Barking Dogs

All dogs bark, it is part of their natural communication and behaviour and there are many reasons why dogs bark. Before we can attempt to reduce or eliminate any nuisance barking, we must first understand what is causing the dog to bark.

Dogs usually bark because they:

  • have separation anxiety
  • perceive a threat
  • are bored
  • are stimulated by something they see

How Do I Report Excessive Dog Barking?

A barking dog can cause great annoyance and distress to others. It is the dog owner's responsibility to ensure their dog does not cause a nuisance, ignoring justified complaints could lead to heavy fines and the removal of the dog.

However, it must be remembered dogs are permitted to bark and at times are required to do so. Tolerance is required where occasional barking occurs. The owner may not be aware  of that their dog's barking is causing a nuisance, and you may wish to inform them of the issue.

If the nuisance persists, you can contact Council on 06 374 4080 (North) or 06 376 0110 (South).

Train Your Dog Not To Bark

Teach your dog to bark only to alert you and to then stop barking afterwards.

If your dog barks at everything that moves, use short reprimand words.

If you do the same every time your dog does something wrong, it will soon understand. Praise your dog as soon as it stops barking.

Do not console a barking dog. This will reward or reinforce barking.

Minimise Visual Stimulus

Do not leave your dog home alone where it can see the footpath or anybody passing by.

Either confine your dog to the backyard or in a way that it is unable to see things to bark at.

You can use shade cloth or brush stick fencing to block off any sight stimulus.

Keep Your Dog Occupied

Giving your dog something to do prevents boredom and barking at everything it sees:

  • Exercise your dog regularly.
  • Rotate and restrict toys your dog can play with at one time. Easy access to all toys will easily lead to boredom.
  • Place treats in different places e.g.:
    • around the lawn so your dog can sniff it out
    • in a sandpit, if you have one, so your dog can dig the treats out
    • hanging on a rope's end so your dog has to jump and work for it
    • in a treat ball.
  • Get your dog to play with other dogs. This will help your dog learn the difference between safe and threatening situations (when barking is helpful).
  • Ask a friend or a dog sitter to look after your dog.