Barking dogs

Under Council's local law, owners are responsible for ensuring their animal(s) don't cause a noise nuisance. All dogs bark but in some cases excessive barking may become a real neighbourhood nuisance.

A dog is considered to be creating a noise nuisance if:

  • It barks/howls for more than a total of 6 minutes in any one hour period between 7am and 10pm on any day;
  • It barks/howls for more than a total of 3 minutes in any 30 minute period between 10pm and 7am on any day.

Find out what you can do to get help.

Help for owners

Barking is a common animal behavioural problem. Dogs bark because they are excited, stressed, bored, in pain, lonely or just because they can and many dogs will bark when their owners are not at home.

Read our Barking mad - tips and tricks for dog owners [PDF, 0.1MB] for help working with managing your barking dog.

Tips to reduce common dog barking problems

  • Reduce excess visual stimulation
    • Keep the dog in the back yard or erect screens to minimise visual stimulus and correct the dog each time it barks
  • Reduce boredom when left alone
    • Provide mental stimuli for the dog in the form of balls, empty ice cream buckets and a large beef knuckle bone
    • Leave a radio playing which is audible to the dog (but not the neighbours)
    • Ensure the dog has plenty of quality time with family members and receives adequate daily exercise
  • Provide adequate food, water and shelter when left alone
    • Ensure the dog has fresh water and a comfortable area to shelter from the weather
    • Feed the dog prior to it being left on its own or scatter food throughout the yard for the dog to find

For additional tips and information, view Council's educational video 'Bark Busters' located at the Redland City Library, Cleveland.

Seek professional help

If it's not clear what is causing the excessive barking or you need additional help or advice:

  • Contact Council's Animal Management team
  • Consult your vet
  • Consult an animal behaviour specialist or a dog training organisation

Help for neighbours

If your neighbour's dog is barking excessively, the owner may not be aware the barking is an issue so Council encourages all concerned neighbours to discuss the problem with the animal owner in the first instance.   

Step 1: Communicate with your neighbour

  • Talk to your neighbour as soon as the problem arises as 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 again to provide feedback.
  • If you are not comfortable approaching your neighbour, the Dear Neighbour notification  [PDF, 0.1MB] letter can be placed in your neighbours letter box or mailed.

Step 2: Contact Council or the Dispute Resolution Centre

If your neighbour is unapproachable, does not agree that a problem exists, or the problem has not been resolved after speaking with them, contact us for further advice or contact the Dispute Resolution Centre for a free mediation service to work through the issue.

Step 3: Lodge a noise complaint with Council

Contact us and provide the following:

  • your name, address and telephone number
  • the address of where the dog is housed, a description of the dog, list of dates, times and possible causes for the dog's barking and how the barking is affecting you.

What happens to my complaint?

We will contact the dog's owner to:

  • let them know a complaint has been received
  • provide information about some possible causes of nuisance barking and provide some potential solutions
  • conduct noise assessments to determine if a noise nuisance exists as outlined by Local Law 2 - Animal Management.

If we are satisfied that a nuisance exists, a notice may be served upon the owner of the offending dog requiring them to abate the nuisance. If the owner of the dog fails to comply with the notice, Council may issue a fine, commence legal action or other action to resolve the matter. 

More information

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