All dogs bark, but some barking dogs become a real neighbourhood nuisance - greatly reducing the quality of life for their neighbours.
People are entitled to enjoy reasonable peace and quiet within their neighbourhood. Animal owners have a responsibility to ensure their animals do not cause a nuisance.
If your relationship with your neighbour is strained, the Dispute Settlement Centre was established to deal with disputes between neighbours and provides professional assistance, advice and mediation, at no cost.
Visit the Dispute Settlement Centre to contact the service.
Should any of the above approaches be unsuccessful, the Council may take action under the Domestic Animals Act 1994.
Dealing with your neighbour’s barking dog
With most neighbourhood nuisances, discussing the animal’s behaviour with the owner directly can resolve the problem. Many owners are unaware that their animal is causing a nuisance.
If the dog continues to bark, here are some tips for dealing with the nuisance:
- Write down the time and duration of the noise and keep track of these incidents in a logbook
- Contact your neighbour and try to resolve your issue
- If you have a dispute with your neighbour, contact the Dispute Settlement Centre
- If these approaches are unsuccessful, contact the Council. We may ask for the information that you have logged and other information, including a statutory declaration and any other supporting evidence
Tips for dealing with your own barking dog
Dogs may bark for a number of reasons including:
- To warn that someone is entering their territory (your property)
- Distractions, such as birds flying over, possums, cats, other dogs or children
- Separation anxiety (loneliness)
- Hyperactivity (lack of regular exercise)
- Barking is often a dog's way of seeking attention from its owner
- Fear of people, objects or other dogs
- Dogs bark when there is a threat to their territory
- Some breeds have a reputation for barking
The most important first step is to work out why your dog is barking. Once you know the cause you can find the cure.
If your dog is barking and you think it might become an issue for your neighbours, it is a great idea to start a dialogue with your neighbour. If you know there is a problem, a conversation might harbour patience while you deal with the issues underlying your dog’s behaviour.
Some tips for combatting dog barking include:
- Remove any distractions (covering any holes in the fence)
- Socialise the dog
- Ensure it has regular exercise and that you spend time with it
- Supply toys or other items to reduce boredom
- Participate in obedience training
- Consider anti-barking collars
It may also be worthwhile to seek advice from your vet or a professional dog trainer.
Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994 and the Council’s local laws, owners of nuisance animals are subject to fines.