Listen to Tess and take full responsibility for your dog

COMMENT: The return of good weather shouldn’t bring dread

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It could be argued that you don’t actually need to know how loud a dog barks to find it an annoying nuisance.

There are bound to be people who simply don’t care about the noise their pet makes either, or the frustration and distress that it might be causing their neighbours.

But we commend East Hampshire District Council for using some good initiative when it comes to highlighting a problem that has been disturbing its residents.

With the help of Tess, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, council dog warden Richard Smith has demonstrated that man’s best friend can bark at around 90 decibels.

When you consider that it’s the same level of noise as produced by a chainsaw, or someone shouting, it’s no surprise that barking dogs were responsible for the majority of noise complaints made to the council last year.

At the very least, we hope Mr Smith’s experiment will make dog owners think again about their own animal’s behaviour and whether they need to do more to make sure their neighbours aren’t the ones making the complaints.

How long their dog barks for, at what time of the day and how frequently, also need to be taken into consideration.

As Mr Smith points out, there are clear reasons why and when a dog will bark.

Of course, everyone has the right to own a dog if they wish. But they must be prepared to take responsibility for their animal and if it barks a lot, the chances are they are not looking after it properly.

The best way to stop a dog barking in the first place is to keep it active and occupied. We urge readers to follow that very simple and achievable piece of advice.

While Mr Smith has taken a light-hearted approach, there is also a serious message here.

If a dog persistently barks, there might be a welfare issue to consider.

In some cases the RSPCA might need to be informed and an owner might need to have their pet taken away from them.

The 119 call-outs East Hampshire District Council received about barking dogs prove that this is an issue for people.