Coffs Harbour City Council Rangers handle more than 2500 dog complaints each year and the majority are to do with barking dogs.
Dogs bark for a number of reasons, but regardless of the cause, the reality is that a nuisance barking dog can be a real problem in a neighbourhood. However, dogs are allowed to bark and not all barking is deemed a nuisance. Council, in assessing whether a dog’s barking is creating a nuisance, will apply a community test, in that the barking needs to be affecting the local community (ie other nearby residents).
The following guidelines are designed to help alleviate the problems associated with barking dogs.
First - DISCUSS
If you have not already done so you should discuss the problem with the owner of the problem dog.
He or she may not be aware that you have a problem with their barking dog. (Many dog owners are not offended by the barking of their own dog or may be away when it barks.) In most cases owners will want to do the right thing and will co-operate.
Council has prepared a barking dog information pack which can assist you in this exercise.
Barking Dog Information Pack
Second - WAIT
If the owner agrees to do something about the barking please wait a few weeks to see if they have been successful in their efforts.
During this time you should remain in contact with your neighbour and let them know what the dog barks at etc, this will help them identify any specific issues which may be making the dog bark.
If several weeks have passed and you have followed the information contained in Council's information pack, and the barking continues, you can make contact with Council's Rangers. The Rangers will review the matter, and determine if there is sufficient reason to support Council involvement to progress the matter.
Upon investigation should Council determine that the barking of a dog is not a community issue you will be advised to contact the NSW Community Justice Centre. This is a free service and aids neighbours in resolving issues such as these.
Why does my dog bark?
Dogs that bark continually can be annoying for both you and your neighbours. If your dog is barking it may be because it:
- is bored
- needs exercise
- wants attention
- may suffer from separation anxiety
- lacks shelter, water, food
- may need veterinary attention
It may be as simple as covering your side gate or fence so the dog cannot see out and at disctractions off the property.
What can I do about my barking dog?
We're not suggesting you should stay home and entertain the dog all day every day, however, there are a number of simple things you can do to stop your dog barking that can be found in the Why does my dog bark? Information pack.
If you are already doing all of the above and your dog is still barking you may need to seek advice from an animal behaviour specialist. There are a number of mechanical devices which can be used to train your dog, these can be discussed with your local vet.