- Making a complaint
- Why dogs bark
- The importance of training
- Some simple things to try
- Some other points
- How to contact us
This information details some things that dog owners should know about and some simple actions that may help prevent your dog becoming a noise nuisance to your neighbours.
Barking comes naturally to dogs, but the constant barking or whining of a dog can be disturbing or annoying for the neighbours. Often the problem occurs when the dogs owner is out of the house for prolonged periods and so the owner does not know until someone complains.
In law, excessive noise from barking dogs can be a nuisance. The owner can be taken to court if nothing is done to stop the nuisance.
You can make a complaint about a barking dog in the same way as other types of noise:
Dogs are not by nature solitary animals. They need the security of a family group. Pet dogs regard their owners as a substitute family and can soon become distressed when left alone. There are many reasons why your dog may bark.
- boredom or frustration
- attention seeking
- defending his territory
- medical problems
Training is important so that your dog does not bark at just anything that moves. A well-trained dog should be able to tell between people allowed into the house and people who are intruders. Good training combined with affection and companionship should mean that your dog will not develop bad habits. Start young and start as you mean to go on.
Some dogs just do not want you to go out. Get your dog used to the idea that you are away for different periods of time at different times of the day. That way he might not be so concerned each time you leave. And do not make a fuss of your dog when you leave him. Try putting your dog on his own in another room at first for a few minutes, then gradually build up the time you leave your dog alone. Do not return to your dog until he is quiet for a period. When you return, praise him.
Some dogs will bark because they want to join in what's going on outside. If this is the problem, try leaving your dog so that he cannot see outside.
Some dogs will settle only if they can hear a human voice. Leaving the radio on at a low volume might help. Make sure the radio is not too loud. You do not want to have complaints about that!
Try not to leave your dog for long periods. If you have to, see if there is someone who can look in during that time. Maybe that person could take your dog for a walk or let him out into the garden, if you have one.
If you leave your dog for long periods
- feed and exercise him before you go out and leave him some fresh water
- make sure his bed or basket is comfortable and leave his favourite toys
- check the room is not too hot or too cold and has adequate ventilation
- if you are not coming back until after dark, leave a light on.
If you do keep your dog outside, think carefully about where you put his kennel and where he can run. Try not to put it near your neighbour's fence or where your dog will be tempted to bark. Do not blame your dog and think that you will solve everything by replacing him with another. It probably will not, unless you change your lifestyle at the same time.
Getting a second dog for company might help but think carefully about doing this. Do you have space and can you afford a second dog? Another dog could result in more not less problems.
You should also go to your vet. Sometimes a dog will bark because he is ill - anxiety is often the cause of barking. You can ask your vet to refer your dog to an animal behaviourist who is an expert and can suggest ways to improve your dog's behaviour.
If you have any further questions please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
- The Enforcement Response Service
Level 1 - River Park House
225 High Road
- Tel 020 8489 1335
- Out of Hours 020 8489 0000
- Email email@example.com
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