Preventing nuisance barking

As an animal owner, it is important to ensure that your dog does not bark excessively and become a nuisance to the neighbourhood.

All dogs bark but some barking dogs become a nuisance. Excessive barking is one of the most disruptive neighbourhood issues.

Nuisance barking is an offence and State Government regulations allow for on-the-spot fines for nuisance animals.

Our Animal Officers will respond to reported barking problems. Initially the owner of the dog/s will receive notification that a complaint has been lodged, quite often the owner is unaware that their dog is barking excessively and our Animal Management Officers will provide some helpful hints to assist in preventing the dog from barking.

Reasons for dogs barking

Dogs bark for many reasons including:

  • separation anxiety
  • communication
  • boredom
  • marking out territory
  • seeking attention.

Retraining your dog

There are many ways a person can attempt to change the habit of a barking dog. All successful ways are based on training methods which have proved themselves over time. Some aids you can use include:

  • The Denning Principle - based on a natural technique that provides an effective solution to anxiety. The principle is based on the behaviours of wolves, dingoes, hyena's who live in dens and to such animals a den is a sanctuary and place of safety, comfort and quietness.
  • Citronella collars - used to help train dogs to bark less and are a useful tool if you've received complaints about your dog. They operate on a simple premise: barking brings unpleasant consequences. Each time your dog barks, the collar sprays a burst of citronella in front of its nose.
  • Husher muzzles - another way to train your dog to stop nuisance barking, they operate in much the same way as a citronella collar (without the smell) and are used on the basis of good dog, bad dog. The muzzles are an elastic covering for the dogs snout which whilst still allowing the dog to breath, pant, eat, drink and bark, places pressure on the jaw when continual opening of the mouth occurs.

There are many other methods that can be suggested. Consult your local Veterinarian or dog obedience club for advice on the best approach for your situation.

If you are affected by nuisance barking

Dog owners are often not aware of their own dog's excessive barking. Firstly the owner should be approached directly and have the problem explained to them.

If your neighbour is unapproachable or does not agree that the problem exists, then contact us for advice. Our Animal Management Officers will investigate and provide assistance and advice in an attempt to alleviate the nuisance.

Complainants who make false reports, for whatever reason, may incur civil court action for false declaration.

Page last updated: Tuesday, 15 March 2022