Suburban dogs habitually bark because they are confined behind backyard fences while their owners
To the dog, an extremely social animal, this lonely confinement is dreadfully isolating. A New Zealand
animal behaviour expert has declared that isolation, to a dog, is torture.
For an animal with short-term memory, a whole day's isolated torture constitutes an extended cruelty.
The dog feels that its pack leader (the owner) has abandoned it. In its prolonged lonely anguish it
howls, barks and whines. It is suffering.
It is standard practice throughout the suburbs for innumerable owners to leave their dogs unattended
The solution is to make Leaving a Dog Unattended an offence, and to ensure that this prohibition
Among the benefits are:
(a) This particular form of animal cruelty diminishes.
(b) Because the cruelty diminishes, so does the consequential barking.
(c) Many potential will forego dog ownership through knowing they will often be absent from the
In recent years, in the Australian state of Tasmania, two identical petitions have appeared on the state's
These E-Petitions may be seen here under the title "Noxious Barking."
The Petition is worded thus:
TO: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of AssemblyThe petition of the
undersigned residents of Tasmania draws to the attention of the House:
The huge and growing number of dogs kept in the Tasmanian suburban environment;
The estimation that there are 35% more dogs here, per caput, than in mainland Australia;
That most of Tasmania's dogs are kept in the suburbs under conditions of close confinement;
That the suburbs comprise a totally unnatural environment for an animal congenitally programmed to
That innumerable confined backyard dogs are left unattended by their owners because of work
commitments, especially during the daytime;
That many of these dogs bark intermittently or continuously because of their boredom, frustration,
confinement and deprivation of animal and human contact;
That such extended isolation to a dog, a social animal by nature, can be torture;
That the dog commonly vents its frustration, anguish and torment by whining, howling and loud
continuous barking; and
That such barking is increasingly noxious to nearby humans, is often damaging to their health, and is
contravention of s46 of the Dog Control Act 2000 now so commonly left almost entirely unenforced.
Your Petitioners therefore ask the House to:
Create the Dog Control Act offence "Leaving a Dog Unattended"; and
Compel enforcement by authorised persons with the words: "It is the obligation of any person on
whom a function is imposed or a power is conferred under this Act to perform the function or to
exercise the power..."
It is suggested that all anti-barking activists examine the petition wording above and consider devising
and presenting their own Petitions in whichever local and state forums seems appropriate.