Barking Dogs

Barking is one of the ways dogs communicate. It can signify anything from playfulness to danger. Dogs bark for a reason and dogs that bark alot suggests that something is not quite right. Some breeds bark more than others, however the most common causes of excessive barking are:

  • boredom and loneliness
  • confinement and isolation
  • lack of exercise and activity
  • lack of training
  • separation anxiety
  • stimuli, such as people or vehicles passing by the property, other dogs or native wildlife
  • a health problem
  • hungry, thirsty, on the wrong diet or generally neglected
  • kept in circumstances that are unsuitable for that particular breed

Barking dog complaints are capable of being addressed by Council under the provisions of The Companion Animals Act 1998. Council will use discretion in each individual case as to whether, and at what stage, this level of investigation is commenced.

What can i do about barking dogs?

We receive hundreds of complaints each year about barking dogs. If you have an issue with a barking dog in your neighbourhood, there are the following options:

  • Try to approach the dog owner first and advise them of the problem. They may not be aware that their dog is barking.
  • Seek the assistance of the Community Justice Centre (CJC) to mediate a solution. The CJC can be contacted on 1800 990 777 or if you have a hearing impairment on 1800 671 964 (TTY) or
  • Contact Council and lodge a formal complaint regarding the barking. You should have the following information ready:
    - The address of where the dog resides
    - A description of the dog
    - Details of the complaint. E.g. nuisance barking
    - Your name, address and a contact number for Council Rangers to contact you
    - Be prepared to attend Court or other potential legal proceedings.

What happens when I make a formal complaint to Council about a dog that continuously barks?

  • When a formal complaint is received, the owner of the animal will be contacted as part of Council’s investigation.
  • A four (4) week period will then be given for the owners to take action to settle the dog from barking
  • Complaints received after this four (4) week period, will result in further investigation by the Rangers in the form of a door knock to determine the extent of the barking
  • If the door knock investigation demonstrates that the dog is continuing to bark excessively, a Nuisance Order under the Companion Animals Act 1998 may be issued to the owner
  • If a Nuisance Order is issued, all residents who had agreed that the dog/s bark excessively will receive a barking dog diary, to record the extent of the barking problem on an ongoing basis
  • For Council to take further action there needs to be conclusive evidence that the dog does bark excessively. This evidence is gathered via two diaries from two separate residents that demonstrates a continuous pattern of excessive barking
  • These types of cases are often dealt with in a Court of law. Residents who decide to complete the diaries must be prepared to attend court to give evidence.

Can I take independent action?


Animal mistreatment

If you suspect a dog or any other pet is being mistreated, contact an RSPCA inspector on (02) 9770 7555 / 1300 278 3589 or visit the RSPCA website