How Does the Council Deal with Barking Complaints?
Due to the extensive resources needed to deal with individual barking dogs, Council's policy is to advise the dog's owner that a complaint has been received and to send them an information package which should assist in addressing the problem.
Council staff will include their street on regular dog patrols to assess the situation. The person who lodged the complaint is advised of this action and it is recommended that they contact the dog owner to discuss the matter. Other options open to the complaints include contacting; "Barking Solutions" Phone: 1902 220 221 or take civil action against the owner of the barking dog.
Why do People Complain about Barking Dogs?
Owners need to understand that although they may feel that their dog is not a nuisance or does not bark more than others in the street, the fact that someone has taken the time to contact the Council means that the dog is causing a disturbance to a particular person. The dog may not be barking continually, few dogs do, but it can be the short repeated bursts of barking, or the pitch or tone or the direction that the sound travels that causes a problem.
Sometimes it can be the particular time of the day or night that the barking occurs that is of annoyance, such as if someone is trying to sleep, study or simply relax after a day at work. Not everyone is disturbed by barking dogs; different sounds annoy different people. Owners must be aware that although they may feel their dog is doing his job by barking at people passing by, this can be a genuine disturbance to neighbours or even to the passers by themselves.
What can be Done to Prevent Complaints?
The owners need to find out why and when the dog is barking. Barking is more likely to occur in some breeds than others and this will need special attention such as providing the dog with interesting alternatives to barking.
Dogs will bark at any noises or movements they can see, hear and smell but are not able to investigate or reach. This can be easily controlled by either fencing the dog at the rear of the premises or by covering the fence with weed matting to prevent the dog seeing onto the street. If this is not possible, advice on other prevention methods are available from the Council's Ranger.
Dogs can become bored, insecure or anxious when the owner is not present and may cope with the stress of separation by barking, digging or chewing. Leaving the dog alone for short periods of time at first and then gradually increasing the time to the maximum period it will regularly spend on its own, will help the dog to adjust.
Owners are often surprised to receive a complaint about their dog barking or howling because the dog never does this when they are home. Dogs should be provided with toys, not necessarily expensive but the type that encourages play. Dogs that have never had toys before often have to be shown what is expected of them. A list of useful inexpensive toys is given in this booklet. To help relax the dog during the time its owner is absent, it is a good idea to exercise and feed the dog before leaving the dog alone.
Anti - Bark Training Collars are Available for Hire
$25.00 per week hire fee (for a maximum of two weeks)
The Council will provide anti-bark collard during normal operating hours for the Civic Centre. It is the hirer's responsibility to collect and return the collars to the Civic Centre during normal operating hours.
Collars are available for a maximum of two (2) weeks only. An additional fee of $5.00 per day will be levied when late returning of the collar occurs.