Barking dogs

Barking comes naturally to dogs, but the constant barking or whining of a dog can be disturbing or annoying for neighbours. Often the problem occurs when the dog's owner is out of the house and therefore the owner may not know until someone complains. If you are bothered by a barking dog, we would recommend an informal approach to your neighbour to explain your concerns. If, by approaching them yourself there has been no improvement, you should contact the Environment and Enforcement Team who would initially write to the dog owner.

If the informal approach is unsuccessful, there are two main pieces of legislation that could be used if the barking is so loud, frequent and prolonged as to interfere with your normal activities as an occupier;

  • Firstly the most suitable and specific legislation is the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982. Section 49 of this act allows aggrieved neighbours to take civil action by presenting a petition to the District Court. After hearing evidence from both parties, the Justice of the Peace (JP) will determine the outcome which could result in a court order being served on the owner of the dog. A breach of a court order is a criminal offence.

  • The Environmental Protection Act 1990 allows Local Authorities to take action if they are of the opinion that a Statutory Nuisance exists under the terms of Section 79 of this act.

Please click on Section 49 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 for information. 

If your neighbours have complained that your dog is barking click on the Barking Dogs leaflet on this page for some suggestions on simple things you, as a dog owner, can try.

Page last updated: 8 February 2019