Barking is a normal and healthy means of communication for a domestic dog. However, when the barking is not responded to in the appropriate manner it may become a nuisance. Under the Dog Control Act 1996 a dog is allowed to bark but not so that it creates a nuisance by persistent and loud barking or howling.
Reporting a barking dog
If you find yourself being affected by persistent and loud barking or howling of a dog, there are a few steps you can take to remedy the problem. Please remember barking problems can take time to remedy.
- Talk to the owner. More often than not, dog owners appreciate being made aware that their dog may be causing a nuisance. They may be unaware their dog is creating a nuisance and will look to remedy the problem. If you do not feel comfortable talking to the owner then you can pop the attached flier into their mailbox.
- Barking record sheets. If the barking continues we will require you to complete this attached record sheet. This is necessary so we can demonstrate that we have reasonable grounds to enter onto private property. You will be required to note date, time and length of each barking incident.
- What happens next. If the dog is still creating a nuisance by persistent loud barking or howling, contact us. An animal education and control officer will assess the barking problem and offer advice to the dog owner for remedial actions.
Please contact Animal Education and Control Team for further information or to report a barking dog.
If you know or suspect the barking is related to a more serious animal welfare issue, contact the Waikato SPCA (or your local SPCA) for assistance.
If you suspect your dog is barking
A dog barking from boredom or seeking attention can create a nuisance to neighbours. If you suspect your dog is barking while you are away, consult with your neighbours asking them to monitor the barking while you are not home. Also when you are at home and your dog barks, you should rectify the problem immediately.
Preventing nuisance barking
- Keep your dog occupied.
- Ensure your dog is comfortable.
- Ensure your dog has adequate daily exercise.
- Ensure each day you spend time with your dog.
- Bones, toys, balls etc, will help keep your dog amused during the day.
- Leave your dog with friends, family or doggie day care if you think this may help.
- House the dog in a position where he/she cannot see things to bark at.
- House the dog near other animals for companionship.
- NEVER hit your dog. This only builds mistrust and will not stop nuisance barking.
- Obedience exercises help stimulate your dog and prevent behavioural issues like barking.
- If all else fails seek advice from a professional such as a dog trainer, local obedience club, one or our animal education and control officers, your local SPCA or your local vet.
Education and caring for your dog
An exercised dog is a happy dog. Find out where you can safely exercise your dog - check out our maps online:
Find out more about nuisance animals and what you can and can't do in relation to keeping animals
Check out 'related links' (top right) for useful information and organisations that may be able to help you if your dog is barking too much.