Owning a dog can be very fulfilling. Dogs are great company, affectionate and give unconditional love. Many studies show that owning a pet improves your health by encouraging exercise.
Barking is a natural behaviour for dogs; it's one way they communicate. However, dogs that bark unreasonably irritate neighbours.
Bayside can investigate when the barking is causing a nuisance or affecting the health of a neighbour.
If you would like an animal management officer to investigate a barking dog, report the issue online or contact us on (03) 9599 4444.
In order for Council to investigate, you will need to provide your contact details (this information is confidential). You must fill out noise diaries and be willing to give evidence in court.
The Dispute Settlement Centre provides free advice to help neighbours sort out problems such as barking dogs, phone 1800 658 528.
If you think your dog is barking excessively, it is best to act quickly to prevent the problem getting worse. The key to reducing the barking is to understand why your dog is barking. Speaking to your neighbours may give you some clues as to why your dog is barking; it also shows them that you are trying to solve the problem.
You can learn more about dog behaviour issues at the Victoria State Government website.
Dog training can solve or prevent specific behavioural problems and it can also be a great way for you and your dog to socialise. Dog training is a great opportunity to learn about your dog and gain skills to control your dog. Practising the lessons you and your dog have learnt at home will result in a happy and well-behaved dog (and a happy owner).
There is a variety of training available for dogs such as puppy school, obedience, agility and behavioural specialists. Training may occur at public parks or buildings, at private practices or visits to your house. You are certain to find something that meets your needs. Whilst the cost of training will vary, the benefits will far outweigh any financial cost.
You can learn more about dog training at the Victoria State Government website.
Keeping your dog contained to your property is very important. Your dog must be physically prevented from leaving your property, even if it does not normally wander off.
Your dog will be safer on your property where it cannot wander or get lost. A dog wandering on the road is at risk of being hit and is a danger to traffic. Most dog attacks in public places occur on the footpath or road in front of the attacking dog's property. Remember that not everyone loves your dog as much as you; many people would not like to walk past if your dog is on the street.
Containing your dog may seem simple, but you should consider carefully ways your dog may escape. Do you have objects close to the fence that your dog may jump on? Could your dog dig out? Are your fence and gates in good order? Think about extraordinary events before they happen. Will strong winds blow open your gates or will thunder or fireworks scare your dog into escaping?
Also, remember that visitors to your property may not be used to keeping dogs contained. If visitors are entering or leaving your property, you may have to keep your dog contained inside or at another part of the property. You are responsible for keeping your dog contained and should take steps to prevent escape rather than blaming others once your dog has gotten out.
Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, owners are responsible for confining their dogs to the property. You can receive an infringement if your dog is not contained, even if it doesn't leave the property.
The Victoria State Government website has further information on: