Objective: To determine the key variables related to the environment, animal and owner that influence nuisance barking by dogs in a city with a subtropical climate.
Design and population: A case-control survey of dog owners in Brisbane, Queensland, was conducted using a questionnaire investigating key variables connected to nuisance barking. Owners of dogs exhibiting nuisance barking were obtained from a list of dogs being treated in a Brisbane behaviour clinic, and those of control dogs were selected from a telephone directory.
Results: Univariate analysis showed that animal, owner and environmental factors all potentially influence the occurrence of nuisance barking. Multivariate analysis identified the following factors, with the relevant odds ratios (OR) as significant: age of the dog (young dog vs old dog, OR 11.2); multiple dogs in the household vs single (OR 5.6); origin of the dog (home bred vs obtained from breeder or friend, OR 4.0); type of dog, (herding vs other types, OR 3.2) and dog with access to the home vs dog without access (OR 2.5).
Conclusion: The greatest risk for nuisance barking occurs with a young dog of the herding type that is home bred and with access to the house in a multiple dog household.