Happy dog running during an autumn day

How To Handle Complaints About Your Dog

There may come a time when your neighbor has a complaint (or many) about your dog. Whether this is because they are barking excessively when you're not around, being loud at night, or doing their business on your neighbor's lawn, your neighbor has every right to ask for the situation to be handled. However, it may be hard to figure out how to solve these problems. So, how do you make sure that your dogs behavior is not straining neighborly relationships? Continue reading to learn all about properly handling complaints about your dog.

Handling Complaints About Your Dog

Listen To The Complaint

The first thing that you should do when you receive a complaint about your dog is to listen carefully with the intent of solving the problem. Even if it sounds like your neighbor may be complaining unreasonably or exaggerating the situation, it is important to listen and not get defensive. Defensiveness could cause the problem to escalate unnecessarily relationships.


When your neighbor has finished with their complaint it is important to acknowledge the problem, apologize, and assure them that you will find a solution. It is important to let them know you are working to solve the problem and ask that they bear with you as you discover the right approach. Be sincere with your apology so you do not come across as inconsiderate. You could even go to the point of baking them cookies or doing something to show you care and are serious about resolving the issue.

Investigate The Situation

Upon hearing of a problem with your dog whether it be a noise complaint or trespassing complaint, you may need to do some investigation to discover what is causing this unwanted behavior. There are many ways to go about this. Get more info from your neighbor on when and where the issue is occurring and if they have noticed anything particular that may be related.

If you feel it necessary, you may ask other neighbors if they've noticed the same issue. There could be many reasons for your dog acting up including the following:

The first cause that your dog is causing trouble is just that your dog is bored and needs stimulation. Another is that they have separation anxiety while you are gone. Check out this article for more on How Separation Anxiety Affects Your Dog.

Other reasons as to why your dog is acting up are them being defensive of their territory. This can cause them to bark each time the mailman comes or the garbage truck comes by and takes your trash. Another reason is that there is a small animal or animals that are frequently in your backyard that your dog wants to get or even the neighbor's children playing in their own backyard can cause your dog to act up.

If your neighbor complains about your dog trying to get into their backyard, or has gotten into their backyard, try to find out why your dog did this and eliminate the problem. This is because your neighbor may feel that their kids are in danger whenever your dog is home alone. Even if your dog has the intent of playing and not causing harm, your neighbor may not feel safe with your dog while you are not there.

Modify Your Dog's Behavior

Now that you have found out what is causing your dog to bark, or trespass into the neighbor's yard, you need to stop it as soon as you can so the situation can be resolved. If the problem is your dog making noise while you are away, try to solve the problem getting them some new toys to play with if their bored or have someone pick them up and take them for a walk halfway through the day.

If your dog is running wild in your backyard chasing small animals, don't let them outside in the backyard, or get a small fence that keeps them on the back porch. If your dog feels threatened by the mailman or garbage man, you may want to let your dog become familiar with them by providing them with dog treats and asking them to your dog. That way the dog is no longer threatened when they show up.

However, of the issue is your dog is consistently going into your neighbor's yard and doing their business or causing trouble, you may want to completely restrict their access while you are away. If that is not possible, or you want that to be a last resort, consider installing another fence on your side to give an extra line of defense so your dog can't get across. If that is out of your budget, consider upgrading the current fence instead like patching any holes your dog is getting through or making it higher so they can not jump over.

Follow Up

After you have made some adjustments to your dog's behavior and have given it some time, it is important to follow up with your neighbor. That way they can let you know if the problem is gone or if it is still there. If the problem is resolved, thank your neighbor for letting you know about the problem, as your dog may have been a nuisance to others and they didn't want to tell you. However, if the problem is not resolved, continue to make efforts to resolve it so you and your neighbor can move on.


When it comes to handling complaints about your dog, the most important thing to remember is to not get defensive and assume that your neighbor is going after your dog. Just try to resolve things like adults so both people can feel satisfied. If your dog continues to bark, try some of our K9 & Kitty Calmer to help soothe them for a while till you can find a more permanent solution.