Nuisance barking usually occurs due to boredom, provocation, separation anxiety or medical problems. Your local training club, vet or dog trainer may have more information on what to do about nuisance barking.
Some worthwhile strategies to help your dog stop barking include:
- Regularly exercising your dog.
- Socialising your dog with other dogs, for example in leash-free areas.
- Provide stimulating chewing toys and bones.
- Make your arrivals and departures from the house low key.
- Find out what sets the dog off.
- Try general training to develop your communication with your dog.
- Find out whether there is a medical cause.
- Do not use punishment-oriented training for the problem as it tends to only silence the dog while you are at home.
- Ensuring your dog has access to adequate food, water and shelter.
The Companion Animals Act 1998 describes a dog as a nuisance if the dog makes a noise, by barking or otherwise, that persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises.
If your neighbour’s dog is the causing a problem by barking:
- First try to talk with your neighbour, if possible, and inform them of the problem as they may not know. Talking with the person may be the best way to resolve the issue.
- Keep a detailed diary about when the dog is barking. This may help identify the reason for the barking and can also provide evidence of the problem.
- Try to resolve the dispute by using the Community Justice Centres on 1800 990 777. The Community Justice Centre offers a free mediation service.
If talking with the person does not resolve the issue a complaint can be made to Council. The neighbourhood noise complaints fact sheet has information on what is required.
All barking dog complaints to Council must be in writing on the barking dogs complaint form. After you submit your complaint you will be contacted to discuss the information.
Council can issue a Nuisance Order or consider other enforcement action where all of the above methods have failed and the complaint can be substantiated with evidence.
Council's Neighbourhood Noise Policy describes how complaints are managed.