Dog attacks

The Dog Act 1976 states an “attack” as follows:

  • If a dog attacks or chases any person or animal and physical injury is caused to the person or animal that is attacked or chased, every person liable for the control of the dog commits an offence or;
  • If a dog attacks or chases any person or animal without causing physical injury to the person or animal that is attacked or chased, every person liable for the control of the dog commits an offence.

Dog attacks on livestock

Dog attacks on livestock can be reduced if livestock owners take precautions and notify others after an attack.

If you find evidence of a dog attack on your livestock, notify the Shire of Mundaring Community Safety team on 9290 6629.

Take any photos or video footage of the dog/s if they are still attacking.

Refer to Section 34 of the Dog Act 1976 for information on how to protect your livestock and your right to use firearms in the event of an attack or a dog trespassing on your property where livestock are kept. (This includes horse, cattle, sheep, swine, goats or poultry.)

Please note: For information on fox attacks and control please refer to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development website.

Barking dogs

The Shire of Mundaring has rules for the management and control of dogs within its boundaries. These rules are consistent with the Dog Act 1976 and are designed to encourage responsible pet ownership.

The following information is provided to address FAQ’s and common issues.

Information for people wanting to make a complaint

What constitutes a dog noise complaint?

A dog noise complaint is where a dog makes a noise by barking that persistently occurs or is allowed to continue to such a degree that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any place.

Is there anything I can do to try and resolve the barking?

Yes, there are ways you can try and resolve the issue yourself. In many cases owners are unaware of the barking issue, so taking the time to speak with them or filling out a “Dog Noise Card” may alert them to the problem so they can take necessary steps to address the nuisance.

Noise Dog Card (PDF)

I have tried talking with my neighbour but nothing has changes, can the Shire help me?

If any of the above steps have failed to help with the barking issue, the Shire can intervene and will make contact with the dog owner and make them aware of the possible nuisance being caused by their dog(s).

Generally after contact is made by a Ranger no further action is required, however should the problem continue, we will require further information from you to help address the problem.

The laws controlling dog noise nuisances are prescribed under State Legislation within the WA Dog Act. A local court may take action against a dog owner if the complainants are affected by the dog(/s) noise and are willing to declare in writing (and in a Magistrates Court if need be). For this to occur, the Shire will provide you with a “Dog Barking Diary” as per s.38(1)(c) of the Dog Act 1976, to gather written evidence on the times and the extent of the barking.

Convincing a dog owner to change their pets habits is not always easy, and the more information and evidence we have, the easier it usually is to explain to the dog owner and to change behaviour. During this time the Ranger will work with the dog owner to assist in addressing the issues.

We will provide you with a dog barking diary to be filled out over at least 7 consecutive days to ascertain the continuity of the problem barking. We understand that you may work and may not be at home for periods throughout the day, but if all the barking times are noted whilst you are at home it will help us gauge the extent of the nuisance.

As you are the witness to the issue, the guidelines for filling out the diary are to be strictly adhered to as this will enable the Shire to make a fair and accurate assessment of the alleged problem, whilst also providing the necessary evidence to prove a case in court, if required.

What happens after I complete a dog barking diary?

Once the diary has been completed and returned to the Shire, we will provide the dog owner a copy of the diary that outlines the times when their pet is a problem (your name and address will be deleted for privacy). This information is often the key to success as the dog owner can examine the days and times of the nuisance and take necessary steps to rectify the problem.

Ranger Services will give the owner further advice on how they can address the barking issue. Changing the behaviour of a nuisance dog can take time and providing efforts are being made by the dog owner to address the problem we will work with them in order to gain a successful outcome. If however no attempts are made to address the problem further action may be necessary.

What happens if the dog owner refuses to co-operate?

If the dog owner refuses to co-operate, an abatement notice may be issued on the dog owner requiring them to take all reasonable steps to abate the noise. They have 14 days to successfully abate the noise once an abatement notice has been issued.

If the abatement notice is ignored, the Shire will consider its options in respect to taking legal action. Legal action is not automatic and depends upon a detailed assessment of each individual case. Should court action be necessary, we will require you to appear as a witness in court as indicated by your signed declaration on the complaint form.

If you or any other people affected by the dog noise do not wish to do this, then the Shire cannot proceed with the matter. It may also take some time to obtain a Hearing Date at a Magistrates Court. During this time you may wish to keep an up to date record of the noise and the effect it has had on you.

What happens with false complaints?

Making a false report (for whatever reason) may result in possible court action (legal or civil) being initiated against you by the Shire, the dog owner or a third party for providing a false declaration.

Information for dog owners who receive a complaint

A complaint has been made about my dog barking – what do I need to know?

Dogs do bark, we understand this as it is in their nature. Sometimes however the noise can become a nuisance and disrupting to the surrounding neighbours.

Once we receive a complaint about a dog barking both parties involved will be notified and as the dog owner you will be asked to take measures to reduce the noise issue.

After approximately 10 days, the person/s who reported the alleged noise nuisance will be contacted to see if the barking has subsided to an acceptable level or if the barking is still an issue.

If the barking has subsided to an acceptable level, no further action will be taken at that time. If however, the barking is still causing a nuisance, the complainant will be asked to complete a “Dog Barking Diary”. This is a daily diary where the person can record all barking, howling, whining and yelping over a period for a minimum period of seven (7) consecutive days.

As a dog owner, you will be notified of all outcomes during the process.

What constitutes a dog noise complaint as a nuisance?

A dog noise complaint is:

  • Where a dog makes a noise by barking that persistently occurs or is allowed to continue to such a degree that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any place
  • Where a dog has shown to be allowed to behave consistently in a manner contrary to the general interest of the community
  • Where a dog makes a noise, by barking or otherwise, that exceeds:
    • A prescribed noise level measured by a prescribed method over a period of time
    • A prescribed number of times of occurrence or over a prescribed period of time.

What if I don’t believe that my dog is barking and causing a nuisance?

Once we have received the completed Dog Barking Diary it will be assessed by the investigating Ranger and a determination will be made as to whether the barking is in fact a nuisance as per the regulations.

As the dog owner you will be given a copy of the Diary (minus the complainant’s details) so you can see when your dog is barking and take steps to rectify the issue. It would be expected that a noticeable and significant improvement will be achieved within 2 weeks to reduce or alleviate your dog’s barking. This will be monitored by the investigating officer and contact will be made with both parties for updates on the issue.

What if I don’t make an attempt to address the situation?

If no attempts are made to address the issue then further action will be taken. An authorised person may, under section 38 (3) of the Dog Act 1976, issue an order (Abatement Notice) to the person liable for the dog, requiring that the behaviour causing the nuisance is prevented by a time specified in the order, which is usually 14 days. When an order is issued it has effect for 6 months after the day on which it was issued.

I think my neighbour may be causing my dog to bark, what can I do?

Keep a diary for yourself when able to and record when your dog barks and make notes as to why your dog barked at the time. If your neighbour talks loudly at the fence line or kids are hitting the fence then try and speak with the neighbour and explain that you are trying to control your dog’s barking and could they please refrain from coming too close to the fence or knocking it, while you are in the process of training your dog.

Noise from roosters and domestic birds

Noise from roosters and domestic birds must comply with assigned levels set out in the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997, at all times.

The owner of any birds that are found to be causing a nuisance or are emitting unreasonable noise may be required to take whatever actions necessary to prevent the emission of unreasonable noise.

Find out how to make a noise complaint.

More information and contact

Please contact Ranger Services on 9290 6629 or email shire@mundaring.wa.gov.au