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noise and barking

One of the biggest issues that can upset neighbourly relations is a noisy pet – especially when the pet is noisy only in the owner’s absence. This problem is most commonly associated with dogs, although noise complaints can be made about cats too, particularly in high-density housing. Some cat breeds, such as Orientals and Siamese, are more vocal than others.

Barking is one of the most common reasons for dog-related complaints to local councils. Most owners felt that as long as their pet was comfortable and adequately cared for, it would be unlikely to bark unnecessarily.


Almost half (46%) of owners surveyed did not need to take any action to cope with their dog barking. The key strategy to reduce noise was training (34%), followed by providing more company for the pet (19%), provision of toys (14%), advice from a professional such as an animal behaviourist (4%), a citronella collar (3%) or other strategy (5%). The most common “other” strategy was keeping the dog indoors, as a number of owners found that their dog barked only when outside of the house. Keeping the animal indoors when unattended reduced stimulation to bark but also muted noise. Others felt that providing lots of exercise when they were around wore their animal out so that it was less likely to bark when left alone.