Tips for Owners
Barking is normal behaviour for dogs but excessive barking can become annoying for neighbours and the community. The owner/responsible person is obligated to restrict their dog from causing a barking nuisance.
Council encourages pet owners to identify and address their dog's excessive barking before it results in an official complaint.
There are many reasons why an animal may be barking, including:
- Contact seeking – Dogs can be very vocal animals as barking and howling is the way in which they communicate;
- Boredom – Walking your dog keeps you and your dog fit. The amount of exercise required depends on the breed or size of the dog. Also, being left out for long periods of time can cause frustration and boredom. As with all friendships, the success of a relationship between dogs and their owners depends on finding time to spend together;
- Separation anxiety – The animal may be very dependent on other animals or humans; when taken away the animal may become stressed;
- Excitement – Something nearby increases the dog's state of arousal;
- Territorial defence – Your animal may become very protective of your property which sometimes portrays the animal as being aggressive when people and other animals walk past.
- Fear or physical discomfort – Your dog may suffer from fleas, worms or other diseases that may cause discomfort and be the cause of barking and whining. Examine dogs regularly and seek veterinary attention if necessary.
- Lack of training – Your dog will accept kind but firm discipline. Take it to obedience training before it develops bad barking habits.
All possible steps should be taken to minimise the nuisance being caused. Assess the situation; determine what the main cause is and how to reduce this.
A good start is to ask your neighbours if the dog is barking while you are not at home. The neighbours may be able to give you more information in relation to how often and when the dog is barking and what it may be barking at.
If your dog is barking excessively, you can try:
- Filling in gaps and cracks in the fence; and/or
- Blocking the dog's view of people passing by; and/or
- Keeping the dog inside or in an enclosed area if the dog barks at regular disturbances such as rubbish trucks
- Obtain a barking collar - K9 Collars is an online supplier where you can rent, try and buy barking collars.
If you are affected by a barking dog
If a dog is barking excessively, it is the owner's responsibility to ensure that this does not continue. Council believes the most effective and successful way of managing a nuisance barking dog is for the person affected by the problem (the customer/complainant) to communicate their concerns directly with the dog owner/keeper.
In some cases the dog owner/keeper may not be aware their dog is barking excessively and causing a problem for the neighbours. For example, many dogs will bark when their owners are not at home. This may be due to separation anxiety.
Council can provide a letter that may be dropped in the dog owner's mailbox. If the customer requests for Council to investigate barking dog issues, customers must complete a Noise Nuisance Diary to assist Council to verify your complaint.
Both the Letter and Noise Nuisance Diary together with the Barking Dog Fact Sheet are available in
Council's Barking Dogs Information Package (PDF 255.3KB).