Dog issues

Barking dogs

Barking can be annoying for neighbours and the community. Persistent barking is not allowed in Kingston.

If a dog is barking excessively, you can try approaching the dog's owner. The owner may not realise the barking is an issue.

You can download and fill in our barking dog letter template(PDF, 86KB) and provide this to your neighbour.

For more information, see our barking dog factsheet for neighbours(PDF, 262KB).

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.

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 it to us.

Return the form once you have recorded the barking for at least 10 days. We will then contact the dog owner to discuss the barking dog and provide advice on ways to manage the barking.

Tips to reduce barking

If your dog is barking excessively, you can try:

  • Make sure your dog gets enough exercise
  • Make sure you spend enough time with your dog
  • Supply your dog with food, water and toys to keep them happy
  • 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 ask your vet.

For more information, see our barking dog factsheet for owners(PDF, 185KB).

Dog attacks

Contact us to report a dog attack or aggressive animal behaviour.

Legal requirements for dog owners

Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, all dog owners must securely confine dogs to the property. This means your yard must have a closed gate, and an escape-proof fence that your dog cannot jump, get under or through.

Where the owner of a dog is under the age of 18 years, the parent or guardian of that owner will be deemed the legal owner of the dog and subject to any penalties/prosecutions.

You may face legal consequences if your dog rushes at or chases someone.

If your dog rushes at or chases someone, you could be fined, and your local council can declare your dog to be a 'menacing dog'. This means you will have to leash and muzzle it in public at all times including in any dog off leash area.

If you do not comply with these requirements, council can then declare your dog to be a 'dangerous dog'. There are very strict controls on the housing, exercise and ownership of dangerous dogs.

Legal consequences in the event of an attack

You are liable if your dog attacks a person or animal outside your property, or someone trying to get to your front door. You are also liable if your dog attacks someone who has been invited onto your property.

An attack by your dog can lead to court action. If convicted, owners can face substantial fines. This is in addition to damages, which may potentially be thousands of dollars. In such situations, dogs are often ordered by a Magistrate to be destroyed or declared dangerous. Strict ownership controls are imposed on dangerous dogs for the rest of their lives.

Other reasons to confine your dog in the backyard

Apart from the legal consequences, an attack can be very distressing for all involved. This is particularly the case if the victim is a an elderly person or a child who is badly injured.

If securely confined, your dog will be safe from traffic injuries or fights with other dogs. It will also be prevented from wandering and becoming lost.

It's easy to prevent most dog attacks in public places, just by confining dogs.

So for the safety of your dog and everyone else, remember–confine your dog. Backyard is best!

Dangerous Menacing or Restricted Dog Breeds

Dangerous Dogs

A Dangerous Dog is a dog that the Council has declared dangerous because it has caused the death of or serious injury to a person or animal by biting or attacking. Councils can also declare dogs to be dangerous if the dog is a menacing dog and its owner has received at least two infringement notices for failing to comply with restraint requirements, or if the dog has been declared dangerous under corresponding legislation in another State/Territory, or for any other reason prescribed.

Guard Dog

A Guard Dog is a dog that is kept for the purpose of guarding non residential premises and is automatically a dangerous dog under the Domestic Animals Act 1994.

Menacing Dog

A Menacing dog is a dog that the Council has declared Menacing due to it rushing or chasing a person, or causing a non serious bite injury to a person or animal. "Rush at" means that the dog has approached a person within three metres in a menacing manner, this includes displaying aggressive behaviour such as snarling, growling and raised hackles.

Restricted Breed Dog

Restricted breed dogs are defined as dogs that are, or fit the Victorian approved standard for an:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier (or Pit Bull Terrier)
  • Perro de Presa Canario (or Canary Mastiff)
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Japanese Tosa (or Tosa Inu)
  • Fila Brasileiro (or Brazilian Mastiff).