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My dog is causing a nuisance (includes excessive barking) - what should I do?


Barking is one of the ways in which dogs communicate and can signify anything from playfulness to danger. However, dogs sometimes bark because they are bored or frustrated when confined and/or because they are under-exercised and under-stimulated. Dogs may also bark because they are provoked, untrained, sick, neglected or being abused.

If you have received a nuisance order and your dog continues to bark, you may be liable for a maximum penalty of $880 for a first offence and a maximum penalty of $1,650 for any further offences. It is in you and your neighbours' interests and in the interests of the health and well-being of your dog to stop it from barking excessively. In most instances, you can achieve this through training and by ensuring that your dog is well nourished, regularly exercised and not bored.

For more information on how to prevent your dog from barking excessively, visit the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage's Dealing with barking dogs webpage.

Straying, damaging property, chasing people or other animals, endangering the health of people or other animals

The Companion Animals Act 1998 requires you to keep your dog under control at all times, whether on or off your premises. It also requires you to prevent your dog from straying. To help achieve this:

  • secure your property to prevent your dog from escaping by erecting appropriate fencing and gates with dog-proof latches.
  • ensure that your dog is controlled by a leash when in a public place (with the exception of council-designated leash-free areas)
  • train and socialise your dog.

You are also strongly encouraged to have your dog desexed. This will reduce the likelihood of your dog straying and reduce fighting, aggressive and other anti-social behaviour, such as spraying to mark territory.

If you cannot afford to have your dog desexed, talk to your vet or an approved animal welfare organisation, as they may be able to help.

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