Submission to the Government during its
Review of the Dog Control Act 2000

TOPIC: Animal Health

There is a common perception that nearly all dogs in the suburbs are contented and privileged
creatures quite pleased with their lot in the backyard plot and happy to have a caring owner
who feeds them.

Owners believe that if they asked their dog about this the animal would vigorously wag its tail
with unconcealed joy, whereupon the owner would interpret this
as a clear “Yes!”

But has anyone considered what causes the suburban dog bark so much?

The Paper Noxious Barking elaborates further:

When there was an abundance of open space where man and dog could free-range at will there
was no trouble with barking because dogs in the wild did not bark. They could freely do what
nature intended.

However with mankind's exponential increase in numbers and because of the tremendous
economic and social advantages made available by concentrated suburban living, man has
graduated to this totally different abode and adopted an entirely different lifestyle.
Despite these profound changes, today's man has not altogether discarded his primitive
biological conditioning and evidently still requires his accompanying dogs. He feels uncomfortable
without them.
But now with so many of his neighbours just a few metres away and not over the next range as
before, man has failed to recognise that the everyday environment for his companion animal is
now totally different too.
Whereas man with his superior intelligence developed the capacity to adapt to radical change,
his thoughtless and selfish expectation that his companion animal would adapt in parallel has
proven unfounded. Dogs remain dogs. These creatures remain the descendants of wolves and
their animal nature and instincts are still just under the surface.
Man has foolishly tried to anthropomorphise his companion animal into malleable horizontal
replicas of himself, but no matter how much he indulges in this delusion the unpalatable fact
remains that he has failed. It cannot be done and he never had any right to try. But in his
mindless recklessness he persists as if by force of personality he can achieve what nature never
intended, and he still tries to dominate and exploit another creature by sheer determined
Thus has developed a suburban environment where half the population recognises that dogs are
substantially unsuitable animals for it, while the other half denies the fact and defends its
position fiercely. This division between the haves and the have-nots causes enormous trouble,
misery and conflict - a battle of wills wherein those who've still not recognised the realities of
the totally changed environment have become entrenched in their determination to retain what
they perceive to be their inalienable right.
Cruelly confining his companion animal to its wholly unsuitable and unnatural backyard plot the
owner goes away, oblivious to the torment he so mindlessly inflicts upon his dog every day. This
is the main cause of so much suburban barking.


1.That an appropriate authority such as a university department thoroughly investigates the
general welfare of suburban dogs with particular emphasis on this animals’ mental health, and
compiles a comprehensive public report.