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.
Initial Complaint: Lodged with Ranger Services
If the complainant has tried to communicate with the dog owner either in person or via our Neighbour Notification Dog Barking Form and the barking has continued to be unreasonable, the affected person should contact Ranger Services on 9411 3444 or Contact Us - City of Cockburn opens in a new window
Please be aware that it is essential the complainant identifies the property where the dog resides.
Response: Both dog owner and complainant are contacted
The Rangers team will contact the involved parties. The dog owner will be notified of the dog nuisance complaint and ways to reduce barking. The complaint will then be closed.
Unreasonable barking continues
If the barking has continued to be unreasonable, the complainant will need to contact the City’s Ranger Service on 9411 3444. The complainant will need to complete Form 7 (an official complaint form, which is part of the Dog Act requirement), then complete the 14-day dog barking diary. The Ranger Service will provide the complainant information on how to complete the diary and other resources that may be helpful.
Please ensure that the actual number of barks/howls/whines is recorded in the diary as well as the length of time each day the barking has occurred.
The completed diary is then submitted to Service Support for assessment.
The City will also accept other forms as evidence, such as CCTV cameras with audio. These will need to be submitted to Service Support for assessment.
A letter will be sent to the immediate neighbours for their feedback on barking in the area. Should a neighbour wish to lodge their own dog barking diaries, they may do so.
If our investigation determines the dog is displaying nuisance barking, a Noise Abatement Notice may be issued to the dog owner. Please note, the complainant will be notified if a diary has been completed incorrectly, or if the dog noise is considered reasonable as per the guidelines for nuisance dogs.
A Noise Abatement Notice is an official document requiring the owner to stop or lessen their dog’s nuisance barking below nuisance levels, within 14 days. The order remains in effect for six months from the date specified in the notice. The complainant must keep a dog barking diary for those six months.
After six months the Noise Abatement Notice will lapse, unless genuine complaints have been received during this period.
If the barking continues, infringements can be issued for each day the offence continues. An infringement will be issued if deemed a breach of nuisance guidelines.
The penalty for nuisance barking is a breach of section 38(5) under the Dog Act 1976 and has an infringement of $400 for a dangerous dog and $200 for all other dogs.
Repeat offenders may be liable for prosecution in court. The maximum court penalty is $10,000 for a dangerous dog and $5,000 for all other dogs.