Noisy dogs are one of the most difficult apartment living problems to solve. No one wants live alongside a dog who is always making a racket and no one wants to be that neighbour either. Part of being a good neighbour is taking steps to help minimize dog noise in an apartment. These tips can help.
Wet leashes are just apart of life with dogs when you live in a wet climate. Living in an apartment, you would drive the neighbours nuts if you had leashes clanging around in the dryer several times a day. Luckily, our dryer solution can help.
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In an attempt to make my house look less “Playskool Chic”, I recently made these No Sew Fabric Baby Gate Covers.
And by recently, I mean “way back in the Fall when we moved.” I’m the worst. Baby gates are an eye sore, but a necessary part of life at Casa de Kolchak. We’ve talked about how Felix has some reactivity issues, and we’ve shared some of the ways we’re combating them. Baby gates are an integral part of my behaviour management strategy. Once something has set Felix off, one of the most effective ways to calm him is to gently lay my hand on his butt or his back. I don’t know if it’s my presence or that the touch just snaps him out of the moment, but it is *extremely effective*. It’s my Felix-y kryptonite. The only problem is that this is a rather large apartment and often, by the time Felix has been aggravated by keys in the hallway or the cleaning lady vacuuming or whatever the woof is setting him off this time, are you kidding me Felix?, he’s already taken off at a dead run to the source of the noise. I can never stop what I’m doing and get to him fast enough. Breaking the house into smaller areas and gating them off means that I am never too far to comfort my boy if he’s having a melt down.
Gates are also super handy for keeping the dogs in the kitchen while they are chewing raw meaty bones, in the bathroom while they are wet after a bath and in my bedroom at night (I hate sleeping with the door shut). I also use ours in the sliding glass door, so that I can let in fresh air, but still keep Felix off the deck (where he would like to bark at all the passersby.) When his torn ACL was at it’s worst, we used gates at the Daddy’s house to keep him from going up & down the stairs.
edit: I’m told that parents of tiny humans have the same challenges containing the loveable little maniacs and keeping them safe. What I love about these covers for tiny humans is that you could spray them with stain blocker (or make it of laminated table cloth material or that great water/stain repellent material designed for deck use), make a few spares and just toss them in the wash when sticky jam fingers have mucked ’em up. So much easier than constantly scrubbing down the gate!
Baby gates are almost the solution to all my woes. Too bad they’re so darn ugly.
I don’t care what anyone says, a baby gate isn’t doing anything to enhance the look of my apartment. They’re useful and practical and totally unattractive. (Sure, you can get some nice ones, but holy woof! Are they ever pricey?)
With two new puppies in the house, I can only imagine Kimberly’s gates are getting more of a work out than ever!
I decided that if gates were necessary, the least I could do would be to make them a little stylish.
BEHOLD: the no sew baby gate cover:
Here’s what you need:
- Fabric – Measure the width of your opening + 4″ x 2 times the height of your gate + 5.5″ (Always check the discount bin at the fabric store. You can get small pieces of really nice fabrics for dirt cheap. Another place to find cheap heavy weight fabric? The window hanging section. I happened to snag another one of the curtain panels I used in my living room, on closeout for $5! I was lucky – the panel was already the same width as my doors.)
- Hook & Loop Adhesive Strips – I used about 18″ total, for the whole project.
- No Sew Tape – You could also use heavy duty double sided carpet tape, but I like that the no sew tape is washable. Fabric gets dirty, yo.
- Office Stapler – This part is totally optional, but I find the hook and loop comes off fabric after a while. A staple will make sure it stays in place.
- Staple Gun (or Crazy Glue) – I have these cheap wood gates, so I used a staple gun, but if you’re working with a plastic gate, Super Glue will get the job done.
- Measuring Tape
Let’s do this.
- Prep the Gate – Cut hook & Loop into 1.5″ strips and place as marked by the x’s below.
- Staple (or SuperGlue) into place. Flip over the gate and repeat. (Make sure you use the same side of the hook and loop for every strip. I used the hook side.)
- Prep the fabric – Fold over 1″ on each side and iron into place. (Make sure you measure and do not fold over too much fabric, otherwise your finished cover will not be wide enough.)
- Hem the Horizontal edges. Fold over the bottom horizontal edge of fabric another inch and apply the no sew tape between the two layers of fabric. Set the no sew tape according to package directions (Generally, you place a hot steam iron over it for a set amount of time without moving it. ) Repeat with the top horizontal edge.
- Add the hook & loop – On the patterned side of your fabric, place your hook and loop and stick in place, using your measuring tape to ensure you are placing the strips the same distance apart as on your gate.
- Staple the Hook and loop in place. I used one staple in each corner of the strip.
- Flip the Fabric over and apply the no sew strip. Fold the right vertical edge of the fabric over by 1″ and place the no sew strip between the two layers of fabric. Set the no sew tape according to package directions. Repeat with the left vertical edge.
- The iron is out anyways, why not iron the whole thing? I wish I had! That wrinkly photo is cringe worthy! I’ll be ironing it tomorrow.
- Set up your gate in the chosen doorway. Match up your velcro pieces to place the cover over the gate.
- Stand back and admire how woofing crafty you are!
Do you use baby gates in your house? Why (or why not)? Do you like them?
Kol’s Note: This post includes affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase at Amazon, we will earn a small commission. Your purchase price will not change. Money earned through sponsored posts, advertising and affiliate programs allows us to buy supplies and materials to keep making great projects. Thank you for your support!
Barking is how we dogs communicate.
I can’t walk into the living room and say “Yo, Mama! I want a snack and a walk pronto. Get off your lazy butt and make it happen.” Apparently, when they were giving out dog skillz, we didn’t rate high enough for speaking English, so we’re doomed to a life of random yapping and we have to hope our humans are savvy enough to pick up on what we want.
So, what happens when you’re saddled with a human that doesn’t “get” you?
Well, if you’re Felix you start spinning in circles in the middle of the room, randomly barking until the Mama worries you’ve gone off your rocker and starts wondering if you’ve entered your “second puppyhood”. If you’re me, you make the same sound over and over, with increasing desperation each time. DO I HAVE TO SPELL IT OUT FOR YOU, MAMA?! We have to pee!
This whole barking thing is not working.
Besides, ever since we moved to this apartment place, Mama has been super fussy about the barking, as in, she doesn’t think we should do it. At all. Ridiculous right? It’s like she actually believes the old adage “dogs should be seen and not heard”. Well, fine. FINE, MAMA. If making all nicey-nice with the neighbours is more important to you than making sure I get my potty breaks when I need them then that’s just great. You’re the worst. The ACTUAL WORST.
Luckily, my friend Brody’s Mom saved my tail with her latest Doggystyle DIY Project and there’s hope for Mama and me after all.
Behold, Bathroom Bells:
What a great idea you guys. I mean, on some level, obviously we knew these were a thing, but we never considered how woofing useful they could be for apartment dogs – or any dogs, really. Maybe you have one of those itty bitty humans having a nap or a human with migraines or whatever, I don’t know your life. If you’re trying to keep barking to an absolute minimum, bathroom bells are a great way to communicate.
It’s a really simple idea. Instead of barking to go out, you teach your dog to jingle a set of bells hanging from the door. It’s much less grating than a shrill bark and the humans know exactly what you’re looking for. It’s a win, win. Plus, they’re super easy to make.
Here’s what you need:
1″ Grosgrain Ribbon
+ thread to match
6 – metal jingle bells
3 – key rings, 1″ or larger
Thread two bells on to each key ring.
Measure the distance from your door nob to the lowest place you want your bells to hang. Add 12 – 15″ to this measurement.
Fold over the bottom edge of the ribbon, creating a 1″ loop and sew it in place.
Measure up 6″ and fold another 1″ loop into the ribbon. Sew this loop in place. (If you choose, you thread a keyring with the bells onto the ribbon before you sew it, as shown in the picture, but I found it easier to sew it without the bells and add them later.)
Measure up another 6″ and repeat the last step.
Use the key ring to thread the bells onto the ribbon.
Held your bells up to the door to double check your length. If desired, you can trim your ribbon shorter.
At the end of the ribbon opposite the bells, fold a loop over to hang the bells by. If you have a traditional round door nob, this loop needs to be at least 9″ wide, in order to fit over the nob. If you have a lever handle, then you can make this loop smaller. Sew the loop in place.
Voila! It’s just that easy.
How do you tell your humans you need to go out?
Project submitted by: Brody & Candice
Brody’s Mom Candice is one of the coolest folks I know. Aside from loving Brody despite a TON of mischief, she’s also a Mom to two tiny humans. Somehow, she still finds time to make homemade biscuits for Brody and his friends, raise a woof load of money to help animals in need and volunteer at the Arizona Animal Welfare League. (Imagine just how much she could do if she didn’t waste time yakking to the Mama about zombies and princess necklaces!?)
When you have a dog with sound reactivity, apartment living can be tough. We’re sharing a few simple strategies that help make sure my reactive dog and my neighbours can live in peace and harmony.
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When you’re living in a small space, it’s important to keep your dog gear organized and together. Creating a doggy command centre can help you get organized and declutter your dogs stuff.
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When you live in an apartment, those late night potty breaks can be a real pain in the tail. Getting up, getting dressed and leashed up, going outside in the dark. It’s inconvenient and maybe even dangerous, if you live in the ‘hood like I do. Luckily,we have a solution.