What action can be taken?
All dogs bark. However, constant barking or whining can be extremely annoying or upsetting for nearby neighbours. If the barking is considered and shown to be a statutory nuisance, then action can be taken by the Council to tackle this.
The following criteria is used to assist the Council in the decision on whether or not a nuisance is being caused:
- the location of the dog
- the actual level of noise being caused
- the time of day and the duration of the barking
- the distance between the dog and the complaint premises.
Reporting a problem
What you can do if you are bothered by persistent barking:
- Approach your neighbour if you feel you are able to. They may not even be aware that their dog is causing a problem to others. Often, they will appreciate the opportunity to put things right before any action is taken.
- If you have spoken to your neighbour but the problem continues, speak to other neighbours who may also be affected and get them to support your complaint if possible.
- Report your problem to us by contacting our customer service team via our online contact form or by phoning 01795 417850.
- An officer will contact you to discuss the problem. You may be asked to complete diary sheets to demonstrate how the noise is affecting you. Keep detailed and accurate records of the frequency of the barking and the exact time of day or night it occurs.
- An officer from the council will need to witness the barking and may arrange for sound monitoring equipment to be installed in your home to try to establish if your complaint is considered a statutory nuisance, as defined by the law.
- The council will try to resolve the complaint as quickly as possible. In most instances the issues can be settled once we advise the owner that a complaint has been made. If the noise continues and constitutes a statutory nuisance, we may serve an Abatement Notice. Be prepared if necessary to make a formal statement and attend court.
How can I stop my dog from barking?
It is normal and natural for dogs to bark, it is how they communicate, but it is not natural for them to bark all the time. If you are out a lot or you are just used to the noise, you might not realise just how upsetting it can be for your neighbours. if you have had a complaint made against your dog, the following tips may help:
- Talk to your neighbour calmly. Ask them to tell you exactly when your dog is barking and for how long. Simple solutions may be able to be put in place once you know there is a problem. Could there be any medical problems affecting your dog, or could you arrange for someone to 'dog sit'?
- Do not leave your dog alone for long periods of time. Barking can occur for many reasons including, loneliness, boredom or frustration.
- Excessive barking is sometimes a learned behaviour and can be eliminated by simple training. View the RSPCA website to find a local dog trainer.
- Ensure your dog gets enough exercise, a tired dog barks less.