Page last updated at 14:01 GMT, Monday, 22 June 2009 15:01 UK

When the world's loudest dog lives next door

German Shepherd Daz has just been crowned as the dog with officially the loudest bark in the world. What's it like living next door?

Daz and Peter Lucken
Daz is one of three German Shepherds owned by Mr Lucken

There is no need for a doorbell on Peter Lucken's bungalow.

When you live with a dog that barks louder than a pneumatic drill, then your pet does the job instead.

Daz, Mr Lucken's four-year-old German Shepherd, has recorded a bark of 108 decibels to get him in the Guinness World of Records as the loudest dog in the world.

Yet Daz's din hasn't disrupted the old maxim about a dog being man's best friend. Like any true soulmate, Mr Lucken just doesn't notice the deafening flaw in his best pal.

"It's a powerful bark but I didn't think it was that powerful until now," says Mr Lucken. ""He doesn't do it excessively."

But a more objective view might be obtained from someone who knows Daz's bark almost as well - Denise Parker, who lives next door.

"Daz doesn't bark very often but when he does it certainly is loud," says Ms Parker, who with her husband and two children

"I hear him sometimes when I'm watching television, but he only barks when he hears someone and he's trying to warn them away."

A dog like Daz doesn't get a big bark without being a big beast. But while the Parker children rub along happily with their noisy neighbour, the Parkers' own pooch is less keen.

"I have a cross-breed rescue dog called Snoopy and the two of them don't always see eye to eye," says Ms Parker.

Daz set the first record for a dog bark - there was no previous mark - at an event organised by Disney to promote the DVD of Bolt, about a dog which thinks he has super-canine powers.

No such delusions trouble Daz, who is keeping his paws very much on the ground, although his new-found fame has taken his owner by surprise.

"To me his barking is just normal, run-of-the-mill dog barking," says Mr Lucken, 35, from Holland-on-Sea in Essex.

"We're going to buy the postwoman a present to say thank-you. Without having someone for her to bark at, I don't think he would have got the record. It helped to keep his vocal cords in trim."

He's not aggressive but the bark makes him sound aggressive
Peter Lucken

His bark is definitely worse than his bite, says Mr Lucken. If the front door is open, the postwoman puts the letters in Daz's mouth and he drops them to get a cuddle.

"He's a very lovable dog, like a pussycat. He's not aggressive but the bark makes him sound aggressive. I have to close the door of the room he's in when the pizza man comes.

"If you were coming up the drive and you saw three German Shepherds staring out the window at you and barking their heads off, what would you think?

"But if you know them, you know they're no problem at all. It's their way of saying hallo."

Having such noisy and powerful dogs does make "walkies" that much more hazardous. If they get excited by meeting another dog or other distractions, they could tear away in different directions.

Which means that the most suitable time to go is 1am.



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