Barking dogs

Dogs are an important part of our community, but dogs that bark excessively can become a source of irritation for neighbours and others. 

Talking to your neighbour about their barking dog is often the best way to resolve the problem. They may not be aware it is barking. 

We recommend you follow these steps to resolve the problem quickly and in a neighbourly manner. 

Steps to resolve barking dogs

Step 1.Talk to the owner

Raise your concerns with the owner in a polite manner. Let them know when the dog is barking as they may not be aware (ie. The dog may only bark when the owner is not home).

If you are not comfortable approaching them, trying placing the Dear Neighbour letter(PDF, 108KB) in their letterbox.

Step 2.Contact the Department of Justice

If the owner takes no action or does not agree that a problem exists, you should contact the Department of Justice who offer a free service to help to solve issues or disputes across Victoria. 

Step 3.Lodge a complaint to Council

If these approaches are unsuccessful, you can lodge a compliant with Council. You must demonstrate that you have spoken with your neighbour or tried to resolve the problem.

To lodge a compliant, you must submit the following documents:

You need to continue to keep a diary of the barking habits for another month after you have lodged your compliant. 

Step 4.Complaint investigation

We will examine your diary entries to establish barking patterns and determine whether there is a case for further investigation. We may survey other neighbours to see if they are experiencing the same issues. 

If a noise nuisance is established, we will contact the dog owner to discuss possible solutions. We will work with the owner until we believe we have done everything possible to correct the barking.

Step 5.Court action

This is the last resort and we will only propose this if the following apply:

  • The owner is not complying with our request; and
  • The dog is the problem; and
  • The complainant is prepared to attend and provide evidence at the Magistrates Court.

It is important that you understand that as the complainant, you must prove there is a problem at court. Be aware that you may be subjected to cross-examination.