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Barking dogs in the neighbourhood

The law says that, if a domestic animal (usually a dog) barks excessively, an abatement notice (i.e. a notice requesting that they cease the noise) can be given to the dog's owner if the problem can’t be resolved directly.

For neighbours

When you have an excessively barking dog in your neighbourhood, first try talking to the dog’s owner to ensure they’re aware of the problem and see if they can do something about it.

Most councils have useful information and fact sheets on dealing with barking dogs.

After speaking with the dog’s owner, and they agree to do something about the barking, wait a few weeks to see if they’ve been successful in their efforts. Your support and ongoing feedback about the dog's behaviour can help the dog owner resolve the problem.

You can complain to your local council if talking to the owner doesn’t work.

The council will investigate and, if necessary, issue an abatement notice to the dog’s owner.

If a dog owner doesn’t comply with the abatement notice, they can be fined.

For dog owners

Dogs bark for many reasons and there are ways to manage this. The following tips might help.

Tips to reduce excessive barking

Reasons for excessive barking include:

  • boredom
  • separation anxiety
  • fear
  • territorial behaviour
  • communication.

Some simple tips to reduce excessive barking include:

  • exercise—an active dog barks less when it gets regular exercise
  • company
  • stimulation—a bored dog will bark to attract attention
  • fence design—restrict your dog’s view to what’s going on outside the fence.

You can also visit the RSPCA website for further information on why dogs bark and how to reduce excessive barking.

More information

  • Read more about ways to approach your neighbour
  • Search for your local council
  • Last updated
    17 January 2018
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