Excessive noise from barking, whining or howling dogs can be frustrating and can cause a lot of unnecessary stress and concern.
Whilst having a dog is very rewarding, frequent barking and whining can be annoying and disturbing for neighbours particularly when:
the owners have gone to work for the day and left their dog barking
at night where constant barking can cause sleep disturbance
the dog has been left outside and barks at everything that disturbs it
Dog Barking and the Law
It is not illegal for your dog to bark, but excessive barking, whining or howling can become a 'statutory nuisance'. A statutory nuisance would exist if dog barking 'substantially interfered with the well-being, comfort or enjoyment of an individual's property'. Usually this would mean that dogs were barking on a regular basis.
Why does my dog bark?
There are many reasons for your dog to bark excessively, loneliness, boredom, frustration, attention seeking, defending territory or medical problems can cause your dog to bark. Dogs are not solitary animals by nature and need security, they can soon become distressed when left alone.
How can I stop my dog barking?
It is normal and natural for dogs to bark, it is how they communicate, but it is not natural for them to bark constantly. If you are out of your home a lot or you are just used to the noise, you might not realise how upsetting it can be for your neighbours. If the noise your dog is making is upsetting your neighbours, the first step is to talk things over with them. Stay calm, and try to see it from their point of view, perhaps they're working shifts, or have got a baby or small children. Bear in mind that they might be worried about whether the dog is distressed, and remember, you might not know how serious the problem is if your dog is barking more when you're not at home.
The following tips may help:
Find out when your dog is barking and for how long, simple solutions could be put in place once you know there is a problem.
Be aware of any medical problems your dog may have
Do not leave your dog alone for long periods of time. If you are out for long periods, arrange for someone to dog sit or visit to exercise your dog, a tired dog barks less.
Excessive barking is sometimes a learned behaviour and can be eliminated by simple training
If you need to leave your dog alone, do so for short periods only. A radio left on low may provide your dog with a distraction
Other points to consider
If you keep your dog outside, think carefully about where you place its kennel and where it can run. Try not to put it near neighbouring fences or where it will be tempted to bark.
You will probably not solve the issue by getting rid of one dog and replacing it with another. It is your lifestyle that needs to change.
Getting a second dog may help, but in some cases it can cause more problems so think carefully before taking this step.