Barking is a natural form of communication for a dog, but doing it too much or at the wrong time of day or night may make him a lawbreaker in some municipalities. Laws vary, but in many residential areas and elsewhere, your dog's barking may constitute a nuisance or disturbing the peace. Repeat violations could land you in front of a judge.
Is Excessive Dog Barking Illegal?
Check with your city's animal control office for information about barking dog ordinances. While "normal" dog barking isn't illegal, the definition of "normal" varies from area to area; municipal zoning and residence type -- single-family dwelling, apartment, estate -- may make a difference between where barking's regulated and where it's not. Generally, your dog has to consistently bark and be audible from a neighboring residence for a certain length of time and at certain times of day, such as nighttime hours, before it is considered an illegal nuisance. After that point, you may be visited by a police officer or animal control officer. Violations can result in tickets or even court appearances, so don't take a nuisance violation lightly -- find out what your area's laws are and abide by them.
By Tom Ryan
About the Author
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.