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

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 28 Nov 2017 | 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)

A.

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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[Add a Comment]
FayeLouise - Your Question:
My neighbour has 3 small but quite biggish dogs. He rarely takes them out and he works like 10 hours a day. These dogs are so loud they make your eardrums burst! When me and my family first moved in the council told us that we aren’t allowed to have pets or they would get taken of us, that’s including my neighbour. And we’ve lived here for about 3/4 years and he still has them. The dogs barking makes me physically want to cry!!

Our Response:
Your council's housing officer should take action here if there is a no pets rule. Write a formal letter to the housing office first of all. If this does not resolve the situation, report the barking to environmental health as a noise/nuisance complaint. Your local councillor might be able to support you if you're not satisfied.
ProblemNeighbours - 29-Nov-17 @ 9:33 AM
My neighbour has 3 small but quite biggish dogs. He rarely takes them out and he works like 10 hours a day. These dogs are so loud they make your eardrums burst! When me and my family first moved in the council told us that we aren’t allowed to have pets or they would get taken of us, that’s including my neighbour. And we’ve lived here for about 3/4 years and he still has them. The dogs barking makes me physically want to cry!!
FayeLouise - 28-Nov-17 @ 10:48 AM
Molly - Your Question:
My neighbours have 4 small dogs but their lurcher lives permanently outdoors. It is never walked defecates in its own garden and whines and barks on and off all day. When the woman goes out in the afternoon every day it barks non stop for 2 to 3 hours. I am driven crazy. However these people are very intimidating and although we have told them they do nothing about it. I am also very concerned about the welfare of this animal

Our Response:
If you are concerned about the welfare of the dog, contact the RSPCA or your local dog warden.
ProblemNeighbours - 6-Nov-17 @ 10:40 AM
My neighbours have 4 small dogs but their lurcher lives permanently outdoors. It is never walked defecates in its own garden and whines and barks on and off all day. When the woman goes out in the afternoon every day it barks non stop for 2 to 3 hours. I am driven crazy. However these people are very intimidating and although we have told them they do nothing about it. i am also very concerned about the welfare of this animal
Molly - 3-Nov-17 @ 6:54 PM
My neighbours bought a small terrier-a 'yap dog'. Their kids work it up but they failed to train it so that whenever I go out to the garage, the car, the bin or dare to walk in my garden the darned critter just yaps continuously. I pass so many dogs and I have had 3 generations of dogs and they don't yap! I guess they are so used to it they do not realise but they must be as stupid as the dog (or vice versa) because I have not spoken to them for over a year and walk away whenever the wretched animal yaps at me. I just swear at it in Polish to feel I have achieved something! I bought a barkbuster but it is too stupid to take any notice. I think I will write a curse on a piece of lead, fold it over and chuck it in the river like the Romans did. I can go in my garden at night or I could wear industrial ear defenders...They are nice neighbours and nice kids. I just cannot understand that they haven't become embarassed by the obvious loss of familiarity on my part. They must be dense and the mutt obviously has no brain.
Minoru - 23-Apr-17 @ 10:36 PM
Alibum - Your Question:
I have a neighbour who has 4 small dogs who bark throughout the day and also at night, the owners know they are doing it and sometimes stand out in the garden with them still barking and don't try to stop them! In the summer we cannot open our windows at night as they sometimes set off at 2am and later! It's whenever they put them in the garden, they bark at anything and everything! What can we do?

Our Response:
First, speak to them or send them a note (see our template here)- they may think because it doesn't bother them, that it doesn't bother you either. If that doesn't resolve things, contact your environmental health officer.
ProblemNeighbours - 16-Feb-17 @ 11:22 AM
I have a neighbour who has 4 small dogs who bark throughout the day and also at night, the owners know they are doing it and sometimes stand out in the garden with them still barking and don't try to stop them! In the summer we cannot open our windows at night as they sometimes set off at 2am and later! It's whenever they put them in the garden, they bark at anything and everything! What can we do?
Alibum - 15-Feb-17 @ 12:44 PM
New neighbours moved in two and half years ago, used to be neighbours of a relative and whole family were notoriously noisy! Three kids, then two dogs, one of which we nicknamed 'the 6:30 alarm: because when he got up for work and let it out it started barking and that goes on all day until the evening when they take it in. been very patient and given them plenty of time to train it and sat times many in our garden during the summer listening to it for HOURS on end (strangely the other one never barks) thinking that eventually it would settle down. While the kids are running around playing with the dogs it isn't a problem, as parents of three (now grown up) we now youngsters can be noisy, the problem is when the dog(s) are left in the yard and one of them just barks non stop, and they do nothing about it! Another neighbour said it was driving him and his wife mad, and one neighbour sold up and moved saying the dog was part of the reason they were going! So I've finally bit the bullet and complained to him after it was left barking until beyond 10pm on two occasions. His reply? It's acceptable until 11pm, I've only had cause to complain twice in two years and other people on the street have dogs that bark! No matter how I tried to reason with him he wasn't interested, "no one else was complaining" (plenty want to but would rather leave it to others), "other peoples dogs bark" (I did point out apart from his there wasn't a sound) and it's not acceptable , even during the day to which he replied " you do what you need to do but the dogs are staying". I didn't want to be the grumpy bloke who complained but last night it got the better of me! And today? Not heard a sound all day, and I do mean not one bark, but I'm not expecting it to last. When it starts again (which I think it will in a few days) I'm lost as to what to do next. Don't really want to go down the road of formal complaints to the Council unless I can get a few of the other neighbours onside. Thoughts anyone?
Had enough - 5-Feb-17 @ 4:14 PM
Please advise we have new neighbors that have moved in next to us they have two young Doberman beautiful dogs they are a year old our problem is when the owners are out to work Day and night when they are left on their own the barking of both of them is constantit only stops when the owners are home we live in a terrace house I have told one of them and they thanked me for letting them know and said they will take them to puppy school will this help x it is driving us mad
Jackie - 12-Jan-17 @ 11:54 AM
I need some advice. We moved into our semi detached house a few months ago and the neighbours have loud barking dogs. They have pet dogs which they walk during the day but they also gave other dogs that do not get walked and live in the garden, barking throughout the day. We have heard from another neighbour that they are breeding them. They are Caucasian shepherd dogs. We are worried for when our cousins child comes round as the dogs jump on the fence and bark and growl. I'm aware this is not a banned dog, is this correct? I'm not sure what to do about the noise and about having such dangerous dogs living next to us. Somebody please help! Thank you.
Sam - 13-Nov-16 @ 1:19 PM
We moved into our house in 3 months ago and are having terrible problems with our neighbours dogs barking. They have two pedigree dogs (male & female) which they advertise on breeding websites. People bring females to the house to mate with their male dog (in the garden...more barking, which can go on for a couple of days astheir male dog doesn't seem to understand what he should be doing) and their female has just had a litter of puppies. They have a small backyard, no grass. Every morning between 7-8am both dogs are put out for up to 1.5 hours and they bark and whine constantly to be let back in. The female also paces round and round, with her ears flat to her head, panting and looking through the patio doors at the owners, who either ignore them or shout at them to shut up. This daily disruption is driving us nuts..... Once they've been let back in, they're only let out again a couple of times during the day to do their business and they bark a couple of times, which i think is normal and not an issue. At no point since we've moved in have I ever seen our neighbours take these dogs for a walk, despite the fact we back onto a park and the park entrance is about 50ft from our house. We have spoken to them and it ended badly, with both parties shouting and he became really aggressive and threatened to shoot our cat. We've since found out a previous owner of our house complained to the council about the dogs barking several years ago, so this problem seems on-going. We've been in touch with our local environmental office who have agreed to write to them, so I'm now waiting for their reaction. I'm worried to leave the house incase the neighbour says or does something and I'm worried that, in the end, there will be nothing that can be done. I love this house, but it's totally ruined it,I feel like selling up to be honest....
Yogibear - 8-Nov-16 @ 9:53 PM
SUPA - Your Question:
I live on the 6th floor. My neighbors with their 2 dogs live above me but on the left. Every bloody morning these dogs are barking with a high pitch (I suppose it's a small dogs). I am working as a chef. This job is a bit stressful and demands constant focus. Now I can't work properly because I don't have enough sleep. Every morning I can hear barking and they don't even live just above me! It's next flat on the 7th floor! Can you imagine how is it for other neighbors? I don't know what to do. Probably I will complain to the council. The thing is - even if I will speak to these people what can they do about the dogs?

Our Response:
It's really quite cruel to keep dogs on the 7th floor - it's not a case of simply letting them out quickly in the morning we assume. Start by popping up for an informal chat, they may not realise how annoying it is. If you're not comfortable with that try an informal note followed by a more formal letter. We have created a couple of templates here that we hope will help. If this is not successful, you should report it to your environmental health office.
ProblemNeighbours - 27-Oct-16 @ 2:23 PM
I live on the 6th floor. My neighbors with their 2 dogs live above me but on the left. Every bloody morning these dogs are barking with a high pitch (I suppose it's a small dogs). I am working as a chef. This job is a bit stressful and demands constant focus. Now I can't work properly because I don't have enough sleep. Every morning I can hear barking and they don't even live just above me! It's next flat on the 7th floor! Can you imagine how is it for other neighbors? I don't know what to do. Probably I will complain to the council. The thing is - even if I will speak to these people what can they do about the dogs?
SUPA - 26-Oct-16 @ 2:11 PM
I'm absolutely demented with my neighbours dog. Let like crying or ripping my own hair out most days. She's an old older lady really nice and pleasant has lived here many years before I have which is why I feel.I can't say anything to her. She has a rottweiler it's way too big for her she can't handle it for a start my daughter has a fear of dogs so that in the first instance doesn't sit well with us. It has went for another child who was at my door waiting for my kids to come out to play.Every single morning just after half seven she leaves the house and that's it my day is ruined no long lies for us ever. I work part time so on they days I can avoid the noise. Other days I try blank it out but it's really getting me down. It barks and howls for hours when its in on its own. I mean hours five or six sometimes more doesn't give us a break I'm losing my mind with it. We live up a close too so it echoes all over. She has no letter box and I'm not sure if it's locked in the hall cos it just seems to stand at the front door all that time her door is about two meters from my front door. Sometimes it feels like it's howling through my door. She knows it does this. There is two other neighbours who are also older women they have all lived here the same length of time as her and don't do anything about it. I think it's because they like her too much which I under and cos I do too. I'm due a baby in 7 weeks at my wits end what should I do?
Marie - 15-Oct-16 @ 7:58 AM
Seems I'm going to have to contact the local authority about nuisance barking then. My neighbour with ajoining garden lets his 2 yorkshire terrier yappy dogs out at just after 5 every morning . Wonderful if I need a 5 o'clock wake up but trust me I don't. 6 o'clock is sufficient. It is wearing me down . They are even known to be barking very late at night God knows when the owners sleep! It is so irresponsible andrude i would never let a dog if I had one bark at these times of day.
Tirednow - 15-Oct-16 @ 7:03 AM
jj - Your Question:
I've had a problem with neighbours dog consistantly barking for 4 years, I've made numerous complaints to the council, filed all the noise log sheets in and still the council didn't bother doing anything, they kept saying they have to be carefull how they handle the situation because the neighbour with the dog was foreign, however because I have more than 1 dog they told me that if my dog barks at my door any longer than 2 minutes I can receive a letter about the noise. But it's acceptavle for someones dog to bark all day outside, because they are foreign.The council tennancy agreements are not worth the paper they are written on, as they are promoting racism, by not treating everyone no matter the nationality. and from now on I'll allow my dogs to bark allday if they have a mind to, and if the council send me 1 letter I will be seeing them in court. It's not only us responsible dog owners that should have to abied by the laws in this country.

Our Response:
Have you also tried the environmental health department? They will not be involved in your council house tenancy issues and will deal purely with the noise problem. If you want to make a complaint about the way the council has handled your problem, you can try the Local Government Ombudsman
ProblemNeighbours - 4-Oct-16 @ 10:49 AM
I've had a problem with neighbours dog consistantly barking for 4 years, I've made numerous complaints to the council, filed all the noise log sheets in and still the council didn't bother doing anything, they kept saying they have to be carefull how they handle the situation because the neighbour with the dog was foreign, however because i have more than 1 dog they told me that if my dog barks at my door any longer than 2 minutes i can receive a letter about the noise. But it's acceptavle for someones dog to bark all day outside, because they are foreign.The council tennancy agreements are not worth the paper they are writtenon, as they are promoting racism, by not treating everyone no matter the nationality. and from now on I'll allow my dogs to bark allday if they have a mind to, and if the council send me 1 letter i will be seeing them in court. It's not only us responsible dog owners that should have to abied by the laws in this country.
jj - 3-Oct-16 @ 2:48 PM
My home was so peaceful and quiet until my new neighbor got a dog who barks unnecessarily any time it is let out into the garden. I work shifts and my bedroom window is next to my neighbors garden. I've tried on several occasions to explain to my neighbor about the fact that their barking dog makes it very hard for me to sleep but to no avail. I have reported to the landlord and to the environmental protection agency and I've been given a log book to fill. I'm filling the logbooks and sending them to the land lord but the dog still barks in the garden and keeps me awake for months now. How long should this go on for?? Can I sue the landlord for ignoring my complaint??This is driving me crazy. I need help.
Sag - 2-Oct-16 @ 1:41 PM
I have 2 small dogs. One is 14 and the other almost 2. We have recently acquired new neighbours (we live in a block of 3 townhouses) whose downstairs living area has been converted into an office, with staff and all. Our walls adjoin and as much as they love our pups, and are lovely people themselves, they have now told us that on some days the dogs bark all day when we are at work and this is disturbing their ability to work. The dogs stay inside and only go outside to do their business through the doggie door. The younger dog has a high shrilled yap and the older dog is a bit deaf and senile and sometimes barks because the younger one starts yapping at every movement. What can I do to stop this - it is very difficult to prevent them from barking when noone is home. They have a multitude of toys and comfy sleeping spots and a dog walker takes them out on Mondays and Fridays for a couple of hours each time. HELP!
Lewie - 29-Sep-16 @ 7:55 AM
I have arrived home to a letter from the council telling me my dog is persistently barking for long periods. I was so upset. I thought we had a good relationship with all of our neighbours.I wish they had spoken to me. We had recently spoken to the chap who treats our lawns to say we needed to know when he was going to call so that we could ensure he didn't set the dog off as I was concerned this would be annoying. If someone is in the garden then he will go crazy! Now I am not sure if this is as a result of the gardener's unannounced visit or if this is a problem every day. My dog has barked in the night twice in the last 6 months and we beleive this may have been a prowler that set him off. I have no idea what is at the root of the complaint.My dog is a rescue with a troubled past, but even the most loved dog has to be left for short periods. I now need to get some clarification from the council as to the detail of the complaint so I know how to deal with it. I understand some people may not want to approach their neighbour, but we have always been pleasant to everyone around us and I feel so hurt that they couldn't offer me this courtesy.
Goodneighbour - 27-Sep-16 @ 9:51 PM
I have an on going problem with a neighbour's dog that barks the whole time that it is left out in the rear garden of the premises. I have written a polite letter to the owners advising them that this is a nuisance and that either accompanying the dog I when it is in the garden or simply not shutting it outside may be the answer as it only seems to bark when it is shut out behind a closed door, ( I also have a dog and would and never shut my dog outside.....he seldom barks anyhow).The result is that the owner has become very defensive/aggressive toward me and when ever he sees me shouts abuse , this is a difficult situation that would be so easily remedied, I think that some folk 'take on' a pet dog without realising that it is a major commitment not simply a 'thing' to be shut outside whenever the owner feels so disposed.I don't want to approach the local Council but shall have no other redress unless the owner deals with this problem.It's NOT the fault of the dog after all but the fault of an irresponsible owner .
DK155 - 1-Sep-16 @ 6:00 PM
My next door neighbours are renting and acquired a dog some months into the tenancy. They left the dog outside all day, every day and it barked its head off morning, noon and night. I had a word with them and the dog only barks when they let it out so it only happens a few times a day for less than 5 mins each time. The issue is the time of the noise: the barking happens between 6.30am to 8.30am or between 10.30pm to 11.30pm. I'm so very grateful for the improvement but I now get woken up early or get woken up after I've gone to sleep. (I work two jobs so sleep is important!)Is it unreasonable to approach them again? I guess my question is more around what is acceptable noise when it comes to a dog barking? My husband thinks that that's just what dogs do!
Dita - 14-Aug-16 @ 5:47 PM
HD21 : 15 dogs is excessive. Is this amount usual or is the neighbour looking after other people's dogs/a dog walker for example?If the dogs live there permanently, how big is the garden? I have 6 small dogs, but have a 70 foot garden which is quite wide and I have no neighbour at the rear or front or one side. The only neighbour's house is separated by a garage/part of their garden, otherwise I would not have 6 dogs. If the person only has a tiny garden, as you said there is a smell, sounds like they are not collecting the dogs waste, which is a health hazard to the dogs and people with flies etc. Maybe contact your local environmental health dept to enquire about all this and see what they say.
peony - 10-Aug-16 @ 1:18 PM
My problem is that I've had a letter, posted by a neighbour complaining about my 2 German Shepards. We're proud dog owners and love our dogs like they're kids. They're well looked after, walked daily, friendly, non aggressive and playful. Now yes they're noisey when they bark. We let them in the garden often but always supervised. If they begin to bark, normally because the neighbours either side have dogs so if they're out at the same time they bark at each other. One of us will immediately get the dogs in the house and not let them out for a good hour or so. They will also bark at bins being moved or postmen etc. Protecting their territory basically. I can honestly say they bark on average 4-6 times per day, never longer than 30 seconds per time as we get them in. The letter stated they are causing problems as this neighbour works night shifts. Now I want my dogs to enjoy the garden, but I'm angered as not 1 neighbour has knocked on the door. If they did I'd simply ask when they worked and I'd let my dogs out around their routine. I have a good idea who it is, as they often moan when the dogs bark, or shout abuse over the fence, but they have a dog and it's their dog running out the house barking on a mission that sets my 2 off. I don't mind personally as dogs believe it or not.....bark. I know 100% that were doing nothing wrong and surely if the council investigated theyed side with us. I just wish people would talk rather than throw toys out the pram. I'm more inclined to not assist the neighbours now. What do I do to protect my rights as a dog owner?
Dave - 22-Jul-16 @ 11:27 AM
Laulau - Your Question:
I have a neighbour oppersit me and they have three German shepherds and they bark from 6am till sometimes 11pm give or take, to add to the matter they seem to run a doggy day care so there's more dogs barking too. I live in a small cul-de-sac and have a small child and it's disturbing her sleep. It is driving me mental. any suggestions as to what I should do?

Our Response:
Yes call your local environmental health office and report it as a nuisance. They may also be able to investigate the doggy day care aspect, to see whether planning permission has been given. Usually there is a limit on the number of dogs allowed.
ProblemNeighbours - 8-Jul-16 @ 10:50 AM
I have a neighbour oppersit me and they have three German shepherds and they bark from 6am till sometimes 11pm give or take, to add to the matter they seem to run a doggy day care so there's more dogs barking too. I live in a small cul-de-sac and have a small child and it's disturbing her sleep. It is driving me mental. any suggestions as to what I should do?
Laulau - 6-Jul-16 @ 8:51 AM
What advice would you give to a neighbour that has 15 dogs ?You can imagine to noise n smell n the constant barking my dog does because of them. My dog can't even go out in his own garden because of them. Someone must no what to do they have already been reported a few times n nothing's happend. I've had a few arguments with her for it but she just seems to keep breeding n getting more dogs. Help! Thanks
HD21 - 29-Jun-16 @ 5:04 PM
I live next to a neighbour that have bought a dog recently. Main problem is that she leaves her dog outside in the night time after 10pm even 11pm. That dogs bark for no reason. I need to wake up every morning at 4 to go to work but she is no bothered/doesnt care about the others. Dont know what to do, just want to sleep :(
Me - 29-May-16 @ 10:10 PM
Jezebel- Your Question:
Why are people on here so quick to inform the council of dog barking.Why not just approach your neighbour in a nice diplomatic way (don't go round when angry) and speak to them. Most dog owners are not aware that the dog barks, howls, etc when they are out and I'm speaking from experience here. I was off sick work with Flu once and my neighbours dog kept waking me up doing absolutely crazy when the postman came and howling on and off. It was so bad, I thought the dog would break through the window and get out. At first it really annoyed me and I was going to send round my rather angry boyfriend to "have a word".I thankfully changed my mind and when I was feeling better, I went round and spoke to my neighbour, who, was absolutely mortified. He was so apologetic and was totally unaware his dog did this when he was out. He promptly dealt with the situation and on my next day off I hardly heard a thing, other than the odd bark, which to be honest you'd expect from living next door to a dog owner, but nothing like before. So why don't people just approach the neighbour instead of crying to the council and totally pissing them off in doing so?

Our Response:
Yes we always advocate going round and having a polite word with your neighbour before considering anything else. Unfortunately many of the people who resort to these pages, have already tried this and are now looking for the next step. We're really glad you've resolved your issue amicably and thanks for sharing.
ProblemNeighbours - 25-May-16 @ 1:50 PM
Why are people on here so quick to inform the council of dog barking. Why not just approach your neighbour in a nice diplomatic way (don't go round when angry) and speak to them. Most dog owners are not aware that the dog barks, howls, etc when they are out and I'm speaking from experience here. I was off sick work with Flu once and my neighbours dog kept waking me up doing absolutely crazy when the postman came and howling on and off. It was so bad, I thought the dog would break through the window and get out. At first it really annoyed me and I was going to send round my rather angry boyfriend to "have a word". I thankfully changed my mind and when I was feeling better, I went round and spoke to my neighbour, who, was absolutely mortified. He was so apologetic and was totally unaware his dog did this when he was out. He promptly dealt with the situation and on my next day off I hardly heard a thing, other than the odd bark, which to be honest you'd expect from living next door to a dog owner, but nothing like before. So why don't people just approach the neighbour instead of crying to the council and totally pissing them off in doing so?
Jezebel - 25-May-16 @ 12:21 AM
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