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Barking Dogs

It is a fact of life that dogs bark; and with a quarter of all UK households owning a dog it is not surprising that some people are disturbed by dog barking. But how bad does dog barking need to be before the Council should take action? There is no simple answer to this question but a few guidelines of what the Council have to consider are below:

How often does the dog bark and for how long?

A dog barking for a few minutes at a time during the day would not generally be viewed as a statutory nuisance even though it may be an annoyance to some people.

What times does the dog bark?

A few minutes barking late at night or early in the morning can be very disturbing if it prevents people sleeping.

How loud is the barking?

Different breeds of dog bark or howl at different volumes so some breeds are more likely to cause noise disturbance. This should be considered when choosing a dog, especially for people living in densely populated areas.

Owners Responsibilities

Dog owners have a responsibility to make sure that their dog does not upset neighbours by barking and if this occurs they should take steps to control it. Dogs bark for a variety of reasons and it is essential that dog owners try and work out what causes their dog to bark and how to control it.

If the Council investigate and decide that your dog’s barking is a statutory nuisance and you do not take action to stop it you can be taken to court. The maximum fine that can be imposed is £5,000.

These leaflets provide guidance on the law around dog barking and practical steps to help you control it.

The council can offer basic advice on training your dog to bark less. We are also able to loan out an anti-bark collar for a small fee. This works by spraying the dog with an unpleasant but harmless liquid when it barks. The dog learns to associate barking with this unpleasant odour so hopefully barks less. There are electric shock anti-bark collars but these are cruel and not advised.

Further Advice

For further advice you can contact the following organisations:

The Dogs Trust, 17 Wakeley Street, London EC1V 7RQ 020 7837 0006 info@dogstrust.org.uk

The Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) can provide a list of current publications (there are many on animal training and behaviour).

Address: y are at: APBC, PO Box 46, Worcester, WR8 9YS Tel: 01386 751151 Fax: 01386 750743

The Kennel Club has an objective 'to promote, in every way, the general improvement of dogs' and can be contacted at: The Kennel Club, 1 Clarges Street, London, W1Y 8AB Tel: 0870 6066750 Fax: 020 7518 1058

Other useful contacts: www.discover-dogs.org.uk

Your local library may be able to lend you books specifically relating to dog welfare and behavior, and many good book shops stock a range of books.

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