My neighbour has complained about my barking dog. What should I do?
Councils often receive complaints regarding persistently barking dogs. Each Council has an established procedure for investigating barking dog complaints. Although this procedure is likely to vary between Councils, it is common practice for Councils in urban areas to require complaints from more than one resident before taking action.
Under the Companion Animals Act,2 persistent barking is regarded as similar to straying or other anti-social behaviour. If a Council officer identifies a serious or ongoing problem, a Nuisance Dog Order may be issued.
Before issuing a Nuisance Dog Order, a Council officer normally requests evidence from the owner that steps have been or are being taken to address and prevent barking. In circumstances where no preventative action is being undertaken, Councils may issue a Nuisance Dog Order.
A Nuisance Dog Order requires the owner to stop the dog from continually barking. If the problem continues, the owner may be liable for a maximum penalty of $880 for a first offence and $1,650 for any further offences. Nuisance Dog Orders can also be issued for the following behaviours:
- Continuously running away;
- repeatedly defecating on property other than on which the dog is kept;
- repeatedly running at or chasing any person, animal (other than vermin) or vehicle;
- endangering the health of any person or animal (other than vermin); or
- Repeatedly causing substantial damage to anything outside the property on which the dog is kept.