Barking dogs

Dogs are an important part of our community. Dogs that bark excessively can become a nuisance and cause friction between neighbours and others in the area.

Having a neighbourly conversation and discussing you concerns with the owner of the barking dog may resolve the issue. In some instances the owner may not realise that the dog is barking or that the barking is causing a nuisance to other people.

Although barking is a natural behaviour for dogs, excessive barking can be a sign that something is ‘wrong’. If you want to be a good neighbour and a responsible dog owner, check with your neighbours to see if there are any noise nuisance problems.

Reasons a dog might bark

There are many reasons that a dog might bark. Understanding why a dog is barking excessively can help resolve the issue.

Some reasons a dog might be barking include:

  • Lack of exercise
  • Disturbances
  • Not enough human companionship
  • Movement outside the dog's property
  • Hunger or thirst
  • A medical condition
  • Inadequate yard space
  • Provocation
  • Boredom
  • Behavioural problems
  • Change to family structure
  • Inadequate shelter from weather conditions

The owner of a barking dog might not be aware that the dog is barking. The dog may be barking when the owner is:

  • Not at home
  • Unable to hear barking from certain areas of the house
  • Asleep and not woken up by the dog barking

Preventing nuisance barking

Nuisance barking can be dealt with in a number of ways, depending on the cause. Some ways to prevent a dog barking include:

  • Taking your dog for frequent walks, once or twice a day. Dogs need to socialise and experience the sounds and smells of walks outside. Take advantage of the Shire’s Leash-Free areas.
  • Ensuring that your dog is in good health and has fresh water, a balanced diet, adequate shelter from weather extremes and dog toys.
  • Taking your dog to obedience classes and practicing what you learn regularly.
  • Preventing your dog from having a view of passing pedestrians and other dogs with solid fencing, shade cloth or hedges.
  • Training your dog not to nuisance bark. Some owners keep their noisy pet inside their house while they are out, leave an old piece of clothing with the pet that has the owners' scent, or with a radio playing. This is often enough to console the pet while they are away. 

Barking dog complaints

Before reporting a barking dog to the Shire, there are a few other ways you might be able to resolve the issue. Some things you might like to try include:

  • Approaching the dog’s owner when the problem arises. They may not be aware that the barking is an issue.
  • Placing the “Dear Neighbour” letter into their letterbox. Download the Dear Neighbour letter(PDF, 187KB).

If you are unable to resolve the barking issue, you may lodge a complaint with the Shire. Once you lodge a complaint, an Officer will contact the owner of the dog to discuss the issue.

In the meantime, you will be asked to complete a Barking Dog Diary over a period of 14 days. This will assist Shire Officers in determining that the barking is considered a nuisance. It’s important to note that, whilst barking may be annoying, this may not be enough for Council to prove that the barking is a nuisance.

Lodge a complaint

Alternatively, to lodge a barking dog complaint, or for further information, please contact us.