All dogs bark – barking is natural. Unfortunately , if not addressed it can cause problems with your neighbours.

Barking dogs is the most common animal behaviour problem Council is asked to investigate. Ongoing barking is often a symptom of another problem, and taking time to understand what makes dogs bark – especially your pet or other dogs in your neighbourhood – is the first step towards solving this problem, both for the dog involved and your neighbours.  If your neighbours talk to you about your dog barking ask questions so that you can determine the best way to work with your dog to reduce the barking.

Dogs bark because they are:

  • lonely
  • separated from an owner
  • bored
  • seeking attention
  • anxious
  • protecting their property

and some breeds have a reputation for barking.

Techniques to control barking:

  • Walk your dog to relieve boredom
  • Provide stimulants such as balls and chew toys
  • Leave a radio on or leave one of your old shoes
  • Give your dog a bone when you leave the house
  • Construct a fence designed to restrict your dog’s vision
  • Obedience training and discipline

Scolding your dog for barking will still answer its need for attention.  This will teach the dog that the more it barks, the more attention it will receive, even if this is unpleasant.  However there is a range of simple, effective solutions which may stop your dog barking.

Training to prevent barking:

Option 1 – preventing barking when you are at home

When you’re at home the ‘bad dog – good dog’ technique can be used.

  • To train a puppy, place it in a comfortable room. When it barks, walk quietly to the closed door and sternly tell it to be quiet. Do not open the door. The pup will usually stop barking at the sound of your voice.
  • Wait fifteen to twenty seconds and if it does not bark again, open the door and praise and cuddle the dog. This is not a reward for barking but for being quiet as a result of your command and still gives the dog the attention it wants.
  • If you observe that your dog is on the verge of barking, a firm reprimand in a stern voice No- Bad Dog should prevent this.
  • Now, using a friendly tone, you should command the dog to Come, Sit and Stay. Reward it for obeying. This contrast between reprimand and reward gives the dog a clear message about the effects of its good and bad behaviour.

Option 2 – preventing barking when you are away

When you’re not at home dogs often bark because of a combination of social isolation and boredom. The solution can be to make your dog happy and relaxed by confining it to a small, comfortable room – a ‘den’.

Your laundry, bathroom or any small room would be suitable. You must make the dog happy about being confined to this room while you are out, but balance this with extra exercise when you return home.

  • Make the room comfortable – not too hot, not in direct sun and with soft bedding provided.
  • Place the dog’s water bowl inside its den and nowhere else – so that even when you are at home, it has to go to its den voluntarily for a drink.
  • The most important step is to lock the dog in its den for 15 minutes whenever you feed it. The dog then will associate being confined with the happiness and contentment of being fed. Leave the dog in the den for 15 minutes, then release and praise it.
  • When you leave for work, lock the dog in the den and give it food to make it happy. A large bone will help do this and keep the dog occupied for some time. The dog will remain quiet because it is happy.

Excessive Barking:

Council will investigate barking complaints. Barking is considered excessive if it occurs:

  • 7am-10pm no more than six minutes of noise in any hour
  • 10pm-7am no more than three minutes of noise in any 30-minute period

My Neighbour’s dog barks – what can I do?

Talk to your neighbour as soon as the problem arises. They may not be aware that their dog is barking or that their dog’s barking is bothering you.

Give your neighbour information and if the barking persists after a week or two, speak with your neighbour again to provide feedback.

If your neighbour is unapproachable, or does not agree that a problem exists, you should contact Council for further advice.

Council investigation

Investigations into barking dog complaints takes time and Council needs the assistance of the affected person each step of the way. Without this assistance Council may be limited n what action can be taken.

Prior to lodging a request with Council you can use the Resident’s advice letter – drop it in the letterbox at the address where the barking dog resides.  It’s anonymous and may make the owner aware of the problem.

If there is no improvement after a week contact Council with all of the relevant details. You will be sent a letter and asked to keep a diary of the noise.  This helps Council to understand the extent of the problem so it must be filled in accurately.   The owner is also notified of the problem and requested to act to prevent the barking.

If the problem continues Council officers will have to listen and time the barking to determine if it meets the excessive barking guidelines detailed above.  Council must be able to see the dog barking so it can be described and verified as the problem dog.

The information provided by the caller is a very important part of the evidence of a problem and if the owner fails to act and Council takes legal action the support of the affected person/s will be necessary.

As the owner of a dog that is accused of causing a barking nuisance your assistance in working with Council is vital.  Failure to comply may lead to fines, legal action or removal of your dog.

Council staff can help you with barking problems in the community so that you do not have to suffer the nuisance caused by dogs that make too much noise.

Further information

To report a barking dog…

Please contact the Customer Service Centre using the Online Contact Form.

You can also contact the Customer Service Centre using one of the following methods.

Customer Service Centre

Google Map
145 Young Street,
Ayr Qld 4807
Postal AddressPO Box 974
Ayr Qld 4807
Opening hours8am – 5pm, Monday to Friday (except Public Holidays)
(07) 4783 9800 – Business hours
(07) 4783 9800 – After hours (the same number)
Fax(07) 4783 9999
OnlineUse the Online Contact Form

Building Certification and Plumbing Officers

Early OpeningPlease phone (07) 4783 9942 if you need to access the Building and Plumbing Department between 7am – 8am, Monday to Friday.

Media Enquiries

For all media enquiries please email

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> Complaints, compliments and suggestions page.

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