Barking Dogs and Animal Noise

All dogs bark, but some barking dogs become a real neighbourhood nuisance - greatly reducing the quality of life for their neighbours and increasing neighbourhood tensions. Barking dogs are the most common animal behaviour problem Council is asked to deal with.

Ongoing barking is often a symptom of another problem, and taking time to understand what makes dogs bark - especially your pet or other dogs in your neighbourhood - is the first step towards solving this problem, both for the dog involved and your neighbours.

Noise nuisance is not just caused by dogs, it also includes but it not limited to pets such as livestock, poultry and even cats.

Local Law

A person who keeps an animal must ensure it does not make a noise that is excessive in the circumstances and that exceeds the following:

  1. total of 6 minutes in any hour from 7am to 10pm on any day
  2. total of 3 minutes in any 30 minute period from 10pm to 7am on any day.

Visit our Local Laws page for further information on Local Law No 2 (Animal Management)

Council’s Local Law regarding about noise doesn’t just apply to barking dogs.

Minimum standards Noise Nuisance Legislation applies to a person who keeps any animal. This includes but is not limited to pets such as livestock, poultry and even cats.

Different people have different tolerances for noise. What one person considers a nuisance may not disturb someone else. Council has therefore defined Nuisance noise is defined as to be:

  • Excessive noise in all circumstances that is for a total period of more than 6 minutes in an hour period between 7am and 10pm or more than 3 minutes in a 30 minute period between 10pm and 7am.

For more information on noise nuisance and minimum standards – please consult Subordinate Local Law No.2 (Animal Management) 2011 Schedule 4.

Barking Dogs

Why do dogs bark?

  • Dogs are social animals and often bark when they are lonely.
  • Separation from an owner can cause dogs bark because they are stressed.
  • Barking may be the result of boredom and frustration.
  • Barking is a dog's way of seeking attention from its owner.
  • Dogs bark out of fear - this can be fear of people, objects, or other dogs.
  • Dogs bark when there is a threat to their territory.
  • Some breeds have a reputation for barking.

Controlling barking

The most important step in stopping nuisance barking is to work out why your dog is barking. Once you know the cause, you can find a remedy. Excessive barking can be managed in several ways.

My neighbour's dog barks - what can I do?

Conversation is key! Talk to your neighbour or give them the Dear Neighbour letter (PDF) as soon as the problem arises. They may not be aware that their dog is barking or that their dog's barking is bothering you.

If the barking persists after a week or two, speak with your neighbour to provide feedback.

If your neighbour is unapproachable, or does not agree that a problem exists, you should contact us on 13 48 10 for further advice, or report a barking dog using our Report a Problem form.

If you report the problem barking to Council, you will be asked to record instances of barking in a noise diary over a period of 7 days to determine when the dog is barking and to record how this is impacting on you.

Excessive noise is unstimulated barking that is made for a total of more than six minutes in any hour from 7am to 10pm, OR noise that is made for a total of more than three minutes in half an hour between 10pm and 7am.

If the record shows the barking meets the criteria for problem barking, a Compliance Officer will contact you.