Dog Barking 

Barking is a dog's natural means of communication and often signifies its alertness to danger or intruders.  However, a dog that persistently barks in a manner which is not considered to be normally habitual in dogs constitutes a nuisance.

If a dog barks continually without reason, the cause may be lack of training, insufficient exercise, loneliness, inadequate shelter, ill health or deliberate or unintentional provocation by people or roaming dogs.

The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale fully appreciates that a barking dog can often severely disrupt people’s lives and can erode their quality of life.  Most dog barking issues are solved by simple neighbourly communication but sometimes solving the issue of a barking dog can be a complex issue to deal with.

The laws and processes we need to follow relating to an alleged dog nuisance are prescribed by State legislation. The Dog Act states that:

A person may lodge a complaint in a prescribed form with an authorised person, alleging that a dog is a nuisance. If an authorised person is satisfied that a dog is a nuisance as alleged in a complaint, the authorised person may issue an order to a person liable for the control of the dog requiring that person to prevent the behaviour that is alleged to constitute the nuisance by a time specified in the order.

You may also choose to notify your neighbour that their dog is barking using the friendly Bark Card below.

Dear Neighbour Barking Card

What can I do about a barking dog?

The Shire asks that you follow the below procedure.

First, try to solve the issue yourself

Many dog owners are not aware that their dog is barking and/or that it is a nuisance to others; some owners often have difficulty believing their dogs bark.  Dogs often bark when people are not home so the owner has no idea of the problem.  It is not normal for a dog to bark at every noise or passer-by or to bark for long periods of time.

It’s essential that you notify the dog owner of the issue and make several genuine, friendly attempts to solve the issue.

Have a neighbourly chat and allow them some time, at least a couple of weeks, to rectify the problem. Download and leave a Dear Neighbour Bark Card, or you could just leave a polite note in the letterbox giving the owners some information when the problem occurs.

If that fails, then contact us

If you have contacted the dog owner and are getting no results, you are welcome to call our Rangers team to discuss the issue further.  You will be requested to assist in collecting the necessary evidence required to issue an order notice by keeping a "Barking Diary".  These diaries need to be as accurate as possible for a period of 14 days in the first instance.

Further action may need to be taken which may ultimately end in a fine or even legal action for the dog owner if they do not comply.