Barking is very natural for dogs, but constant barking or whining of a dog can be disturbing or annoying for neighbours. Often the problem occurs when the dog's owner is out of the house, and the owner doesn't know until someone complains. You can report this by calling 0300 300 8302.
A barking dog can be a noise nuisance. The owner can be taken to court if they do nothing to stop nuisance.
Why do dogs bark?
Dogs are not solitary animals by nature. They need the security of a family group. Pet dogs regards their owners as a substitute family, and can soon become distressed when left alone.
There are many reasons why your dog may bark:
- boredom or frustration
- attention seeking
- defending his territory
- medical problems
The importance of training
Training is important so that your dog does not just bark at anything that moves. A well-trained dog should be able to tell the difference between people allowed into the house and people who are intruders. Good training, combined with affection and companionship, should mean that your dog will not develop bad habits.
Some simple things to try
Some dogs simply do not want you to go out. Get your dog used to the idea that you are away for different periods of time at different times of the day. That way, they may not be so concerned each time you leave. Don't make a fuss of your dog when you leave it to go out of the house.
Try putting your dog on their own in another room, at first for a few minutes, and then gradually build up the time you leave your dog alone. Do not return to your dog until he / she is quiet for a period. When you return, praise them.
Some dogs will bark because they want to join in with what is going on outside. If this is the problem, try leaving your dog so that they cannot see outside.
Some dogs will settle only if they can hear a human voice. Leaving a radio on at low volume might help. But make sure the radio is not too loud - you don't want to have complaints about that!
Try not to leave your dog for long periods. If you have to, see if there is someone who can look in during that time. Maybe that person could take your dog for a walk, or let the dog out into the garden if you have one.
Try not to leave your house for long periods. If this isn’t possible, you should:
- feed and exercise him / her before you go out and leave some fresh water
- make sure their bed or basket is comfortable and leave their favourite toys
- check that the room is not too hot or too cold and there is adequate ventilation
- if you aren't coming back until after dark, leave a light on
If you need more help
Old dogs can be taught new tricks. Ask our dog warden for additional suggestions by calling 0300 300 8302.
You should also go to your vet. Sometimes a dog will bark because he is ill - anxiety is often the cause of barking. You can ask your vet to refer your dog to an animal behaviourist who is an expert and can suggest ways to improve your dog's behaviour.