Home > Resolving Issues > What to Do About Noisy, Dirty or Aggressive Animals

What to Do About Noisy, Dirty or Aggressive Animals

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 24 Jul 2023 | comments*Discuss
What To Do About Noisy, Dirty Or Aggressive Animals

We’re a nation of animal lovers, but it can be really hard to love a neighbour’s pet if they are noisy, or cause you other problems.If you’re blessed with a neighbour who insists on leaving their darling doggy outside while it barks all day (or worse, all night), it can really test your patience.

Some people seem to be oblivious to the effect that their animals have on others, and don’t even seem to notice the noise they make. You don’t have to put up with the noise, smell or mess though. Some people also seem to have a house full of pets which you might suspect aren’t being treated as well as they could, or an aggressive or Dangerous Dog could be frightening you or your children.

Noisy Animals

Sometimes people genuinely seem to be able to tune out the noise of their pets, so if you’re on good terms with your neighbour, the direct approach is often the best. Call round and explain that although you love Fido, you’re not too keen on the Constant Barking, and ask them nicely to try to stop the racket. Keep it peaceful, even if the mutt has been barking all night long and you haven’t had a wink of sleep. Stay calm, don’t swear, get aggressive or threaten them with environmental health – yet.

If you don’t get along with the person responsible for the dog, or if they don’t take any notice of a polite request to keep their darling dog quiet, you might have to take further action.

You could try a few home remedies. You could blow an inaudible dog whistle, or see if you can get hold of an anti-barking device from a pet shop, although these don’t always have much effect.

If the situation isn’t improving, sometimes the only remedy is to Contact Your Local Environmental Health Department and report your neighbour. It will help if you’ve already attempted to resolve the problem amicably, but they will be able to investigate and take any action that’s considered necessary.

Dangerous and Aggressive Pets

If you are concerned that a neighbour has a dangerous pet, whether a dog or something a little more unusual, there are laws relating to what and how a dangerous animal should be kept.

It’s a criminal offence for dog to be out of control in public, even if it’s a usually placid toy poodle. If your neighbours have an unruly dog, they could be breaking the law. A court can order a neighbour to keep their dog to be kept a lead, muzzled or destroyed if it’s considered in any way dangerous.

If neighbours have a dog that you consider to be dangerous, but they claim they use it to protect their property, there isn’t much you can do about it unless it actually goes for you or attacks someone else. If this should happen then they could prosecuted for having a dangerous animal.

Cruelty to Pets

In some cases, a pet may be noisy or troublesome because it’s being neglected or ill-treated. Some owners also keep excessive amounts of pets which can create noise and smell, as well as being hazardous to the animals themselves.

If you suspect that your neighbour is treating animals cruelly, you can report them to the police, or your local authority animal welfare department, who could decide to can remove the animals. Inspectors or police officers need to obtain a warrant is required to enter a home, so if your neighbour refuses to let them in, it can take up to 24 hours for them to gain access in some cases.

If an animal is making a noise or a nuisance because it’s been abandoned, tell the appropriate authorities, as they can prosecute the owner and remove the animal from the property.

Cats that Won’t Stay Out of Your Garden

There’s not much you can do about a cat using your garden as a toilet, revolting as it can be. Some tips, like citronella sprays or leaving black pepper around the garden, work for some cats and not others.

You could investigate the option of an ultrasonic noise emitters which emit a cat-scaring sound, or even opt for the simpler remedy if you’re at home during the day – cats detest water, so a well aimed water pistol won’t harm them but will hopefully deter them from relieving themselves on your lawn!

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
A strip of land opposite our home. People own it who we have known for years. They got kicked off a piece of land they rented and moved a variety of birds and other animals opposite. A variety of some 10 + sheds make shift coops have gone up to house all. Animals they have are chickens, no problem, ducks, no problem, geese, no problem, peacocks, no problem, pigs down the end can't hear them but do get a pong sometimes, racing pidgeons being trained with whistle anytime from six to around 10pm. The worst is the quinea fowl they never stop now its summer all windows open in house its like they are in anyroom with you as they are literally across the lane just over the hedge. Anything that goes by they create anybody opens or closes a door house or car in our place or down the road they are off. Had a word several times now just saying what you want ot hear looking to house the guinea fowl elsewhere but they have no money all in council rented proeperties and most on some sort of benefit e.g. rent relief, housing benefit, pension credit, etc etc I got no problem with them on benefits just a point making no money so where will they be able to buy or rent nowhere as no money. Farming area tractors working late early mornings start the birds off. Now taking sound recordings sound recordings talking to solictor and environmental health. RSPCAis out most weeks as they do not look after the animals the worst is a flock of under fed sheep where other people give them hay, straw and food pellets for them. Nightmare situation just want the guinea fowl moved. Besdides and influx of flies whne they clean the huts out we have rats come over can no longer top up the bird feeders. They have bonefires every two weeks that either smoke us out or they go off and the fires falre up againa dnwe are on fire watch. You may say that it burn but have no desire to see the animals hurt. Yes I know daft. But run out of patience now Been here 6 months and hes brought up even more sheds ferrets have arrived now.
THECUCKOO - 24-Jul-23 @ 9:52 AM
My dog goes in the garden to toilet and hsve a run around and will bark but not continually. She never goes out after 10.30 at night and never before 8 in the morning . I know she will bark if she finds a cat hedgehog etc in the garden and we go to stop her and get her in. My neighbour over the road has complained and put it on a local page in our area (internet) and comes over . We do stop her she’s 14 months. He says she barks for hours at a time and we know that’s not correct.
Lazy - 3-Feb-23 @ 2:10 PM
My neighbour is constantly txting me complaining that my dogs barking is getting on her nervous when let outside to use the toilet, we have been reported to the council by this person and have had the matter closed as I evidenced that the most he would bark over the course of the day would total 4 minutes, we have taken measures to reduce his noise but still she messages me all the time, where do I stand as she is harassing meto the point that my mental and physical health is now in question. Many thanks
Tracy - 30-Jul-22 @ 7:15 PM
What can I do about neighbors harassing me with their dogs
Lisa - 19-Jul-22 @ 3:33 PM
I lived in my home for 30 years 10 years ago my neighbour moved in OMG. I have had constant arguments about her 3 dogs constantly barking. I live in a main road with heavy traffic and the dogs are in front garden barking at everyone and everything. If I speak to her she screams and shouts puts her fingers up verbally abuses myself and my husband. Recently she keeps telling my disabled husband to get a job which is very upsetting for him because he likes to keep active but is unable to work because of multiple health issues of which she hasn't got a clue. She owns her property and thinks this is why she can do what she likes she is 60 years of age and is very nasty and should know better. I have a staff dog which never barks is not left at all in my garden and is walked outside but she walks her dogs and is well known because of the dogs barking all over the estate
Annie - 24-Jul-21 @ 4:34 PM
I'm having trouble with my next door neighbours all they do is drink an use drugs they have a dangerous dog it goes for us when we are entering my home an trying to attack my 2 small dogs they bang on the walls all hours of the night an not very nice people over my religion
Lori - 17-May-21 @ 12:03 AM
My neighbors at number 30 is harassing me and doing harm to me and my family they keep bashing on walls andacting very inappropriately because I'm a white Muslim they are being racist and picking on me and spreading lies about me to saying I never go out etc when this lie! They have no respect and think they can do whatever they wantvery controlling behaviour and I try to ignore it but the man next door aggressive
Fed up - 24-Jan-21 @ 5:23 AM
Help! Our neighbors have a bird who screamsssss from dawn to 2 pm everyday with no breaks! It’s kept in a shed outside and has never come out since they got it about a year ago. It causes us immediate stress and it’s clear it’s in distress. We can’t enjoy our new home and can’t even go to our backyard because it’s so loud. Not only are we stressed, but are worried the bird is neglected and We don’t know what to do-any advice on how to resolve this?
Pica - 24-Nov-20 @ 6:55 AM
I've just moved into my wee flat been very busy putting pics on wall ect and my neighbour came to my door at 7 .30 pm asking what all the noise was I told her and she says at this time of night I can't move in my own home what can I do even if I'm out shopping she will stop me n ask what I have I don't know what to do can anyone tell me what time I need to stop banging nails into my wall at please I'm at my wit's end. scared to even walk in my own home
Susie - 2-Oct-20 @ 12:23 AM
Hi ! I have just moved in a first floor flat , me and my wife and 3 kids 5 years old 3 years old and 11 months old In Aberdeen last week ( the people in Aberdeen are really racist , anyone can confirm that) For first 2 days the downstairs neighbours , couple 65 and 66 years old seems to be ok .... He asked me next day where we are from and how long we gonna stay in the flat! Is not anyone business how long lives in there the upsterers neighbour or someone else if they just moved in. But it's ok , I told him we wants to stay how long is possible because we have to enrolled the kids at the school. I told him then that I'm sorry for any noise from the kids , the 11 months is just trying to walk and a can NOT stop him. He said isok but they don't have to walk heavy...there is very thiny floor and walls as well. Also I can overhear from downstairs flat pretty clear, when they get drunk and laughs...or scream. Next day I've received an emailfrom my landlord with the subject " NOISE COMPLAIN "! The downstairs neighbours just complained about "kids nois". One day after...at 8 o'clock in the evening the downstairs neighbour, drunk, knock at door asked me to stop the kids to run through the house... I told him that I understandthe situation but I can Notstop them to walk trough the house, is just kids,we can not fly. The old kid get really get scare by him.... I paidthe flat until 1th October andI want to leave it. The landlord says if I didn't give him a notice 28 days before I leave he can't give the deposit !!! What I have to do , to get the money for deposit???
Horas - 27-Sep-20 @ 8:23 PM
Me and my husband live in a flat ground floor the worst we have a family above us their are extremely noisy washing machines that start up at half 1/2 in the morning and its above our room their awake 24/7 music going shouting heavy walking they dont even know we live here my husband was out side one evening on the phone and the woman above us wslked past stopped and looked at him and said can i help you and he said no im talking to my mother and i live here oh and do yoy mind keeping the noise down she tutted and walked away we have lived here for 10 months i have told my relastate but nothing being done dont know what else to do any suggestions much appriciated
Stace - 10-Jan-20 @ 1:46 PM
Tricia, keeping parrots or any caged birds outside is a thoughtless and/or selfish act designed to annoy neighbours. I have a neighbour with an aviary and the birds do not shut up from dawn to dusk.The pitch of these non-native birds is different from our native birds and in many people trigger alarm signals in the mind.It is incredibly irritating and ruins the pleasure I could get from my garden.If I could I would free those birds from their caged existence. Not only cruel but incredibly selfish are people that keep caged birds in their back garden.
Mason - 11-Aug-19 @ 12:13 PM
I see lots complaints about pets what about people who lit up a bonfire next to a parrots aviary, torment next door dog or simply throw fireworks at a cat, are they nuisance or just normal people who claim to be so fond of animals?
Tricia - 26-Jun-19 @ 12:26 PM
Are neighbours are harassing us about our dog, they say he keeps barking and we leave him shut outside which is not true, they called the rspca on us and they couldn’t find an issue at all, we are getting very fed up with this, any advice would be appreciated.
Kez79 - 4-Sep-18 @ 7:03 PM
For 2 years we have had neighbours constantly reporting for barking and smells. Had environmental and rspca last year visit and no action needed. Today got another enviromental letter about same thing..they now have a puppy that also barks setting mine off. Surely this is harrassment Ive had threatening behaviours directly and in directly..ive got all measures in place. Monitors, bark deterrents, play radio when they left for few hrs and even have muzzles that they wear as needed to reduce the barking inside and out.
Spesh - 12-Jun-18 @ 3:19 PM
sonicdash - Your Question:
Hi, I'm having a nightmare with my neighbours, they keep reporting my dogs for barking, all council investigations have came back with the result no case to answer. My dogs aren't left on there own there is someone with them 99% of the time. They don't talk to me anymore, and have very recently found out they are going round the street doors to see if as any of my other neighbour are wanting to meet up at the community centre to discuss myself and my dogs to see if there is any way they can get us out. I own my house. They own a dog which they allow to poo and pee on my grass and think nothing of letting it wander up to my patio and bother my dogs. I'm at my wits end and don't know what to do about it

Our Response:
If there is no case to answer and your dogs don't bark, there is very little that your neighbour can do. Even if they attempt to pursue it via the courts they are unlikely to succeed if there is no proof. As for the neighbour's dogs, can you not fence your property to (a) keep your dog in and (b) keep their dogs out?
ProblemNeighbours - 28-Jun-17 @ 10:59 AM
Hi, I'm having a nightmare with my neighbours, they keep reporting my dogs for barking, all council investigations have came back with the result no case to answer. My dogs aren't left on there own there is someone with them 99% of the time. They don't talk to me anymore, and have very recently found out they are going round the street doors to see if as any of my other neighbour are wanting to meet up at the community centre to discuss myself and my dogs to see if there is any way they can get us out. I own my house. They own a dog which they allow to poo and pee on my grass and think nothing of letting it wander up to my patio and bother my dogs. I'm at my wits end and don't know what to do about it
sonicdash - 26-Jun-17 @ 4:51 PM
Being constantly harrassed by neighbours 4 households from the same family I have an dog with severe arthritic hips and has little use of her right leg but vet won't decide on surgery as other 3 legs have arthritis as well.They contantly bully me I have been assaulted in my garden and had an rib fractured and bursing to my head and police refused to persue it as no evidence on either side.They claim to be parlimilitaries and have threatened to havetheir groups put me out of my home.
Mo's mum - 12-Apr-17 @ 5:56 PM
We live on a lane that is a 1/2 mile long, no bollards, no speed cameras, student residence with a drunk driving convictiononce a month an no cats left on the street, I can't think of anythingbut an evil sociopath
Kill nick - 6-Mar-16 @ 6:23 PM
My upstairs neighbour is harassing me verbally and with noise. I was raped some years ago an am disabled so i got a guard dog to protect me as am allowed by housing asso, upstairs makes hissing noises an barks rattles my front door to make my dog bark then she shouts out shut up you mut at him, i have bipolar panic attacks an copd an this is making me suicidal. I have tried to talk to the mum but she shouts abuse at me im to scared to report them as i have to live here. Please advise me as im terrified.
Spin - 12-Sep-15 @ 6:15 PM
Iv lived here 4 years iv two dogs that live in garage as one is unsociable they are in garden in day but locked in garage through night in a big kennel,they do bark if they hear anything as we live near fields a rail tracks they are good guard dogs,I clean up daily and disinfect,I also have 2 small dogs in house my home is spotless and all dogs well cared for,last week environmental health came out after complaints, noise,lots of dog poo n smell,I was upset but the man was lovely there was two sets of poo,he said obviously fresh n could see everything was clean n no smell,he then said other side said I threw poo into their garden which is ridiculous as I'm surrounded by fields if I wanted to do that but I don't I've a pedal bin with bin liner in I put it in and after a few days tie it up and bin it he had no worries n said matter was closed but both neighbours were chatting away yesterday till I pulled in drive and went round back together they have never bothered before with each other really making me feel ill taking photos of my dogs too
Sam - 26-Jul-15 @ 4:14 PM
I've got a bit of a problem I can't find a solution to. We have two dogs - our neighbour has two dogs. One of our dogs is able to jump a 6 foot high fence - over the years, we've taken every action possible to maintain control of our dog. She is only allowed out on a lead, under strict supervision. It's been nearly 3 years since she has successfully leapt the fence. She is well trained under most circumstances but is dog aggressive and territorial. The neighbours dogs are territorial as well which has led to multiple instances of fence fighting. They leave their doors open all day (well in excess of 15 hours) and allow their dogs free reign of the garden. Many times, their dogs growl and snarl at the fence when we go outside. It makes it practically impossible to take our dogs out at all because our dog hears growling, barking, and snapping and goes into protection mode, then tries to jump the fence. We're obviously concerned a dog fight could well see us having to relinquish our dog. We've explained the situation to our neighbours and asked very politely if they would please just call their dogs in and close the doors for a few minutes a couple times a day to remove the stimulus leading to aggression on both sides - they insist (after 7 years of this) the dogs simply need to get used to one another and they should have the right to enjoy their garden. We're trying so hard to not be unreasonable - we just want to keep the situation as safe as we can. Is there any remedy we can pursue?
BritsKate - 22-Jul-15 @ 7:26 PM
@HCB. It's unlikely this will be deemed a nuisance. Especially if they do not make noise at night time. The council may come and investigate any complaint, but would make a decision based on their own findings.
ProblemNeighbours - 15-Jun-15 @ 11:45 AM
I have 4 budgies in an aviary in the garden. I put them in the aviary about a month ago and since then my neighbour has complained that they interfere with her enjoyment of the wild bird song. Last week she told me that they completely ruin her enjoyment of her garden, she doesn't understand why I keep them, I should have asked her before putting them there and if she had known there would have been budgies there she would never have bought her house. She actually bought her house before me & I did have the budgies when I moved in last year but they were in the house to start with. The neighbours on the other side don't mind the budgies and have 5 dogs which bark sometimes. There is also a council yard within 100 yards which generates quite a lot of noise. I don't want to be a bad neighbour but the budgies are my children's pets and I don't want to get rid of them. As we live in a row of terraced houses in a small town with a council yard nearby there is plenty of noise around to interfere with the birdsong, and although the budgies can be noisy during the day I can still hear birdsong while they are making a noise. I am considering asking the Council to decide whether they constitute a nuisance because she will not be happy until I get rid of them, and then I'm afraid she will complain about my children next. Any advice would be appreciated.
HCB - 9-Jun-15 @ 6:59 PM
@Godfather. Unfortunately as you are not in the UK our laws will not apply and we do not have information about other countries. If you were here in the UK and your were to bark a few times, while you were there with it, no action would be taken.
ProblemNeighbours - 19-May-15 @ 11:31 AM
Today my wife took our dog out on the back yard to enjoy some of the nice weather. As she was relaxing, our dog notice the floating items in our pool and began to bark. As he was barking at the items in the pool the neighbours wife try to huss my dog which made him bark more. As my wife was trying to call the dog, the women explained to my wife that she should control the dog or place him inside. My wife is not a confrontentional person and continue sitting and relaxing while the dog now was quiet, when the husband came out and told her that he is a police officer and that she needed to maintain the dog under control because that is the law. Well, just need your advise since we are new to the Aymer QC area having arrived here last fall. Should I consult a Lawyer, approach the police, I do not know because in my opinion I think the husband was on a border line "abusing his authority as a policeman". By the way this all happen around 1 p.m. Also is there a bylaw on how loud you should be when on the phone, becausehis wife was very loud last friday afternoon and I never told her to huss! Maybe I should have call the animal control. LOL!
Godfather - 14-May-15 @ 8:14 PM
@me. What did the council say about the noise/barking dogs? Are they pursuing this as a noise/nuisance complaint or were they the ones to suggest mediation? Sorry it's not clear what's really taken place so far.
ProblemNeighbours - 21-Apr-15 @ 11:36 AM
Since July 2014 my next door neighbour moved his girlfriend and her two children in. then in August she became loud her kids banging on wallls their dog would non stop bark she would hit her kids so hard till they would fall over and she would swear and shout at both of them using threatening behaviour to them. I tried to talk to her which lead her to shout abuse at me and then her mum and sister got involved. I am disabled and when I turned to the council about the noise I was told to keep diarys . she has callled the police many times when I have tried to talk to her about her dogs. It's now April 2015 and I'm not allowed tI say anything to her or him. So how does this non communication help when she says she will do mediation then change a her mind
me - 18-Apr-15 @ 5:50 AM
@Anthonyp. In view of these issues, the neighbours should make arrangements for the dog to be kept inside or for the access to be made 'free' of the dog.The dog is effectively causing an obstruction to you. On top of this, it’s against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, including a neighbour’s house or garden and the owner’s home. A dog is considered dangerously out of control if it: injures someone or makes someone worried that it might injure them A court could also decide that your dog is dangerously out of control if it injures someone’s animal or the owner of the animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal. Contact the police or your environmental health office for more information.
ProblemNeighbours - 25-Mar-15 @ 2:17 PM
Our neighbour has recently taken ownership of a rescue dog, I believe the breed is some sort of 'staffy'. Unfortunately after only a few days it escaped from her garden (no 5) and found its way into our garden (no 3) and then proceeded to kill two of our pet chickens. We have a 3 year old son who was obviously very distressed about this! Although this incident was very upsetting my main concern is in regards to our 'shared' access. We live in terrace properties and have access through the gardens of numbers 4 & 5 to a shared alley. This is to take the rubbish round, push cycles, access for tradesmen etc. I am now very unhappy about using this access through her garden especially with my small son as this aggressive dog may be loose in the garden of number 5. I wondered if anyone has had a similar problem as I don't know legally where I stand. I have contacted the trust through which the animal was 'rescued' and they have washed there hands of the issue! Please help!
anthonyp - 23-Mar-15 @ 10:40 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments