Dog barking , neighbour complaining

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cmortishsha | 22:53 Sun 17th Feb 2008 | Pets
11 Answers
Hi, we received a letter from the council saying a neighbour had complained about our dog barking. The neighbour is doing it without their name being mentioned.
Yes we do have a dog that barks but only when someone is trying to enter garden or property without being invited! We live in a property which backs onto a bridle path which is also accessible to the public.
We have over the years had chickens taken from the garden. Rabbits taken out of the garden and dogs set upon them and killed. We have had a cat shot dead and another set upon by a dog with owner. My dog has chased someone trying to climb into my kitchen window and twice stopped my neighbours house being broken into. My dog has twice stopped my perimeter fence being stolen for self gain and also stopped it from being pinched for last years bonfire night.
We have had a problem for many years with youths gathering in this particular area to drink , hangout, and to take drugs. My dog does not bark unnessasary she would rather be in her heated kennel as she is now 11 years old.
Without her we would not have anything left in the garden and would also have had our property burglared. Both myself and husband have been physically assaulted, by people when we have been in the front of our property and they have been wrong doing on our corner plot with quad bikes.
We think it is a neighbour who has had complaints made about him from another neighbour about the number of cars he has all over the place, but he thinks it is us.
We can see this escalating, as I have previously said our dog does not bark unnessasary , we don't know what to do to prove it and would appreciate any feedback or advice.


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Hi, could not edit the above question but would like to add that all our problems with people taking and killing pets from the garden stopped when we got our dog. She is a brilliant dog and has stopped many people entering our property.
its such a pity that people like them have nothing better to do but complain about a dog that is protecting its home and family.
You could write to the council explaining your situation, especially the bit about the neighbour you think it could be. Tell them why you think he is complaining. Also could you enlist the help of other neighbours to add their signatures to a letter saying they have no complaints about your dog?

Sometimes when you explain that you have an ongoing disagreement with a neighbour (eg the cars) the council realise they are wasting their time and drop things.

I would not worry to much as if your dog does not bark excessively then any recording/investigation the council make will prove that you are in the right and they will probably just drop the matter.

If they receive a complaint they are obliged to investigate.
I agree, get in touch with the Council and definitely make your side of the story known. It gives it a bit of balance.

Although we don't keep them for the purpose, dogs are a really useful deterrent, especially in your situation, where access is a little too public.

When I moved, I was made aware by our then-neighbour that Jack barked constantly when left-she wasn't being funny, just matter-of-fact. I wrote her a short, polite letter to explain that his separation anxiety must've been exacerbated by the move, and the unfamiliar surroundings, and asked her to bear with us as we were dealing with it. She did, and subsequently moved out anyway, but Jack has also settled down. It's a shame that you can't approach this neighbour directly, not knowing for certain who it is, but definitely try to get your other neighbours on board. It creates a stronger case, and also shows that you are bothered, but that it is perhaps the complainant who is being unreasonable.

Good luck.
First of all, i'm so sorry to read about all the terrible things you've experienced. i have 2 dogs and 5 cats and couldn't imagine how i'd feel if anything happened as you've described above.

i too had problems with my dog barking when we first got her and when we got her some company they both were at it! i got a letter from the council saying that 2 people close to my house had complained. during the summer when we were outside and our dogs were barking, people would shout from their houses - and it wasn't nice stuff either! in the end it got me down so much, we enlisted a dog trainer. we got the barking to stop using a certain method. now they only bark from outside when we come home and don't go out to them immediately - as if they're saying "oi, i'm here! i want to see you!" i guess it depends on why your dog is barking - if it's barking at potential threats then it's surely acting as a guard dog and therefore doing it's job. if the barking is unprovoked and incessant then maybe you might need to work out why and find a method that stops your dog barking. Either way, definitely get in touch with the council and tell them your side of the story, but when i did that they told me that continuous complaints would lead to someone coming out to measure the sound level and if at a certain point then they could make me do things - but the impression that i got was that you do have time to make changes and the council are happy to work with you and be patient.
good luck resolving the problem
I do sympathise with you but also feel for your neighbours unless there really isn't alot of noise. I have lived on a street before with dogs barking and it can be very annoying. I am sure when it is your own dog you just don't notice as much. Our neighbours dog used to bark very early in the morning (around 6.30) every day and although it didn't go on all day non stop it was still enough to wake us up and while I wouldn't complain to the council myself about it could understand why someone would. If your dog really isn't being excessively noisy you won't have a problem but if the complaints keep on coming they will send someone out to assess the noise and take it from there
I have had complaints about my dogs from a neighbour, and the council wrote to inform me. I contacted the council who said if they got any more complains they would instal monitoring equipment. This happened and they wrote to say that the barking was not at unsocial hours or for any length of time so they would not be taking any action. However the neighbour still complained and once againt the monitoring equipment showed no prolonged barking.
The lady from the council said they would still take no action but to try to reduce the things that made them bark, such as putting a postbox out the front so the postman didn't have to touch the letter box, covering any doors/windows so they could not see cats or bird on the fence, leaving them in a room or part of the house where they could not be heard so much by the neighbour.

This seems to have helped, but the lady from the council did say that if they still got complaints they would have to investigate again and if it was proved to be a nuisance they would have to issue an abatement notice, and if I did not comply with this they would then go to court.

Hopefully this will not be necessary, but it does show that they investigate fully before doing anything, and it is a fairly long process.

There is another dog near me who is left out and barks almost constantly, not parcticularly loud but that one tone monotonous woof, woof, woof of a lonely and bored dog.
It does get on my nerves but I realise that it is not the dog's fault, and would not like the people to maybe take it out on the dog if they were reported.

Definitely contact the person at the council, and ask if they can tell you when they are saying the dog is barking, and ask for their advice - this gets them on side and if you can get a few digs in about the neighbour so much the better, provided you are clever about it! Good luck, I know how upsetting this can be.
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Hi everyone, thank you for taking the time to answer. I have spoken to the council this morning and he was extremely nice. I explained I was keeping my own log of barking and told him she barked 5 times yesterday not big ongoing barks just woofs. He asked me the times, and told me my neighbour had said she was barking constantly from 8am to midnight. I couldn't believe it told him I was here all day, took her for walks etc. he told me not to worry as he sends out thousands of these letters and when the person has to fill in a log of my dog barking and send it back in 6 weeks he said very rarely do they come back. If my dog was barking all day long she would drive me crazy, but she does not.
Thanks again everyone and will keep you updated :)
Thats a relief, but do still keep your own log. Also should it get to the stage where they put in monitoring equipment at the neighbours house, you can ask for a print out of the times - that is very revealing! Mine do a group howl for about 30 seconds just after I have left to go to work in the morning. The other times coincided with the postman coming, and another thing I did was to tape up my letterbox so there are no leaflets or junk mail put through. I also left a rude note taped to my front door about Jehovah's Witnesses, salesmen or any other uninvited callers!
are they sure its your dog? My neighbours had a spate of phonecalls at 3 am from an anonymous neighbour saying "now you know what its like to be woken by your barking dog"....actually it wasn't their dog but the terrier over the road!
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