Barking Dogs

Barking and howling comes naturally to dogs. If this happens regularly, it can cause a disturbance to neighbours and may amount to a Statutory Nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Why Dogs Bark

Dogs are not by nature solitary animals and will bark and howl when left alone. They need the security of a family group. Dogs regard their owners as a substitute family and can soon become distressed when left alone. Dogs may be barking for a variety of reasons, such as:
  • Loneliness
  • Boredom or frustration
  • Attention seeking
  • Defending territory
  • Anxiety
  • Being unwell
  • Feeling neglected
  • Hunger/thirst
  • Lack of shelter
The Importance of Training

Training is fundamental so that your dog does not bark at anything that moves. A well trained dog should be able to distinguish between visitors allowed into the house and intruders. Good training is essential at an early age. This, combined with affection and companionship, should mean that your dog will not develop bad habits.

Simple Things to Try

Get your dog used to the idea of being left alone with some of the following suggestions:
  • Some dogs will settle only if they can hear a human voice. Leaving the radio on at a low volume might help
  • Leave things to amuse your dog, such as toys and treats that will keep them occupied
  • Try to leave your dog somewhere that barking is less likely to disturb neighbours.
  • Exercise your dog regularly
  • Try not to leave your dog for long periods of time. If you have to, see if there is someone who can look in during that time, or consider doggie day-care
  • Provide consistent praise. Every time your dog is quiet when usually they would have barked, give praise and/or a treat
  • Consider using a bark-breaker collar which will spray water at your dog every time they bark. This is not dangerous and encourages your dog to keep quiet.

Communication with Neighbours

If you are approached by a neighbour who is being disturbed by your dog, this is a positive step. Please remain calm, listen to them and attempt to understand their view point. Bear in mind you might not know how significant the problem is if your dog is barking when you are not at home.
If speaking with your neighbour has not resolved the problem, then the Council may be contacted to provide further advice or to investigate the complaint.

Contact Information

If you would like further information or to register a complaint please contact the Environmental Protection Team:

Telephone: (01642) 774774
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