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Abstract

Aims: To investigate public attitudes towards barking dogs in New Zealand in order to quantify the extent to which people perceive barking dogs to be a problem, to compare tolerance of barking with that of other common suburban noises, to assess the level of public understanding about the function of barking, to determine risk factors for intolerance of barking and to assess knowledge of possible strategies for the investigation and management of problem barking. Methods: A 12-page questionnaire was sent to 2,000 people throughout New Zealand randomly selected from the electoral roll. Risk factors for being bothered by barking were examined using logistic regression analysis. Results: A total of 1,750 questionnaires were successfully delivered; of these, 727 (42%) were returned. Among respondents, 356/727 (49.0%) indicated that frequent barking during the day would bother them while 545/727 (75.0%) would be bothered by barking at night. Barking and howling were ranked above other suburban noises as a cause of annoyance. Risk factors for being bothered by daytime barking were not being home during the day, not owning a dog, and considering a dog bite to be a serious health risk. Risk factors for being bothered by night-time barking were not being home during the day, marital status, considering dog bites to pose a serious health risk, and having been frightened by a dog. Overall, 510/699 (73%) respondents understood that barking was a form of communication. Action likely to be taken by 666 respondents hearing frequent barking included notifying and offering to help the owner (119; 17.8%), complaining to the owner (127; 19.1%) or the authorities (121; 18.2%), or doing nothing (299; 48%). Possible responses by 211 dog owners if they had a barking dog included seeking help from dog trainers (59; 28%) or behaviourists (54; 26%), buying an anti-barking device (33; 15%) or getting rid of the dog (20; 10%). Conclusions: Barking was considered to be potentially disturbing by respondents to this survey. Attitudes towards barking were most influenced by age, dog ownership, past experience with dogs and attitude towards dog bites. Public understanding of the possible reasons for barking and appropriate methods of managing the behaviour when it becomes a problem could be improved by better education and the provision of information through veterinary clinics and social media.

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... Despite its assumed role in dog-human interspecific communication, 'excessive' dog barking is often considered a nuisance in urban areas (Senn and Lewin 1975;Attenborough et al. 1976; Utley and Buller 1988;Murray 2003;Flint et al. 2013Flint et al. , 2014. Based on reports about noise, to the Institution of Environmental Health (in England), reported that almost 30% of complaints were about dog barking. ...
... Utley and Buller (1988) concluded that dog barking makes a significant contribution to urban noise pollution. Flint et al. (2014) investigated some of the factors affecting public attitudes toward barking dogs in New Zealand and documented a clear divide in attitudes towards dog barking, whereby people living in rural environments were more 'tolerant' of dog barking than residents of city flats. ...
... Regarding the residential area of the participants, based on the results of Flint et al. (2014), we hypothesize that people from the countryside will evaluate the bark sequences with lower nuisance scores than the residents of urban flats. Finally, based on the responses of a balanced sample of participants from various age groups and residential areas, we wanted to conduct a more reliable acoustic comparison between the information content of dog barks with high and low scores of annoyance. ...
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Dog barks represent a major source of noise pollution worldwide. However, the exact reasons why dog barks annoy people and why particular people show stronger reactions to dog barks than other noises, are poorly understood. In a sound playback study, we tested Hungarian participants (N= 153) from three age groups and three residential areas. Each participant was tested with 12 different bark sequences, assembled from original barks, based on their pitch, inter-bark intervals and tonality. Subjects rated each sequence according to the degree of annoyance caused by the barks and also to the apparent inner state of the dog. The results showed that the residential area did not have an effect on annoyance ratings. However, compared to children and older adults, young adults found high-pitched barks to be the most annoying. This finding is consistent with earlier results of the effects of baby cries on humans. The most annoying barks showed unique acoustical structures (high pitch, low tonality), this combination was not associated with the extremities of any other emotional scales. We assume that the strong attention eliciting effect of particular barks could be one of the evolutionary reasons why barking has become the main vocalization of the dog during domestication.
... There have also been a number of studies to examine how barking might be monitored and addressed, hinting at a need to critically examine regulatory treatments of nuisance barking (Bragdon and Miller 1978;Flint et al. 2013;Raglus et al. 2015). Dog bark nuisance has been examined as it affects the broader fields of housing and common law (Huss 2005), however the regulation of barking dog nuisance has not been researched by scholars in any comprehensive way (Flint et al. 2014). ...
... Whereas there is a clear need for further studies, an existing body of research does exist. Flint et al. (2014) describe a strong nexus between regulation and community education. Miller and Howell (2008) on the other hand curiously delineate 'management' from 'enforcement' and opine that a softer approach may be more effective in treating nuisance. ...
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Background: This study examines the effectiveness of animal management from a critical theory perspective, establishing a framework to describe the animal management activities of local government. In creating sustainable cities, local government must critically engage with the management of other species which live alongside humans. Despite around 40 % of Australian households owning a dog, there is relatively scarce scholarly attention paid to animal management as a subject in its own right. There are numerous studies examining the need to regulate dogs, however there are relatively few studies which examine the effectiveness of regulation. Results: This study adopts interpretive qualitative content analyses of documentary and interview accounts to critically describe the practice of animal management and suggest why it takes place the way it does. An ontological-methodological framework is introduced to frame the practice of animal management, relating the methodology of animal management to the underlying ontological orientation of local government. This study highlights some institutional conditions which allow particular animal management activities to flourish. Enforcement of barking dog nuisance and responsible dog ownership education are shown to demonstrate attributes of regulatory success. Conversely, enforcement of effective control and community education processes demonstrate some attributes of regulatory failure. Conclusions: This study demonstrates how institutional ontology and methodology affect the practice of animal management. This study provides animal management officers and local government with a means to critically examine particular approaches to animal management in practice, offering an opportunity to improve the effectiveness of animal management functions in local government. In contributing to improving the awareness of local government as to how they plan for and manage dogs, this study contributes to a broader community consideration of dogs as a beneficial part of society.
... Urbanized areas may be characterized by the sounds of domesticated animals (i.e., pets and livestock). Dogs bark to greet conspecifics and humans, during play (i.e., excitement), when raising alarm, or when seeking attention (Yin and McCowan 2004), sometimes to the nuisance of the neighborhood (Flint et al. 2014). Barks are short acoustic signals with main energy between 300 Hz and 2.5 kHz ( Fig. 7.9), often repeated in bouts (Yin and McCowan 2004). ...
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Soundscapes have been likened to acoustic landscapes, encompassing all the acoustic features of an area. The sounds that make up a soundscape can be grouped according to their source into biophony (sounds from animals), geophony (sounds from atmospheric and geophysical events), and anthropophony (sounds from human activities). Natural soundscapes have changed over time because of human activities that generate sound, alter land-use patterns, remove animals from natural settings, and result in climate change. These human activities have direct and indirect effects on animal distribution patterns and (acoustic) behavior. Consequently, current soundscapes may be very different from those a few hundred years ago. This is of concern as natural soundscapes have ecological value. Losing natural soundscapes may, therefore, result in a loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The study of soundscapes can identify ecosystems undergoing change and potentially document causes (such as noise from human activities). Methods for studying soundscapes range from listening and creating visual (spectrographic) displays to the computation of acoustic indices and advanced statistical modeling. Passive acoustic recording has become an ecological tool for research, monitoring, and ultimately conservation management. This chapter introduces terrestrial and aquatic soundscapes, soundscape analysis tools, and soundscape management.
... wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/vms3 1 psychological distress when dogs bark at night. The results of a questionnaire survey denoted that 545 (75%) of 727 valid responses indicated that the responders experienced night barking of dogs, which was indicated to be more unpleasant than all other noises such as sounds of a lawn mower, children shouting, baby crying, motorbike revving, and skill saw (Flint et al., 2014). There has been an increase in consultations from owners whose dogs have CDS due to ageing and the associated implication of night barking. ...
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... Because of the above-mentioned habit, stray dogs are able to access more food sources. The ndings of noise pollution were consistent with a survey of public attitudes towards barking dogs in New Zealand [31], which mentioned the unavailability of people who were not home during other times of the day. Thus, they encountered less noise pollution than in the time periods of 18.01-0.00. ...
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Stray dog population leads to problems, which are directly related to humans and the environment, has transformed stray dog issues from a third world problem to a global, public health priority. Hence, this study aimed to determine factors related to the feeding of stray dogs and other factors, which influence the results of stray dogs-related problems. This was a community based cross-sectional study, performed in Bangdan village, Songkhla, Thailand. Data were collected through phone interviews. Binary logistic regression analysis was conducted to measure the association between the independent variables and the problems-related with stray dogs. Among 168 participants, 137 participants (81.5%) were bothered by problems caused by stray dogs. The most common problem reported was garbage scavenging (62.5%), which occurred predominantly from the hours of 6 pm. to Midnight. Feeding stray dogs was significantly associated with stray dog-related problems (Odds Ratio [OR] = 3.94 with 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.26-17.41). However, other factors; such as, gender, length of stay and owning pets had no statistically significant association. In conclusion, feeding stray dogs was significantly associated with stray dog-related problems, with garbage scavenging being the most common problem reported.
... As well as the negative effect on the dog's quality of life, these behaviours can disrupt the human-animal bond significantly and can create problems in the community. Barking can cause disputes with neighbours and local councils (Flint et al., 2014), while the destruction of property can cause problems with landlords or financial losses. Owners may attribute the signs of their dogs' distress to other emotions, e.g., 53% of owners who relinquished their dogs to shelters believe their dog could act out of spite (Salmon et al., 1998). ...
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Oscillatory signals in human magnetoencephalogram were investigated as correlates of cortical network activity in response to sound lateralization changes. Previously, we found lateralized presentations of a monosyllabic word to elicit posterior temporo-parietal gamma-band activity, possibly reflecting synchronization of neuronal assemblies in putative auditory dorsal stream areas. In addition, beta activity was decreased over sensorimotor regions, suggesting the activation of motor networks involved in orientating. The present study investigated responses to lateralization changes of both a barking dog sound and a distorted noise to test whether beta desynchronization would depend on the sound's relevance for orientating. Eighteen adults listened passively to 900 samples of each sound in separate location mismatch paradigms with midline standards and both right- and left-lateralized deviants. Lateralized distorted noises were accompanied by enhanced spectral amplitude at 58-73 Hz over right temporo-parietal cortex. Left-lateralized barking dog sounds elicited right and right-lateralized sounds elicited bilateral temporo-parietal spectral amplitude increases at approximately 77 Hz. This replicated the involvement of posterior temporo-parietal areas in auditory spatial processing. Only barking dog sounds, but not distorted noises, gave rise to 30 Hz desynchronization over contralateral sensorimotor areas, parieto-frontal gamma coherence increases and beta coherence reductions between sensorimotor and prefrontal sensors. Apparently passive listening to lateralized natural sounds with a potential biological relevance led to an activation of motor networks involved in the automatic preparation for orientating. Parieto-frontal coherence increases may reflect enhanced coupling of networks involved in the integration of auditory spatial and motor processes.
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