A new campaign to address problem barking provides practical tips that owners can use to keep their neighbourhood happy.
Barking continues to be one of the most common problems reported to Council, with an average of three complaints lodged each day.
Mayor Bob Manning said persistent barking was a major cause of neighbourhood tension.
“But it’s a problem that can be easily addressed,” he said. “Regular exercise, toys and treats to relieve boredom, and simply leaving the radio on for company, can have a big impact on how your dog behaves when you’re not around.
“Quite often, dog owners aren’t aware of the stress their dog’s barking is causing, simply because their dog is more likely to bark when they aren’t at home. Often a friendly note dropped in the letterbox is all that is needed to get owners to take steps to address the problem.”
Dogs will naturally bark if their basic needs are not being met. If dogs are well fed, have enough water, are not too hot or cold, sick or injured, there may be other factors at play.
The campaign uses television, radio and social media advertising and focuses on identifying why dogs bark and providing simple, practical steps dog owners can put in place immediately.
Common causes of barking include:
- Lack of exercise – A tired dog won’t bark. A 20 to 40 minute walk each day will wear him out physically and mentally.
- Boredom – Toys, a treasure hunt of hidden treats, or a good bone to gnaw on, are just some ideas to keep him entertained when you are away.
- Being disturbed – If he’s barking every time someone walks past the house, try securing him in the backyard or other area away from traffic. Blocking his view with black plastic attached to the fence can also work.
- Loneliness – Find your dog a friend, arrange a doggy play date, use a dog walker during the day (or pop home a lunchtime) or look into doggy day care.
- Anxiety – If he howls whenever you leave home, try leaving your TV or radio on to provide some comforting background noise; or give him an item that has your scent so he’ll feel close to you during the day.
Residents can share their own barking tips on Council’s Facebook Page. For more barking tips, visit www.cairns.qld.gov.au/barking.
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