Responsible owners make for happy pets

We all love our furry four-legged friends but no one loves it, especially neighbours, when a dog barks constantly.

To help minimise barking, Wodonga Council Acting Team Leader Compliance Peter Fraser has some tips for dog owners.

"Dogs generally bark for territorial reasons, including movement or noises, sensing other animals or loud vehicles near the property. Alternatively, they could be bored or lonely," he said.

Some simple solutions to minimise barking are:

  • Restrict your dog’s view to inside the yard. If your dog cannot see the person or vehicle on the other side of the fence, it may not bark.

  • Provide regular exercise and enrichment activities for your dog.

  • Brighten your dog’s environment with toys, balls, etc.

  • Ensure your dog has a secure, well maintained sleeping area.

  • Leave a radio going inside when you go out, so that your dog thinks that you are still home.

  • Take your dog to obedience training. Local service providers offer help to train your dog. You can check the Yellow Pages for further details.

  • Consult with your veterinarian.

Mr Fraser said helping to minimising barking was all part of people's responsibilities of owning a dog.

There are measures residents can take if a neighbourhood dog barks a lot, Mr Fraser said.

"Firstly, you should notify your neighbour that their dog is barking," he said.

"Alternatively, contact council for a friendly letter notifying them of a barking dog. Sometimes the owner is unaware that their dog is causing a disturbance.

"If the barking continues, you can contact council and ask for a barking dog log sheet and then accurately record the dates and times the dog barks.

"Council will then ask the owner to do something about the situation. If council and the owner of the dog can’t resolve the problem, the matter can be referred to court."