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Received a Noise Complaint re Dog Barking - tips?

(22 Posts)
AlwaysBeBatman Thu 14-Jan-16 12:36:06

Yesterday we received a noise complaint from the City Council, telling us that a neighbour had registered a complaint about our dog barking.

To put this into context, Captain is a 3-yr-old Westie and his barking indoors can't be heard outside. The only time he barks outside is during his last wee (about 8.45 / 9pm) when he can hear the foxes coming around the fence. We only ever let him out for 5-10 minutes at this time.

Obviously had someone come to the door and mentioned that it was bothering them we'd have been mortified and made every effort to accomodate them. The thought that a neighbour would be 'reporting' us instead of taking this very easy action bothers me (far more than it probably should) - my husband and I have lived in the house for years and felt that we are good terms with all our neighbours.

Anyway, the Council weren't very helpful about what the guidelines for 'acceptable' barking actually are - has anyone experienced this and have any tips or can you advise on how to stop a dog barking at foxes?!

antimatter Thu 14-Jan-16 12:38:48

I think it is excessive to let a dog bark for 10 min at any time. Evening even worst.

Why do you let him in the garden if he does it?

I have dog and I walk him so he doesn't bark in the garden.
You have to stop letting him out for such long periods of time.

AlwaysBeBatman Thu 14-Jan-16 12:53:20

I only let him out at this time instead of walking him because I have two young buys asleep in the house and am often on my own in the house with them.

I may not have been clear - he almost never barks for ten minutes, that's just the maximum amount of time he's outside. He barks for an average of 3-4 minutes in total. I accept that it could be annoying, but I would hardly call it excessive. Unless others disagree? I just don't see a way to stop a dog barking when it senses foxes nearby - is there a way anyone knows about?

nmg85 Thu 14-Jan-16 13:06:27

Do you have a front garden you could take him out on lead or just walk up and down the street? My neighbours dog whined and barked every single time that it went out to the toilet and it drove me mad especially as I work from home. Are you sure neighbours can't hear the barking inside? We live in a semi detached and we can hear a lot through the wall that you can't hear from outside.

ChairRider4 Thu 14-Jan-16 13:06:46

Maybe go outside in back garden with him on lead for last wee .As that would hopefully keep foxes away

TheCunnyFunt Thu 14-Jan-16 13:07:53

I wouldn't even call 10 minutes excessive confused 10 minutes is also not a long period of time for a dog to be outside. My dogs are outside for about 15 minutes first thing in the morning.

Go outside with him, take some really tasty treats and every time he starts to bark at the foxes, distract him (call his name etc) and the second he stops barking and looks at you, give him a treat. Just keep doing this until he learns to ignore them.

Borninthe60s Thu 14-Jan-16 13:08:07

Maybe he's barking when he's on his own. If so you can buy a collar that helps.

29PaddingtonSt Thu 14-Jan-16 13:09:47

I always put my dog on the lead for his last wee in the garden before bed. He is exactly the same and will bark at every rustle when it's dark. When's he's on the lead it's easy to quickly stop him.

SunnyL Thu 14-Jan-16 13:09:48

Can you leave the backdoor open so he comes back in again after the wee?

WickedWax Thu 14-Jan-16 13:11:21

Go outside with him, put him on his lead if you have to. Or put him on his lead and let him go to the toilet out the front,na few metres from your front door.

Just because his barking indoors can't be heard outside, doesn't mean his barking outside at 9pm can't be heard inside and isn't highly annoying and excessive.

An occasional yap I could ignore, incessant barking for 3-4 minutes will feel like forever.

Lucky for you your children sleep through it, others may not.

AlwaysBeBatman Thu 14-Jan-16 13:16:58

Thanks for the suggestions - we do make sure that someone is out with him during his last wee (usually me!) but hadn't thought of putting him on the lead - I'll definitely try that. Currently he just tends to ignore me if I call out to him to stop, and if I try to catch hold of him before he's finished, he's like greased lightening!

He doesn't bark on his own (maybe occasionally if someone walks their dog very close to the house) - several people have mentioned that he's just peacefully sitting in the window watching the world go by. I'm only at work for less than 5 hours, so he's never left longer than that.

As for hearing him when he's inside, we are semi-detached on one side and when he barked at night as a puppy and young dog I checked straightaway with our neighbour to make sure it wasn't bothering them. They said they never hear a thing.

I'm a bit perplexed as to why someone would go to the Council over it though!

ThatsNotMyRabbit Thu 14-Jan-16 13:25:05

Of course he ignores you when you "call out for him to stop" unless you've put a lot of effort into teaching him what a "quiet" cue actually means. Dogs don't speak English. They have to be taught what words mean.

They also don't generalise very well so even if you've taught him what "quiet" means in the house he won't necessarily obey outside.

Unless you've TAUGHT the cue, it's far more likely that when you tell him to stop barking he thinks "Great - mums barking along with me!"

Floralnomad Thu 14-Jan-16 13:34:03

Does the complaint mention when the barking is happening , fwiw you definitely can hear a dog barking inside a house , we are detached and if I'm outside I always know if my neighbours are out because I can hear the dog barking . You may find its someone who walks past your house a couple of times a day whilst you are at work ,hears him barking and feels sorry for him rather than it actually being a nuisance IYSWIM . My only suggestions are that you keep a log of when he does actually bark when you are in ( and be very honest ) as this will prove that you are taking the complaint seriously and also record / film him when you are at work over several days to prove he is not barking during the day . I also second the suggestion of taking him into the garden on a lead or another thing that stops mine is having a light on outside .

reallybadidea Thu 14-Jan-16 13:34:32

Noise carries at night, it could be someone several doors away. I really do think it is unreasonable to allow him to bark outside at all at that time of night, he may be waking children up, or even people who need to get up early for work. Personally I try and aim for no noise outside after 8pm.

We have a 6 yo westie cross. His routine has always been to go outside on the lead for a quick last week last thing at night. Takes a couple of minutes max, including choosing where to wee. Very occasionally he will get spooked by something (usually a hedgehog hmm) and will start barking. He gets whisked straight back in, no second chances grin

TheTigerIsOut Thu 14-Jan-16 13:43:29

I never noticed our neighbours could hear us so much until they got a baby. It was as if they were living inside of our house.

I am lretty sure, however, that if you dog barks from the window, he may be doing quite a lot more barking than you think, while you are out.

AlwaysBeBatman Thu 14-Jan-16 13:47:11

My husband has been working at home (during the day) almost constantly for the last month so he knows that our dog doesn't bark during the day - I have also worked from home off and on for some time and know that he is very quiet.

I accept that he could be different when nobody's there but have checked with several different people and they all agree that he is quiet.

It isn't every time he goes out that he barks, maybe 50%? I know it can be annoying even for a couple of minutes but we do make an effort to get him back in as soon as it starts. It's just easier said than done!

I am starting a log of how much he does bark and we're only letting him out at 8pm latest now (luckily he has a strong bladder) and he'll be on a lead from tonight. Hopefully that will stop the problem. Still wish that the neighbour had come to us directly though, rather than freaking us out with an official letter...

CallieTorres Thu 14-Jan-16 14:05:38

I think going out with him is your best option.

Floralnomad Thu 14-Jan-16 14:54:18

When you are writing your log make sure you note all the times you go out and the dog is alone that way the council ( if the complaint goes further) will be able to tally that with the log of the complainant . If you are in when the dog they are complaining about is barking you can argue that the noise is not coming from your house particularly in combination with the log of when your dog does bark .

TheMoreItSnows Thu 14-Jan-16 15:28:40

We live in a semi detached rented place, when we arrived the lady next door told us she had 2 very well behaved quiet dogs.... And they are - when there is someone there - when there isn't they bark constantly, but she knows nothing about it because she's not there....

Just because your dog is quiet when someone is there doesn't mean he's not barking when everyone is out.

Personally I'd think that if he's looking out of the window there's a good chance he's barking at things happening. A chilled, uninterested dog would be lying snoozing in his bed wouldn't he?

itsmine Thu 14-Jan-16 16:47:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnUtterIdiot Thu 14-Jan-16 16:57:48

You can only take the neighbours at their word, really. If they say he's not barking when on his own then I suppose you can assume he's not. 3-4 minutes of Westie yapping is pretty hard to listen to (I speak as someone who had a very yappy Scottie!).

A friend of mine tried Barkbusters for their very yappy terrier and Barkbusters recommended patrolling the garden with the terrier on a lead so that the terrier understands that you're leading the "patrol" and they don't need to police the perimeter. Apparently that did work.

Alternatively, you could try letting him out on a long line (e.g. a horse's lunge rope) so that you don't have to be actually out there with him but you can bring him in without prolonged chasing if he starts to bark.

AlwaysBeBatman Thu 14-Jan-16 17:17:27

Funny you should say that AnUtterIdiot I actually went online today and bought a long training line for him to 'explore' on, so that I could reel him back in immediately if he started!

In all honesty, Snows, several the neighbours we have spoken to are very forthright and would definitely have flagged it up to us if our dog barked when we're out. Even if he did, we have no houses opposite and they're spaced out enough that you wouldn't hear him from another house, you'd have to be standing directly outside in the road.

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