Barking Dogs

Barking Dogs

Barking complaints are common. The City of Cockburn will assist in resolving the complaint although it is reliant on the complainant to record accurate evidence and to complete the required documentation. For the matter to be resolved quickly, the dog owner’s co-operation is paramount. Barking complaints can be time consuming and complex. Dog owners are often not aware their dog barks, they may have higher tolerance levels or they do not see it as a problem.

What is nuisance barking?

Barking is a dog’s way of communicating, so not all barking is considered nuisance barking. Nuisance barking is persistent barking that negatively impacts a person’s lifestyle, and includes:

  • Barking at traffic, people or other distractions long after the distraction has left

  • Barking, howling or whining regularly and for long periods of time without a defined cause.

Guidelines from the Department of Local Government

  • Barking more than six minutes in an hour between 6am and 10pm on any day

  • Barking more than three minutes in any 30 minute period between 10pm and 6am on any day

  • Barking more than 240 times between 6am and 10pm, and more than 32 barks between 10pm and 6am on any day.

How do I lodge a barking dog complaint?

  1. Step 1

    Complainants are encouraged to speak with their neighbour when a dog’s barking becomes a nuisance. Complainants should inform the dog’s owner when the barking is occurring and the effect it is having. If the complainant is not comfortable talking to the dog owner, they can complete and drop off or post a ‘Neighbour Notification Dog Barking Form’ as an informal way of advising and giving the dog owner the opportunity to address the issue. A copy of the letter can be downloaded below in the related documents.

    If the matter does not improve over the next 14 days, the following actions can be taken. If at any time the issue is resolved, the case will be closed.

    City of Cockburn Ranger Message

    It is the dog owner's legal responsibility to control excessive/nuisance barking. Our rangers encourage respectful communication between neighbours as this can potentially avoid a formal complaint and/or enforcement action against the dog owner.

    Related Documents

    Document name Downloadable files
    Neighbour Notification Dog Barking Form PDF document
  2. Step 2

    If there is no improvement the complainant completes an online Barking Complaint Form and Form 7

    Please Note: Complainants also need to complete a Form 7(official complaint form) which is part of the Dog Act requirement. Please attach Form 7 to your barking form submission (when you complete the Barking Complaint Form). Otherwise it will be needed prior to engagement with the dog owner, if the initial 7 day diary is found to prove nuisance issues.

    Once the complainant has completed the Barking Complaint Form and Form 7, a link to the online barking diary will be sent via email. The Complainant is required to complete an online seven day barking diary which will be assessed by a Ranger. It is preferable if another resident can also complete a separate online seven day barking diary. Instructions on how to complete the online Dog Barking Diary can be found in the related documents below.

    If nuisance barking is proven, a Ranger will contact the dog owner.

    14 days pass

  3. Step 3

    If barking continues, complainant required to complete a 10 day barking diary. It is preferable if another resident can also complete a separate 10 day barking diary.

    If nuisance barking is proven, a Noise Abatement Notice may be issued to the dog owner.

    14 days pass

  4. Step 4

    If barking continues, the complainants must each complete an additional 10 day barking diary over the same time period. Two complainants or joint evidence is required.

    If nuisance barking is proven, an infringement/s may be issued to the dog owner.

    14 days pass

  5. Step 5

    If barking continues, the complainant and another resident must complete an additional separate 10 day barking diary over the same time period.

    If nuisance barking is proven, a further infringement may be issued, or court prosecution may commence.

What laws govern nuisance barking?

Nuisance barking issues are dealt with under the Dog Act 1976 opens in a new window and associated regulations. While there are guidelines to assess if barking is at nuisance levels, there are no measurement tools in the Act that specify what constitutes nuisance barking. Cases need to be assessed via the online barking diaries and other evidence provided.  

More information can be found on the Department of Local Government, Sport & Cultural Industries opens in a new window website.

Tips for barking dog owners and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

For more information, visit Tips for barking dog owners and FAQ

More information and contact

For more information please email Ranger Services or call 08 9411 3444.

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9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

PO Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC,
Western Australia, 6965

Office opening hours:
8.30am to 4.30pm
Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)

Language Support

Cockburn Nyungar moort Beeliar boodja-k kaadadjiny. Koora, yeyi, benang baalap nidja boodja-k kaaradjiny.
Ngalak kaadatj dayin boodja, kep wer malayin. Ngalak kaadatj koora koora wer yeyi ngalang birdiya.

City of Cockburn acknowledges the Nyungar people of Beeliar boodja. Long ago, now and in the future they care for country.
We acknowledge a continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respects to the Elders, past, present and emerging.