All dogs bark, but some barking dogs become a real neighbourhood nuisance - greatly reducing the quality of life for their neighbours.
Barking is 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.
Why dogs bark
- Dogs are social animals and often bark when they are lonely.
- Separation from an owner can cause dogs 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.
Controlling the barking
The most important first step is to work out why your dog is barking.
Once you know the symptom, you can find the cure. Barking can be controlled through several small behavioural changes. Some behavioural changes could be as small as walking your dog twice a day to relieve boredom.
Dogs are social animals and require a certain amount of interaction on a daily basis. If your dog barks when you are away from the premises it is probably due to loneliness.
- Provide your pet with stimulants
An easy way of combating this is to provide your pet with stimulants such as balls and chew toys to keep them occupied while you are away. It can also be handy to leave a radio on and to leave something that belongs to you such as an old shoe.
- Inside dogs / Bones as a treat
If you can let your dog inside the house, providing your dog with a single well- ventilated room can relax your dog. Try giving your dog a bone when you leave the house. This will teach your dog that when you leave there is a positive outcome.
- Fences / Obedience training
A fence that is correctly designed to restrict your dog’s vision will help reduce barking. Obedience training and discipline are also very important when trying to stop a barking problem. A dog can be trained to be alone and to bark only on command.
My neighbour’s dog barks. What can I do?
Barking dogs can be annoying to neighbours, though sometimes the owner is unaware that the barking is causing a nuisance. If you encounter a barking dog from a neighbouring property, the first step could be to discuss the issue with your neighbour. Sometimes the issue of barking dogs can be resolved by speaking to the dog owner first, without the need to involve Council. Once a person is made aware that an issue is causing a nuisance to their neighbours, most of the time, they will take steps to fix the problem. Council strongly encourages residents to discuss these issues with their neighbours.
Ensure you provide sufficient time for the dog owner to rectify the problem.
The Queensland Government Department of Justice and Attorney-General can provide advice on how to approach your neighbour to discuss a concern and offers tips on setting up a meeting.
If neighbourhood disputes cannot be resolved you may wish to take advantage of the Governments free Mediation Services. For more information on this service please visit the Queensland Government Department of Justice and Attorney-General website or contact the Dispute Resolution Branch on 1800 017 288 (toll free), or by post to:
Dispute Resolution Branch
GPO Box 149
BRISBANE QLD 4001
Alternatively If the dog’s owner is unapproachable, or you are not comfortable approaching the dog owner, you may make a request for a Council Officer to investigate an alleged barking dog noise nuisance, please contact Council on (07) 4189 9100 with details of the nuisance, location, breed of dog (if known), times and duration of barking etc.