Lachlan Shire Council is required to follow up complaints about barking dogs, and in some cases, is able to take action against owners of barking dogs.
Understanding barking and nuisance behaviour
While barking is simply one way dogs communicate, some dogs bark excessively because they are;
- Chained to a fixed point and don’t have enough room to move around
- Being provoked deliberately or unintentionally by people or other factors
- Not getting enough exercise
- Not properly trained
- Lonely, sick, hungry or neglected.
Chronic or excessive barking is a sign that something is wrong and can be a nuisance to others in the community. All dog owners have responsibilities under the Companion Animals Act 1998 and the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 to ensure their dogs do not exhibit nuisance behaviour or emit offensive noise.
Reporting barking dogs
Before reporting a barking dog to Council, residents are encouraged to attempt to resolve the situation by raising the issue with the dog owner or seeking the assistance of a Community Justice Centre to mediate with the dog owner on your behalf. The owners of the dog may not necessarily be aware the dog is barking excessively, especially if the dog is only barking when its owner is away from the home.
When speaking with your neighbour, remember to be courteous and specific. Tell your neighbour if the dog is barking at certain times or at certain things, and given them an opportunity to fix the problem.
What will Council do?
If speaking with your neighbour does not successfully address the problem, you can report the matter to Council.
Reports can only be investigated if Council receives a complaint in writing (by email or post), and we are unable to investigate anonymous complaints.
When reporting a barking dog, you will need to tell us the exact address of the problem dog and provide us with as much information as possible. Barking dog diaries may be provided to affected residents to determine the noise frequency and its impact. Residents that complete barking dog diaries must be prepared to give evidence in Court to support their complaint.
Once Council has a received a written complaint, we will then issue a letter to the dog’s owner and address the issues raised in the original written concern. Council will request the owner to take appropriate measures to alleviate the issue.