Source: Townsville City Council

All dogs bark, but some barking dogs become a real neighbourhood nuisance – greatly reducing the quality of life for their neighbours and increasing neighbourhood tensions. Barking dogs is the most common animal behaviour problem Council is asked to deal with.

Ongoing barking is often a symptom of another problem, and taking time to understand what makes dogs bark – especially your pet or other dogs in your neighbourhood – is the first step towards solving this problem, both for the dog involved and your neighbours.

Did you know?

Dogs bark for a reason, and barking is often a symptom of loneliness, boredom, stress or another problem.

  • Barking can be effectively controlled.
  • Excessive barking is a neighbourhood nuisance and owners may be fined. So ask for help from your vet or council.
  • Owners are responsible for everything their dog does, all the time.
Barking Dogs
Barking Dog

Why do dogs bark?

  • Dogs are social animals and often bark when they are lonely
  • Separation from an owner can cause dogs to stress
  • Barking may also be the result of boredom and frustration
  • Barking is a dog’s way of seeking attention from its owner
  • Dogs bark out of fear – this can be fear of people, objects, or other dogs
  • Dogs bark when there is a threat to their territory
  • Playing with your dog often stimulates barking
  • Some breeds have a reputation for barking, and
  • Dominant dogs bark until they get what they want.

Controlling barking

The most important first step is to work out why your dog is barking. Once you know the symptom, you can find the cure. Barking can be controlled through several small behavioural changes. Some behavioural changes could be as small as walking your dog twice a day to relieve boredom.

My neighbour’s dog barks – what can I do?

Talk to your neighbour as soon as the problem arises. They may not be aware that their dog is barking or that their dog’s barking is bothering you.

Give your neighbour the Dear Neighbour Letter below and if the barking persists after a week or two, speak with your neighbour again to provide feedback.

If your neighbour is unapproachable, or does not agree that a problem exists, you should contact Townsville City Council for further advice on 13 48 10.

You can also report a barking dog using Townsville City Council’s “Report a Problem” form and a Regulatory Services Officer will contact you.

Download: Dear Neighbour Letter

Barking Dogs Fact Sheet

The information provided on this page is from Townsville City Council’s website and is used for educational purposes only. For more information, please visit

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