Barking Dogs

Barking dogs are one of the most common complaints received by Council, but it can be a very difficult issue for Council Rangers to deal with because:

  • There are different ideas about what constitutes too much barking.
  • Gathering evidence can be time consuming and difficult.
  • Rangers often need to ask other neighbours to see how much of a nuisance barking is.
  • Owners often don’t know that their dog is barking a lot.

Barking is one way that dogs communicate, and could mean anything from playfulness to danger. Dogs that bark constantly can be annoying for you and your neighbour. Sometimes stopping a dog from barking is as simple as taking care of their basic needs.

Suggestions for dog owners

If you are worried about your dog’s barking, try the following:

  • Make sure your dog has plenty of food and water, as well as shelter from the rain and the sun.
  • Give your dog lots of attention while you’re at home.
  • Exercise your dog, as dogs who have worked off their excess energy are less likely to bark from boredom. Exercise also gets your dog used to other people and reduces the chance of it being aggressive.
  • Leave toys out for your dog to play with while you aren’t there.
  • Make sure you dog is regularly wormed and isn’t sick. Get some advice from your vet if you are concerned.
  • Discipline your dog. Your dog will accept kind but firm discipline. You could take it to obedience school, puppy school, or get some advice from your vet.
  • Don’t leave your dog on a chain for long periods of time, as this causes behavioural problems. If you really have to chain up your dog, make sure it is on a running wire to allow some free movement, and make sure you exercise it a lot when you are home.

If your dog keeps on barking even after trying the above suggestions, try these ideas:

  • Keep your dog in the backyard so that it can’t be interfered with or bothered by passing people or animals.
  • Restrict your dog’s vision through the fence or gate. If they can’t see those passing by they can’t be provoked.
  • Think about training. Talk to a specialist, reputable trainer, or your local dog training club.
  • Keep your dog inside, or confined to the garage or garden shed at night.
  • Try an anti-barking collar/device from pet stores and vets. When used correctly, these can help train your dog not to bark.

Dealing with your neighbour's barking dog

If someone’s barking dog is bothering you, take the following steps.

  • Contact the owner of the dog. They might not know their dog is barking, especially if it only barks when they are away.
  • Be courteous and polite. Your neighbours might not know how to go about fixing the problem, so perhaps you can assist with some information or suggestions. Perhaps you could direct them to this site. Give them an opportunity to correct the problem.
  • Be specific and tell your neighbour if their dog is barking at certain times.
  • If you can't resolve the problem with the owner of the dog, contact Willoughby City Council on 9777 1000.