Disruptive dogs and howling hounds have led to a rise in the number of noise complaints being made to Cherwell District Council.
During 2012/2013, the council received 120 complaints about noisy dogs, accounting for 17 per cent of overall noise complaints.
However, with five weeks of the current financial year still remaining, the number of dog complaints has already risen to 159.
Councillor Tony Ilott, lead member for public protection, said: “As a country we are known for being a nation of dog lovers but it is very easy to fall out of love with a dog that barks, howls and whines all hours of the day and night.
“Nobody should be forced to tolerate a noisy neighbour, even if the culprit has four legs and a tail.
“In some instances, the owner may be unaware of the disruption so a polite chat may be all that is needed to resolve the problem.
“However if that fails, Cherwell’s antisocial behaviour team is here to help restore the peace.”
Dogs often bark or howl for attention because they are bored, lonely or unwell. Simple solutions to resolve the problem can include tiring dogs out on long walks, leaving a radio on for company or leaving lights on at night to stop anxiety. Where possible, residents experiencing problems are encouraged to try and resolve the situation amicably by speaking with the dog’s owner.
If this does not work, the matter can be reported to Cherwell’s antisocial behaviour team who will assign an officer to investigate.
If the noise is considered to be excessive and a statutory nuisance, an abatement notice will be served and if this is breached, further legal action can be taken through the magistrates’ courts.
Advice and information about barking dogs for owners and affected neighbours is available to view and report online at www.cherwell.gov.uk/barkingdogs or by calling the antisocial behaviour team on 01295 227007 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org