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Barking dog complaints

Barking dogs can be a source of irritation for neighbours and others.

Before lodging a complaint

We recommend speaking with the dog owner before approaching Council. The dog’s owner may not realise that the barking is annoying other people.

Consider the following:

  • Keep a list of when the dog barks and how often.
  • Talk to other neighbours who may also be affected.
  • Attempt to resolve the issue through an independent party like the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria.

Lodging a complaint

If you wish to lodge a barking dog complaint, read all the information in our dealing with a barking dog booklet and then submit a completed, signed copy of the barking dog diary (contained in the booklet).

Please note that the diary needs to be completed by each person affected by the barking.

We aim to begin investigating reports within 10 business days after receiving a completed barking dog diary.

If you are the owner of a barking dog

When dogs bark or howl, they are trying to communicate something. It could be:

  • inadequate yard space
  • boredom or lack of stimulation, both mental and physical
  • not enough human companionship
  • inadequate shelter from weather conditions
  • hunger or thirst
  • a medical condition, such as an illness or discomfort
  • provocation
  • disturbances
  • change to family structure/separation anxiety
  • movement outside the dog’s property.

You can take steps to minimise barking.

  • Make sure the dog has adequate exercise and obedience training.
  • Make sure that the dog has food, water and shelter from the weather.
  • If the dog is barking at gaps and cracks in the fence, fill them in.
  • If the dog is barking at people it can see passing by, try blocking the dog’s view.
  • Make sure that you do not reward your dog for barking too much.
  • Don’t let the dog inside or give it attention when it barks.
  • If the dog is barking at people or noises on the other side of a fence, move the dog to another part of the yard or put up a barrier.
  • If the dog barks at regular occurrences, keep the dog inside or in an enclosed area at these times.
  • If the dog races along a path or fence barking, put barriers or obstacles in the dog’s way to slow it down.
  • Teach the dog to stop barking on command. When the dog is barking give a firm command such as ‘QUIET’ and call the dog to you.
  • Praise the dog when it stops barking.
  • Attend accredited dog obedience training.

Need help?

Contact us and we will get back to you.

Or call our Community Laws department on 9298 8000.

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