As the Owner of a Dog it is your responsibility to ensure that your dog is not creating a Nuisance by Barking excessively. Consider the impact of your dog barking on surrounding neighbours. If you think your dog maybe barking excessively discuss this with your neighbours to establish what is causing the barking, when is happening and for how long they bark, dogs often bark when owners are not home. This information is vital to enabling the dog owner to take correct action and assist them if they seek assistance from their Vet or Dog Obedience Trainer.
If your neighbours advise you that your dog is barking excessively, don’t ignore the issue seek assistance and keep your neighbours informed of what you are doing so they can advise you if it is getting better or worse the barking.
Failure to address Nuisance Barking can result in further action.
Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Idustries: Best Practice Guideline on the Identification, Investigation and Handling of Nuisance Dogs
Some common myths about barking dogs:
Myth 1: A dog that barks a lot is a good watch dog.
FALSE!!! Dogs that bark excessively make poor security
Myth 2: My dog does not bark when I am home, so it does not bark when I am out.
FALSE!!! Many dogs bark because of anxiety and isolation. Most complaints are about dogs which bark when their owners are not home.
Myth 3: Sterilisation will stop a dog from barking.
FALSE!!! Sterilisation does not stop barking except where dogs are barking at neighbouring dogs of the same sex, or when a male dog can sense a bitch in season, however, sterilisation is strongly recommended for many other reasons.
Myth 4: It is natural for dogs to bark a lot
FALSE!!! Barking is one of the dog’s main ways of communicating; however, it is NOT normal for a dog to bark at every noise or passer by, nor to bark for long periods of time.
Myth 5: Dogs that bark because they are lonely need another dog for company
FALSE!!! Getting a second dog does NOT usually prevent or fix a barking problem, in fact it can make it worse.
Myth 6: Dogs only bark too much if they are teased, bored or not exercised.
FALSE!!! Dogs bark for many reasons including breeding, inappropriate confinement, passing distractions, isolation, guarding, anxiety, discomfort and attention seeking. It is important to work out why the dog is barking before the problem can be solved.
Some simple tips for barking dogs
- Make sure you do not reward your dog for barking too much. Don’t let the dog inside or give it attention when it barks, instead, give the dog attention when it is quiet.
- If the dog is barking at people or noises on the other side of a fence, move the dog to another part of the yard, or put up a barrier to keep the dog away from that area.
- A radio playing softly may help to block any noise that the dog is barking at. Place the radio between the dog and the noise.
- If the dog barks at regular disturbances such as children walking to school or rubbish trucks, keep the dog inside or in an enclosed area at these times.
- If the dog races along a path or fence barking at passing distractions, put barriers or obstacles in the dog’s way to slow it down.
- Ensure that the dog has adequate exercise and obedience training.
- Make sure the dog has food, water and shelter from the weather.
- If the dog is barking at gaps and cracks in the fence, fill in the gaps.
- If the dog is barking at people it can see passing by, try blocking the dog’s view.
- An anti-barking collar may be useful for some, but not all, barking dogs. Ask your veterinarian for details.
- Teach the dog to stop barking on command. When the dog is barking give a firm command such as “cease” and call the dog to you. Praise the dog when it stops barking. If you have trouble getting the dog’s attention, try making a loud noise. If the dog still doesn’t listen, then it may be necessary for further obedience training.
DOGS BARK FOR MANY REASONS AND IF THESE SIMPLE TIPS DON’T HELP YOU, SEEK FURTHER ADVICE
You veterinarian may be able to help you, or refer you to an animal behaviourist. You may also contact the City Ranger on 9257 9999 or by email.
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