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. Please be aware that Council will not get involved in neighbourhood disputes
  • 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
    • a log sheet(PDF, 58KB) or diary of the times when the dog barks must be maintained for a minimum of 14 days before an Animal Management Officer can investigate the complaint (please print multiple pages as required). Log sheets must contain exact times and address of the alleged barking. No complaints will be accepted without satisfactorily completed log sheets.
    • the effect the barking has on your wellbeing

You can forward log sheets to:

By email: 

By post: PO BOX 21, Altona 3018

You can now request this service in our new portal, which we're currently beta testing. To give it a try, visit My Hobsons Bay Hub.