Barking dogs

Dogs that bark excessively can be a source of great irritation for neighbours. There are many reasons why dogs bark and a lot of the time the dog’s owner may not realise the barking is causing an annoyance to other people.

Why is my dog barking

There are many reasons why a dog may bark including:

  • Boredom or lack of stimulation, both mental and physical
  • Separation anxiety
  • Lack of companionship
  • Guarding its territory or fear
  • Lack of exercise
  • Inadequate yard space
  • Inadequate shelter from weather
  • Hunger or thirst
  • Medical conditions/illness
  • Provocation and/or disturbances
  • Change to a new environment or family structure

Tips to reduce dog barking

To reduce barking, consider trying the tips listed below:

  • Take your dog on more frequent walks (once or twice daily) and include it on family outings, so it can explore the outside world more.
  • Provide your dog with toys, puzzles and play tricks with it to enhance mental stimulation and reduce boredom.
  • If your dog is barking at passers-by or other animals, block its view of movement outside the property with solid fencing, shade cloth or hedging. Alternatively, if the source of provocation is a human, try to discuss the problem with them.
  • Do not reward your dog for barking. Don’t let the dog inside or give it attention when it barks. Instead, give the dog attention when it is quiet.
  • Enrol your dog in obedience training.
  • Check with your vet to ensure your dog is in good health.

What can I do if my neighbour has a barking dog?

Attempt to notify your neighbour

If a barking dog is becoming an issue, start by speaking with your neighbour. This may resolve the issue without any further action.

If you feel uncomfortable speaking to your neighbour, try writing a letter to them. It may be useful to keep a log of times that the dog is barking and provide this information to your neighbour as they may not be aware of the issue.

Unsure of what to write? Use our sample letter to help guide you.

You can find more resources and information about resolving disputes on the Dispute settlement centre of Victoria website.

Lodging a complaint with Council

Before lodging a complaint with Council you must first show that you:

  • have attempted to resolve the nuisance issue with your neighbour
  • identify the address where the dog resides and a description of the offending dog/s
  • are willing to complete a barking dog diary

If you have been unable to resolve the matter with your neighbour, submit a complaint to council by contacting us via email at or mail to P.O BOX 105, Anderson Street Lilydale, Vic 3140. You will need to provide your name, address and the address of where the dog is located.