Barking dogs and animal nuisance

If you are experiencing barking or noisy dogs in your neighbourhood, there are things you can do. Dogs bark for many reasons, but too much barking is not normal and is both unhealthy for the dog and difficult for neighbours and nearby residents.

A dog is considered a ‘nuisance’ under the Dog Control Act 2000 if it’s barking “interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any premises or public place”.

If a dog causes a nuisance, the owner may be fined.

Understanding why a dog is barking and what you can do to help it may prevent your dog creating unease among other residents, or complaints being made about your dog.

Please read our Does Your Dog have a Barking Problem? (PDF) brochure for barking behaviours, suggestions and legal information.

If a dog continues to be noisy

If a dog continues to be noisy, you can talk to the dog’s owner or alternatively write to them about it using our letter to owner barking template (PDF).

A lot of the time, the dog’s owner doesn’t know their dog is barking when they aren’t there.

If you feel unsure or uncomfortable about speaking with the owner of the dog, you can make a general complaint to us.

Making a general complaint

To make a general complaint regarding a noisy dog, contact us.

We will make sure the complaint is reasonable and then contact the dog’s owner to advise them of the concerns and provide them with information on why dogs bark and the steps they can take to address this.

Formal Complaints

If a general complaint doesn’t work, you will need to submit a Formal Notice of Complaint (which has a fee).

You can contact us to get the Formal Complaint documents: which are the formal complain form and the record of occurrences form.

On the main Formal Complaint form, you will need to provide all required details including;

  • your details,
  • the address where the noisy dog is kept, and other details about the dog,
  • the details of your complaint 

On the Record of Occurrences form, you need to include a list of the dates, times and possible causes of the dog’s noise, over 14 days.

Please lodge the forms and pay the Formal Complaint Fee at our Customer Service Centre.

The next step is that our Animal Management Officers will investigate the complaint as soon as possible. If there is a noise nuisance, formal action may be taken against the dog owner. 

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