The rules around barking dogsBarking dogs can be considered a ‘nuisance’ under the law Dog Control Act 2000 (external link). They become a nuisance when the barking (or other noise, such as scratching or digging) ‘persistently occurs or continues to such an extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience’.
If a dog persistently causes a nuisance the owner could be liable for a fine of up to $650.
If a dog doesn’t stop barkingBefore the problem gets out of hand, we suggest you talk to the dog’s owner to attempt to find out why the dog is barking. In many instances, the dog’s owner is not aware that the dog’s barking is causing a nuisance, and they may be able to take steps to stop it. You can find more information in our owners of noisy dogs page.
If the dog’s owner is unwilling or unable to take steps to reduce the dog’s barking, you can make a complaint to us.
Making a complaint
Before lodging a formal complaint, please contact Council’s Animal Management team on (03) 6216 6800 and let us know about the nuisance.
We will contact the dog’s owner to advise them of the problem and provide them with information on why dogs bark and the steps they can take to address this.
If the barking persists, you can lodge a Formal Notice of Complaint. Please contact us for a copy of the complaint form. When lodging it, you will need to include:
- the address where the barking dog is kept
- a detailed list of the dates, times and possible causes of the dog’s barking.
We will not respond to anonymous complaints, as we need to be able to verify that the complaint is genuine. Council also cannot provide feedback to anonymous complainants.