Dogs will not generally bark excessively and disturb neighbours, if they are well cared for. Dogs tend to bark for a reason – if they are chained up, hungry, thirsty, bored, sick, lonely, neglected or being provoked by a roaming dog or the cat next door.
If a neighbour’s dog is barking excessively, talk to the owner first. Your neighbour may not realise their dog is bothering you, especially if it barks when they aren’t home. In many cases, the owner will be happy to find a solution to the problem. If the problem persists, contact a Community Justice Centre (CJC) for advice . CJCs organise free and independent mediation for neighbourhood disputes to help people avoid expensive and complicated legal action.
Curing the barking habit
If you feel that a dog is well cared for, but continues to bark excessively, there are several things that can be tried:
- remove direct line of sight between the dog and children or animals, as looking at other animals or children may provoke barking
- take the dog to a recognised animal trainer to discourage bad habits
- provide noise insulation for the kennel
- take the dog to the vet - it may be sick.
Council can also follow up complaints about barking dogs. You should keep a record of when the dog barks, the duration, frequency as well as the behaviour of the dog. Council’s rangers investigate complaints and can issue a nuisance order to the dog’s owner. Heavy fines apply if the owner fails to act on the order and stop the barking.
To report a barking dog, please contact Council’s Customer Service Centre on 9748 9999.