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Neighbour complaint to council about my dog barking 24/7!!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Poodle5, Mar 29, 2010.


  1. Poodle5

    Poodle5 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there, I have just received a letter form the council to say they have received a complaint from my neighbour about my dog barking 24/7 (which is a complete lie)!!!

    Wanted some advice from anyone who has encountered this problem please?

    Give you breif backgorund about my 1yr old miniture Poodle.

    He does not bark after 9pm unless soemthing disturbs his sleep i.e. police sirens etc then it is a short sharp yap & back to sleep. He does not bark when he wakes up, just jumps up on bed and paws you. We then take him our for an ealy morning walk to the park. We dont let him out in the back garden in the morning just in case he does bark and wakes the neighbours!!! He does not go out after 9pm apart from a quick night widdle but then he is on lead & with us outside, again no barking.

    He is not left alone during the day as always someone with him, so we know his actions. He gets taken out for a lunchtime walk & then sleeps a little during the afternoon. He will have a yap when we come in from school/work which can last for a little bit but that is more to do with him being excited to see us & wanting to play...but again it is not prolong periods of barking.

    Have told the council to come round unanounced at various times of the day to see what they hear??

    Are we at risk of being fined? or worse case, having him taken of us? Is there anything legally we can do?

    Cheers
     
  2. CarolineH

    CarolineH PetForums VIP

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    They will have to conduct noise observations (sitting near your property in a vehicle taking notes of times dog barks and duration etc) before they can take further action, normally also installing noise monitoring equipment at the complanants address in order to gather evidence. If your dog is not making the noise as claimed then I really wouldn't worry about it. Just ask them to provide irrefutable evidence to back up their claims. Remember, the council have to follow up all complaints received and they cannot take your dog off you anyway.
     
  3. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    I have looked on my local councils web site & found the following which advises what steps will be taken if a complaint is logged:

    "Brief details are given here of the investigation procedure when a noise nuisance is reported.

    When a complaint is received, the details are logged onto a database and given a unique reference number.
    A member of the Environmental Protection team will make an initial response to the customer within three working days. This will be by letter, telephone or in person.
    Diary sheets and guidance notes will be issued to the customer to complete and return within seven to ten days.
    If no response is received from the customer within twenty eight days, the case will be closed.
    If diary sheets are returned, an Environmental Protection officer will analyse them.
    If there is evidence of a possible nuisance, the investigating officer will either visit the person responsible for the noise, install a noise recording machine (DAT) or will send a warning letter.
    If the problem continues and the nuisance is witnessed by a North Hertfordshire District Council officer, an abatement notice will be served. An abatement notice is a form of protection which can be used by local authorities in seeking to achieve a speedy remedy for an alleged nuisance.
    Contravention of an abatement notice could lead to a fine or the equipment being seized."

    Are there any other dogs in the neighbourhood that your neighbour may be confusing with your dog?
    Is this a personal issue? Have you had any problems before?
    Are you really sure that your dog isn't barking more than you think? (Sorry but you have to be sure)
    I would also start keeping a diary of events relating to your dog or noticing if there are any triggers that set the barking off.
    I really don't think that you have anything to worry about if it is only to odd bark. If you have neighbours then you can't expect them to be silent, you have to except a bit of noise. Just make sure that you look at your councils website, don't be too confrontational when you speak to them, appear willing to get this resolved & I'm sure it will be fine
     
  4. dodigna

    dodigna PetForums VIP

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    I would start keeping a log of your where abouts with the dog, including when you are out for how long etc, once in is he barks time it and log it and also put the reason behind the barking, ie: police siren, excitement to see us back, etc.

    When you live him, do record for the duration of you being out and the dog left alone. This is very important as this is where some time neighbours cause the dog to bark in the first place so they can call out the wardens to witness the nuisance.

    Some councils are different then others, but the general guidance and procedure should be the same, like warning /final warning etc. Having said that only a few weeks ago some one from this forum has had to re-home her dog has she was landed with an abatement order or court. She didn't stand a chance of working on her dog's SA as the notice was final and had no choice but re-homing. She received no warning prior. So be very careful!

    Also find out who complained and put a face on and go round with your best puppy eyes on to offer an apology and ask exactly when they hear your dog barking as it is news to you and it might have been a different dog as in you want to cooperate to resolve this, but try not to admit to too much... Avoid any confrontation.

    Clearly of it turns up your dog does bark, then you need to resolve this. :D
     
  5. healpro

    healpro PetForums Junior

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    Keep your own log as suggested, the complainant will be asked to keep theirs and then the council will put monitoring equipment in place at the complainants address.
    I know this because I made a complaint to my council about a neighbour (noisy parties on a regular basis).
    If you know for a fact that your dog does not bark excessively then you have nothing to worry about
     
  6. sunshinelolly80

    sunshinelolly80 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there, I'm new here and have just come across your post. I know how you're feeling, I received a letter going back about 4 years ago now, saying that my neighbour had made a complaint about my dog barking all the time whilst I'm out, I didn't know he was doing this and I went round to the neighbours house to apologize and told him I would do all I could to sort the problem out. I had the dog warden round for some advice. She explained to me that as long as I was doing my best to minimise the barking and that it wasn't unsocialble hours(which it wasn't), then everything would be ok. Well, I did try my hardest and had a behavourist out and the vet put him on medication for his anxiety, I did keep going round to the neighbour to see if there were any improvements which he said sometimes he didn't bark much. Then on one occasion he got very confrontational with me when I returned home from being out shopping for 2 hours , he came right up to my face when I had my little girl in my arms and started ranting and raving, it was so frightening! To cut a long story short, I became scared to go out just in case my dog was barking and I became really down about it all. We did end up moving, not because of him. We explained to our new neighbours from day one, the problems we had had with our dog and told them that we were continually working to help him with his problems. Fortunately, we live in a semi detached now and the neighbours next to us are animal lovers and are very understanding. We have another dog too now, who we've had almost three years and although our other dog still occasionally barks when we're out, he's much better and we try to be considerate and not leave them for long periods of time or at night. I hope you get things sorted with your neighbour but try not to worry too much. x
     
  7. k8t

    k8t PetForums Senior

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    Hi

    First thing you need to do is to find out procedure for a barking complaint. You needn't say it is your dog, just ring up and ask what the councils procedure is.

    Every council is different and also who deals with the complaints are different. It could be the Dog Warden, or it may be an Environmental Health Officer (EHO).

    Usually, after receiving a complaint the Council will write to the alleged offender (this is standard procedure), informing them that a complaint has been received. What happens next depends on your individual authority. Some councils as the complainant to keep a log of noise and will look at it to ascertain if there could be a nuisance. Sometimes someone from the Council will monitor the noise themselves to see if it constitutes a noise nuisance. What is a nuisance can vary from person to person, so the guidelines laid out in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (do a seach for noise nusiance). Basically it is expected to be a nuisance if the noise is prolonged and/or between the hours of 11pm - 7.00am. Of course, what constitutes a nuisance is different from person to person.

    If the EHO or Dog Warden witnesses the noise, they can go to the Magistrates and ask for a Noise Abatement Notice to be served, which basically says the noise must cease. If not, then you could face a fine.

    As I said before, each Council is different, so find out what yours does. If the Dog Warden deals with it, then speak to them (again helpfulness will depend on one Dog Warden to another), lets hope you have a good Dog Warden - what area are you in? A good Dog Warden will give you advice on how to deal with it.

    In the meantime, keep your own record of whenever you are out and the dog is alone - this could be useful if you are accused of your dog barking at certain times. Maybe set up a video recorder to monitor if your dog is stressed. It can be a good idea to approach neighbours, saying that you have been told your dog is barking and although were not aware of it, you will be taking the appropriate steps and would welcome their help in letting you know if and at what times your dog is heard. This will depend on how well you get on with your neighbours though!!

    Also, think about what you can practically do for your dog, could it be separation Anxiety? If so, do some work on that. Maybe your dog is hearing things outside and is reactive? Try and desensitise to the sounds that set him off - or leave a radio/TV on in the house. Is your dog barking as it can see other dogs/people? Think about where you leave your dog, close blinds/stop the dog getting into a window.

    Everyone has to leave a dog sometime, whether it be to pop to the shops for an hour or so, or go out in the evening, could it be on these occassions your dog is continually barking?

    It is always shocking to find that someone may not like your dog as much as you, and it is never pleasant to think that a neighbour couldn't approach your directly if they had a problem, but believe me, it is more common than you think. Don't ignore these initial contacts, do something about it now, as you may have to prove your dog doesn't bark and that is not as easy as you may think, so get your evidence together and speak to the Council.

    Best of luck and I hope it gets sorted.

    Kate
     
  8. narquatic

    narquatic PetForums Newbie

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    hi,

    my neighbour has made a complaint to the council saying my dog barks alot(which is not the case). my dog only barks when he hears police sirens, or any unknown noises from the other gardens.

    the council tried contacting me only once which i wasnt at home, the next day i received a letter stating that she tried calling me but i wasnt home which means i am leaving my dog unattended. she only called once and how can she be sure that i am leaving my dog as if it is for 24 hours?

    on the letter she is giving me one day notice to get my dog out of the property because the nieghbour made her listen to the dog barking over the phone...how can she be sure that it was my dog barking? how could it be proved?

    she also states i had to ask for written permission before owning a dog which i didnt know about. i am sending my dog to my friends for 2 weeks and will call to speak to council on monday and see what will happen.

    but i found it very unfair the way she didnt even listen and came to conclusion that my dog was barking over the phone and also giving only 1 day notice for my dog to leave the premises.

    can anyone give me any advice please.
     
  9. Oddball

    Oddball Guest

    Moose's dad barks rather loudly. Now, before the owner got him, nextdoor to her on one side was always being burgled. Since they have had the dad no burgalries. But, now the neighbours both sides are complaining that he barks too much!

    Some people are so child like when a dog doesn't bark hardly ever, and when they do, thats it their precious peace is broken. Lets go and complain! :rolleyes:

    I wouldn't worry too much over it chick, sounds like you have a neurotic neighbour who may have something against dogs making a bit of noise.
     
  10. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    That is appalling! If I were you I would be taking legal advice about your situation, because the neighbour could have been playing a tape over the phone for all this stupid woman knows.

    As to the original poster, if you know for certain it is not your dog, you have nothing to worry about. As advised, keep a detailed log, even set up a video camera so that you have proof. It could be anyone's dog they can hear, but because yours is the only one they can see it must be yours.

    When my daughter was away, she gave her neighbour my phone number in case her little ckc started yapping, because he did do that a lot. Her son was home, but at work during the day. One day I get a phone call from her neighbour saying that Max was barking constantly. How long has this been going on? Two weeks! Well, they had the bloody phone number, why didn't they phone earlier? And no, they hadn't mentioned it to my grandson. Of course, he was seventeen and they didn't bother trying to find out if he was going to be reasonable, just assumed he wouldn't be. Of course, I immediately went and brought the dog home with me. Why can't people talk to you first before complaining to the council?
     
  11. narquatic

    narquatic PetForums Newbie

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    hi again,

    thanks for your responses i will do my best and will take legal action to keep my dog. this is my first pet and i really feel emotional when i think he has to leave us.

    his an german shepherd and he does bark when he hears any type of noise round the garden. he provides security for my house and neighbours too. the neighbour that complaint has a german shepherd too but i really dont know why she dont understand. or how would she feel if her dog is taken away from her.

    i am also sending him to training too so he will improve too, his only months old so he is very energetic and gets hypered when he hears people around because he wants to play.
     
  12. Oddball

    Oddball Guest

    Because they are afraid of what may happen. Or they just cant be a*sed to bother 'trying' to talk.

    More the latter I'd say, especially if you know who and what your neighbours are like (friendly etc)
     
  13. xhuskyloverx

    xhuskyloverx PetForums VIP

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    Can't really offer any advise but we ere going through this about a year ago! Had lots of probs with neighbours!! They didn't like us having 2 dogs! The council people sat outside our house everyday for 2 weeks and heard nothing so it was dismissed! Hopefully this will be the case for you too. Our neighbour did carry on for ages tho until we threatened her with a harassment order! lol That shut her right up! :thumbup:
     
  14. dave shadow

    dave shadow PetForums Newbie

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    I have a nieghbour who on a occassions when my dog is in the garden and as barked opens is window and shouts down with words i cant repeat to shut my dog up, im not sure if its just me but i find it really hard to respond to someone hurling abuse and threats, so i slowly responded several weeks later i was busy in the garden grass seeding and was just putting up a dence i had almost finshed left my dog on the varanda with the gate closed for around five six minuets it was 3pm the dog barked out came the head of my nieghbour the same abuse when i told him dont respond to that , he said he would be down in two mins to sort me out which sure enough he did, i told him if you talk to me rather than abuse and threats the dog would be in no problem , right or wrong his attitude created a reaction in me, which normally i wouldnt of shown, he has now complained to the council ,he once got the rspca out saying there was an abandoned dog meaning mine , the guy as lodged a ton of complaints this is how ridicoulos it is he once shouted at me to shut my dog up and my dog wasnt even out it was next doors now ive been summoned to the council any advice woukld be appreciated and whats even more strange i used to work at the same place as this guy, one day we had finished work he was walking in front iof me when a guys dog barked at him and he went nuts threatening to kill the dog later found out when he was younger he had been attacked by a dog which could explain his hatered and rage, whatt worries me is what lenghs he will go to and what lies he will tell along the way he has already vowed to have the dog rid off.
     
  15. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    First thing you need to do is start videoing and recording your dog (to see how much and how often he barks) and your wonderful neighbour (to see how many times he sticks his ugly head out the window). You also need to start keeping a journal of the times, duration and dates of everything. Dogs barking constantly, the council might just be interested in. Dogs barking occasionally because they are dogs, they couldn't care less about. But they have to investigate.

    My dogs rarely bark, but the other dogs in this neighbourhood, of which there are many, bark a lot. It doesn't bother me, but then I love dogs. The best way to stop the dog from barking is to ignore him, but you can't do that with this a-hole about, can you?
     
  16. petzplazaUK

    petzplazaUK PetForums Senior

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    I had exactly the same thing happen to me hun, my dogs only bark if theres something to bark at and rarely after 8-9pm but this girl said they barked from 8am til midnight(she lived in house flats next to me upstairs).
    i phoned the council and spoke to a lady who was very helpful and said u cant really stop a dog barking (she had dogs herself), she said they would conduct noise level monitoring and the complainant had to write a diary of times for one month etc but not to worry too much about and i said im ringing you from home now can you hear them?she told me to keeop a diary also of the times my dog barks so they can look at both diaries.

    Hubby told me not to say anything to her but well my dogs are my babies so im afraid i went like a bull at a gate and confronted the woman aswell and asked if she would complain about my kids playing in the garden because they were too noisy aswell (i was livid lol), annoyingly the woman had a terrier aswell that often started my dogs off when she left him in all day whilst she went out (she didnt work just went out most days).she slapped the door shut on me and then shouted s**g as she ran up her stairs :rolleyes: which made me even more mad .

    needless to say nothing ever became of it because my dogs didnt bark like that so the case wasnt even followed up , the guy who lived underneath her used to come to the fence and talk to the dogs and offer treats to try and make friends with them , they never bothered him and only barked if he surprised them walking down the path alongside our back door.

    You may not ever hear from them again hun - fingers crossed
     
  17. SleepyBones

    SleepyBones Banned

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    That's quite normal for councills to write that into a tenancy agreement, it more than likely reads 'tenant agrees to keep no pets', to that effect, not just dogs. If that written into the tenancy agreement you have no grounds of defence, non, it's the law of contract & binding.

    But they cannot just evict you just like that, they have to issue you with a formal eviction notice & around 28 days notice at least, where your councill goes from here is guesswork but probably they will ask to state you have removed the dog from your property & go from there.

    They don't have to take the no pets contract route if they don't want to but to have mentioned that at all is not a good sign.

    .
     
    #17 SleepyBones, Jul 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  18. Quinzell

    Quinzell PetForums VIP

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    I can't tell from this comment
    if you meant that the dog was barking for this duration. To be honest, 5 or 6 minutes of continuous noise is quite irritating. Unfortunately, background noise can be something that gets to people more than noises in their own house.....I know because I'm one of those people :blushing: Unfortunately, I have a very low tolerance of noise. I don't mind dogs barking because I have two of my own so I know how it goes but as soon as I can hear someone's TV or music I start to lose my rag :(

    If I hear one of the neighbourhood dogs barking for that length of time it worries me that something is wrong (usually shut out of the house on their own and distressed!). If one of our dogs start barking while they are in the garden, my husband or I will rush out to quieten them down.

    A couple of Christmas' ago I was at my brothers house with Harvey, who was a juvi at that time. My SiL couldn't tolerate him because he kept getting under her feet and she was a little unwell at the time. I put him out in the garden and he barked. After a few minutes one of the neighbours opened the window and politely asked me to keep him quiet which I totally respected.

    I have since taught Harvey the "quiet" command, so he knows when his barking is not acceptable. It might be an idea to look into that. Use positive reinforcement to try and get your dog to stop barking.

    Unfortunately, not everyone loves dogs (especially the noises that they can make ;) ). You have to ask yourself if you would be happy having to listen to loud music whilst you were trying to watch TV or concentrate on something, regardless of how short the bursts are. Dogs can be trained to stop barking and in my opinion this is one of the most valuable commands that I have taught my dog.

    I'm not trying to have a go at you, especially as your neighbour seems like he's a bit of a twit, but just offering another point of view and something that might help you and your dog whilst reducing the risk of complaint :)
     
  19. Vik81

    Vik81 PetForums Newbie

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    Iv got a stupid neighbour to, iv ad a letter saying my dogs are aggressive , noisey and poo all over her back garden( i wish ) i ad a letter of dog warden, i rang dog warden and dog warden nevere answered my call. Now this is about my fence wohich i av been trying to get council round to fix for 4 yrs and i have all sorts patching it up all around my garden but my 2 pup shih tzu still get in, so now shes left her garden gate open so my dogs can get knocked over on the main road which my house is on, its a very busy road with buses every 2 mins and all over traffic. Can she do this knowing my dogs could be killed.
     
  20. SleepyBones

    SleepyBones Banned

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    If its only one person complaining the normal thing for most councills to do is set up recording instruments somewhere for a few days and see what they get, some might send an observer but thats unlikely due to manhours etc. It could be a different matter if there is more than one person complaining.
     
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