I live in an apartment building and I can often hear a dog whining in the apartment above mine, presumably because the owner is not home. The noise is only a slight bother, I more so feel bad for the dog not having company. I like dogs and I would be willing to take care of it when the owner can't, particularly so the dog isn't sad.

Since I have never met the person who lives in that apartment, I am concerned that it would be weird to knock on the door, introduce myself, and offer to watch the dog when that person is not around. I do not want it to come across as though the whining is a nuisance or that I believe the dog is neglected.

I also do not know anyone else in the building so it would be nice to become friends with this person. How can I introduce myself and offer to watch their dog without seeming weird?

  • Hi and welcome to IPS! I encourage you to check out the tour. I've edited your question a little to change it from asking "is it weird" (which is typically closed as primarily opinion-based here - you can read more in the help center) to asking how to make the offer, since that seems to be your main goal, but feel free to edit yourself as well.
    – Em C
    Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 22:10

2 Answers 2


Yes, if it is your first interaction with the neighbor, it will be seen as weird. The neighbor will feel judged, like you're saying the dog is inadequately cared for now. They may worry that you have bad plans for the dog as well. Plus, how would you access the dog in the middle of the day to play with it or walk it? With a key to their apartment, something I would never trust to someone I just met.

So you need to meet this neighbor first and then, if their dog appears to like you and you appear to like the dog, it may come around to you saying that there are times you wish you had a dog so you could go out for a walk with it during the day, and that walking by yourself is not the same, and them saying well hey you can always walk [DogName] I suppose and you saying oh my gosh really that would actually be a ton of fun I want to, and eventually working out the logistics of it.

But now you have a problem - how do you meet a neighbor you don't know at all, not even to recognize in the elevator? When you don't know anyone in the building? Be creative. For example, host a small party and invite only the apartments that surround you - next door on each side, across the hall, below you, and above you, for example. Call it a "meeting the neighbours" party and be clear you're not inviting the whole building. Sign it "RealName in ApartmentNumber". When people arrive, give them name stickers and encourage them to put their name and apartment number on them. Ask people things like where they work, do they have kids, a pet, whatever. Trade ideas about neighbourhood services and shops. Make some friends. Now when you see someone in the hall, you know it's Steve from 3B. Or the person in the elevator is Ellen from 4A. This is good even if the dog thing goes nowhere.

If it turns out that the person who lives above you is horrible, you don't ever have to talk to them again after the party. But this might open the door to you spending some time with their dog. (They won't bring the dog to the party, so this is just step 1 of many steps, be patient.) It might also turn out that the people below you also have a dog that you just never heard, or that the people across from you have a salt water fish tank. Who knows?


In the Uk (and maybe the rest of the world) there is a growing movement of borrow my doggy (https://www.borrowmydoggy.com/). This is pairing people who would love a dog but don't have the ability with people who have a dog that has spare time.

Could you pop a poster up in some communal area saying you would love to do this, are there any interested dog owners in the building?

Hopefully your neighbour would be interested.

If you wanted to be more active you could take your leaflets around to the flats of your neighbours and explain what it is all about. Prepare a small speech / explanation about dog borrowing, hang around to answer any questions and move on. They now have your contact details, know you are interested (and should recognise you from the stairs/ lift queue).

Even if at the beginning they only let you take doggy for a walk whilst they are at home it will start to build trust and it will give you opening to discuss daytime whilst they are at work.


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