Excessive dog barking can be annoying for neighbours and the community. It is an offence under Section 32 of the Domestic Animals Act 1994 to allow a dog to create 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.
If your neighbour's dog is barking excessively, you can try approaching the dog's owner. The owner may not realise the barking is an issue because the:
- dog may only bark a lot when the owner is away
- owner may not hear the barking from areas inside the house
- owner may be a very sound sleeper and not be woken up when the dog barks
Council has provided information to help neighbours with barking dog issues. The fact sheets in Related Information provide guidance for the dog owner and for neighbours on why the dog may be barking and some recommendations on how to reduce the barking. There is also a letter template for neighbours to use if they would like to communicate to the dog owner about the problem.
If the owner of the dog agrees to do something about the barking, wait a few weeks to see if they have been successful in their efforts. Your support and ongoing feedback about the dog's behaviours can assist the dog owner to resolve the problem.
Report to Council
If you are not comfortable approaching the owner when the dog barks excessively, or if the dog continues to bark after the owner has had time to resolve the problem, you can report the issue to Kingston City Council. If you have the exact location details of the dog, including house number and street, you can:
- Download Barking Dog Statement and return to Council
- Call Council on 1300 653 356
If this is the first barking dog complaint, Council requires you to complete a Barking Dog Statement so you can provide further information.
Council works with the dog owner
Following review of the Barking Dog Statement, Council will contact the dog owner to discuss the barking dog and provide advice on ways to manage the barking. Council and the neighbourhood must allow time for the owner to take action to address the nuisance barking. If further complaints are received, Council officers will investigate. If the officer determines the dog is causing an ongoing noise nuisance, Council may give the owner a notice to comply, and offer help to stop the nuisance.
In some cases where the issue cannot be resolved, or the dog owner does not comply with the notice to remedy, Council may issue a fine.
Tips to reduce barking
If your dog is barking excessively, you can try:
- Exercise. Make sure your dog gets enough exercise. An active dog barks less.
- Company. Make sure you spend enough time with your dog, or your dog has time with other dogs for a bit of playtime. Social time is just as important for your dog as it is for you.
- Stimulation. Supply your dog with food, water and toys to keep them happy. A bored dog barks to attract attention. Remember a more active dog barks less.
- Fence design. Design your home so that it restricts your dog’s vision to outside disturbances like pedestrians or cars.
If it is not clear what is causing the barking, you can consult your vet. If the vet cannot resolve the issue, try an animal behaviour specialist or a dog training organisation.