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Barking dogs

I am disturbed by noise from barking dogs - what can be done about it?

Where possible have a friendly word with the dog owner concerned, it may well be that they are completely unaware of the disturbance being caused. If that doesn't work you can consider the following:

What can the Council or you do about noise from barking dogs?

Our webpage on noise nuisance explains how the council can help and the options available to you if we are unable to help.

Why does my dog bark?

Dogs bark - it comes naturally to them. However, constant barking, whining or howling can be annoying for your neighbours. Often you can be the last to know if the problem occurs when you are out. Constant barking also fails to alert anyone there could be a problem at your property.

There are many reasons why your dog may bark, including:

  • loneliness
  • boredom or frustration
  • seeking attention
  • defending its territory or
  • medical problems.

How do I stop my dog barking?

Training is important so that your dog does not bark at just anything. A well trained dog should be able to tell the difference between intruders and people allowed into the house. 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. You are advised to seek help from a dog trainer or attend puppy classes where you have not had dogs before

Some dogs don't want to be left alone. 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 concerned each time you leave. Don't make a fuss of your dog before you leave.

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 has been quiet for a while - when you return, praise him.

Some dogs bark because they want to join in with activities going on outside. If this is a problem, try leaving your dog in a room with the curtains closed so that he cannot see outside.

Some dogs will only settle if they can hear a human voice. Leaving a radio on low volume might help. But make sure the radio is not too loud - you don't want to receive complaints from your neighbours 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, take him for a walk etc.

If you have to leave your dog for long periods:

  • feed and exercise him before you go out and leave him plenty of fresh water
  • make sure his bed or basket is comfortable and leave him his favourite toys
  • check that the room is not hot or too cold and that there is adequate ventilation and
  • if you're not coming back until after dark - leave a light on.

If you keep your dog outside, think carefully about where to 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 because he can see others.

If nothing works, ask your vet. Sometimes a dog will bark because he's ill - anxiety is often a cause of barking.

Getting a second dog for company probably won´t help - think about it carefully, it could add to your problems not lessen them.

Further information is in the following guidance: Barking Dogs and Dogs Constant Barking