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Luton Borough Council

Barking dogs

It's normal and natural for dogs to bark. But when barking happens a lot or goes on for a long time, it can be annoying and upsetting for neighbours.

What can I do about a noisy dog?
First of all, try talking to your neighbour about the problem. You may find this difficult, but often people are unaware their dog is causing a problem.

Here are some suggestions on how to talk to your neighbour about a problem:

  • Plan what you are going to say.
  • Be polite, keep calm and try to keep things light-hearted and friendly.
  • Explain how their noise is affecting you
  • Avoid approaching your neighbour when the noise is actually happening. You are more likely to be angry and have an argument

Try writing to your neighbour
If you can't or don't want to approach your neighbour in person, send them a polite letter explaining the problem.

Try mediation
If your friendly approach doesn't work, consider contacting Luton Mediation. Mediation can help neighbours sort out problems. There is no charge for this service. 

How can the council help?
If you've spoken to your neighbour and things haven't improved, contact us for help.

When you make a complaint, we will write to your neighbour to let them know their dog is causing a problem.

We will not tell your neighbour who has made the complaint.  However, sometimes a neighbour will guess who has complained or may ask you.

The letter to my neighbour hasn't worked, what should I do next?
We hope the letter will resolve the problem. However, if the noise continues you will need to contact us again. Your case will then be passed to an officer in the Environmental Protection team for investigation.

How will the council investigate the noise problem?
The officer will need to decide if your neighbour's dog is causing a legal nuisance. If the noise happens during office hours an officer will visit you. If the noise happens at other times, we will install recording equipment in your home.

What legal action can be taken?
If your neighbour's dog is causing a legal nuisance, an abatement notice will be served. The notice will require the noise nuisance to stop.

If the problem continues, we may prosecute your neighbour (maximum fine £5000).

When is a noise a legal nuisance?
For a noise to be a legal nuisance it must be unreasonable and interfere with the use and enjoyment of your home. Several factors determine whether a noise is nuisance including:

  • the time of day the noise occurs
  • how loud it is
  • how long it lasts
  • how often it occurs
  • your location

Can I take my own legal action?
For information, download our advice sheet below.

The dog is being mistreated, what can I do ?
To report an act of cruelty or neglect or if you're concerned about the welfare of an animal, please call the RSPCA 24-hour national cruelty advice line, 0300 1234 999.

Where can I get help if my dog is barking too much?
If you think your dog may be barking too much, download our barking dog advice sheet below.

How can I make a complaint about noise?

Report a noise problem
Or call 01582 510330 - opening hours are as follows:

  • Monday to Friday (except Weds): 9am to 5pm
  • Weds: 10am to 5pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: closed


Contact info
Environmental health
Luton Borough Council, Town Hall, George Street, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 2BQ
Tel: 01582 510330


© 2024 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ