Choose your language:

Text resizer:

Responsible Pet Ownership

Barking Dogs

Council recognises the important role pets play in the lives of many within our community, particularly in providing companionship, security and enhancing wellbeing generally. At times, sometimes unbeknownst to the animal owner, pets may be adversely impacting other community members. In these cases, communication is vital in resolving these situations.

Barking is a natural way in which many dogs will communicate, however if barking is unreasonable or occurs for long periods of time during the day or night, it must be addressed. Taking the time to understand whether there is an underlying issue impacting the dog which results in the barking is the first step to solving barking problems, both for the dog and neighbours.

Dogs may bark when they are:

  • Unwell.
  • Scared (of people, animals, or objects).
  • Feeling separation anxiety, lonely, bored, or frustrated.
  • Seeking attention.
  • Excited or stimulated because of playing.

Other reasons dogs may bark include:

  • Learnt behavior’ to get what they want.
  • Not getting enough exercise.
  • Inadequate shelter from weather conditions.
  • Hunger or thirst.
  • Feel their territory is being compromised (i.e. disturbances with pedestrians, postman, etc. walking in vicinity).

 What is not considered nusiance barking?

Some of the examples below are common practices by dogs and if conducted only occasionally and in limited duration will not be considered to be a nuisance in terms of the Local Laws.

  • Responding to territorial threats – other dogs passing, cats, intruders, strangers approaching boundary such as leaflet distributors, persons walking past the property etc.
  • The Postman deliveries – the Postman and his motorbike brings out the worst in some dogs.
  • An isolated incidence of barking that has occurred as a result of some environmental stimulus – Itinerants in the area, work gangs (roadwork’s) working nearby, neighbourhood party.

 What can I do about a barking dog?

1. Talk to your neighbour

The first measure is to try and resolve the problem amicably with the dog owner. Often, they may not be aware that their pet is causing a barking problem.

If you are unable to speak to your neighbour face-to-face you could try placing a note in their letterbox to alert them to your concerns.

For example:

 Dear Neighbour,

You may not be aware that your dog begins to bark after you leave for work in the morning. This barking continues frequently throughout the day whenever someone walks past your house or I go into my backyard.

This is becoming a concern for me as I am at home most days and the barking is quite loud.

I am happy to discuss this further or if you required feedback if the methods you engage to try mitigate the barking after working I am happy to assist.

Kind regards

2. Report the problem to Council

If the barking problem continues after you have informed your neighbour of your concerns, or you feel uncomfortable approaching your neighbour you can contact council for assistance in resolving the issue.

Complaints about barking dogs are investigated by Council’s Compliance Team. These investigations can be long and complex and residents affected should not expect the problem to be resolved quickly.

Lodging a barking dog complaint:

  • Contact the North Regional Council on 1300 696 272 or email to lodge a customer service request (this will then be referred to the Compliance Team for investigation).
  • Ensure you provide your full name; address; contact details; address of barking dog; owners name and description of the dog (if known) in your request.

How we investigate the complaint:

A Compliance Officer will:

  • Call you to discuss and clarify any information in relation to the complaint (if required).
  • Post a acknowledgement letter to you, accompanied by a blank noise nusiance diary for you to complete over a 14 day period. The animal noise diary helps Council establish patterns of when the animal is creating the noise nuisance and provides information on possible triggers for the noise.
  • Once sufficient evidence has been collated to support the barking dog is causing a nusiance in contravention of Councils Local Laws, Council will issue a notice to the animal owner advising them of the issue and their obligations / requirements to rectify the issue within a specified time frame.
  • Council will continue to liaise with the affected parties (neighbours) once the specified time frame in the notice expires to establish if the noise nusiance is still an issue. Council may then progress to issuing the animal owner with Penalty Infringement Notice/s or commence legal action as appropriate.

Legal requirements for court action

Barking dog complaints can take some time to fully resolve and you need to be aware that if the problem persists, the matter may be brought before a Magistrate’s Court and you may be summoned as a witness to provide evidence. At Court, a magistrate may impose a court order which must be complied with. Failure to do so by the dog owner is an offence, and a magistrate may impose further penalties.

To take a barking dog complaint to court, you will be required, as the complainant, to give evidence in court. Your evidence will be critical in convincing a Magistrate that the dog is causing a nuisance.

It is important you keep a comprehensive diary over the course of the investigation that shows the patterns of the dog’s barking behaviours. Remember, in a court of law the evidence you give may be subjected to cross-examination.

Council will consider taking the matter to court if:

  • A nuisance as defined by the NBRC Local Law No. 2 (Animal Management) 2011 has been established;
  • All avenues available to Council to rectify the nuisance have been exhausted and the dog continues to be a problem, and
  • You are prepared to give evidence at court.

The success of any court action relies on the support and assistance of the complainant. If relevant information and evidence is not provided, Council is unable to pursue the matter.

Please note: Council will not get involved in any unrelated domestic dispute between you and your neighbour.

To view Council’s Local Laws please visit North Burnett Regional Council – Local Laws

Fencing and shelter

A part of caring for your dog is ensuring that it has a safe, secure environment in which to live. Constructing an adequate fence around your property protects both your dog and your neighbourhood. Remember, this is a Council requirement. Failure to provide an adequate enclosure could result in a fine.

Fencing should be:

  • adequate to keep the dog contained on the premises (consider the size of your dog and whether they are a jumper, a digger or a climber).
  • constructed of materials that are sufficiently strong to prevent your dog getting under, over or through it.
  • high enough to prevent jumping or climbing.
  • with gates that can be closed and latched to prevent the dog escaping.
  • accompanied by a barrier where required to prevent the dog from digging underneath it.

If your dog sleeps outside, ensure it has a covered shelter to protect it from wind, sun and rain and that it has warm bedding for winter.

Loud noises during thunderstorms and fireworks can scare your dog, causing it to run away from home. If your dog is scared of loud noises, Council recommends the following:

  • place your dog in a secure enclosed area (for example, inside the house).
  • take your dog to another home where the noise won’t be heard.
  • don’t tie your dog up in the yard as it may injure itself trying to get free.
  • try not to comfort your dog during storms or fireworks as it reinforces its fear.
  • ensure your dog is microchipped, registered and is wearing its registration tag in case it flees in fright.

Dogs and Leashes

Leashes & exercise

It’s no secret that a well exercised and disciplined dog makes a happy and contented pet, so responsible pet owners need to make time to regularly exercise their animals. Dogs must be leashed at all times in public places. This helps owners to control dogs more easily and increases the safety of other animals and people.

Exercise on a leash

Exercising your dog on a leash provides your pet with positive mental stimulation and is extremely good for their health. Using a leash during exercise reinforces that you are the one in control. It can also help you react better to unexpected situations. Remember that many people are frightened or annoyed by dogs that are not leashed in public areas. While walking at night, Council suggests the use of a reflective device or collar to help others to see your dog.

Leash and exercising courtesy

Some people in the community may not share a love of dogs, so it’s important to respect their space and right to use public areas – pets need to be restrained and kept away from other people. At no time should your dog become a nuisance or impede other people’s enjoyment.

Leash and exercise requirements

Dogs must be leashed at all times outside your property and you can only lead a maximum of two dogs at a time. Being a responsible owner means that you are responsible for the actions of your dog. It is your duty to clean up after your pet and to make sure that your dog isn’t disturbing other people and other animals.

Training and socialising

Training a dog to walk on a leash isn’t difficult – especially if started early. It takes time and patience but it will help your pet become socialised and interact safely with other dogs and people. See your vet or pet shop for further advice or help.

Penalties for not using a leash

Irresponsible owners who fail to walk their dogs on a leash when in public will face penalties including on-the-spot fines.


Pet owners are responsible for the actions of their pets at all times – using a leash will minimise the risk. Proper restraint shows respect for the safety of others and the safety of your pet. Using a leash is the law. Council will always enforce this law fairly and evenly to protect people and pets.

Dogs and Diseases

Many diseases are specific to dogs and need to be understood and managed to provide a safe environment for all. Bacteria and parasites (including fleas and worms) can be passed onto humans causing anything from discomfort to significant internal damage.

When dogs defecate, the faeces can contain parasite’s eggs as well as E-coli bacteria. These can cause significant illness in people including vomiting, diarrhoea, and ear, nose and throat infections. Dog faeces can also contain roundworm larvae which can live in soil for years. Roundworms also live in the intestines of dogs and can be a health risk to humans, especially if children swallow the eggs.

Faeces can be a tell-tale sign of your dog’s internal health. You should regularly check your dog’s faeces to make sure it is firm and free of blood and mucus.

Dog owners can reduce risk through:

  • a regular worming programme (an adult dog should be wormed at least every 3 months. Puppies also need worming at least every 14 days until 12 weeks of age and then monthly until 6 months of age).
  • removing your dog’s faeces from the back yard and public places.
  • preventing your dog from wandering and scavenging.
  • always wash children’s hands after playing outdoors or with pets.

Cats and other animals

Owning animals can provide great joy and companionship but it does come with responsibility.

Controlling your cat

As a responsible cat owner you should make sure your cat is controlled so it doesn’t attack wildlife or disturb neighbours. Feral cats are now declared pests under the new Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002.

Feral cats have a huge impact on Austalia’s native wildlife with a estimated 14 million feral cats in Australia, which feed off small marsupials, lizards, birds and amphibians. If your cat is desexed it cannot breed with feral cats, and the inconvenience of unwanted kittens is also prevented. Desexing is a simple procedure that can be conducted at your local veterinary.

Identifying your cat

Microchipping is mandatory for cats and dogs, as per Section 14 of the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008. Cats and dogs are required to be microchipped prior to reaching 12 weeks of age unless there is a reasonable excuse.

While there are no requirements for cats to be registered with Council, for the care of your animal it is highly suggested pets carry some form of identification tag. You can register your cat with Council for a tag fee.  It’s good practice to ensure that your cat always wears a collar and identification tag bearing your address or telephone number. Fitting two bells to your cats collar is also a very good idea as this will reduce its chances of successfully hunting native wildlife. Identification is for your pets safety and will allow your cat to be returned, if it cannot find its way home. In the event of your cat being injured, it will also assist carers return your animal quickly. Should your cat become lost, check with neighbours, your local veterinary clinic, or contact Council.

Keeping other animals

Other animals include:

  • horses,
  • donkeys,
  • cattle,
  • goats,
  • sheep,
  • poultry,
  • caged birds,
  • reptiles, and
  • bee hives.

An Authorised Permit may be required under Councils Subordinate Local Law No.2 (Animal Management) 2011 for keeping of certain animals in an urban area. You can access Council’s Application to keep animals other than cats or dogs form here North Burnett Regional Council – Online Forms

For more information contact Council’s Compliance Team on 1300 696 272.

Animal traps for hire

Cat Trap Hire

For the hire of the cat trap, please visit your local Customer Service Office or call Council on 1300 696 272.

Dog Trap Hire

For the hire of the cat trap, please visit your local Customer Service Office or call Council on 1300 696 272.