A dog may be considered a nuisance for continuous barking, roaming or showing aggression towards a person or animal. To prevent your dog from becoming a nuisance provide your dog with plenty of enrichment including toys, exercise and ensure your property is secure and safe for your dog. If you have any concerns about your dogs behaviour seek advice from a trainer or behaviourist.
Dogs are part of many families and play an essential role in our community. Council engages with the community to promote responsible pet ownership and to provide a healthy environment in which pets, owners, and the wider community can comfortably live.
If you suspect a dog is being mistreated or neglected, contact the RSPCA on 1300 278 358 or visit www.rspca.org.au
Talk to the dogs' owner
If you are being disturbed by a noisy dog, we encourage you to discuss your concerns with the dog's owner. Alternatively, if you cannot speak directly to your neighbour, you may leave a letter in the mailbox. You can find an example of the type of letter you could write here.
- Dog owners are often unaware that their dog is barking excessively and may not know how to address the issue
- Dogs often bark when the owners are out. In most cases, owners will want to do the right thing and take steps to fix the problem
Dog owners and neighbours may have different views on how much barking is excessive, resulting in disputes.
If talking with your neighbour is unsuccessful, the next step is to seek assistance via the Community Justice Centre. They are experts in resolving neighbour disputes.
For more information, visit their website or phone 1800 990 777.
If attempts to resolve the matter directly with the neighbour or through mediation have not reduced the nuisance barking, you may lodge a written complaint with us by filling in the Barking Dog Nuisance Complaint Form or the Barking Dog Nuisance Complaint Form Online.
How long does it take to resolve?
These matters are often complicated and may take time to resolve because:
- The dog owner may need time to make changes, such as dog training or blocking a side gate (to remove the dog's view of the street)
- Each person has a different view about how much barking is too much before it becomes a noise nuisance
- Noise levels are impacted by the location of the dog, noise tolerance of the adjoining premises, type, length and time the barking occurs
- Formal action requires gathering evidence and completing barking dog surveys which are time-consuming and difficult
- Noise is subjective, and often other residents do not want to become involved. Where insufficient evidence is provided, Council will refer the residents to mediation
For more information on Council's barking dog process Barking Dog Investigation Fact Sheet.
Dog owners must take precautions to minimise the risk of a dog attack occurring. Precautions could include:
- Understanding your dog's body language
- Make sure all property boundaries are secure
- Ensure your dog is on a lead when in a public place
- If your dog is unpredictable with other animals, contact a trainer for advice before attending an off-leash park
What is a dog attack?
Under the Companion Animals Act, a dog attack can be described as chasing, harassing, threatening and/or biting a person or animal.
Report a dog attack
If you are a victim or a witness to a dog attack, please report it to Council as soon as possible on 4645 7777. If the attack occurs outside of Council's business hours (8:30am - 5pm) please contact the NSW Police on 000.
Dog attack investigations involve collecting statements, photographs and medical reports from all persons involved.
Can I seize an attacking dog?
If the attacking dog is on your property, you may contain the dog and contact Council on 4654 7777.
What happens if my dog attacks?
A Council officer may seize an attacking dog:
- Within 72 hours after the dog attacks or bites any person or animal in a public place
- The dog cannot be kept adequately secured on its property, or
- The dog cannot be kept under effective control while it is on its property, or
- The owner of the dog has repeatedly failed to keep the dog secured on their property
For more information, go to Dog Attack Reporting - Office of Local Government NSW.
If you can approach the dog:
Check if the dog has a tag and try to contact the owner
Take the dog to the nearest vet or to Camden Councils Animal Care Facility to be scanned for a microchip
Contact Council on 4654 7777 during business hours and make arrangements for the animal to be collected by a Ranger
- If it is not within Council's business hours, secure the dog in your yard and contact Camden Council on the next business day (if possible)
Can I seize a stray dog?
Under the Companion Animals Act, any person can seize a stray dog if the dog:
- Is not under effective control in a public place
- Is in a prohibited area
- Attacks or bites any person or animal in a public place
- Is on your property
- Cannot be secured on its property
- To prevent damage to a property, only if it is reasonable and necessary
Any person, who seizes a dog and does not return it to its rightful owner or notify Council is guilty of an offence.
There are several restricted dog breeds in NSW. A person who owns a restricted breed must abide by specific control measures. For more information on requirements of restricted breeds, click here.