Barking dogs and other pet nuisance behaviour

The most common pet behaviour problem reported to Council is barking dogs. In 2021 Ku-ring-gai Council received more than 200 reports about barking dogs.

Very few dogs don’t bark at all and Council does not expect dogs to be silent at all times. However, excessive barking can be disruptive especially if you work from home, are a shift worker or trying to get young children to sleep.

I am affected by a barking dog

Ku-ring-gai Council considers ongoing noise for longer than 8 minutes in daylight hours or 4 minutes at night.

What you must do before Council gets involved

If you feel there is a problem with a barking dog the first step is to speak directly with the dog owner. They may be unaware that their dog is barking and the issue may be resolved quickly.

If after speaking with the dog owner the barking does not improve, you can report the issue to Council. You must be able to identify the address of the barking dog before reporting to Council.


  • Council responds after two (or more) reports of nuisance barking are reported.
  • Council contacts dog owner to discuss the problem and possible solutions.
  • Barking dog diaries are sent to affected residents.
  • Barking dog diaries are filled out for a two-week period and returned to Council.
  • Rangers conduct patrols at the most affected times indicated in the diaries.
  • If nuisance barking is established, a Nuisance Dog Order is issued.
  • Continued barking may result in fines being issued to the dog owner.

I am the owner of a barking dog

There are things you can do to stop excessive barking:

  • Ensure that your dog has adequate exercise, is not bored and has play time with you.
  • Make sure that your dog has food, water and shelter if outside.
  • If your dog is barking at people or noises on one side of a fence, move it to another part of the yard.
  • If your dog is barking at people it can see passing by, try blocking its view.
  • If your dog barks at regular disturbances such as children walking to school or rubbish trucks, keep it inside or in an enclosed area at these times.

Citronella collars can also be used as a learning tool to help control barking but this method is not successful for all dogs. Instructions for use should be carefully followed to ensure the collar is used correctly.

Citronella is a natural spray and is not toxic to animals. Citronella collars may be purchased from pet stores or online.

For further advice please read our barking dog brochure(PDF, 744KB).

Other nuisance behaviours

Other pet behaviours can also pose a problem. Click on the links below to learn more:

Other dog nuisance behaviours

Cats nuisance behaviours

Other animal nuisance behaviours

Other help