Under the Companion Animals Act, a dog may be declared a Nuisance dog if it "makes a noise, by barking or otherwise, that persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises".
In the Marrickville Council area, approximately 35% of all animal requests received are because of alleged barking dogs.
Dogs may bark for a number of reasons which include but are not limited to:
- Being chained to a fixed point with restricted movement for long period of time
- Deliberate or unintentional provocation by people or by roaming animals
- Lack of reasonable exercise
- Lack of training
- No shelter or kennel
- Loneliness and/or boredom
- Lack of water or food
- Ill health
- Competition amongst neighbouring animals whereby there is inadequate separation between them
An owner may deal with the above issues in a number of ways;
- Provide adequate space for your dog to run in your backyard
- Provide adequate kennelling and/or shelter
- Regularly walk your dog and provide adequate exercise; see the dog exercise areas page
- Provide "dog time" - dogs are pack animals and require socialisation and environmental enrichment
- Provide adequate food and water
- Regularly worm your dog and ensure that his/her vaccinations are up to date
- Reduce your dog's vision through the fence or gate
- Provide your dog with a job each day such as chew toys, a treat ball, frozen treat shapes
For further information on how to deal with a barking dog, you should contact your local vet, your local dog training club, an animal behaviourist or visit the NSW Office of Heritage's Dealing with barking dogs webpage or download the booklet.