Noisy animals can be a source of real stress and frustration. When it comes to noise, a barking dog can be the most frustrating sound to be living next door to. What can you do about barking dogs and other noisy animals?
Councils receive many requests to investigate noise from barking dogs. The same principles as all noise apply - it is a good idea to first talk to the owner of the dog(s) before reporting the problem as sometimes this can resolve the situation.
Bear in mind it is possible that the dog’s owner may not realise that the barking is a problem for other people. For example:
- the dog may only bark excessively when the owner is not home
- the owner may not hear the barking from within the house, or
- the owner may not get woken when the dog barks.
Understanding why a dog is barking can also help you when you are discussing the issue with the dog's owner. Some of the main reasons why a dog barks are as follows:
- lack of exercise;
- inadequate yard/garden space;
- not enough human companionship;
- inadequate shelter from weather conditions;
- hunger or thirst;
- a medical condition;
- being provoked or general disturbances and movement.
What You Can Do
You can report noise from barking dogs to the Environmental Health department of your local council. They will probably expect that you have first spoken to the owner and if that has not worked, tried mediation (where appropriate).
You will need to convince the council that the dog noise is a statutory nuisance. See here for information of what this is and what can be done. As with other noise, keep a diary of the noise nuisance - this may be helpful to share with the owner of the animal in any mediation as well as with the authorities.
Where there is a concern of animal cruelty you could also consider involving the RSPCA. See their website for more information about this: https://www.rspca.org.uk/utilities/contactus/reportcruelty/crueltychecklist
Other Noisy Animals
Other noisy animals may also cause noise disturbance, such as roosters, cockatoos and chickens.
As with barking dogs, you should also seek to resolve the situation with the animal's owner before contacting your local council.
Animals often bring secondary environmental problems such as pests in the garden or bad odour from animal fouling. Councils and housing associations can act to address these problems so make sure you include all these details when reporting the problem.