It is a highly frustrating situation when you have a neighbour whose dog is constantly barking. Excessive barking is actually regarded as a form of noise pollution that is proven to cause distress, an inability to focus and is regarded as an impairment to human wellbeing. While many people tend to suffer in silence or proceed to undertake a series of failed attempts to effectively communicate with the owner; there are in fact certain steps that you can take with South African authorities that will hold the owner of the dog accountable. 

South African Laws Regarding Excessive Barking

In South Africa, excessive dog barking is considered to violate the noise control regulations under the Environmental Conservation Act. Persistent barking has been proven to have negative effects on human health as well as social behaviour and therefore you can legally take this issue up with the authorities. 

It is regarded as the responsibility of the dog owner to implement a solution to the issue of excessive barking and failure to do so can result in a major fine of up to R20,000 and possibly even facing a jail sentence of up to two years. In some cases, both penalties may apply.

How to Report a Neighbours Barking Dog

The first step you can take is to first communicate verbally with your neighbour or by way of a written letter. It is only fair to first give them a chance before taking the issue further and reporting it to the authorities. If your neighbour fails to be of any assistance after your attempt to communicate with them, you can then proceed to the next step which involves writing a letter to your local authority. A recommendation is to specifically target the Noise Control Unit of your local authority in order to deal with the matter directly. The authorities will then assess the situation and if the barking is considered to be a violation and if the owner continues to fail to relieve the situation- they may face one or more penalties. 

Alternative Solutions

The PetSafe Outdoor Bark Control Unit is an effective and handy device that can act as a possible solution to persistent barking. You can suggest that your neighbour purchase such a device or if you are willing you can purchase the device yourself and place it in your own garden as it has a range of up to 15 metres. These waterproof devices automatically detect when the dog barks and releases an ultrasonic sound that only the dog will be able to hear. The dog will find this sound unpleasant which will cause them to decrease or stop their barking altogether. This outdoor bark control unit provides a safe, harmless and effective way to deal with either your own or your neighbour’s excessively barking dog. These devices are however only recommended for dogs 3.6 kg’s and up and are not recommended for use with small, pregnant or senile dogs or dogs with severe aggression or anxiety issues.