People in Milton Keynes face £110 fine for letting their dog bark too much

Dog experts have warned owners could face a hefty fine and even prosecution if their dog’s barking proves a nuisance to others.

By Sally Murrer
Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 1:38 pm

Kennel Store says barking is normal dog behaviour but too much or it over a prolonged period can prove annoying for neighbours.

And local authorities have powers to act on noise complaints and are obliged to investigate.

Recently a woman in Derby even had her dog seized by the RSPCA following complaints of persistent barking, says Kennel Store.

A barking dog could mean a heft fine

For a barking dog to count as a statutory nuisance it must “unreasonably and substantially interfere with the use or enjoyment of a home” or be likely to injure health of others.

Owners face a penalty notice of up to £110. If they don’t pay, they can be prosecuted and receive a fine of up to £1,000 if convicted.

"It's extremely important to address your dog's barking issues as early as possible, to prevent a fine or risk having your dog removed from your home permanently,” said a Kennel Store spokesman.

He added: "Dogs bark for a range of reasons...Your dog may be trying to communicate emotion, being territorial or just trying to grab your attention. Every dog is different and individual so some dogs are more vocal than others, but even the slightest noise can set many dogs off.

“This can, however, become a source of irritation and stress for both owners and neighbours alike, so there are some practices dog owners can put in place to help minimise excessive barking.”

Owners should ensure they are not rewarding the barking by giving the dog treats to keep it quiet.

“If they bark at meal times, wait until the barking has subsided and then place their food down,” said the spokesman.

Raising your voice at your dog will only make it more inclined to bark louder, he said. Instead, stay calm and ensure the dog has a routine with daily exercise, scheduled meal times and regular play to prevent it resorting to undesirable behaviour. Train your dog to become desensitised to barking triggers

Google Trends data shows a staggering 700% increase in searches for ‘why is my dog barking at night all of a sudden’ and a 350% increase in searches for "how much exercise does a dog need every day’.