Tag Archives: barking

What are the Typical Dog Barking Laws? A guest Blog from Stephanie Lynch


We are very pleased to have our guest blogger, Stephanie Lynch, howmuchisit.org, share this wonderful article on Dog Barking Laws. A special thanks to Stephanie from all of us at Tails Untold Personalized Pet Books.

Barking Laws

Barking laws are designed to protect you from chronic barking at your neighbor’s house. Dogs barking can disrupt your sleep, your daily routine and even your health. To protect you from such harm, anti-barking laws are made.

Now, before we get into the specifics of dog barking laws, keep in mind that usually, the best course of action is to contact your neighbor in person. 90 percent of the time, your neighbor wonít know about the issue and will usually do something to resolve the problem. Bypassing this step may often lead to tension or even a lot of wasted time on your part.

Barking laws differ from city to city, but you can learn about them by calling the nearest animal control center or even contacting the local police department. Most of the time, if you search your city plus the word dog barking laws, you will get an official page telling you the local law and how to dispute a barking dog. Do keep in mind that before making a dispute, the local police department will put these complaints on the bottom of the list.

There are many common barking laws found throughout the United States and listed below are the most common types you may find in your local city.

The Multiple-Household Laws

According to this law, barking is considered illegal if the case goes to the court and the victim provides detailed information about the owner, dog and neighbors. The victim has to come forward with some neighbors who have the same complaints before the authorities can take any legal action.

Before it can go to court, however, you will more than likely have to meet with the neighbor, write a detailed letter complaint, file legal papers and gather relevant data. As you can only imagine, hiring a lawyer can be expensive, www.howmuchisit.org if you choose to do it on your own, it can eat up a lot of your time.

This is the only law that requires more than one complaint before the judge may agree to take legal action. There is no specific information in the ordinances of this law as to whether or not it is illegal for the owner to allow their dog to bark. It only depends on the judge to declare that, whether or not, the barking in your situation is illegal. In simple words, this law states the barking is illegal only if the judge says that it is illegal.

The major problem with this law is that most people do not agree to get involved since it can cause conflicts or can take up too much of their time.

The Single Complaint Victim-Driven Laws

To file a complaint according to this law, one has to pass all the procedures as with multiple-household laws but with a single complaint in effect. Only a single victim without any neighbors within a certain radius can take advantage of this law, but most cities don’t have this law in effect, so don’t count on this working for your situation.

The major problem with this law is that it’s going to be you versus the neighbor and most cases don’t make it to court.

The Consecutive-Disruption Ordinances

The consecutive-disruption law only protects you from the noise of a dog that has the habit of barking virtually non-stop. The authorities only take action when the dog barks continuously for a number of minutes, and the amount can be random depending on the local law. Most of the time, it will be around 20 minutes.

This law is not exactly the answer to your problems. Under these ordinances, barking is illegal only if the owner allows the dog to bark continuously without any breaks. But, if the dog stops barking after a few minutes and starts after a few seconds, the countdown resets and begins from the start.

The Common Law

According to this law, if your neighbor’s dog is barking, you can settle the dispute by talking to your neighbor. This law forces the people to settle their disputes by talking to each other before going to the authorities. Most of the time, a neighbor may not know about their dog’s barking and will take action to prevent it, while others may be stubborn and tell you to get lost. Whatever your local laws may be, this is often the first route you will have to take. If you’re curious about the dog laws more in details, BarkingDogs.net went into more detail, along with stories about people who have successfully worked with the law.

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Why does my dog follow my every move? Why does my dog destroy things when I am away? Why does my dog pace or run in circles when I am leaving the house?

  • Cooper

These behaviors and others like:

  • Housebreaking accidents
  • Barking, howling, or whining
  • Not eating or not chewing on his/hers favorite toy
  • Scratching, digging, or trying to escape
  • Excessive grooming
  • Drooling

can be signs that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety.  Separation anxiety in terms of pets describes stress and anxiousness brought on by leaving your dog alone even if for a split second.  Often these signs are confused with “bad manners”, which is true in some cases, but not all.  Separation anxiety can be a serious issue and disciplining (eg. yelling or scolding), can make the anxiety worsen.  Often, regular obedience training does not help.

What can I do to help my dog get over separation anxiety?

First, please consult your veterinarian.  Sometimes the treatment requires a combination of medication(s) with behavior modification, especially when the case is severe.

What types of behavior modifications are suggested for separation anxiety?

First, be sure your dog is not bored by adding more physical and mental stimulation. This will usually take care of  boredom issues but will usually not take care of separation anxiety issues.   Often bored dogs will scarf down their food then look for more, anywhere including your garbage, but in most cases, the opposite is true of a dog with separation anxiety.

Behaviorists suggest changing up your “leaving routine”.  Your pet is very aware of your routine before leaving home, grabbing your coat first, or shutting off the lights, then lastly grabbing your keys.  Mix this up and do some of these things randomly during the day while you are still remaining home.  In time, perhaps only a few weeks, your dog may see that these behaviors don’t mean you are leaving and some or all of this anxiety may lessen greatly.

Also, don’t overcompensate your departure or return.  Don’t give treats or give special attention before you leave or when you return.  Don’t fuss over them, as hard as this is to do, especially when you are so happy to see them when you come home.  Try to ignore your dog for a few minutes before you leave and when you return.  Your dog may get the idea that your leaving is not a big deal.

For extreme cases, there is a program you can try, but first, consult your veterinarian to be sure there your dog is not suffering from some other ailment or illness. This program *  requires a huge time commitment on your part, at least several weeks.    This  will mean you will need to take time off ,if you work, use your vacation time, or find a pet sitter or doggie daycare to assist you.  You will need to spend 30 minutes to an hour every training session.  It requires patience and consistency.  Initially, you leave your home for a few seconds and step right back in so your pet has little or no time to experience separation anxiety.  Always stay calm while inside. Continue to do this until you see no signs of anxiety.  Gradually increase the time you are out, but change up the time (eg. 2 minutes, 1 minute, 4 minutes, 1 minute, 5 minutes) until you see no signs of anxiety.  You continue to do this gradually increasing to an hour, two hours, etc. until you can be away a full work day.

If this does not help, you will need to contact your veterinarian,again, who, hopefully will be able to help you find the cause of your dog’s anxiety issues and perhaps recommend an experience behaviorist who has worked with this disorder and/or prescribe proper medication.

*This program is suggested by Amy Bender, Dog Expert (www.dogs.about.com).

Please note: This article has been provided for informational purposes only. If your pet is showing any signs of illness, please consult a veterinarian as quickly as possible.