Ask the vet: too much bark

RACQ, in partnership with Animal Welfare League Queensland, can help solve your pet problems.

RACQ, in partnership with Animal Welfare League Queensland, can help solve your pet problems.

Got a curly problem with your favourite pooch? Is your cat being too catty?

While animals can bring much joy into our lives, they are not always problem free. If there is an animal issue that you need help to solve, send your question to via RACQ to the Animal Welfare League Queensland experts, to find the answer.

Too much bark

Our dog Coco is a pure-bred shih-tzu. When he goes to the fence to bark at someone passing by, he won’t stop barking when we ask him. We have smacked him, given him a treat and tried to call him in for dinner in an effort to stop the barking. My husband wants to put a barking collar on him and I think that is cruel. We have praised him that he has alerted us to someone in the area, but the constant barking can be annoying and with new neighbours we are afraid that he will be reported to the Council. Do you have any suggestions on what we can do?

AWLQ Experts say

To train a dog to stop barking you need to provide something that makes it more rewarding for the dog, like a treat or toy. You can also limit access or views of the street.

Encourage him to come with you back to the house and reward him for coming with you. If you do this consistently you will eventually be able to call the dog back from where ever he is barking. Therefore, stopping barking when asked will become far more rewarding than barking itself.

For more detailed help, please visit the website.

Catty neighbour

Please clarify a neighbourhood dispute. My neighbour has accused my female cat of urinating on her car and tyres, I have explained to her that female cats do not urinate/spray on vehicles or tyres. Would you please confirm if this is true or false?

AWLQ Experts say

In our experience, female cats do not spray, however a visit to the vet is always a good idea to check that there is nothing amiss health wise. Please remember that by law all cats should be contained within their own property — an indoor cat or one that has a secure outdoor enclosure is a happier, healthier and safer cat.

What’s your question?

Send your pet questions to and Animal Welfare League Queensland‘s experts will provide the answers. Letters will not receive an individual reply and should be no more than 120 words.

AWLQ work with local councils, state government, rescue groups and the community to improve the outcomes for stray and surrendered pets.