When your roommate’s dog wakes you up:
- Check if the dog is barking unreasonably.
- If so, speak with your roommate about its physical needs.
- Consider the dog’s need for attention and love.
- Perhaps it’s a matter of obedience training.
The full article below gives has all 9 solutions with all the details you need.
You are sound asleep with hours to go before the alarm is due to ring. Suddenly, you hear the noise of a hound from hell. It’s your roommate’s dog barking for attention .
Or…you are sound asleep and in the middle of the best dream ever. All of a sudden, a swamp monster enters the story, dripping all over your face. You wake up to find your roommate’s dog licking your cheek .
In both cases, this article shows what can you do to stop your roommate’s dog from waking you up ?
1. Figure out if the dog is barking more than is reasonable
Dogs bark. It’s part of their DNA.
So, what’s reasonable and what is not?
I found a Campbell city council document which has these useful guidelines:
Barking is considered excessive when it exceeds:
- 240 barks per day between the hours of 7.00am and 9.00pm, or
- 35 barks per night between the hours of 9.00pm and 7.00am, or
- regularly exceeds 30 barks per hour during the day, or
- 4 barks per hour during the night.
Time to keep a barking diary.
Yes, that’s right. Each time the dog wakes you up by barking, write down the time. Then pay attention to the number of barks per hour and make a note of that, too.
Finding out whether your roommate’s dog is barking excessively or not will help when you discuss things with your roommate. If the barking is excessive, you have the proof to stand your ground. If the barking is not excessive, you will still need to resolve the situation but perhaps by using a softer approach.
2. Your roommate’s dog is waking you up because it needs more exercise
Many dog owners walk their pets in the early morning when they have more time (before their busy day jumpstarts). That’s great, but by the time evening comes, the dog is rested and raring to go again.
The solution is simple—your roommate needs to play with or walk her dog for 30 minutes close to her bedtime .
3. Your roommate’s dog is hungry
A common feeding schedule is 1-2 large meals a day. If your roommate’s dog is waking you up by barking for food, it might be because this timetable is not working.
Vets suggest that changing the feeding schedule to smaller meals throughout the day might help. The last meal would be just before your roommate turns in for the night.
For dogs that need to constantly nibble, a mechanical feeder could be very helpful. It will help them feel full during the night.
Discuss the dog’s feeding schedule with your roommate. Then, you will know which of the above suggestions to make.
4. Maybe it’s just a matter of loneliness
An interesting study looked at human-canine sleeping as compared to adult-child co-sleeping. The study found that roughly 50% of dog and cat owners say they share a bed or their bedroom with their pet . The researchers concluded that human-animal sleeping is just as legitimate as adult-child co-sleeping.
Of course, there are some potential drawbacks to having a dog in your bed or bedroom. Some dog breeds tend to aggravate human allergies . If your roommate has allergies, hopefully he did his homework and chose one of the more hypoallergenic breeds.
There is also a chance that diseases can be transferred from your roommate to the dog and vice versa. However, this is quite rare.
One of my roommates adopted a dog from an animal shelter. At night, the dog howled and howled in her bed downstairs. So, my roommate bought another bed and put it in his bedroom. Blissful quiet from that night on.
Buying a second dog bed or fuzzy carpet is an easy and relatively cheap way for your roommate to stop his dog from waking you up. Does your roommate’s dog sleep in his bed or bedroom? If not, this could be just what is needed so his dog doesn’t wake you up .
5. Has your roommate checked her dog’s health?
We found out that the following signs might point to a health issue: “ consistent scratching, borborygmus (very loud stomach gurgling), frequent need for bathroom trips, or excessive water drinking ”.
If medical problems could be the cause, it’s good to get them checked out and taken care of quickly. You don’t want waking you up to become a learned behavior for the dog. That will take even more work to fix!
6. Natural remedies might stop your roommate’s dog from waking you up
There are all kinds of solutions from stomach-calming chews to hemp oil to snuggly body suits. This article gives a good idea of the different types of products available …
Although I have put a link to this article, I am not a vet and not qualified to assess which is best suited to your roommate’s dog. So while there are many items on the market, I am not going to recommend any of them.That’s a vet’s job.
7. Make it darker
Sun’s up? Dog is also (most often).
By keeping your home darker for longer, your roommate’s dog will think it is still night and sleep later.
Make sure any blinds are completely down and all the curtains are totally closed.
If the room is still light, buy better blinds or curtains to keep more light out.
If you have windows without blinds or curtains, you know what to do.
8. Canines needs cuddles, too.
This tip is about giving your roommate’s pet doggie love.
In my research, I read about a dog which began its bad behavior as soon as the roommate had left the home. The person reported that the dog “ howled, barked, whined, threw himself against my door infinitely ”.
It wasn’t a matter of poor care since the roommate took the dog on a walk and gave it food and water before leaving. And no matter how long the person waited without opening the door, the dog continued.
We all know that dogs are social creatures….much more so than cats, for example. They do not like being left alone. It could be that your roommate’s dog is waking you up so you will give it some attention.
Dogs bark for a number of reasons. The relevant ones in this situation (when the roommate leaves) could be barking out of boredom or loneliness; barking for attention; and barking due to the stress of their owner leaving. Read more about why dogs bark here .
9. Train the dog not to bark
Consider training your roommate’s dog so that it is better behaved and (hopefully) doesn’t wake you up .
True, it is not your responsibility, but it would be an effective end to a bothersome situation.
Sometimes, we need to step up and be the better person in a relationship. This would be one of those times.
Training plans come in all shapes and sizes. Here is some basic information to get you started.
You can train your roommate’s noisy dog not to bark. It will take time and lots of patience, but it could be very worthwhile. Here are some different methods:
Method 1: Ignore the dog until it stops barking
Be prepared for the long haul. Even if it takes an hour for the dog to stop barking, don’t give it any attention until it does.
Dogs are motivated to bark because they receive something from it—even a scolding is a ‘reward’!
Pay close attention because as soon as the dog is quiet, praise it and give it a treat.
Method 2: Train the dog to understand the command, “Quiet”
While the dog is barking, repeat the word “Quiet”. Speak in a calm yet firm voice.
As soon as the dog stops barking (even if just to catch its breath), praise it and give it a treat.
If you are careful to never reward the barking, the dog will learn the command, “Quiet” comes with a tasty reward.
Method 3: Prevent barking with a competing behavior
The idea here is to train the dog to do another activity which prevents it from barking. One effective example is to train it to go to its mat or bed.
When the dog is barking, throw a treat onto ‘its place’ and give the command, “Go lie down”.
It’s difficult for dogs to bark while lying down, so one activity helps to prevent the other.
Check out more details about these methods and three others here .
Did you know that taking care of a dog can improve your health, social life, and wellbeing? Check out Point 14 in our post What to Do When Roommate Expects You to Take Care of Their Dog .
Have a careful look at this comprehensive article about dog training . It gives lots of information about training for different types of situations. It also has tips for how to handle training problems and doggie misbehavior.
In general, the process will take about 6 weeks if you are methodical and consistent. That’s not very long, right? (Especially if the result is unbroken sleep because your roommate’s dog stops waking you up.)
After checking out the article’s information, sit down with your roommate and chat about the situation. Offer to help out by training the dog. Together, decide on a plan. See what your roommate is willing to do and what you can put in. Between the both of you, it is most likely to be successful.
Finally, I suggest that you try to keep in mind…
Your roommate and her dog are not doing this on purpose to bug you or be mean.
Living with a dog means living with another being which needs love and attention. This takes some work and quite a lot of patience.
It is important to discuss this situation with your roommate. It is also important to remember that you and your roommate are in a type of ‘cohabitation relationship’ (living together), and it will take both of your sincere efforts to make it work.
American Kennel Club, Should I Let My Dog Sleep With Me?
Apartment Therapy, How To Keep Pets from Waking You Up
Campbelltown City Council, Barking Dogs
Edgar Snyder Associates, Dog Leash Laws in the United States
Med Paws, Three Ways to Stop Your Dog from Waking You Up Early
PetHub , 10 Best Calming Aids for Pets
Reddit, [help] roommates dog keeps waking me up when the roommate leaves to get into my room
Springer Link, A Multispecies Approach to Co-Sleeping
The Humane Society of the United States, How to get your dog to stop barking
The Spruce Pets, How to Train your Dog