1. Home
  2. Animals
  3. Barking Dogs

Barking Dogs

Barking is a natural behaviour for dogs and just one way by which they communicate. However, we understand in some cases barking dogs may become a neighbourhood nuisance, impacting on the amenity of the area.

If you are the owner of a barking dog, the RSPCA has training tips that may help.

If a barking dog affects you, we advise that you must take the following actions to resolve the issue:

How to deal with a barking dog

 Step 1.

Contact the owner of the dog directly to discuss your concerns

The owner may not realise their dog is bothering you or others in the area, and in many cases will be happy to work with you to solve the problem. Discussing it with them first and advising them of when the barking is a problem could help them to find a way to address it. If you feel the dog’s owner is unapproachable or you are uncomfortable doing so, a polite letter in their letterbox may help.

Step 2.

Contact the Community Justice Centre (CJC)

If the problem persists or your neighbour is unwilling to discuss the matter, then you must contact the Community Justice Centre. The CJC provides free mediation to help people solve disputes without going to court and has a high success rate. The CJC can be contacted on 1800 990 777. If you have no success in mediation, the CJC will provide you with documentation that can then be delivered to Council Rangers for investigation.

Step 3.

Contact Council

If you feel that you have had no success in mediation, you can contact Council. You must attempt to resolve the situation using the methods described above FIRST. If you still require the assistance of Council, the following process must be followed prior to Rangers investigating the complaint:

The procedure for lodging a nuisance noise complaint is as follows:

1.            Identify the correct address of the offending dog.

2.            Complete the “Barking Dog Complaint” Form.

3.            Keep a diary of the dog’s barking habits for a period of one (1) week noting the date, time and duration of barking, and the reason, if known, as well as the effect the dog’s barking is having on you.

4.            Forward the completed Barking Dog Complaint form and 7-day diary.

5.            Continue to keep the diary of the dog’s barking habits for a further month. This will monitor whether the problem continues or improves as a result of any action taken.

Should Rangers be satisfied the dog is causing offensive noise, and evidence has been gathered to support the complaint, Council may issue one of the following

  • A verbal warning to the dog owner.
  • A written letter of warning.
  • Issue an Order to abate all nuisance noise immediately.

Should the dog owner fail to comply with the notice to abate the nuisance, Council may issue a Fine Notice against the owner. If the noise complaint persists after an Fine Notice has been issued, Council may proceed with legal action against the dog owner in the Local Court and seek a Court Order.

Step 4.

Seek a Noise Abatement Order

Alternatively, you can apply to the local court for a Noise Abatement Order. If the court is satisfied that the dog is causing offensive noise, or that the noise is likely to recur, it may order the owner to stop the noise within a specified time or prevent a recurrence.