My neighbour’s dog barks
All dogs bark, but in some cases the barking dogs may become a real neighbourhood nuisance - greatly reducing the quality of life for neighbours and increasing neighbourhood tensions. City of Gold Coast understands the value of enjoying a peaceful neighbourhood.
How can I help?
Talk to your neighbour. They may not be aware that their dog is barking or that their dog's barking is bothering you. Your feedback may also assist the animal’s owner understand and resolve any problems that may be contributing to the excessive barking.
Do not shout at (or punish) the dog in an attempt to stop it from barking. This may have the opposite effect and encourage it to bark more. Give your neighbour time - understand that the dog owner needs time to fix the problem. There are no quick fixes to a barking problem.
What happens if I lodge a complaint with City of Gold Coast?
In the first instance, a City officer will contact the dog’s owner and let them know that a complaint has been received. We will also provide the dog owner with information on why dogs bark excessively and suggest ways in which this can possibly be resolved.
The City will take no further action at this stage, unless further complaints are received. The City will then undertake a comprehensive investigation to determine if a nuisance exists. Not all barking may constitute a noise nuisance under the local law even if it annoys you. The City must be satisfied that the dog(s) is in fact creating a nuisance by barking. If the City is unable to determine that a nuisance exists, it is unable to take any further action.
If the City is satisfied that a nuisance exists, a notice may be served upon the keeper of the offending dog(s), requiring them to abate the nuisance. Should the keeper of the dog fail to comply with the notice, the City may issue a fine, commence legal action or other action to resolve the matter.
What are my responsibilities?
- Keep us informed – whilst allowing the dog owner time to rectify the problem. It is your responsibility to keep us informed should the problem persist.
- Keep complete and comprehensive records - in the event that legal action is taken, all parties including the complainant and other witnesses may be asked to attend court to provide evidence.
Is my dog barking?
Barking is a natural behaviour for dogs. It is one way in which they communicate. A dog which barks excessively to cause nuisance, however, is often one which over reacts to life’s perceived threats or worries and where normal ‘events of every day life’ cause excessive and prolonged barking that is ‘above and beyond the call of duty’.
You know your dog may be causing a noise nuisance by its barking when:
- your neighbours tell you
- a complaint has been made to City of Gold Coast
- it annoys you!
Utilising a counting collar can give you, as the dog owner, the opportunity to acknowledge and fix the problem or rule out the allegation. The City may be able to assist with the provision of bark count collars.
What are my responsibilities?
It is not the City of Gold Coast's responsibility to resolve the problem for you. As the dog owner, you need to firstly accept that your dog may be causing a problem and then take appropriate action to stop your dog barking excessively. These matters are unlikely to be resolved quickly.
The City is obligated to advise you that there are legal ramifications for not abating any noise nuisance.
Why is my dog barking?
- Dogs are social animals and often bark when they are lonely.
- Separation from an owner can cause dogs to stress.
- Barking may also 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.
- Playing with your dog often stimulates barking.
- Some breeds have a reputation for barking.
- Dominant dogs bark until they get what they want.
What can I do?
If you wish to reduce your dog’s barking, you need to understand why he or she is barking. Ongoing barking is often a symptom of another problem, and taking time to understand what makes dogs bark is the first step towards solving this problem, both for the dog involved and your neighbours.
Barking can be controlled through several small behavioural changes, some as small as walking your dog twice a day to relieve boredom.
Seek professional help from an animal behaviourist or trainer, your vet or talk to a City officer if necessary. Help is available.