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Animals

Barking Dogs

Council receives many complaints about persistently barking dogs. Council investigates these complaints in accordance with the definition of a 'nuisance dog' in the Companion Animals Act 1998. The act states:

"A dog is a nuisance if the dog makes a noise, by barking or otherwise, that persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises."

What to do About a Neighbour's Dog Making Excessive Noise

Before proceeding, consider the above definition of a nuisance dog, and decide whether or not you think the noise is so persistent and unreasonable that it should not be tolerated.

If you decide to proceed, Council suggests you talk to your neighbour directly in the first instance, to raise your concerns and discuss any possible solutions. Often people are not aware that a problem exists, especially if the dog is barking while they are out.

If together you cannot solve the problem, call Council's Customer Service Centre on 1300 581 299. It is important to give Council as many details as possible, including:

  • Where the dog is kept
  • The frequency and description of noise
  • Any discernible pattern (for example, does the dog bark while the owner is at work?)
  • How long the nuisance has been occurring
  • Possible reasons for the problem (perhaps the dog is bored or lonely, or not getting enough or any exercise).

Penalties if the Barking or Howling Persists

If Council, after investigating a customer request, serves a Nuisance Order on the owner of the dog and the Order is not complied with, a Penalty Notice can be served. In more serious, ongoing circumstances, Council may summons a dog owner to the Local Court.

Remedies for Barking Dogs

Problem barking often occurs when dogs are bored or frustrated by confinement, a lack of exercise or stimulation. As they are pack animals, dogs may also bark when the rest of their pack (the humans) go out, leaving them at home alone. Training your dog, as well as making sure it gets plenty of exercise, attention and a balanced diet, will usually prevent these and other behavioural problems.

Where training fails to stop excessive barking, other remedies to try include the temporary use of a citronella collar or anti bark collar available for purchase or rent from many vets and pet shops.

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