VIDEO: How to stop your dog from barking
COUNCIL wants to crack down on dogs that won't stop barking.
But what do you do if your canine keeps yelping?
There's no simple answer but Toowoomba vet Peter Noble of Herriot House Veterinary Surgery has a few tips for owners at their wit's end.
The first step is prevention.
"Prevention is better than a cure," he said.
"If the animal already has a habit of barking it can be hard to stop."
Puppy classes are another option.
He said dogs were smart and could easily get bored.
"We put them in the yard and expect them to entertain themselves."
Making your yard as entertaining as possible can help reduce barking.
So-called "tug-of-war" dogs enjoy playing with ropes tied to trees while sandpits can occupy "digger" dogs.
Dogs love food and they can spend all day trying to figure out how to chew on frozen meat.
"You have got to keep them occupied during the day," Mr Noble said.
"People are often lazy and it's easier just to drop the dog in the backyard."
If those things fail the dog may need professional help. Dog obedience schools can help dogs to kick the habit.
"There are even barking psychologists," Mr Noble said.
Anti-barking collars are another tool in the kit for owners.
A last resort is medication. It can help calm down behaviour.
Mr Noble said some dogs needed a combination of training, medication and anti-barking collars.
"It's like behavioural problems in people - we build jails for them - you can't always stop it," he said.
Mr Noble said many residents went to vets after they had received a "nasty note" from council about their dogs.
Other animals such as birds can also cause unwanted noise.
Mr Noble said barking was a normal behaviour for dogs but shouldn't be encouraged.
He said residents often didn't know their dogs were barkers.
"We head off to work and think they're fine and we don't realise that when we leave they start barking."
Communicating with neighbours is important.
"Keep talking to them and ask them: Is the dog barking? Is it being a nuisance in the community?"
For more information visit your local vet.
Ways to stop your dogs from barking
- Puppy classes
- Anti-barking collar