Barking Dogs

It is perfectly normal and reasonable for animals to make noise from time to time. Animal noise such as a barking dog is considered a nuisance when it unreasonably affects the enjoyment by residents of a congenial living environment. 

Under Council’s By Laws,  a person must ensure that the animal does not create a noise to a degree or extent that disturbs the reasonable mental, physical or social well-being of a person other than its owner. In determining whether a nuisance has occurred, an authorised person can consider a number of factors. These include:

  • whether complaints have been received from multiple persons, occupying separate dwellings in the same or adjoining streets as the noise
  • the frequency and intensity of the noise
  • the time and duration of the noise

Anti-Bark Collars

Anti-bark collars are available to hire at the Civic Centre. Council has two different anti bark collars available for hire:

  • Citronella Collar
  • Sound & Vibration Collar

A deposit is taken and once the collar has been returned in good working order the deposit will be refunded back to the hirer.

Contact Council for more information or bring in a completed Anti Barking Collar hire form to the Civic Centre during business hours.

    Handling animal noise complaints

    People are sometimes unaware their animals activities are causing a nuisance. Katherine Town Council encourages all residents to talk to their neighbours about nuisance problems before making a complaint to Council.

    If a dog or any other pet is causing a noise nuisance to you, Council recommends that you approach the pet's owner as soon as the problem arises and try to seek a practical long-term solution to amicably resolve the matter. The owner may not realise the noise is an issue because the:

    • animal may only create the noise when the owner is away
    • owner may not hear their pet make the noise from areas inside the house
    • owner may be a very sound sleeper and not be woken up when their pet creates the noise.

    To assist neighbours with resolving animal noise issues without Council intervention, we have developed the:

    • Barking Dog Brochure - this brochure provides information for the animal owner and for neighbours on why the dog may be creating the noise and some recommendations on how to reduce the noise
    • Animal Noise in the Neighbourhood Letter - this letter template is designed for neighbours to use if they would like to communicate to the animal's owner about the problem.

    If the owner of the animal agrees to do something about the animal noise, wait a few weeks to see if they have been successful in their efforts. Your support and ongoing feedback about the animal's behaviour can assist the owner with resolving the problem.

    Report the matter to Council

    If the animal continues to make noise after you have discussed the noise nuisance with the animal owner and they have had at least 28 days to resolve the problem, you can report the issue to Council by phone on 08 8972 5500, via email (, or on our website (

    Please note: Where the exact address of the animal noise is unknown, Council is unable to accept the complaint.


    Council will send (via mail or email) a letter, barking dog brochure and an animal noise diary.

    Animal Owner

    At the same time, Council sends a letter and information pack to the complainant, Council will also promptly provide information to the animal owner and provide some potential solutions. The animal keeper will be asked to take action to eliminate the problem. Council and the neighbourhood must allow a reasonable timeframe, usually 28 days, for the owner to take action to address the animal noise.

    If a completed animal noise diary is received, a Council officer will review the diary to assist further investigation.

    The returned animal noise diary is a key piece of information that assists Council understand the nature of the situation.

    Complainant animal noise diary

    Complainants are requested to complete all fields in the Animal Noise Diary for a minimum period of 7 consecutive days and return it to Council. The animal noise diary helps Council establish patterns of when the animal is creating the noise nuisance and provides information on possible triggers for the noise.

    Complaint investigation

    After a completed animal noise diary has been returned to Council, the complaint will be profiled for response by a Council officer.

    Council will take necessary actions to ensure the complainants identity will remain anonymous.  However, as enforcement action may be reliant, in part or whole, on the evidence put forward by the complainant, and if the matter progresses to Court, the identity of the complainant may become known. A person making a complaint and supplying evidence should be aware of this fact. 

    There may be circumstances where a Council officer will need to attend the complainant’s premises throughout the investigation. Part of the investigation may require a Council officer to share the contents of the noise diary with the animal keeper which during this process the identity of the complainant may become apparent.

    If the officer determines the animal is causing an ongoing noise nuisance, Council may issue a notice to remedy the situation (Notice to Comply). If the animal owner still takes no action, an infringement notice may be issued. Alternatively, Council may determine that education is the most appropriate response.

    Handy hints for owners of barking dogs

    Barking dogs is a common animal noise complaint Council receives. Council’s Barking Dog Brochure can provide some handy hints and tips for dog owners to help resolve a barking issue.  

    The RSPCA website provides more information about proper care and management of dogs at

    Animal Welfare

    If you think an animal is making noise because it is being mistreated or has no food, shade or water, please contact Animal Welfare (1300 720 386 or immediately.

    Council is not authorised to act on animal welfare matters.