Tips for Barking Dog Owners and FAQ

Tips to stop your dog barking
  • Reward your dog for barking too much

  • Don’t let your dog inside or give it attention when it barks, only give it attention when it’s quiet

  • If your dog barks at people or noises on the other side of a fence, move it to another part of the yard, or put up a barrier

  • A radio playing quietly may block any noises your dog is barking at 

  • If your dog barks at regular disturbances such as children walking to school or rubbish trucks, keep it inside or in an enclosed area during these times

  • Ensure it has adequate exercise and obedience training

  • Make sure it has food, water and shelter from the weather

  • If the dog is barking at gaps and cracks in the fence, fill in the gaps, if it's barking at passers-by, block the dog’s view

  • Teach the dog to stop barking on command

Further tips on how to manage excessive barking can be found online at the PetCoach. For more information, contact your vet or an animal behaviorist.
Using Dog Boredom Busters
  • Bustercube: Available at most pet shops and some vet clinics. This is a cube puzzle with different chambers in it. You fill it with dry food and your dog will knock the cube around until the food has been eaten. Quite advanced toy but great for dogs who have graduated from easier ones.

  • Treatball: Similar to Bustercube® but a ball shape. Available in a few sizes but have found dogs with strong jaws can break them on occasions. Not quite as hard as Bustercube® for dogs. Available at most pet shops and some vet clinics.

  • King Toy: A great toy for all dogs. Very good investment as they are practically indestructible. With their unusual shape they are great as a throw toy and even better as a treat holder. Fill it with your dogs favourite treats and it will keep them occupied for hours. Try putting in peanut paste and then dry food. It sticks to the inside and lasts longer.  Also great in summer it can be frozen inside the Kong

  • Empty Drink Bottles:These are a cheap and easy way to keep your dog amused. Simply rinse out and leave to drain. Remove the lid and the plastic ring around the top of the bottle. Once dry, divide your dog’s dry food portion into 2 or 3 bottles. You can vary the size and shape of the bottles to give the dog more or less of a challenge. You may have to knock the bottle around a few times so that some food comes out and your dog gets the hang of it. Most dogs catch on very quickly. As they get better at it, divide the food into more bottles, or maybe graduate to something like a Treatball or Bustercube

  • Ice Blocks: These are better in summer, but most dogs are happy to give them a go anytime. Simply rinse out empty milk containers and open up the top. Put in anything your dog may like. Table scraps, peanut paste, dry food, canned food, pig’s noses and ears, chew bones, raw vegies, etc can be used. Then fill with water to approx ¾ full and maybe add a stock cube for extra flavour. Place in the freezer overnight and then tear of the milk carton and give to the dog. Small plastic containers from takeaway food and empty margarine containers are ideal.

  • Treasure Hunt: Hide small piles of food (10 bits of dry food) in your garden and backyard. Dogs love sniffing out food, Keep it to areas that you want your dog to go in. If you haven’t prepared bottles for your dog you can just throw the food over the back lawn or yard area and the dog will forage around until it has eaten it all. Note – This may not be advisable if you have a wasp or bee problem in your area.


Source: Dog Boredom Busters

Understanding dog barking causes and possible solutions

Issue 

Possible Solution

Behaviour 
Psychological issuses 
Seperation Anxiety 

  • Professional dog training 

  • Vet assessment 

  • Play soft background music

  • Never reward your dog for excessive barking 

  • Don't let your dog inside or give it attention when it barks

  • Teach your dog to stop barking on command 

    • Use anti-bark devices for a short term remedy or behaviour modification

Boredom
Excessive energy

  • Daily walks

  • Toys

Reactive to animals and passeres-by 

  • Restict the dogs vision through gates and fencing 

  • Confine the dog to an area away from people or vehicles

Physical discomfort 

  • Adequate shelter

  • Food and water 

Distractions 

  • A soft playing radio may block out external noises 

  • If your dog barks at regular disturbances keep it inside or enclosed during these times

  • If your dog is barking at distractions over the fence, move the dog or put a barrier to keep it away from that area

  • If your dog barks at gaps in the fence, fill in the gaps 

  • If your dog barks at passers-by, block the view

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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

What causes nuisance barking?
  • Dogs being overly reactive to passers-by

  • Boredom and lack of exercise

  • Anxiety issues, wanting attention

  • Behavioural issues or lack of training

  • Inadequate food, water, shelter or ill-health

  • Fear or aggression

  • Where the dog is kept on the property

  • Unintentional or deliberate provocation

  • Other stimuli including cats and dogs.

What is the barking dog complaint process?
To find out more about the barking dog complaint process, view the Barking Dogs page.
What is a Noise Abatement Notice?

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. If the offence continues the owner of the dog is liable to be infringed or prosecuted.

Penalties

If the barking continues infringements can be issued for each day the offence continues and complainants complete and submit additional 10 day diaries as required, 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.

What laws govern nuisance barking?
Nuisance barking issues are dealt with under the Dog Act 1976 and associated regulations.

For more information visit the Department of Local Government, Sport & Cultural Industries opens in a new window website.
 
Tips for an effective diary and the benefits of the online diary process

To assist in assessing cases of nuisance barking, we recommend or require (depending on the stage in the complaint process) that two or more affected neighbours keep online barking diaries. Without sufficient evidence the matter cannot progress.  If diaries are not provided, the matter will be closed.

By keeping the initial seven day online barking diary the City will have the details and evidence required to assess if the barking is at nuisance levels. With this evidence, the City’s Rangers can contact the dog owner and help them to identify the cause of the barking and hopefully resolve the issue quickly.

To successfully resolve the issue, the City is reliant on the timely and active participation of the complainant and the dog owner.

For an effective online barking diary:

  • Complete all sections of the barking diary

  • If other neighbours are keeping diaries,  ensure you all start and finish on the same date

  • Clearly indicate when the barking is at its worst (in the notes section)

  • Accurately record the dates and times

  • Ditto marks (") are not acceptable entries

  • Diaries must be started as soon as you receive them.

IMPORTANT: Completed diaries with the name and address removed may be provided to the dog owner - do not enter personal information or anything that will identify you as the complainant into the comments section. Please don't include any derogatory comments about the dog owner in any section.

Benefits of an online barking diary

  • Faster assessment turnaround times 

  • Ability to complete and submit 24/7

  • Multiple residents can make entries into the one diary record using different devices

  • Greater accuracy as residents can enter data as it happens and 'on the go'.

More Information and Contact

Please contact Rangers Services for more information on 08 9411 3444 or email Ranger Customer Service.
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Contact

Address

9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

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

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