The Christchurch City Council has come under fire for putting a dog-listening device in a couple's backyard without their knowledge.
The council says on this occasion, normal procedure wasn't followed and permission was not sought to place the listening device on the property.
All dog-listening devices have now been recalled and the council is providing animal management officers with refresher training.
There are 18 devices in total that dog control has been using for the past five or six years.
The recording device can pick up conversation, but animal management officers "cannot recall a situation where they have heard conversations on a recording", head of regulatory compliance Tracey Weston says.
"Council's practice is that anything other than barking must be disregarded and cannot be used," she says.
Listening devices are put on a person's property once all other methods to determine whether a dog is excessively barking have been exhausted.
Prior steps include bark record sheets, talking to neighbours in the area to see if there's an issue and speaking with the owner.
The devices are normally on the property for up to a week to prove or disprove whether a dog's barking is excessive.
The couple have been contacted and are yet to comment to Newshub.