Barking Dogs

What you can do

Dogs bark for a reason and there are many ways that excessive barking can be managed. If you have a problem with a neighbour's dog, or if your own dog is barking too much, here is some information that may help.

Under the law, barking is considered a "nuisance" if it happens persistently or if it continues to such an extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace and convenience of other people. Barking occasionally is not enough to lodge a formal complaint with the Council.

Lodging a complaint with Council

If your neighbours dog is barking too much, try talking to the owner first. They may not even be aware of the problem if the dog is only barking when they are out. You may be able to help them identify why the dog is barking. Only contact the Council as a last resort as there are many other ways to resolve the problem.

If you do lodge a complaint, the Council will ask you to keep a diary for two consecutive weeks of how often and for how long the dog barks. This information becomes useful evidence if a court prosecution becomes necessary.

If it is your dog that's barking

If you own a dog that barks excessively, it is often a sign that something is wrong. The first step in solving the problem is to determine why your dog is barking. Reasons may include:

  • Boredom, loneliness or frustration due to a lack of company, exercise or mental stimulation
  • To seek attention, especially if they are bored or lonely
  • To alert or warn you of something it thinks might be a threat - including the postman, noises or movement outside the property
  • Some dog breeds may be more inclined to bark
  • Fear, eg: thunder, fireworks or other loud noises
  • Medical reasons, eg: fleas, allergy or illness
  • Physical reasons, eg: if hot, cold, hungry or thirsty

Depending on why your dog is barking you may need to take several actions to help solve the problem. These include:

  • Take your dog on more frequent walks
  • Make the backyard environment more interesting - provide toys and large raw marrow bones to chew
  • Take your dog to obedience classes
  • Block the dog's view of movement outside the property
  • Make sure your dog is in good health
  • Undertake dog training to tackle the reason for barking

The use of Barking Collars which produce an electric shock are illegal within the state of Victoria and penalties apply.

For more information, visit www.pets.info.vic.gov.au or call 136 186 (for the cost of a local call).