Excessive animal noise can be annoying for neighbours and the community. In Brisbane, animal noise such as a barking dog, a squawking parrot or the trilling call of a guinea-hen is considered a nuisance when it unreasonably disrupts or inhibits activities at adjoining premises or nearby residential land.
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, specifically
- where the noise is made for more than a total of 6 minutes in any hour from 7am to 10pm on any day
- where the noise is made for more than a total of 3 minutes in a 30 minute period at any time after 10pm and before 7am on any day
Handling animal noise complaints
If a dog or any other pet is annoying you, approach the pet's owner as soon as the problem arises and state your case clearly and politely. 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
Council has provided information to help neighbours with animal noise issues. The fact sheet below provides information for the animal owner and for neighbours on why the animal may be creating the noise and some recommendations on how to reduce the animal noise. There is also a letter template for neighbours to use if they would like to communicate to the animal's owner about the problem.
Some documents on this page need Microsoft Word or Microsoft Word Mobile installed on your computer to view or print them.
Download the fact sheet and letter template:
- Animal Noise fact sheet (Word - 146kb)
- Letter template for animal noise in the neighbourhood (Word - 63kb).
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 behaviours can assist the owner to resolve the problem.
Report to Council
If you are not comfortable or feel unsafe approaching the owner when the animal excessively creates noise, or if the animal continues to make noise after the owner has had time to resolve the problem, you can report the issue to Brisbane City Council by phone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on (07) 3403 8888.
Alternatively, if the noise is from a barking dog and you have the exact location details, including house number and street, you can:
- report it online to Council or
- phone Council on 07 3403 8888.
If this is the first animal noise complaint, and you reported it by phoning, a noise nuisance diary will be posted to you. Please use this to provide further information to Council or alternatively, you can download the noise nuisance diary for neighbour (Word - 177kb). If you lodged the complaint online, Council will email you a reference number and once supplied you can start completing the electronic noise nuisance diary.
Council works with the animal owner
Council will promptly provide information to the animal owner about some possible causes of nuisance noise, and provide some potential solutions. The animal owner will be asked to take action to eliminate the problem and contact Council to discuss the matter. Council and the neighbourhood must allow a reasonable timeframe, usually 30 days, for the owner to take action to address the animal noise.
If further complaints are received, a Council officer request a copy of the noise nuisance diary and conduct an investigation. If the officer determines the animal is causing an ongoing noise nuisance, Council may issue a fine.
In some cases where the issue cannot be resolved Council may give the owner a notice to remedy, and offer help to stop the nuisance.
Handy hints for owners of barking dogs
Barking dogs are the most common animal noise complaint Council receives. If your dog is barking excessively, you can try:
- filling in gaps and cracks in the fence
- blocking the dog's view of people passing by
- keeping the dog inside or in an enclosed area if the dog barks at regular disturbances such as rubbish trucks
If it is not clear what is causing the barking, you can consult your vet. If the vet cannot resolve the issue, try an animal behaviour specialist or a dog training organisation.
You can download helpful RSPCA fact sheets from the following pages: