Report a barking dog

Barking is a normal behaviour for dogs. They bark for many reasons - it could be a warning or a sign of excitement, affection or unhappiness. However, when dogs bark excessively it can become a concern to others.

Nuisance barking

It's important to note there is a difference between a dog's normal barking and nuisance barking, as outlined in Domestic Animals Act 1994. We must rely on this definition when investigating a complaint:

"A dog... is to be regarded as a nuisance... if it creates a noise, by barking or otherwise, which 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.”

There are a number of reasons a dog may bark, including boredom, medical reasons, fear or seeking attention.

Steps to take before contacting Council

Talking to the dog owner or leaving a friendly letter in their mailbox is the first step to attempting to solve any issues. Often dog owners may not be aware that their dog barks. These steps often lead to a more successful outcome for both yourself and the dog owner.

Some possible solutions may include increasing your dog’s walks and outings, using a designed off-leash area for your dog to run and undertaking doggy training.

If you are unable to resolve the matter, please get in touch with Council.

Follow these steps

Step 1.Complete the paper form 

Outline the issue, state the neighbour's address, the response after you approached them and when the noise mainly occurs.

Download the barking dog complaint form(PDF, 70KB) and barking dog information sheet(PDF, 178KB),  email post or drop it off in person at one of our Offices

Step 2.Acknowledgement letter sent

When we receive the report, we will send an acknowledgment letter to the dog owner and the complainant. The dog owner will be sent tips to address the issue and given 14 days to address the issue or contact Council. 

Step 3.Keep a diary

If the noise is still an issue after 14 days, the complainant will need to keep a barking dog diary and submit to Council for further investigation.