Barking dogs

Barking dogs

Barking is a natural behaviour for dogs, but excessive barking can become a nuisance and cause friction between neighbours. 

Dogs may bark excessively for any of the following reasons:

  • boredom, loneliness or frustration
  • wanting attention
  • warning of a possible threat
  • fear
  • medical reasons such as having fleas, allergy or illness
  • physical reasons such as being hot or cold, hungry or thirsty
  • some dogs are naturally inclined to bark more than other dogs

Steps to reduce nuisance barking:

  • training – Animal Management Officers can direct you to some professional training providers
  • take the dog for frequent walks
  • ensure your dog is healthy with adequate food, water and shelter
  • take you dog to obedience classes
  • take away possible distractions that might cause your dog to bark – for example, screen or block the views of passing pedestrians from the sight of the dog
  • provide entertainment for the dog while you are not at home – balls, toys and old clothes with your scent may be help reduce barking

Steps to take if you have a problem with nuisance barking:

If you have an issue with a barking dog you can lodge a complaint, but there's a few things we ask you to do first.

  • if possible, speak with your neighbour. They may not even know it's a problem (for example if the dog only barks when the dog owners are at work etc.). This may resolve the issue without any further action
  • the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria provides free legal advice to assist with resolving neighbourhood complaints – contact 9603 8370 or 1800 658 528
  • if you are unable to resolve the issue with your neighbour you can lodge a complaint with the Animal Management team. Any complaints lodged with Council regarding barking dogs must be in writing and contain the following information:
    • your name and address
    • where the dog lives
    • when the dog barks and for how long. A log or diary of the times when the dog barks should be maintained for 14 days so that the Animal Management Officer can investigate the complaint (a log sheet is available to download from the Related Content section below)
    • the effect the barking has on your well-being

You can forward the information:

By email:  customerservice@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au

By post: PO BOX 21, Altona 3018

For more information please contact the Animal Management team on 9932 1000.

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