Dogs that bark excessively can put a severe strain on the relationship between neighbours and it's important to handle the situation carefully.
My dog barks excessively - what can I do?
There are many tricks and tactics you can use to keep your dog's barking to a reasonable level. The best depository of them can be found on the RSPCA website.
My neighbour’s dog barks excessively - what can I do?
You need to be aware that nuisance barking complaints are often difficult to resolve, as each resident will have a different view of what is a noise nuisance. Also, it is recognised that barking is a normal and reasonable behaviour for dogs and therefore is considered part of everyday living. Please note that Council cannot remove a barking dog from its home or take action on “one-off” or short-term barking resulting from:
- Emergency vehicle sirens
- The mail delivery person
- The temporary absence of the occupant of the premises
If you are disturbed by noise from your neighbour’s dog, there are a number of things you can do:
1. Discuss the matter with the dog owner
The dog’s owner may not have realised their dog is bothering you and in many cases will be happy to work with you to solve the problem. Discussing it with them in the first instance should help maintain good neighbourly relations.
To find out more about dealing with barking dogs, download the Dealing with barking dogs brochure - 3.7MB.
Download a letter template - 33kb that may help you approach your neighbour with the issue.
2. Contact the Community Justice Centre (CJC)
If the problem persists or your neighbour is unwilling to discuss the matter then you may contact the Community Justice Centre (CJC). The CJC provides free mediation to help people resolve disputes without going to court. They will suggest mediation where you will meet with the dog’s owner and a CJC representative to try to solve the problem. The service has a high success rate. The CJC can be contacted on 1800 990 777 or the CJC website.
3. Contact Council
For Council to be able to investigate your concerns you will need to complete and return to Council a Barking Dog Diary - 131kb.
You must be able to provide the address details for the dog and preferably details of other neighbours willing to verify that the dog is barking at a nuisance level. The diary must be completed for a minimum of 14 days.
After submission of the diary Council’s officers will be able to investigate your concerns. A Nuisance Order will be issued if your supporting documentation and Council’s investigation prove, to the legal standard, that the behaviour of the dog is persistent, regular, ongoing and affecting a number of persons.
4. Noise Abatement Order
If Council is unable to take action you have the option of seeking a noise abatement order from the local court. If the court is satisfied that the dog is causing an offensive noise, or that the noise is likely to recur, it may order the owner to stop the noise within a specified time or prevent a recurrence. To apply for an order contact your local court.
For more information download the Seeking a noise abatement order brochure - 680kb.