Dog Barking

West Lothian residents who are impacted by noise caused by continual barking of a neighbour's dog(s), either inside or outside their homes, have the right to take action in an attempt to resolve the problem.

Please remember that semi-detached houses, terraced properties and flats are seldom designed to be totally sound proof. You may from time to time be able to hear your neighbour's dog(s) barking. 

It is normal and natural for dogs to bark and you cannot expect any neighbour's dog to be silent. However, if the noise is so loud, frequent and prolonged as to interfere with your normal activities as an occupier, it is reasonable to expect the dog owner to take steps to address the barking problem.

How can I resolve the issue myself?

We always suggest that you raise the problem with your neighbour in normal conversation. Explain how the barking affects you and ask your neighbour if he/she would attempt to tackle the problem. Often dog owners will not realise that their dog is causing a disturbance. This way, it can be brought to their attention and addressed informally, without the dog owner feeling they have been complained about to the authorities.

What if I am unable to speak to the dog owner?

We recognise that this is not always possible, because it may be difficult to approach the dog owner directly. We recommend that you put your concerns down in writing to your neighbour in polite terms, again pointing out that the barking is causing annoyance and requesting that he/she takes action to solve the problem.

How much time should I give the dog owner to resolve the issue before taking it further?

You should allow adequate time for your neighbour to consider your request and take appropriate action. You should allow at least 2 weeks before starting to see an improvement. Copies of correspondence should be kept for future reference.

Report an Unresolved Dog Barking Issue
How will we deal with it?
Formal Action
Private action under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982