Your dog must be kept contained to your property
- All dogs need to be kept contained to their owner's property (in accordance with Section 25 of the Domestic Animals Act 1994). This means your yard must have a closed gate and fence that your dog can't jump, or get under or through.
- Visitors must have safe access to your front door without being stopped by your dog.
- Dogs must be kept on a leash when in a public place, except if in a designated off leash dog park.
- If your dog wanders you may be given an official warning or a fine. Wandering dogs may be taken to the pound.
- If your dog rushes at or chases someone, you could be fined, and we may have to declare your dog to be a 'menacing dog'. This means you will have to microchip it and you may have to leash and muzzle it in public.
Dog issues that you can report to us
You can make a report about dogs that:
- bark too much or bark during the night
- attack or bite a person or animal
- rush at or chase a person or animal
- are not on a leash if outside their owner's property (except in designated off leash dog areas)
- are dangerous or restricted breed
- repeatedly come on to your property without your permission
- are creating a health risk
- are kept in excessive numbers on a property.
Advice for owners of barking dogs
- If you have animals on your property, you must take all reasonable steps to prevent them from making unreasonable noise, in accordance with Local Law 17 (section 43).
- It is normal and healthy for animals to make noise, for example, for a dog to bark. However, it is not reasonable for it to bark continuously, to bark too much, or to bark through the night.
Dogs bark for a variety of reasons. When dogs bark excessively, this usually suggests there is an underlying problem.
The first step is to work out why your dog is barking too much. Once you find out what is causing the barking, you can make some positive changes that will hopefully fix the issue.
Reasons why your dog may bark
- Boredom or loneliness: Your dog may be bored or lonely due to a lack of company, exercise or mental stimulation. If left in the backyard for long periods, barking may be an enjoyable way for dogs to pass the time. Dogs are also social, pack animals, and may suffer from anxiety when alone.
- To get attention: Even though their barking may result in being reprimanded, dogs may still prefer negative attention to no attention at all, especially if they are bored or lonely.
- To alert or warn of possible threats: This could include barking at animals, the postman, noises, or the movement of people or vehicles outside the property.
- Breed: Some dog breeds may be more inclined to bark.
- Fear: Fears may include thunder, fireworks, or other loud noises.
- Medical reasons: These may include fleas, allergy or illness.
- Physical reasons: Your dog might be hot, cold, hungry or thirsty.
Tips for reducing barking
Depending on why your dog is barking, the following tips may help:
- Take your dog on more walks: Go on more walks (once or twice a day is ideal) and include your dog in family outings. Even if you have a large yard, dogs still need to socialise and experience the sounds and smells of walks outside.
- Head to an off-leash area: Run your dog regularly in one of Cardinia Shire’s designated off- leash parks.
- Provide toys and entertainment: Make your backyard more interesting by leaving toys and a large raw marrow bone for your dog to chew. Rotate the toys so they stay interesting for the dog. You can also try putting some food into a Kong toy or treat ball so they have to work to get food rewards. Try hiding toys and treats around the garden, or providing a sandpit for digging.
- Check food, water and shelter: Make sure your dog has fresh water, a balanced diet, and adequate shelter from bad weather. If possible, give it access to the house through a dog door.
- Take your dog to obedience classes/dog training: Training can teach your dog what is OK to bark at, and what isn't. Different training techniques will be used to treat different barking problems. For advice, ask a dog trainer, dog behaviourist or your vet.
Practice what you learn regularly to provide mental stimulation for the dog. It is important to remember that training takes time and persistence, and that you should never hit your dog.
- Block the view: If the dog is barking at passers-by, block its view of movement outside the property with solid fencing, shade cloth or hedging.
- Visit the vet: Make sure your dog is in good health by taking it to the vet for a check-up. Your vet can also give you behaviour advice that can help.
Report a barking dog
1. Let the owner know about the problem
Speak to the owner first to make them aware of the problem and let them know how it is affecting you. Sometimes owners may not be aware their dog is barking too much if it happens when they are not home. Letting them know about the problem gives them the opportunity to fix it.
If you are not comfortable speaking with the owner directly, we suggest you print off and fill in the details on this Letter to owner of barking dog and drop it in their letterbox.
2. If the barking is still an issue, report it to us
3. We will ask you to fill out a noise diary
You will then be asked to complete a noise diary to help us understand the problem. Once you return the noise diary, we will review it, investigate the problem and take action if required.
We will let the dog's owner know, in writing, that a complaint has been made. We will not let them know who has made the complaint.
If the noise stops after you have reported it, please let us know in writing at firstname.lastname@example.org
Report a dog attack, bite or wandering dog
To make a report please use the Animal service request form