Nuisance Barking

Nuisance dog barking can be a great source of irritation to some people in our community and can generate a lot of complaints. We all want to live in a community that is pleasant and congenial and one where dog owners take responsibility for their dog's behaviour. Everyone has different levels of tolerance and sensitivity to dog barking.

Council works with residents and pet owners to investigate complaints, substantiate and to find a resolution that works for everyone.


Reporting nuisance barking

If a dog is making a noise, including barking, which is persistent and interferes with the peace, comfort and congenial living of a person on other premises, you can lodge a complaint with Council by

If you have lodged a nuisance barking complaint with Council, you will need to complete a Barking Dog Diary.


Complaint process for nuisance barking

Council has an established process for dealing with complaints about nuisance barking. By following this process, Council intends to place more responsibility on the dog owner and help them with professional advice and guidance on dog behaviour patterns.

The procedure for dealing with nuisance barking is as follows:

  • When you report a barking complaint, you will be asked to provide details about the nuisance that is being caused.
  • A referral to the Community Justice Centre is usually offered in the first instance to try to arrange a mediation meeting between the dog owner and yourself. This often prevents the need for Council to be involved.
  • If this does not resolve the issue, you will be asked to keep a log of the dog's nuisance barking over the next seven days.
  • A notice will be issued to the dog owner advising them of nuisance barking allegations regarding their dog.
  • After substantiating the complaint, the Council Ranger will provide the dog owner with self help information and also offer the owner advice and assistance to help them reduce the nuisance.
  • Throughout the investigation the Council Ranger will contact you and seek feedback on the nuisance barking. If the nuisance has ceased, the dog owner will be provided with feedback and encouraged to continue with the action they have taken.
  • Should the nuisance barking complaint remain unresolved, the dog owner may be issued with an infringement notice or be prosecuted.

Enforcement

Should further barking complaints be received and found to be true, the dog owner may receive a 'show cause' letter on the dog's registration.  A 'show cause' letter requests information from the owner on reasons why the dog's registration should not be cancelled.

If the dog's registration is cancelled, the dog owner will then have 24 hours to remove the dog from the Darwin municipality and if they fail to do so, Council may acquire a warrant from the courts to remove the nuisance dog.

If Council removes the dog with a warrant, it will be impounded and held for four days. If the owner makes no attempt to contact Council or find an alternate property outside the Darwin municipality, the dog may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of.