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Barking is a natural behaviour for dogs and just one way by which they communicate. However, we understand in some cases barking dogs may become a neighbourhood nuisance, impacting on the amenity of the area.
If you are the owner of a barking dog, the RSPCA has training tips that may help.
If a barking dog affects you, we advise that you must take the following actions to resolve the issue:
The owner may not realise their dog is bothering you or others in the area, and in many cases will be happy to work with you to solve the problem. Discussing it with them first and advising them of when the barking is a problem could help them to find a way to address it. If you feel the dog's owner is unapproachable or you are uncomfortable doing so, a polite letter in their letterbox may help.
If the problem persists or your neighbour is unwilling to discuss the matter, then you must contact the Community Justice Centre. The CJC provides free mediation to help people solve disputes without going to court and has a high success rate. The CJC can be contacted on 1800 990 777. If you have no success in mediation, the CJC will provide you with documentation that can then be delivered to Council Rangers for investigation.
Alternatively, you can apply to the local court for a Noise Abatement Order. If the court is satisfied that the dog is causing 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.
For more information, refer to our Barking Dog Complaints Handling Policy(PDF, 92KB).