How do I stop my dog barking in the garden?

When Is Dog Barking Considered A Nuisance?
Unwelcome behaviours in our dogs, may have serious implications for the quality of life of both the animals and you, the owner.

Every single person has a limit where it all just gets wayyy too much to cope with. Though, what you may find a disturbance, I may not. Often I get asked by dog owners;

”When is dog barking actually considered a nuisance, Claire?”

And the answer: ”I honestly don’t know.”

Whilst there is no set definition as to what constitutes nuisance barking, owners can find themselves in hot water with their neighbours or heaven forbid in a legal dispute over the matter, depending on the other persons perception of what is a ‘nuisance’

As a general rule, in house or garden barking will be regarded as a statutory nuisance if the noise is intrusive or irritating to another person. You can usually spot these people too as they will be complaining and may even report you to the local council.

And it sucks. Well, I imagine it would suck, as I’ve never had the displeasure of having an issue with this to an excessive point, and garden barking is not something I’ve struggled with or found too much of an inconvenience, though that’s not to say I haven’t seen issues developing in my dogs. It’s more that I’ve never left it to escalate to fully functioning carnage. 

My dogs do bark in the garden. When they hear next doors dog, when they hear the front gate opening, and heaven forbid someone tries to say hello to me. And whilst I will never curb my dogs barking completely on letting me know someone or something is there, (truth be told because I live on my own I don’t want them to stop all together, plus their breed) I’m grateful they do it. 

I don’t want it to become a nuisance issue though. For me. Or for my neighbour.

I know how frustrating it can be when you’re chilling in the garden, reading through my 3 steps to silence book (you’re definitely reading this aren’t you?) ;)…

and sipping your beverage, when all of a sudden an eruption of durational barking happens and your place of calm spirals into carnage within a split second. And that’s with just the one dog. When you’ve got more than one it’s like WW3 has begun.

I have the barking, then pacing, the charging at times, but whatever is presented I can quickly call my dogs away, tell them to get inside or get their toy and they shut up.

It can be over in a matter of seconds. I don’t class this as excessive.

What would bother me, would be if I’d asked them to do an alternative and they continued to perform the barking. It got louder, more intense, they got themselves into a state, or redirected their barking onto another dog and a fight broke out. That wouldn’t be cool.

If the problem frustrated me to where I felt daily strain, embarrassment, concerns on whether I would be reported or not for noise complaints. That would bother me.

What was interesting with my dogs was when I analysed my garden barking situation in a bit more depth, I found that if I didn’t say or do anything, and proceeded to walk inside, my dogs quickly followed me and stopped themselves.

I also noted that if I called, they all came running towards and sat in front of me hoping for a reward… like nothing had ever happened or the thing they were barking at wasn’t there any more.

I was fully aware of knowing, neither of these were a cure for the barking itself and all it was doing was momentarily interrupting them, and if I wasn’t careful I could end up rewarding the barking even more, if those treats were dispensed at the wrong time as they returned. 

Disturbance barking is generally longer in duration, with more rapid and excessive repetition than the kind of barks that is considered normal for a dog. That said, there are people out there who dislike any barking from their dogs. Personally, if barking bothered me to that extent, I’d be a cat owner.

If you’ve got a dog who barks normally such as one or two woofs, where they haven’t even got up from their bed and shut up on their own or where they inform you there is someone at the front door and you say ”ok thanks, thats cool”, and they stop.

Then likely you haven’t got a nuisance or problematic barking issue.

If you ask them to stop and they don’t, then chances are it’s more of an issue for you and you could do with getting a handle on it before it continues to explode, becoming more excessive each time it’s rehearsed and practice.  

If this sounds like your dog, then next week I’m running a free five day garden barking challenge, helping owners just like you to better manage the problem and I’ll be sharing the things I use to intercept my garden woofs, whilst also doing additional training to progress my dogs in this situation. If you want to get your dog listening to you more, and less of the wild consistent woofing, then come and join us!

Click here to join the challenge. 

We start on September 1st (next week), and you’ll get a training lesson to take away and work on every day.

Let’s make the neighbours day! 😉

Speak soon,
Claire. 

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