Home > Neighbour Issues > Dealing with Barking Dogs

Dealing with Barking Dogs

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 1 Jul 2020 | comments*Discuss
Dog Barking Problem Neighbours Constant

It’s important to realise that barking is a dog’s means of communication. You might be surprised to know that the vast majority of people will tolerate a dog’s barking up to a point. Not only do they understand that it’s completely natural for a dog to bark, but some people gain a sense of security in knowing that a particular dog might be trying to alert their owners (and consequently – the neighbours) to something that is out of the ordinary or potentially dangerous, such as an intruder may have entered the garden or back yard.

Incessant and Nuisance Barking

However, problems arise in a neighbourhood where a dog is either barking incessantly and/or the constant barking is causing a nuisance at inappropriate times of the day. This will usually be at night where the dog may be kept outside and you cannot get to sleep, or perhaps you have young children and they can’t get to sleep. The problem is what to do about it if you find yourself in this situation.

Basically you have 3 possible course of action:

  1. Direct contact with the neighbour to find a solution
  2. Report the matter to your local Environmental Health Department
  3. Court action

Below is some good advice on how to proceed with each of the above options:

1. Contact the Neighbour

If a dog is constantly barking in your street and is causing a nuisance, there are laws to address this issue. However, few people take pleasure in upsetting their neighbours wherever possible and most would wish to take a ‘diplomatic’ approach to the problem first without Resorting To Legal Action.

The ways in which you could try to get a resolution to the problem might vary. It could all depend on how you feel about directly confronting a neighbour by knocking on their door and speaking to them about it. Others might feel that the neighbour in question might not be reasonable and that they could be hostile towards them. If you choose to speak directly to your neighbour, the best way to go about it would be to go round and see them and say that you’re just checking that everything is OK.

Your approach might be along the lines of

“I just popped round because your dog’s been barking for the last 2 hours and I thought there might be something wrong?”

In taking that approach, you’re avoiding direct confrontation which could irk a neighbour and cause them to become hostile towards you, while still getting your point across. On the other hand, if you’ve been down that road before and the problem persists, you might decide you want to tell the neighbour that you’re having difficulty getting to sleep as a direct result of the dog barking.

If you're not confident to do this, try popping an informal note through their door. You can follow this up with a more formal letter saying that you will consider reporting them. We have put together an informal note and formal letter here which might help.

2. If that Doesn’t Work? Contact your Environmental Health Department

Dont' call the police or the RSPCA - If you need to take things further, don’t call the police or RSPCA, unless you have an otherwise valid reason to do so. Instead, get in touch with the Environment Health Department of your local authority.

They will investigate the matter and deal with it. Sometimes, even the owner of the dog might not be aware of the problem. For example, a dog might just persistently bark when the owner leaves the house and the dog cannot cope with being left on its own.

Initially, an environmental health officer will try to advise the dog owner of ways of overcoming the problem. The owner, for example, might be highly embarrassed about the problem themselves, yet have no idea how to resolve it, and the officer will be able to suggest methods for training the dog not to bark in an incessant manner.

3. Legal Action: Environmental Protection Act 1990

However, if this doesn’t work, then it can lead to a Statutory Notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 being served upon the owner. This is a legal procedure which gives the owner around 21 days in which to resolve the issue. The Environmental Health Officer will do this on your behalf. If the problem hasn’t been resolved after that point, the owner can incur financial penalties and, as a last resort, the Act does have a provision whereby it can take away the dog from the owner.

In most cases, problem barking is caused by either neglect or, more commonly, because of insufficient training, so if you keep a dog yourself, be sure that it is trained properly in order not to become a nuisance. There is plenty of advice on the internet to help you with that, or you could get your dog enrolled in proper training and obedience classes.

Dangerous as Well as Noisy?

If you think your or your neighbours' dogs may be a danger to those in the vicinity, take a look at the 'Dangerous Dogs' feature.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Regina The difference is you can decide to take a dog inside if it is constantly barking in the garden. You wouldnt leave a crying baby in the garden for 20 minutes straight for everyone to listen to so why do you think it is acceptable to leave a dog barking?! My neighbour leaves her dog barking at unacceptable times latest being midnight. Dogs CAN be trained actually
Daabb - 1-Jul-20 @ 7:43 PM
Dogs bark sometimes it’s not due to the way they have or haven’t been trained. It’s because ate a natural instinct in dogs to bark. My dog is nervous around everyone and everything, she barks whenever she sees someone. Yet we are trying our best to train her out of it, but she’s nervous what else can you do. If you wanted to live in a quiet and peaceful place you should have thought twice about the area you chose to live in. Children are just as noisy as dogs are and so are humans. What’s the difference? You can go up to the human and tell them to stop being so loud but you can’t with a dog...
Regina - 26-Jun-20 @ 1:40 PM
Every time we go into the garden next door doge bark ones a pug other sausage dog. Cant even sit in the sun start barking and growling .
Fedup - 22-Jun-20 @ 5:13 PM
Due to the domesticated nature of dogs, we can expect them to live amongst us in rural and urban settings. Dogs will always bark but, barking can be kept to a minimum. If owners do not take steps to keep the barking under control then there are options available to everyone to bring the nuisance under control. However, it needs to be unreasonable barking.
bj - 7-Jun-20 @ 3:43 PM
The dogtwo doors down from mebarks on and off all day the owners let the kids torment itI've gone through all the right channels to getit stopped but nobody seems to do anything about. It its turning into a vendetta I can't sit outside in my back garden because of the noise I sit in the house with the doors and windows shut on a hot day at 71 anddisableddon'tdeserve some peace and quietI've had to report certain problems to the police regarding the kids and theverbal abuse from the parents
Tired - 10-May-20 @ 12:37 AM
Its absolutely disgusting what little right we have to peace and quiet in out own homes.The council will to next to nothing.If you speak to the neighbour, it gets worse.The politicians we've spoken with don't care either.Basically, a barking dog has more rights, than the homeowner.This is disgusting and needs to change.WE PAY OUR TAXES, WE DEMAND THE RIGHT TO PEACE AND QUIET.WE EXPECT POLITICIANS, TO REPRESENT OUR NEED FOR QUIET IN OUR HOMES.we have had enough of uncaring councils, useless politicians and outdated advice which belongs in the 1950's.Summer's coming, come of us can't even open our windows because of nasty, barking dog owners.Write to your politicians.Keep writing.Take action.Otherwise, we'll just keep suffering at the hands of scum.
Philip - 9-May-20 @ 7:24 PM
if the dog is tethered let it go, if it doesn't go away, get a very load horn and every time it barks let off the horn
neighbour nightmare - 3-May-20 @ 10:45 AM
Reasons for barking Dogs bark for many reasons and often relate to how the dog is feeling. A dog’s state of mind will vary and be influenced by previous experiences and environmental factors. What is it that triggers barking? The main triggers include protecting territory when a noise is heard, warning to back away when feeling threatened, a need for company when left alone or frustration due to boredom. The good news is that by identifying the underlying cause, greater success will be gained in terms of implementing training, exercise and environmental enrichment strategies to help alleviate the barking problem. There may also be steps that neighbours can take to minimise a potential trigger. If the barking is due to distress, then this may constitute a welfare problem and if not addressed, could lead to more behavioural disorders such as spinning and tail-grabbing and/or chasing. If your neighbours are approachable, working with them to find a solution is a good first option. Explaining the impact that the barking is having, without becoming angry or judgemental, can help guide discussions towards resolving the problem. Even though you may like dogs or feel that the solution is not your responsibility, offering support in the first instance can encourage appropriate action, which may include seeking help from a reward based dog trainer or qualified animal behaviourist, especially if the dog may be suffering from separation anxiety. However, if approaching your neighbour directly is not an option, then reporting the complaint to the local authority may be necessary. Using punishment including verbal abuse, rattling chains, spraying water or any other negative experience is not advisable as it may lead to further problems. Dogs can be trained using positive reinforcement (food treats, verbal praise etc) to reduce barking. This may involve you helping your neighbour to effectively desensitize the dog to certain activities that you may undertake which cause the barking. Report all neglected & barking dogs to the RSPCA - again try and talk to the dog to sooth it down. It is not their fault they have been stuck in a hell hole and ignored by ignorant & selfish owners. Dogs are pack animals and thrive with company. Days & nights are a long torture for them as well as you.Offer to walk the dog which could really help form a bond. Exercise is the key to solving barking.
Maxi - 27-Apr-20 @ 3:11 AM
There is a dog next door that is seriously neglected.He is never walked and left for hours on end.He barks sometimes early morning and afternoon or late evening.The very young woman who is supposed to own it had already got rid of a German Shepherd and I think she needs to lose the Staffie too.I cannot declare this dog barking to potential buyers as I will never move, yet if I don't I am sued!!!How the hell can we have no legislation on Dogs?!?!?
Up to My eyeballs - 26-Apr-20 @ 10:56 PM
Our German Shepherd had her first litter 6 weeks ago.All doing fine.Now the issue I have is the neighbour behind us is complaining by means of verbal abuse.The Whelping of the puppies is going very well.When I let them outside all the puppies are playing.Not much noise but we are talking a period of about 5 minutes.We don’t have any issues only to the point the lady concerned does more yapping in her back garden then our dogs.I wish that she would understand that puppies are puppies and yes whilst it’s only 6 weeks the playful noise they make is after 8 am in the morning.Just a note my neighbour next door their dog yaps anytime from 6am onwards and we haven’t complained because we understand dogs.
Greener - 24-Apr-20 @ 7:20 AM
My next door dogs bark all the time I have a dog and the only time he barks is when some one is entering my house dogs bark mostly due to poor and lack of training people like that do not deserve to own dogs I've spoken to my council with 1 years one notes and recording that dog owner has 21 days to train there dog.
Robbo - 11-Apr-20 @ 2:47 PM
So if any of you have complained to the council, you'll have noticed that they rarely do anything.The other harsh reality is that you also have to report an official complaint when you sell your home, and potentially loose thousands.No ones going to buy a house with a barking dog next door anyway, unless they are also a psychologically imbalanced barking dog owner.So the barking dog has more rights than a human being in our society.And that's got to change. Never complain face to face with a barking dog owner.Your dealing with a sociopath and it will only ever get worse.They do not care that your baby can't sleep.Your dealing with very unpleasant people. We simply don't have the enforcement in this country, to prevent it from sounding like a kennel.And if you're working from home right now, this is very challenging. First thing, get on to local politicians and DEMAND change.If we all do this, and keep doing this, change will come.So write to your local politicians today, and keep writing. The other thing you can do is give some psychological pressure back to the barking dog owner, legally and ANONYMOUSLY in the form of very firm letters.This can actually break many of them.Make sure its anonymous and can't be traced back to you. We're talking about noise levels that exceed the WHO guideline on what constitutes chronic noise pollution, affecting one's health.Like I said, if each and every one of the thousands of barking dog victims pressurized politicians on this matter, change will come.
Phil - 5-Apr-20 @ 12:56 PM
Els the first step is to make notes of the dates and times then its your local council who you raise this with, i just googled my area and dog noise complaint however just so you are awarecannot remain anonymous for a dog noise complaint (unless yoyr council is different) next step is they will take action and then if no progress is made it goes to court.hope this helps....ive been reading up in my midnight hours of hell
Tired - 3-Apr-20 @ 10:30 PM
I live in a semi detached house where the dog barks from 8.30 at night until after 1am whenever the neighbour works nightshift. The neighbour isnt bothered as she isnt at home. 1st stpe is to make notes of dates and times, i could scream, i made a log of everything when this started in December and deleted it as the dog had stopped for a month..turns out it appears it was just because of her shift changes. I have a child that it wakes and im on day 3 with approx 3hours sleep. I cant believe how long it takes to have these issues sorted and how little there is in place.
Tired - 3-Apr-20 @ 10:26 PM
The dog next door barks all day non stop as soon as it’s owner leaves it on the morning, about 7:30. As at this time I am working at home, I can’t focus with the dog barking all the time. What should I do?
Els - 26-Mar-20 @ 10:41 AM
Can someone please advise who I contact to stop the harassment we are receiving? We live on a development with a number of dogs but one of our neighbours has decided every little bark is our dog. This neighbour lives a number of doors away and between us is another dog, same size and breed and younger. This neighbour never talks to us and just uses the managing agent to send unsupported letters. Who can I engage to resolve this issue? I’m in contact with our direct neighbour who have no problems with our dog and advise he doesn’t disturb them. How can people complaining have protection but people being unjustly harassed have no defence?
Blamed for everythin - 21-Mar-20 @ 9:44 AM
Hi kate Same here and summer round here is a nightmare. Dogs can be left for about 20 mins!!!apparently it is legal for people to leave their dogs for that amount of time ridiculous!!!!!
Sickofit - 7-Mar-20 @ 7:36 PM
Katy there is a dog that keeps barking somewhere near my house in beaulieu and it is really sad as it keeps yelping and I can’t do anything as I’m only 13
Donnay - 7-Mar-20 @ 7:32 AM
Where I live there are numerous neighbouring houses that have dogs. Most times of the day there are dogs barking. The other day there were dogs barking for over 2 hours straight. They were different dogs from different neighbours. They bark at all times of the day, it’s currently 22:51 and there has been one barking for half an hour. Unfortunately I don’t know who’s dog it is and as I said is it’s more than ones neighbours dogs. I have dogs myself and I let them out in the garden a few times a day in between walks but I always let them in when they bark, I just wish my neighbours were more considerate. I don’t know where to turn to to get help.
Kate - 4-Mar-20 @ 10:49 PM
scoobydoo your attitude is the problem. dogs barking at any time is a nuissance for everyone who doesnt own them. people who do, are somewhat tuned out of the noise, as they are used to it, so they dont realise how much it can bother a neighbour!! ... and to be woken up by a dog after 11pm (!) even if its once, its too much! its your responsibility to make sure your dogs dont cause ANY inconvenience to your neighbours, so stop being ignorant.
Kazza - 23-Feb-20 @ 10:17 AM
Baz, as Phil has said, people like you are the problem. It is absolute torture living next door to a barking dog, that's why there are laws about this. It really does drive you to distraction.
Mark G - 4-Feb-20 @ 12:47 PM
To baz. YOU are the problem.Have a bit of respect for other people, and stop having an animal disturbing the peace. If you keep disturbing others, they will complain about you.That's what happens.
Phil - 3-Feb-20 @ 2:05 PM
Can anybody tell me what the limit is for dog barking during the day??? My mum goes out for only two hours during the day bearing in mind that's not every single day.He's never left all day or night. The stupid woman who lives beneath her keeps putting letters through the door complaining about the dog barking...He doesn't bark at night or first thing either....She's a right pain in the butt as if she doesn't have anything better to do. Surely the council won't do anything ?? What for two hours REALLY !!!! Advice please and re-assurance would be most appreciated ... :)
baz - 2-Jan-20 @ 4:46 PM
A dog keeps barking every night around West employ Aryan sendling ecus they wait all time it's gone on to f*****' long a thing I wanna the neighbours as of left it outside left it without food or water I'm not sure how heirs but this is a complaint a lot in treport in about the dog whose standard street outside barking barking the terraces down
Loo - 26-Dec-19 @ 11:39 PM
My neighbours have 3 little dogs, I don’t know if this is selfish of me but I work through the night and sleep in daytime, bearing in mind I do school runs too, my neighbours are Out most days and all the dogs do are bark all day until they get home, do not only do I get just a few sleep a day I get woken by their barking and on Saturdays when they leave about 8am I have only been home 2 hrs and the dogs start, it could last up until 8pm on Saturdays, I’ve complained but nothing seems to be done, other neighbours moan but they moan to me about them, I just don’t know what to do it gets really depressing
Em - 30-Nov-19 @ 1:26 PM
I have been in touch before about the dogs barking at 81 wellington avenue. This has not changed the dogs are still left to bark for long periods of time. It has been going on for a long time. Nothing is changing! I have ignored them for long enough! I need help to stop. You originally sent a letter to them which worked for a few days. Since I last wrote to Gary Steele & left messages for Angela. Gary emailed me back but I have heard nothing more about it? It is a bad problem that effects not just my diabeties anxiety and depression. It also effects my children And stops me from bringing people to my home because of the consistent barking of two dogs!!! I need your help or guidance. At the moment I am being left to deal with it myself. This is not good, HELP!
Danny - 12-Nov-19 @ 2:08 PM
My neighbours are fine, we don’t have any issues with them, except their dog! We are homeowners and they rent. Their dog is never walked, and I have never even seen it leave the house. It’s let out in the back garden alone in early hours of the morning, all throughout the day and late at night and each time it will bark bark bark! The dog is let out for the toilet at 12pm, 1am 2am etc, the worst time I have been woken up is 3:30am- why is the dog even outside at this time? I have a medical condition that is triggered by lack of sleep or disturbed sleep so this is very frustrating completely unnecessary and is making me ill! I have written a strongly worded letter to them and my husband has also been round to talk to them at 12:30am one night when the dog was barking to ask why this keeps happening, all they say is the dog needed the toilet. My husband has suggested to them about getting the dog in a routine and being let out for the toilet at a earlier time, or being in the garden with the dog to stop it barking! However it persists - any advise on how to take this further would be appreciated.
Little Jim - 2-Nov-19 @ 1:18 AM
My neighbours are fine, we don’t have any issues with them, except their dog! We are homeowners and they rent. Their dog is never walked, and I have never even seen it leave the house. It’s let out in the back garden alone in early hours of the morning, all throughout the day and late at night and each time it will bark bark bark! The dog is let out for the toilet at 12pm, 1am 2am etc, the worst time I have been woken up is 3:30am- why is the dog even outside at this time? I have a medical condition that is triggered by lack of sleep or disturbed sleep so this is very frustrating completely unnecessary and is making me ill! I have written a strongly worded letter to them and my husband has also been round to talk to them at 12:30am one night when the dog was barking to ask why this keeps happening, all they say is the dog needed the toilet. My husband has suggested to them about getting the dog in a routine and being let out for the toilet at a earlier time, or being in the garden with the dog to stop it barking! However it persists - any advise on how to take this further would be appreciated.
Little Jim - 2-Nov-19 @ 1:16 AM
My next door neighbour as two dogs and a few years ago I had a word with her about them barking, but it's getting worse the dogs can start from anything like 6 am in a morning on and off its so frustrating when your not working and have been woke up at that time and it's not like she is bothered because she let's them go on and on and on till they eventually stop. 1 dog is bad enough but to hear 2 and one sometime will Howell, the last time I mentioned it to my neighbour her response was, Oh" but I do hear your dog sometimes, my dog gets picked up in a morning by my mum while I'm at work and if not I'm at home or someone is and my dog barks when someone comes to the door which is not all day. It is a real issue now because I feel like I don't want to live here anymore just because every night i go to bed I knowing Im going to be woken up by the echo of dogs barking around my bedroom, I don't want to report her then be on bad terms plus if I do sell it comes up that I have had noice problems with my present neighbourswhich could make it harder to sell. I welcome anyideas of what to do.
Legs - 23-Oct-19 @ 9:25 AM
Our deligthful neighbour have reported us to the council for our barking dog.Some months ago just as there put there new build on the market. At the time he asked if we could not let her out after 11.15 pm as her barkng was waking him up when ask how many times she woken him which put him on the spot 4 times in 6 months!! he saidcould we not put a collar on her to stop her barkng. Yes she will bark at nights, if she barks at all its one bark at the door to let her in that is if we not at the door waiting to let her in . She does bark duringthe day as all dogs do but is not barking all day long she is old and deaf spends most of it asleep and cannot ever hear the door bell so does not bark in side .We think this is more to do with the fact they cannot sell the over priced new buildand if buyer come round a barking dog might put buyer of ,Also strange the day this started was the day after a estate agent was seen near the house
scoobydoo - 11-Oct-19 @ 8:54 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments