your ease. I don't think you'll get any bother now.

Remali
30th September 2006, 06:30 PM
I am so relieved, maybe now I can breathe a sigh of relief and relax!

8)

Nicki
30th September 2006, 08:00 PM
Oh what a relief...sorry I missed this before, it must have been very worrying for you :(

I was in a situation with a neighbour who used to complain about my dogs {Westies at that time} barking in the night...but he was jumping over the garden fence to bang on the patio doors of the room where they slept. By the time I could get downstairs he would be at the front door fully dressed complaining...

We caught him out when friends stayed the night in the back bedroom and heard him banging on the patio doors...but it was very upsetting as he was threatening to complain to environmental health etc...

Remali
1st October 2006, 05:00 AM
Thanks Nicki, I was so upset, but I'm feeling a whole lot better about it now since they did tell me that they didn't hear my dogs barking the next time they came out here. My dogs really aren't all that noisy, only when there is a lot of noise in the hallway, and what dog wouldn't bark.....and they never bark at night, so I am trying to not worry about it too much now....lol!

That is so horrid that your neighbor was coming over to your place and doing that... gosh, banging on your patio doors like that, you probably could have complained about him and gotten him arrested!