Dogs and Cockerels

Barking Dogs

Whilst barking does come naturally to dogs, there are occasions when constant barking for prolonged periods can be disturbing or annoying for neighbours. One of the main reasons for dogs barking is when they are left alone for prolonged periods whilst the owner is out of the house and therefore the owner is often genuinely unaware the dog is barking and annoying the neighbours. In light of this, we recommend that the first step should be that you bring the barking to the attention of the owner and try to negotiate an amicable settlement.

If you are disturbed by a barking dog

  • First, try to discuss your concerns with your neighbour, they may not realise the dog is disturbing you
  • If you feel unable to approach them directly try writing a polite letter, remember to keep a copy
  • If you feel you are unable to approach your neighbour or have tried without success, contact the Environmental Protection Team using either our Report a Noise Complaint form or via the telephone number 0300 123 5015

Please note it will help the team to determine the scale of the problem if you can provide the following information:

  • Where the dog is kept i.e. in the house, garden and if in the house which room
  • The time of day it barks
  • If the owner is out or not when the dog barks
  • How long it generally barks. (Please note it does not help the investigation if you simply say it barks all day, when it may only bark for short periods but frequently.)

Why do dogs bark?

In general dogs are not solitary animals and they normally need the security of the family grouping, which for pets is replaced by the owner and their family and when they are left alone can cause them distress. However, this is not the only reason dogs will bark, other causes can include:

  • Loneliness
  • Boredom or frustration
  • Attention seeking
  • Defending territory
  • Medical problems
  • Lack of, or poor training

What can be done to prevent a dog barking?

There are a number of simple things that owners can try, which includes:

  • Don’t make a fuss of the dog before leaving the house
  • Try putting it in a separate room whilst you are in the house (start with short periods and gradually increase, remembering to reward the dog if it’s quiet.)
  • Try leaving a talk radio station on a low level whilst out.
  • Clothing or a blanket with the owners scent left at the bottom of the door outside of the room can act a comfort
  • Ensure the dog doesn’t have access to a window where they will be able to see people approaching the house or walking past.
  • If possible try not to leave the dog for long periods, perhaps ask a neighbour or friend to pop in and walk/accompany the dog
  • If you have to leave your dog for long periods, speak to your neighbour and ask them to let you know if your dog barks
  • If the dog is being kept in a kennel outside consider the location so it’s as far away from the neighbours as possible
  • Research the possibility of training or the use of an anti-barking device

For more information please see the leaflet – Constant barking can be avoided (PDF, 263KB)

Further information

Cockerels

Complaints of noise nuisance from crowing cockerels are on the increase. This is mainly as a result of them being kept in residential areas rather than in more rural locations and the trend towards keeping chickens in the garden to supply eggs.

Hens are normally quiet birds and do not often cause a nuisance, however the same can't be said of cockerels. Contrary to popular belief, cockerels will crow all day, starting when the sun rises. It is worth noting that cockerels are not required for hens to lay eggs.

Keeping cockerels in the urban environment is highly likely to disturb those residents living close by and we would always advise against keeping them in residential areas.

If you are disturbed by a cockerel

  • First, try to discuss your concerns with your neighbour, they may not realise the cockerel is disturbing you
  • If you feel unable to approach them directly try writing a polite letter, remember to keep a copy
  • If you feel you are unable to approach your neighbour or have tried without success, contact the Environmental Protection Team using either our Report a Noise Complaint form or via the telephone number 0300 123 5015

Measures to minimise cockerel crowing

  • Location of the cockerel - It is important to ensure that the cockerel is located as far away as practicable from neighbouring residential properties
  • Shut them away at night
  • Competition - Other cockerels in the area will cause them to compete with each other and may result in excessive crowing
  • Housing - Keep the coop as dark as possible to minimise early morning crowing as a cockerel will crow when light enters the coop
  • The coop ceiling can also be lowered to prevent the cockerel throwing back its head and crowing (Special “night hoods” can also be purchased which (humanely) prevent the cockerel from raising its head)

Contact us

We will not tolerate abusive or threatening behaviour and ask that you are civil when dealing with council staff.

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