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Dogs naturally bark as a way to communicate. Excessive barking of a consistent nature can disturb neighbours and cause annoyance. Generally, there is an underlying reason for the excessive barking that can be resolved by talking with the dog owner.
If you come upon a dog barking excessively, follow the steps below to resolve the issue.
On most occasions the dog is barking because the owner is not at home. Talk to the dog owner first as they may not be aware that their dog is barking or that their dog's barking is bothering you. Letting them know about the problem gives them the opportunity to fix it. If you feel uncomfortable with a face-to-face chat, try dropping a friendly letter in their letter box.
If talking to your neighbour doesn't resolve the issue, you can contact a Community Justice Centre (CJC). These are government-funded but independent centres that specialise in settling differences between neighbours without entering into complicated legal processes.
If the dog barking hasn't improved, contact us and our rangers will investigate the issue. You may be asked to complete a dog diary to record the times and dates of the barking behaviour. You may be asked to provide an official statement and be a witness in court should the dog owner dispute the claim.
Fines for barking dogs can only be issued once the dog has been declared a nuisance. It is a lengthy process to go through to declare a dog a nuisance. It requires time to investigate, evidence of the behaviour, statements from the complainant and the right of the dog owner to dispute the claim. You should be prepared to go to court as a witness with your statement.
It is natural behaviour for dogs to bark. It is how they communicate. Some common reasons a dog may be barking include:
We will contact the dog owner to work with them on a solution to resolve the issue and allow them time to implement the changes. It can take some time to encourage a dog to stop barking excessively.