Dog Barking - The consequences
If your dog is aggressive its behaviour is likely to run you into to some serious trouble eventually, but so could its bark! It pays to address any issues with barking because noisy dogs seriously impact the lives of those around you and could also see you making an appearance in court.
I had never given much thought to problem barking as I had never been unfortunate enough to live near noisy dogs. That is until I took a holiday to Croatia. I had rented a gorgeous renovated stone house overlooking the Adriatic in what I thought was going to be a peaceful village set into the hillside. The setting seemed idyllic until I retired to bed on the first night and the neighbour’s German Shepherd starting barking.
The dog simply wouldn't shut up and I was forced to sleep on a day bed at the back of the house to get away from the noise. I couldn’t believe how invasive that barking was. Fortunately, my complaint to the owner of the house I was staying in resulted in the dog being removed and the problem was solved. I couldn’t begin to imagine what life would be like if you had to live next door to a dog like that every day. But some people are forced to do exactly that.
A barking dog leaves you in a sticky situation. It is never a good idea to fall out with your neighbours but you can't ignore the issue either. You should certainly talk to your neighbour if their dog is noisy. They may not realise that their pet is causing a problem if the dog is only barking when they are out. Keep things friendly but if there is no improvement you will have to consider contacting the authorities.
If it is your dog which is disturbing the neighbourhood then don't get angry or upset with neighbours who complain. Your dog could be ruining their quality of life and may be disturbing young children. It is possible to address problem barking in dogs so it would be well-worth seeking expert assistance because if the problem persists, your neighbours could contact the local council who will investigate he noise.
Barking and the Law
If the noise is deemed to be a significant problem you could then be served with a Statutory Notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which gives you just 21 days to stop the noise. If you are unsuccessful in rectifying the barking, you could be prosecuted and face a fine of up to £5,000. The initial fine can then be followed by further fines of up to £5,000 for each day that the barking continues. Your pet is then likely to be removed.
Prosecutions and severe fines are much more common than you might imagine. The situation is good news if you are the victim of a neighbour's barking but not so great if it is your dog keeping people awake.