Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Neighbourhood dispute

Community Member

Hi All, I am a 46yr old wife and mother of 3. We are having a dispute with one of our neighbours who complains about our dogs barking. They bark about 3 times a day at different times and only about 3- 5 barks each. He says they bark constantly all day, which they don’t. He only rents a granny flat from the owner of the property. The property owner also lives in the main house on the property. To start off with the property owner was sympathetic towards us but the tenant has told him a whole lot of lies and now he is also putting all the blame of the situation on us. The tenant has threatened my husband with physical violence, and the police are involved. I am just wanting to know how to get this out of my head so I can get some sleep and not go completely insane. I am constantly crying and have no motivation to want to do anything. I am already being treated for depression and high blood pressure. As we own our home it is not just a matter of picking up and moving for us. This is really affecting me as we have never had to call the police or been in any kind of trouble with the police at all and I am finding it really hard to cope with.

Please help!

7 Replies 7

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello HELP and welcome to the forums,

Problems with neighbours can be truly distressing. Understatement of theb year there sorry.

Having somewhere where you feel safe is important. Home is that safe haven for me and I wonder if before all the conflict began was it for you too?

This is your home. And it sounds like leaving isnt practical. So what is the plan to make you feel safe again?

Have the police got any ideas of how to deal with this situation?

One thing worth trying is recording your dog's behaviour when you arent home for a few weeks. Hubby and I did this once when our neighbour complained about a dog we rescued.

This data is important. Whether your neighbour is out of line something has clearly upset him. By recording your dog at least the home owner can decide for themselves whether this man is being reasonable or asking for something impossible to achieve. It is not possible to keep a dog silent and you have the right to have a pet.

Or like me perhaps the video will show surprising results. Our rescue dog howled. It was awful and I was amazed they hadnt complained earlier.

Perhaps this will achieve nothing but it is worth a try given your distress.

I hope you can feel comfortable at home again in time. Until then we're listening.


Community Member

Thank you Quercus.

No I don’t feel safe in my home anymore, you are right and I don’t know how to go about making it that safe place again. Any ideas would be gratefully accepted!

We have tried to tell the landlord that it is impossible to keep a dog totally silent but he won’t listen. It’s no use trying to talk to the tenant as he just yells abuse at us. Everything I have read about making a complaint says that you should talk to the owners first, but he never did that he just started yelling abuse at us across the fence. It is so bad that my kids won’t even play in the backyard as he has even yelled at them when they have been playing. Kids will make noise when they are playing, don’t they?

The police don’t have any ideas on how do deal with these people. I wish they did.

Neither the landlord or the tenant like dogs. The landlord thinks they are a waste of money, as that is all he thinks about, and well I am not sure about the tenant. He complains about them even if we are here and they make a noise, which when they do we tell them to be quiet. There are other dogs that bark and howl in the neighbourhood but never a word is said about them, only mine. I hadn’t thought of recording them when we aren’t here. My mum lives with us and she is usually home all the time. She might go out once every fortnight as she won’t drive anymore and relies on me to take her places.

I just don’t know what to do anymore and how to feel safe again. I feel like I am being bullied by both of them into getting rid of my dogs. I can’t get rid of them, one of them is 13 years old. How could I do that to him?

I now know how low people who take their own lives feel as I am getting there fairly fast, not that I would ever have the guts to do that.

I am at my wits end.

Hi, welcome

Nat hit one nail on the head- recording when not at home. Or ask other neighbours how the dog behaves when you are not at home. Separation anxiety is common in dogs and owners dont have a clue the howling/barking is happening

I've been a dog ranger for 3 councils and see things just a little differently than you. Firstly, it is totally irrelevant if the guy rents, it is still his home. Also, noises particularly dogs barking effect people differently. Brick walls and double glazed windows will insulate noise. Some are light sleepers and some barking is much worse than others.

I have, seriously, had a dog owner tell me their dog doesnt bark much but one minute earlier when sitting in my car their dog was barking continuously. Some owners dont hear it.

In most cases the complainants dont complain if there isnt a problem. Unless there is an alterior motive like a grudge.

None of the above is what you want to hear. But, if this escalates the council/police will take action. All councils have different ways to tackle the issue including removal of the dog. So let us review your options.

By far the first thing I'd do is approach the complainant nicely and calmly. Ask him what hours the barking effects him the most eg he might work shiftwork. If it is night time have the dog in your bedroom all night. Showing compassion is the first step. Lack of sleep can make a complainant really angry even to the point if violence as they have no control.

House the dog on the opposite side of the house during the day. We used to also suggest a kennel opening towards a fence to limit distractions like cats and birds leading to barking.

Bones occupy dogs attention. Long walks makes the dog tired- less barking.

If you do all this and document your actions and the Council/police get more involved then you are displaying being reasonable and concern for your neighbour.

That could save you from losing your dog because eventually Council will take action.

Prevention is better than cure in this situation.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello HELP, welcome.

I have dogs and know that the neighbour banging the fence can make your dog bark, and once this starts it will continue annoying your dogs, so eventually, all they have to do is make one little noise to start the barking.

Even throwing a ball up in his yard may stimulate the dogs if this is what happens.

If this is the case then try and take a recording or video on your mobile to see if this does happen.

If the landlord doesn't mind then your neighbour will probably move.

Most dogs bark they have to protect their territory.

Do you have a doggie door or are they allowed in the house?


Hi White Knight,

We have asked the other neighbours and they don’t even hear our dogs, so am I missing something here or is this guy just being a total douche bag? There have been no complaints to council, just us getting abuse yelled at us from across the fence. No dog is going to be totally silent 24/7, but they can’t see that. As I am writing this at 8:25am my dogs have not made a sound and there are various noises, like cars going up the road, and people coming and going from the homes and not a sound out of them. We take them for long walks and they have bones and chew toys etc to occupy themselves with. We feel like we are being bullied into getting rid of our dogs by these people just because they don’t like dogs and view them as a waste of money. Why should I be bullied into doing that especially to one of them that is 13 years old? This guy just has a grudge of some sort and thinks he is above the law and everyone else. We house the dogs on the opposite side of the house and yard to them and from their kennels they have a lovely view of our other fence and our shed. The neighbours on this side of the house don’t even hear our dogs, and no they don’t have any pets either.

Also it isn’t just my dogs he whinges about. It is my children as well. If they are out in the yard playing he will yell at them to be quiet as well. I can be out there with them and they might laughing while they play and they get yelled at. Sometimes they may not even be making any noise, just talking, not yelling, to each other in conversation and they are told to @#$&ing shut up. So you tell me who has the problem?

I know how the council deals with these things as my husband works for them. And just because he works for them doesn’t mean we think we are above the law.

We have tried the nicely approach but all we get is abused and told to ‘@#$& off’. So how do you talk to someone like that nicely. I am not saying that my dogs don’t bark because I know they do, just like any other dog. However they are not what our council classes as a nuisance barker nor do they constantly bark. When they do it might be for a total of woof, woof, woof and that is it. That might take all of 5 seconds and they might do this a total of 3 times in a whole day. Then they are quiet again. So how can council try to take my dog for that tiny amount of woof?

We are doing all that we can with walking, chew toys, bones etc, so I am not sure how much more we can do.

Community Member

Hi Geoff,

Yes my dogs think they have to protect their property from this person. But he can come and go and they don’t do anything. He has previously provoked them into barking so that we come and call them then he has a go at us. I watched him one day lean on the boundary fence to get them to bark and then when they did he yelled at them then yelled at us when we called them back. It isn’t just normal yelling, it is all the colourful words you can think of yelled at the top of his voice so the whole street can hear.

Our dogs are outside dogs as they aren’t house trained fully. We tried to have them as inside dogs previously but it didn’t work out.

We now just feel like they are bullying us into getting rid of the dogs. My safe haven is safe no more and we don’t know what to do about it.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor


You poor thing what an awful neighbour. It sounds like he's the one needing the help disturbing you and your family and also provoking your dog and interfering with tour children's lives. If he keeps doing what he's doing can you take out one of those orders against him because it sounds like harassment to me. I'd record what he does. Write down date, time, action and you can hand that over to the police.

It's your property and making your kids feel unsafe is not OK in your own space.

He sounds like he needs attention and is provoking you to get it.

I'd ignore him but record what he does even get him on video if u can, that might scare him. Perhaps even use his colourful language back and say you will go to the police. If u have to go to/call a different station do that.

Please don't let him make you feel less than- he has the problem. Place the blame where it belongs on him.

Good luck with it and let us know how it goes.