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Barking Dogs

Excessive dog barking can be annoying for neighbours and the community.  A dog is considered a nuisance:

  • if, in the opinion of an authorised person it unreasonably disrupts or inhibits an activity ordinarily carried out on residential premises
  • if it barks for more than six minutes in any hour between 10pm and 7am on any day 
  • if it barks for more than three minutes in any 30 minute period between 10pm and 7am on any day

Neighbourhood communication

If your neighbour's dog is barking excessively, you can try approaching the dog's owner directly. The owner may not realise the barking is an issue because the:
  • dog may only bark a lot when the owner is away
  • owner may not hear the barking from areas inside the house
  • owner may be a very sound sleeper and not be woken up when the dog barks
If the owner of the dog agrees to do something about the barking, wait a few weeks to see if they have been successful in their efforts. Your support and ongoing feedback about the dog's behaviours can assist the dog owner to resolve the problem.

Report to Council

If you are not comfortable approaching the owner when the dog barks excessively or if the dog continues to bark after the owner has had time to resolve the problem, you can report the issue to Council.  If you have the exact location details of the dog, including house number and street.

If this is the first time you are making a complaint about a barking dog, Council will send you a Noise Nuisance Diary - so you can provide further information. Completing the Noise nuisance diary can help progress the investigation into your complaint.

Council works with the dog owner

Council will promptly provide information to the dog owner about some possible causes of nuisance barking and provide some potential solutions.  The dog owner will be asked to take action to eliminate the problem and to contact Council to discuss the matter.  Council and the neighbourhood must allow time for the owner to take action to address the nuisance barking.

If further complaints are received, Council officers will investigate.  If the officer determines the dog is causing an ongoing noise nuisance, Council may issue a fine.  In some cases where the issue cannot be resolved Council may give the owner a notice to remedy and offer help to stop the nuisance.

Tips to reduce barking

If your dog is barking excessively, you can try:
  • filling in gaps and cracks in the fence
  • blocking the dog's view of people passing by
  • keeping the dog inside or in an enclosed area if the dog barks at regular disturbances such as rubbish trucks
If it is not clear what is causing the barking, you can consult your vet. If the vet cannot resolve the issue, try an animal behaviour specialist or a dog training organisation.

You can download helpful RSPCA fact sheets from the following pages:

My dog is barking excessively - what can I do?

What causes dogs to bark excessively?
Last modified: 20 Aug 2021