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What Can we do About our Neighbour's Noisy Dogs?

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 19 Feb 2020 | comments*Discuss
Noise Dogs Barking Nuisance Noise Levels

Q.Since our neighbours moved in around 9 months ago we have had constant issues with their dogs continuely barking day and night. They live in a small two bedroom house with a tiny garden and the dogs are labradors.

Their barks are really deep and loud and can be heard easily in our house. Whenever they go out the dogs bark non-top for hours, keeping our one-year-old awake. When they go into the garden it is horrible and they go mad if they hear us at all. What can we do?
(Mr Paul Fairless, 22 September 2008)


Persistent dog barking is not acceptable by law but before you take any formal action, it might be worth visiting your neighbours first and explain the situation to them as they may not be aware that there is a problem.

It can be a nightmare to live next door to a dog that is Barking Persistently, but the good news is that there is usually a reason for this behaviour. If both of your neighbours are out at work all day, the dogs are likely to be barking because they feel lonely and/or bored.

There could be other explanations, too. For example, they could be neglected and have medical problems, or they might simply be defending their territory. Alternatively, the owners may simply not know how to train them or they haven’t even bothered to try. Whatever the reasons, it’s not acceptable so if the barking continues after you’ve spoken to your neighbours, then you should contact your local authority’s dog warden service.

Monitoring Noise Levels

Once you’ve explained the situation, you’ll usually be given a record sheet to complete in which you’ll be asked to rate the level of noise, the exact time(s) it occurs most often, for how long it persists and how it affects you and your family. If the dog warden then decides to investigate, they may want to come and install sound monitoring equipment in your home.

If that happens, and the results indicate that the law is being broken, then the dog warden is likely to pay a visit to your neighbours. Initially, this may be done with a view to informing them that there is a problem and also to check on the welfare of the dogs in question.

Possible Court Action

Issues such as the suitability of the property to keep two Labradors may also be discussed and, at this stage, they may offer training advice to the owners. However, if the noise persists after the owners have been given a deadline by which to resolve the problem, then the local authority can issue an Abatement Notice. Then, if the barking does not stop, the owner could very well be taken to court.

However, there is also the chance that your local authority might deem the barking not to be a statutory Noise Nuisance. In that event, they should be able to provide you with an information pack should you decide that you want to take the case to the Magistrate’s Court yourself.

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Hi all. We're on the opposite end of it. Our neighbor complains constantly about our dog. We have the bark collar and a two way camera that alerts us when he barks and he rarely does. We live in a townhouse and their always seems to be a dog barking somewhere and she blames it on us. Anytime we log into the camera, there he is chewing on his bone. Our neighbor has gotten vulgar towards us and the kids. Any ideas?
Barky - 19-Feb-20 @ 11:18 PM
Some of these stories are horrible.Its unbelievable that the government will not address this matter. All who suffer from dog noise pollution, must write and keep writing to politicians.If enough of us do this, perhaps politicians will take notice.But if we do nothing, this menace to our society will continue. It takes 5-10 minutes to write an email to your local politicians.If we keep up the pressure, change may come.
Phil - 3-Feb-20 @ 2:12 PM
Give the dog 1 benedryl in a treat and get anti barking device put up. Should work if not then only option is to take to court or move.
Pris - 9-Jan-20 @ 5:17 PM
We've recently just moved into a home, lovely quiet street apart from one thing. The dogs next door barking constantly. We've found a solution after trying to be civil and getting told to f off, the council and landlord doing nothing, best purchase ever, anti bark device. Haha! I feel awful though, its not this poor dogs fault, and unfortunately my well behaved dog also had a few scares to. He's a well trained boy who only barks if someone knocks on the door, so my poor lads being punished for lazy dog owners. Never have I seen these dogs leave the house unless it's to go in the rubbish and poo infested garden, they bark the second anyone is walking past, we go in the kitchen, open our door and we can't think of going outside, the kids are terrified as these are big dogs who lunge at the fence at them. All while the owners sit inside pretending it's not happening. These people can't be reasoned with at all, and our other neighbours have apparently also tried. So we hid this in a Bush and pointed it their way, we can't hear it, but the second those dogs bark they run in tail between their legs and we don't see them for a good hour. Unfortunately our dog runs to us for reassuring as he thinks he's done something wrong. It's only day two but fingers crossed after a few weeks they'll take the hint.
Hugsy - 22-Dec-19 @ 10:48 PM
I run a b&b from my house for students who are often,at home studying. My attached neighbourshave 3 dogs that will at times bark incessantly when they are left alone. I have talked to them in several occasions but they say its not their dogs barking. I had a bad review last year about the dog barking and had no bookings until I managed to have it taken off. I am now thinking I will get another negative review and that will be the end of my business! It has been,stressful listening to them barking.
Sue - 16-Nov-19 @ 3:17 PM
Hello all The question i have is regarding a nuisance neighbour who teases his dog purposely to constantly bark indoors, knowing full well i can hear it in my property next door (terrace house, thin walls!) This particular person never walks their dog, they just leave it indoors all day with access to a dog flap in the back door. In my opinion, the said person doesnt deserve to own a dog and seems to get great enjoyment out of chastising the dog as mentioned as some way of entertainment. My question is, is there any decent reliable electronic device i can invest in to stop the dog barking ? Any ideas would be welcome. As for ear defenders for me, i have some already. As for trying to move house, my house is on the market. As for buying a bigger dog, with a louder bark, well that wont solve anything. In the meantime i would like to try and remedy the problem another way. As for talking to the neighbour about it. Theyre unapproachable and I dont want to give them satisfaction in knowing what theyre doing is causing a problem. Thanks for reading
burtflo - 4-Nov-19 @ 4:41 PM
Hi debsy, i agree with your comment. Now i know dogs bark but my neighbour has a habit of leaving her dog in the garden for 20 minutes at a time!! The other night she left her dog barking its absolute head off at 11pm at night woke everyone in my family up i wear earplugs too and wakes me too. Can never have our Windows open in yhe summer because the noise is so bad Never tried the council as in the past they do absolute nothing to help. Just wish people would be more conisderate especially late at night and early morning
Annoyed - 20-Oct-19 @ 7:33 PM
I really feel for everyone who suffers this. Some of these stories are really bad . My neighbours have 2 dogs , who are never walked , can’t even run as the garden is full of kids toys and rubbish . The one dog barks every morning early and wakes me up despite wearing earplugs . It has been a nightmare living next to them for 2 years - banging , kids screaming , them shouting , dogs barking . But all down to ‘ neighbour noise ‘ council never interested . I sometimes shout through the walls for the dog to shut upbut they don’t care . It really does affect your quality of life . Good luck to everyone , hope karma comes your way
Debsy1000 - 20-Oct-19 @ 1:59 PM
My neighbours started a dog boarding business in 2016 (licence approved by the council) The noise coming from the property in 2017 was horrific, this totally sent me off the rails and I had to get antidepressants as it got me so low. All the points you have raised below have happened to me and I am absolutely livid about the disrespect and the way I have been treated by the neighbours and the council. I am now on a second phase complaints procedure with the council (9 pages long). If I do not have a suitable response with regards to this, I will be referring this to the Ombudsman. I have downloaded the neighbour title documentation from the Land Registry. It states that there is a restrictive covenant “not to use the said plot of land that is a noise or nuisance to the adjoining properties” (this on most people’s title documentation) my final option is the take them to court for a breach of this covenant (which I will do but I have been warned that it is my final option). I would be interested to see if anyone else has been through this process? I feel like I am dealing with this situation on my own as nobody seems interested. It is comforting to know that there are people suffering similar issues as I don’t feel like I am going nuts on my own again ?? I am passionate about not tolerating other people irresponsible behaviour.
Manchester Man - 15-Oct-19 @ 7:08 AM
Neighbours dogs start every morning at 6:30 and bark all day everyday. Council was contacted on numerous.occasions but have never acted on my complaints. Have spoken to neighbour but told to get off their property and that there's no issue. At the end of my rope but don't no what to do short of selling my house.
Jay - 13-Oct-19 @ 7:15 PM
We live nextdoorto a lady who has a dog, everytime she goes out it just none stop howls, I'm really getting to the end of my tether with it, we have 2 dogs ourselves but because they get exercised twice a day they are quiet, poor thing never gets a walk, I don't even know why they have him
Floss - 27-Sep-19 @ 5:20 PM
My neighbours have 3 spaniels which I’m told by the owner are working dogs!?? They must be in the dole as they never leave the garden!! That’s if they actually get to see light. We’ve been around 3 times to ask them to stop them barking at night no good, so have informed the council 3 times it’s got a little better then the past 2 weeks have started again. 8 times we were woken on Saturday night starting at 23:34 right the way through to 4:56!! I’m sick of it, my dogs don’t bark at night and rarely at all. I’m getting sleep deprivation and I’m afraid I’m going to snap. Seriously thinking of legal route now because the local authority keeps closing the case as they get a letter it’s quiet for a few weeks then starts up again. They know how to play the system. I pray someone will pinch the dogs or they run away and get a home that give them the life they should have. It’s cruel but the rspca won’t do a thing because they are fed and watered despite the fact they aren’t having quality of life it’s not classed as neglect. I can myself getting arrested soon??
Fedup - 5-Aug-19 @ 9:01 AM
Wait until the owner goes to work and then go to their house with a double barrelled shotgun and simply blast the dogs away. A bit messy but it worked for me.
Ray dogkiller - 28-Jul-19 @ 9:52 PM
Our neighbours have 2 yapping dogs that are left for hours on end , one of them does not stop barking , They are left outside in the summer with the garage door open , which means we can not sit in our garden , After having family around 2 years ago for a BBQ, we learnt that we could not have any one round for a social event again aswe had to sit inside because dogs next door were barking continuously , As both my partner and I are not confrontational people we let this go for far too long before I had enough courage to approach them , They said that they did not know that they barked , although am sure that they did , It died down for a while then started again a few months later , this time my partner went round to speak to them , they actually apologised to him and again it was quiet again for a few weeks., Now I know they both work and have no choice during the day , but they have started going out in the evenings and Saturdays and leaving the dogs to bark. Our living rooms are joined , the walls are thin , and it is just like the are barking from behind our sofa. This week they have left a teenager in the house to look after the dogs whilst they go on holiday ,got home from work last night after being out of the house for 12 hours , only to hear those dogs again until gone 9. Its bad enough that I can not have a day off to spend in my own home, or have a day off sick , last year I was working from home and had to sit in my bedroom with ear plugs in all day. Its driving us mad , I am now getting anxiety attacks and dread going home . Earlier this year I contacted the local council and they sent me a form , but unless we are there 24/7 its no good. Last night a wrote a very polite letter and put it through their letter box saying , "Please can you not leave the dogs barking in the evenings and weekends." we will see if that makes a difference. But deep down we know the only way away from the noise is to move house. I will never understand why people think that their dogs have more right to bark than a hard working human being has to peace in their own home . .
Dew - 12-Jul-19 @ 11:42 AM
Its clear from these comments that councils are not interested in dealing with the sociapath, which is the barking dog owner. What Id suggest is really pressing politicians, to work at countering this anti social menace.If enough of us repeatedly request action, eventually action will be taken. If we go on trying to get the council to deal with it, it'll just be more of the same. Remember also, you can take legal action yourself, get your legal fees back.If you loose value on your home due to anti social scum, you can sue for compensation.
Phil - 26-Jun-19 @ 4:39 PM
My neighbor dog started barking from 5:30 in the morning how the hell she and her 3 kids sleep though it . My son who 15 texts mefuming over it...disturbing are quality of sleep
NikP - 11-Jun-19 @ 6:51 AM
We have an issue with neighbour whose garden backs onto our cul de sac.Originally they were fine with one dog when they moved in but greed has gotten the better of them and they now have at least 12 dogs and at the moment are advertising 20 ish pups for sale.They are registered as breeder but in a residential area the noise from the barking from these dogs is getting too much, all neighbours have complained to council but they don't seem interested.We struggle because they bark all hours because she is always producing litters she tends to put the dogs outside.It's a nightmare because we are about 20ft away and need our windows open especially in warm weather.We really don't know what to do if council won't deal with this other than contact landlord ourselves.We all have pet dogs and yes a dog will bark but 12 dogs barking 24/7 is too much. Any advice would be appreciated.
Dobby - 10-May-19 @ 7:02 PM
I work from home, and live in a semi. Last year reported my neighbors westie dog to the council it barked for a minimum of 5 hours a day, it was tied to a drain pipe in baking heat. For weeks on end. It started at 6am & went on often until midnight. I initially asked at 6am in my nighty if the dog could stop barking.. told them it’s getting me down - they said it’s getting them down too! So that was pointless. After contacting council they sent me a noise app - I had to record from all different rooms all times of day, which I did, they then had the evidence to send warning letter. It didn’t go totally quiet but it was certainly better.. Feb 2019 It is nothing to have this dog barking for hours again.. It’s 10 only feet from my lounge - what is wrong with these people! Nice weather again & dog tied up outside.. called council they sent noise app again.. Surely they should be fined for second offence ??? I’ve spent £1000’s on garden after living in flat for 14 years but can’t sit out there :(
Cleopatrcia - 26-Feb-19 @ 2:15 PM
My neighbours leave their dog in their garage whilst they are out at work.The garage door is left open and it has access to the back garden. It barks and whines all day long whilst my neighbours are at work - is there anything I can do about this?
Janni - 18-Feb-19 @ 2:09 PM
Please help. I've been living two doors away from dogs that consistently bark and howl nearly all day and night. It has affected my life to a level of stress that is unhealthy. The owners are unapproachable due to there demeanor. Recently they built a shelter outside for the dogs which means there outside all the time. They are small terriers and even when it's snowing there outside. They yelp and howl and bark. I can not handle this anymore. Please help
Steve - 18-Feb-19 @ 10:00 AM
Hi, We're making a documentary about people who keep rather too many animals in their house. Sometimes they're breeders. Sometimes they've kind of set up an unofficial sanctuary. This isn't a current affairs programme so we're not setting out to expose people or suggest the animals are mistreated or anything like that.It's just that sometimes it can have a really negative impact on peoples' lives.Once the tone of a bark gets into your brain your whole life at home can be spent on edge just thinking about it happening again. We'd be interested to hear from people who are experiencing this sort of problem. Thanks, Marcus
Piglet - 12-Feb-19 @ 4:21 PM
I live in a bungalow I have copd and depression, my husband works nights. and the neighbors have a little westie dog that hates been outside she lets the dog out and leaves the dog bark to up to an hour some days before she lets it back in this happens about 3 times a day she was in the garden last year and the dog was barking she just let it bark
Banger - 14-Jan-19 @ 5:03 PM
My neighbours dog is let out at 620- 640am every morning and persist to bsrk all the time that its out! This wakes me up everyday! Surely this is not acceptable. Who should I inform ? Regards SCSC
Scsc - 30-Nov-18 @ 6:49 AM
These dogs only live like a couple gardens down from me,but l think all my neighbours can hear in the night is either howling or barking.l am going to report them but I'm just 12 why would they listen to me? Plus l always have to go to high school so l most definitely arrive tired out.I have told my parents and l am going to tell them to report??.
Sick and tired - 27-Oct-18 @ 1:56 PM
My house was recentlyvalued. The amount had dropped due to two rented houses , both next door. Both are two bedroom,back to back , terracedhouses. One has 6 dogs. Five are small yapping terriers and 1 Alsation.They bark from 7 in the morning until midnight. They are barking at this moment. Is it not illegal to have so many animals in such a small space ? They are not mistreated but , no exaggeration,do not stop barking until 11 or 12 at night.The other neighbour has two fully grown bulldogs. Also in a back to back house. Both with gardens4metres. Sq. They also constantly bark. If I flush the toilet or run the water tap then they will bark for ten minutes after. . They also are not mistreated,but do not ever leave the garden. In one full year I have only seem them being walked twice. Because they are to powerfull for the coupleof owners. And because they are scared to walk them they have built an open drain to brush excrementinto.I wake to dogs barking and I go to sleep with dogs barking. Neither own their houses but rent from landlords. So they don't care about house value. Neighboursare elderly and scared for any repercussions as one has a notorious family. The estate agent has told me that anyone that views the propertyis instantlyput off from the noise and will eventually cost me around 10 thousand pound from the asking price. I'm at my wits end and the authoritiesdon't seem to care. Why do I bother paying council tax
Scared for repercus - 17-Aug-18 @ 10:18 PM
I have an elderly neighbour who has her 2 grandsons living with her, her nephew and his wife live next door to her, the problem is we are prisoners in our own home we can't let our daffty staffie out in the front as we have no gates and people get worried when they see a staff. We can't let him out the back as the neighbours dogs go wild and our Odin is so inquisitive he wants to play with them. The neighbours dogs ransacked our garden last yr by going through the wooden fence. we did not even get a sorry, all we got is they are little ba****ds aren't they, now the dogs have started to do a sort of death howl when they go into the back garden and it is worse if we are in as they try to jump the fence to get to us to play.We have had to plant thorned roses to stop themtryingt o get over into our back garden what would you suggest we do any advice gratefully accepted
cs75 - 29-Jul-18 @ 5:24 PM
FEDUP - Your Question:
I live in a semi detached house and my neighbour runs a dog care business from there home. Although she is good with the dogs they are always barking and I think for the amount of dogs she has her garden isn't big enough. I am unable to approach these neighbours as they are unreasonable with any requests suggested. It is noisy constantly.How can I report them without them knowing its me?I'm sure all the other neighbours around the house and at the bottom of the garden feel the same but wont do anything to upset them as they have lived on the estate a very long time.Dog are dropped off early in a morning and picked up during the day and early evening,I know she has a licence but surely there must be something in place on a environment issue. I was also wondering how big your garden area should be to look after 8/9 dogs?

Our Response:
You will have to ask your local council licensing department about the conditions for the dog care business licence. You could make this a general request rather than anything specific. If you want to complain about the dogs barking, you will have to provide your name or the council (environmental health for this one) will not take action. The council will not necessarily pass on the details of who has made the complaint to the neighbour.
ProblemNeighbours - 25-Jul-18 @ 2:26 PM
I live in a semi detached house and my neighbour runs a dog care business from there home. Although she is good with the dogs they are always barking and I think for the amount of dogs she has her garden isn't big enough. I am unable to approach these neighbours as they are unreasonable with any requests suggested. It is noisy constantly.How can I report them without them knowing its me?I'm sure all the other neighbours around the house and at the bottom of the garden feel the same but wont do anything to upset them as they have lived on the estate a very long time.Dog are dropped off early in a morning and picked up during the day and early evening,I know she has a licence but surely there must be something in place on a environment issue. I was also wondering how big your garden area should be to look after 8/9 dogs?
FEDUP - 24-Jul-18 @ 4:50 PM
hi i have 3 small dogs(jack russells and a larger mixed breed dog.my neighbour is constantley trying to get at us about our dogs barking in our house and back garden.My wife is at home all day with the dogs and the minute they start to bark in the garden she brings the dogs in.My neighbour is harrassing us via the council and she also has been minding a friends dog which she deliberatley lets out when she sees my dogs in the garden to get a reaction so she can record the dogs as evidence for the council. we are constantley keeping are dogs from not barking too much but nothing is good enough for her.The dogs occasionally bark at night when my son comes in from work but this is for no more than 30 seconds and they stop the minute they know its him.we are in despair as this woman will stop at nothing and is making us both depressed as we know we are trying everthing to minimise any nuisance noise.
zippy - 24-Jul-18 @ 2:29 PM
Hi, My neighbour has 3 Chihuahuas and one mixed breed dog. They all bark from morning till night. Whenever she goes out at night, the mixed breed will bark until she gets home which is sometimes 1am. But however bad this is, it's not as bad as me not being able to be outside in my own garden as they bark at us. I have a 9 year old son and 2 dogs myself. My dogs are never allowed run of the garden even in the summer as her dogs will attack the fence and my dogs will retaliate.My dogs are otherwise really well behaved so this is very unusual for them to do. My dogs get told off and brought inside straightaway, my neighbour leaves her dogs to bark. I asked her once why she doesn't do anything about the barking as it's not nice for the neighbours. Her reply was she didn't care what the neighbours thought and the barking didn't bother her. She locks her dogs outside from morning til night all weekend which means I let mine out to do their business and they come straight back inside. My son and I can't play outside as any noise we make sets off my neighbours dogs and they go mad and attack the fence again and they don't stop until we go back into the house. I hate it. I feel trapped in my own home. My dogs are trapped inside in gorgeous weather whilst hers are having fun barking and running around outside. She won't do anything to help. All I get is abuse. Any advice would be appreciated.
DP76 - 15-Jul-18 @ 9:53 AM
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