Barking and nuisance dogs

As a dog owner, you are responsible for ensuring that your dog does not become a nuisance.

There are many reasons dogs bark including:

  • Being fixed to 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.

Take these steps to minimise barking:

  • Provide adequate space for your dog to roam in your backyard
  • Provide adequate kennelling and/or shelter
  • Regularly walk your dog and provide adequate exercise – Inner West Council provides a number of off-leash dog exercise areas.
  • Provide "dog time" – your dog is a pack animal, and requires socialisation and environmental enrichment
  • Provide adequate food and water
  • Regularly worm your dog and ensure that all vaccinations are up to date.

Find out more about barking dogs at the EPA website

What to do about a barking dog

If you have an issue with a barking dog, Council encourages the resolution between people through discussion and mediation. The Community Justice Centre (CJC) can assist with mediation. The CJC can be contacted on 1800 990 777 or 1800 990 777.

Council's Companion Animal Officers can also investigate the matter. If you wish to report a nuisance dog, please contact Council's Customer Service Centre to lodge a request. Council may request that you make a formal statement to support your claim and provide details. In addition to its own investigation, Council may rely on this statement to proceed with formal action such as the issue of a nuisance dog order or the issue of Penalty Infringement notices.

In the event formal action is taken against an alleged nuisance dog owner, witnesses may be required to give their evidence in a Court of Law. If no witness statements are received, Council may not have sufficient evidence to proceed with any formal action.

Nuisance Dogs

Nuisance Dog Orders

Council may issue a Nuisance Dog Order if it is satisfied that a dog:

  • is habitually at large
  • repeatedly barks
  • repeatedly defecates on another person's property
  • repeatedly runs at or chases a person, animal or vehicle
  • endangers the health of a person or animal
  • repeatedly causes substantial damage to anything

Breaches of a Nuisance Dog Order may result in fines for the owner.

Reporting nuisance dogs

If you wish to report a nuisance dog, please contact Council's Customer Service Centre on (02) 9392 5000 to lodge a request.

Council may request that you make a formal statement to support your claim of a nuisance dog.

The statement must outline the dates, times, length of nuisance, location of the dog when the nuisance occurs and the dog's description etc.

In addition to its own investigation, Council may rely on this statement to proceed with formal action such as the issue of a Nuisance dog order or the issue of Penalty Infringement notices.

In the event formal action is taken against an alleged nuisance dog owner, witnesses may be required to give their evidence in a Court of Law.

If no witness statements are received, Council may not have sufficient evidence to proceed with any formal action against the alleged nuisance dog owner.

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Page last updated: 12 Nov 2018