Upstairs Neighbors Have Dogs? (Do This to Stop the Noise)

Upstairs Neighbors Have Dogs

For many of us, having noisy upstairs neighbors is an all too familiar experience. But for some, the source of that noise could be their barking dogs! If you’re struggling with the incessant yipping and howling coming from upstairs, what can you do about it?

Start with talking to your neighbor about the noise.  If the noise just started out of nowhere, it could be that there is a new pet still being trained, and the behavior should stop soon.  However, if the noise is ongoing and the neighbors aren’t helpful, you may need to take more drastic measures.

No one wants to be the grumpy neighbor complaining about someone’s pet, but if it’s keeping you up at night or if the neighbor isn’t taking care of their animals properly, you need to know what to do about it.  

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

Loud upstairs neighbors (and their dogs) are quite possibly one of the worst parts of living in an apartment complex or other shared dwelling space.  We understand if the noise is getting to you. 

We suggest one of these great sound-dampening options for your home so that the noise doesn’t disturb you:

1. Art Acoustic PanelsAdd some art to your walls and dampen the sounds of your neighbor’s pup.

2. White Noise MachineGive yourself some soothing nature or white noise sounds to drown out the yapping. 

3. Noise Cancelling Headphones – An easy way to listen to what you want to hear without interference. 

Loud Dogs and Inconsiderate Neighbors

We all know that dogs, especially puppies, need to be trained properly in order to not be a nuisance.  While it’s natural for dogs to bark once in a while, if you live in an apartment complex especially, it’s nice if the dog isn’t barking 24/7.

If there is suddenly a lot of noise coming from upstairs, you’re likely wondering why is the dog upstairs so loud. Unfortunately, it may just be that the dog is still getting adjusted to living there.  

As long as the owners are responsible, the dog will receive training to teach them not to bark and be as loud all the time, but it does take time for that training to work fully. 

Until then, may we suggest some soundproofing panels to help keep your place quiet?

However, sometimes you just get unlucky, and maybe your neighbors just don’t care about their dog barking.  If this happens to you, you do have options. 

We always recommend attempting to talk to your neighbor face-to-face before escalating the situation.

How to Have a Civil Conversation with a Neighbor

To approach your upstairs neighbors about their loud dog without causing a bigger issue, wait until an appropriate time. 

Do not run upstairs while you’re angry and start banging on their door.  Anger never helps a situation. 

If you typically see your neighbors at a certain time of day, for example, when you both return home from work, or are going for an evening walk, use this natural face time to have a conversation with them. 

Don’t immediately accuse them of not having their dog under control. Instead, mention nicely that you’ve noticed their apartment has been noisier than usual, and give them a chance to respond. 

This is typically enough for the neighbor to understand you’re nicely telling them their dog is too loud.

They will hopefully explain to you what they are doing to train their dog not to bark in response to things.  If they don’t, be prepared to suggest a good trainer in the area to help mitigate the barking issue. 

Make sure to thank your neighbor for their understanding at the end of the conversation. Then, you can inform them that the dog is disturbing you and your family and that you don’t want to escalate the situation, just be polite.

Next Steps

After you’ve had an initial conversation with the neighbor about their loud puppy, give them a chance to get the dog trained.  

If, after a few weeks, there hasn’t been a noticeable difference, it may be time to take the next step.  You can contact the landlord or property manager of your housing to file a noise complaint.  You’ll need proof that there have been disturbances.  

Unfortunately, your landlord isn’t likely to do much about a single noise complaint.  You can attempt to start multiple complaints, but it’s still not likely to have the effect you want.  

Instead, you’ll have to contact the police for a noise complaint.  This should be a last resort, as it will not make you any friends.  However, it’s an option if your neighbors are truly awful and you’re not afraid to lose friendship with them.

Additionally, it’s important to note if you see your neighbors mistreating their dog, leaving their dog outside for more than 8 hours at a time (neglect), or leaving their dog outside in overly hot or cold weather, contact animal welfare

Understanding the Barking and What to Do With It

Does your upstairs neighbor’s dog always bark at you when they see you outside?  I know for me, when my neighbor’s dog gets a little too excited and starts barking, it can be slightly intimidating, and I’m not afraid of dogs! 

However, having a strange dog bark at you can be frightening.  There is good news, though. That barking is typically a warning for the owners, and it doesn’t mean the dog is aggressive. 

As long as you respect the dog’s space, it shouldn’t have a problem with you.

However, that still leaves the question of what do you do about the upstairs neighbor’s loud dog?  Ignoring it is all well and good for a bit, but it can’t last forever.  The best solution is always to talk to the neighbor.  

Don’t be aggressive, but let them know it’s an annoyance and needs to be fixed. You should also keep a note of the times and instances when the dog barks. Share these with your neighbors. 

You may even be able to figure out what’s triggering the dog to bark and be able to eliminate it or have the dog trained not to respond that way. 

So, the next time the upstairs neighbor’s dog barks at you, you’ll know that the dog is being trained not to think of the neighbors as threats, and, in time, maybe you and the dog will even become friends!

You might also enjoy our post on How to Deal with Upstairs Neighbors with a Squeaky Bed

Making Peace with the Neighbors

So, your upstairs neighbors got a dog?  Did you know that as long as the lease doesn’t prohibit large dogs, there’s nothing illegal about having a dog in an upstairs apartment? 

However, there are still noise ordinances in most places, and dogs are not exempt from those!

Yes, this does mean that if you choose, you can call the cops if the neighbor’s dog doesn’t stop making noise.  However, that’s not a recommended method. 

Your neighbors will, at most, get a slap on the wrist for making too much noise and a recommendation for pet training for their dog. 

You, on the other hand, will forever be known as the person who called the cops on a puppy. Just saying. 

Instead, talk to your neighbor and offer support and suggestions to help you both.  For example, if you are frustrated because the dog barks all day while the owners are gone, but you’re home, offer to take the dog for a walk in the afternoon. 

If this is something your neighbors are comfortable with, and you like dogs, it could end up being a win-win situation.  And now, instead of being the bad neighbor who complained about their dog, you’re a friend!


Now that we’ve discussed the issues with a dog barking in an upstairs apartment, let’s talk about the second most noisy part of having dogs, them running around all day. 

While watching a dog have ‘the zoomies’ is fun to watch, it’s not so much fun to hear from your ceiling all day. 

There are several reasons why the dog upstairs keeps running, but odds are, they’re bored and trying to play. 

If dogs are left on their own in a small apartment all day, they may need some kind of engagement to keep them calm.  

You may need to suggest to your neighbors that they have a dog walker come for an hour in the afternoon and take the dog for a walk to get rid of that extra energy. 

Or, if it’s something you wouldn’t mind doing, work out a deal with your neighbors. For example, you can take the dog for a walk in the afternoon and get some extra peace while the dog naps post-walk. 

If you’re sick of hearing the dog running around, but walking them isn’t an option, it’s time to do some work on your apartment.

First, get yourself some soundproofing panels (good news, they now come in all kinds of artistic styles, you don’t have to have ugly black panels!)

My Dog

Before we wrap up, I do think it’s important to discuss what happens when the tables have turned.  If you’re the one with the barking dog, what are you going to do about it?

So, if your dog likes to bark or run around all night, you’ve probably wondered, can my neighbors hear my dog?  If the neighbors are downstairs, yes. They have. 

Most neighbors will understand that having a dog living upstairs means they hear it once in a while. 

However, if your dog is alone for long periods, or if you haven’t had your dog undergo obedience training, it may be a big deal that they bark a lot. So, make sure that your dog has gotten the necessary training. 

Other ways to combat a barking dog include:

  • Leaving a TV or radio on while you’re away.
  • Taking your dog on walks every 4-6 hours.  
  • Have a dog walker come if you’re away for more than 8 hours at a time (dogs get bored too!)
  • Block out the visuals the dog barks at (i.e., close the curtains while you’re away so the dog won’t bark at pedestrians.)
  • Leave your dogs plenty of toys and chews if you’re leaving them alone in an apartment.
  • Do not leave your dog chained or alone in the yard all day. 

Dealing With Neighbor Complaints

If your neighbor is still complaining about your dog making a lot of noise, take some time to explain to the neighbor what steps you’ve taken to train your dog not to bark and run.

If that isn’t enough for your neighbor, offer to buy your neighbor some soundproofing panels to help muffle the sound.

Or make a deal with your neighbor for them to walk your dog once a day, but be prepared to pay them or offer something in return! 

Final Thoughts

Having a dog in an apartment complex doesn’t have to be a hardship.  If properly trained and taken care of, dogs aren’t unreasonably loud. 

Therefore, if your upstairs neighbor has gotten a dog, just give them a chance to get the dog trained properly. 

If, after a couple of months, the dog is still loud, talk to your neighbors and devise a peaceful solution. 

Contacting the landlord, police, or animal control should only be a last resort if you think the animal is being neglected or abused.