City May Issue Fines If Your Dog Barks For Longer Than 10 Minutes

Barking dogs can be an annoyance. Ask anyone who has ever lived next to a chatty canine. But at what point does that annoyance cross the line and become a nuisance worthy of being issued a fine. For the folks in Fort Worth, TX, that threshold is ten minutes.

The city is set to revise its noise ordinance in order to be more precise about what exactly constitutes a violation. And while the Fort Worth deputy director of planning and development says that bars and restaurants are the city’s highest priority, “the second one is animal noise — dogs and roosters to be specific.”

To that end, reports the local CBS affiliate:

Proposed changes to the ordinance could also include a time limit of 10 minutes on how long your neighbor’s dog can bark before your neighbor is issued a citation.

This is probably music to some people’s ears while others will likely be barking mad about the new limit.

Fort Worth Considering Changes To City Noise Ordinance [CBSlocal.com]

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  1. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    And yet, I can bet you my pencilneck neighbor would be the person out on the lawn with their phone in one hand and a stopwatch in the other. :c

    My neighbor does not like our dogs. At all.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I love dogs but find ones that bark non-stop incredibly annoying.

      • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

        It’s not as if she’s completely innocent. Her dogs bark incessantly, whether ours are out in the yard or not. Buit if they are, then they bark back and forth for hours and God forbid her dog do any wrong. And then she has the fucking gall to say the next time she sees them, she’s calling animal control to put them down because Buddy is a dangerous dog…

        Fuck you. Buddy never hurt nobody.

        • longfeltwant says:

          Wow. You sound like two jerks pissing on each other across a property boundary.

          • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

            I’d say “She started it”, but that would probably only re-enforce your opinion of the petulance of the whole business. But, to be fair, I didn’t threaten to have her dog fucking killed.

            • Bionic Data Drop says:

              If both your dogs bark, you’re both wrong. Plain and simple. Properly train your dog(s) not bark and then ask the neighbor to do the same.

          • Bsamm09 says:

            I’d hate to be their neighbor. That has gotta suck.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          If you have that same demeanor when interacting with her, I’m not surprised that you have neighbor issues.

          • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

            I tried being nice. Repeatedly. Got me nowhere. I have since stopped giving a fuck.

        • mackjaz says:

          Barking dogs are a huge headache for the owner, and often the response is “What can I do”.

          Here’s what you can do:
          Spend more time with your dog
          Walk your dog
          Get a bark collar
          Build a kennel that feels like a little cave
          Give your dog toys and safe things to chew on
          Contact your local humane society or a local trainer for advice

          • Cat says:

            Bring your dog inside so the neighbors don’t have to hear it.

            • CubeRat says:

              Doesn’t help if you live in an apartment/condo/duplex. Those yappy little dogs can still be heard.

              A neighbor got mad at me because I call her Chihuahua “owl bait”. Our complex has 20 units, 1 with cats (mine), 4 with birds, 17 with dogs — only two have small breeds and both of those make a lot of noise. The other unit’s dogs only rarely bark.

              • Cat says:

                Dogs should not live in an apartment. period.

                It’s not being kind to the dog to keep them cooped up all day.

                • JennQPublic says:

                  I think it’s okay, as long as they get a couple of good, long walks in each and every day.

                  I am not committed enough to do that, so I waited to get a dog until I had a house.

                  • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

                    I think it really depends on the type of dog, work hours, and how often the dog can get time outside. Having a Border Collie and living in a tiny apartment, where you’re gone from 9-5 every day is just cruel.

                • tsukiotoshi says:

                  It really depends. My dog was just as cooped up in my apartment as she was in my mom’s house when we moved home for a bit. Of course, in either place she spent all her time curled up at the end of the couch sleeping. She’s incredibly calm indoors and goes nuts outdoors. Perfect situation for apartments. Now, as someone else said, I wouldn’t keep a border collie or other highly energetic dog in a tiny apartment with no yard to speak of.

            • mackjaz says:

              That works too.

    • Jfielder says:

      You don’t happen to have two pitbulls and live next door to me, do you? If so, yes, that’d be me.

    • Guppy06 says:

      He’s not obligated to like your dogs.

    • Jawaka says:

      I assume there’s a reason.

      • rdm says:

        I love dogs but hate our jackass neighbors who leave the dog out pretty much constantly so that he can bark loudly. It’s not the dog’s fault. (wink)

    • tbax929 says:

      I am a dog owner, and I HATE my neighbor’s dog. Why? Because it barks incessantly. They leave it outside when they go away, and it barks and barks. I’ve finally decided to call my HOA and complain. There are lots of us in my neighborhood who have dogs, but theirs is the only one you hear barking like that.

      Why even have a dog if you’re just going to neglect it like that?

      • poco says:

        This. I have a dog; my neighbor has a dog. My dog keeps it’s mouth shut because I’ve trained her not to bark. My neighbor locks his dog outside in all kinds of weather and lets it bark incessantly even late at night.

        Sadly in my backwards-ass town you can’t be fined for a noise violation unless three people call on the same incident. The cops told me as much when I called them at 10:30 at night after listening to my neighbor’s mutt for an hour.

  2. Bsamm09 says:

    It would be hard to enforce I think but I hate neighbors dogs that bark all night.

    • asphaltzeppo says:

      I think this is where a noise ordinance is reasonable. I never let my dog bark after 9:30 pm. If I hear her barking, I go right out and find her. During the day she has a large fenced in yard and loves to chase squirrels and bark at the neighbor dogs. For the most part, she gets scolded for not being neighborly, but anti-bark training just did not work on her. But just because it didn’t work doesn’t mean I will keep the neighbors awake with her barking. It is all about what is reasonable.

      • orion70 says:

        Honestly, I doubt that neighbors who work from home or work night shifts care if someone takes the dog in at 9:30 if it is already barking through the day. I have neighbors exactly like this. Now, whether they take the dog in or it decides to go to sleep by around 8pm I have no idea. The problem is they leave it outside to bark for hours on end starting at around 7:30am some days. I’m not working right now due to illness and it is hell to sit in your own home and be subject to that.

  3. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    It’s largely unenforced but the standard in my city is 15 minutes of continuous barking.

    • nugatory says:

      unenforceable yep, because my dogs don’t bark for 10 minutes straight, they stop to take breaths…

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        From what I’ve seen, short breaks for breaths aren’t factored in when the enforcement official shows up.

        It’s also not enforced for sporadic complaints. It generally takes a lot for someone to show up to enforce the ordinance. In my neighborhood, a chained up, nasty, big, un-neutered dog, is almost always linked to drug dealing. The barking is typically just one of many code violations brought up during a response (garbage in lawn, shattered windows, graffiti, as well as inhumane conditions).

    • OSAM says:

      Sounds about right for me too. You get 2 warnings: 3rd strike and it’s a $150 fine.

    • orion70 says:

      We have one here in my town that I think is 30 minutes. I am currently living next door to oblivious neighbors who leave their dog outside barking constantly for hours, whether they are home or not.

      Funny part is, I live practically across the road from the mayor, who I guess is not bothered by it or doesn’t care to uphold the bylaw he voted for.

      But, I’m equally guilty. I am at my wit’s end, but at the same time, don’t want backlash from suspicious neighbors and I kind of hate to see anyone lose their dog (aka am a sucker). Even if they are assholes.

  4. FreeMarketFan says:

    I for one welcome this. I also long for the day they take care of people that don’t pick up their dogs poop….or leave cigarette butts all over the place

    • Murph1908 says:

      Hell ya.

      People who wouldn’t think of throwing a paper fast food soda cup out the window will throw the equivalent in cigarette butts out in a 2 week period.

      Last year, someone threw their butt out, and it got lodged in my grill, stinking up my car.

      If a city has budget issues, just sit a cop on overtime by a stop light and have him pass out citations to people throwing their butts out. No gas costs for the patrol car, and he’d bring in $1000 an hour. Five citations for this would earn you 20 hours of community service sweeping up the butt piles by the stop lights.

      • nugatory says:

        around here (NE Houston) they could have their budgets overflowing if they just sat at stop signs and no-turn-on-red corners and issued tickets to violators. Why? WHY can’t people here stop at the stop sign?

    • longfeltwant says:

      I’ve often thought that we should have a deposit on cigarette butts. If a cigarette butt was worth one dollar, then you’d pay twenty dollars extra for your first pack, and you’d return twenty butts when you were getting your next pack, and the deposit would be a wash. Sure some inconsiderate people would still toss their butts, like some people toss aluminum cans on the ground, but I think the private free market would organize to pick up discarded butts.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        That sounds like a good idea.

        When I was deployed to the Balkans, we used to pay little kids to pick up our brass from the ranges. We used to pay them 10 cents for every helmet full that they would bring back. I’ve never seen such well policed ranges anywhere else.

    • Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

      I found the key to stopping my friends and boyfriend from throwing their butts was to show them the scientific study that showed what cigarette butts do to fish (kills them). As avid anglers, their butt-throwing stopped that day.

      Now, none of them smoke, and they are all self-righteous a-holes about the butts thing. I think I created monsters.

      But I LOVE the idea of butt deposits.

  5. Power Imbalance says:

    I typically hate government power grabs but I welcome this one…

  6. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    I lived next to a dog that would bark at her own echo for hours on end, at any hour, and most frequently from 3 a.m. to dawn.

    My housemate complains to the local authorites about them; he’d be delighted if the city would start issuing fines.

    • mackjaz says:

      I know you shouldn’t have to, but you may need to be more methodical about complaining. Most law enforcement agencies don’t want to deal with this thorny “he said/she said” problem.

      Create a log of when the dog barks
      Call the PD EVERYTIME to report it regardless of time of day
      Be courteous and respectful to the responding officer

      You may have to move up the chain and speak to a supervisor. Prepare your documentation in advance and try to get concrete promises of what actions they will take. You can remain anonymous, but you may find you get more effective action if you are willing to identify yourself.

  7. baltimoron says:

    Is it 10 minutes of continuous barking? What if a dog barks for a few minutes, stops for a few minutes and then continues barking?

    • pop top says:

      Do you not understand the word “continuous”?

      • A.Mercer says:

        I think that is a valid question. Lets say the dog barks in intervals that are spaced about 10 seconds aparts. Does that mean the dog in not in violation? Heck, each bark has a bit of time between it. If you mean continuous as in there cannot be any time between each bark then that would be a single bark that lasts 10 minutes. I am not sure if I would be angry to have a neighbor with a dog like that or just crack up each time I heard it. I bet the city would find people who have dogs that are barking for more than ten minutes even if the dog only barked once a minute.

        • StarKillerX says:

          Well I would think a few seconds between barks would still be considered continuous, but what it the dog barks for 5 minutes then stops for 5 and barks for 5?

      • baltimoron says:

        I do understand the word. However, where in the post does Chris use the word ‘continuous’?

  8. hackeynut says:

    The god damned dog next door to me has been yapping since I bought my house 2 years ago.

    • Firevine says:

      When I was younger, there was this elderly couple that lived beside us. They had these two morbidly obese dogs that just limped around the yard. They barked NON STOP it seemed for TEN YEARS. Every hour I was at home, they were barking. No idea obviously, about what they were doing while I was at school, but christ on a tricycle, I hated those dogs. All day, all night, at least until I moved out of my parents house. And man were they lardass dogs.

    • Costner says:

      My neighbor’s dogs all bark when they are outside. Thankfully they are only outside for short periods as she allows them to do their business.

      She has at least four dogs that I know of, three of which are large dogs. She also tends to watch dogs of friends etc, so there is often at least one “spare” dog.

      One of her dogs is nearly blind, so he barks at anything that moves because he can’t tell the difference between a person, another dog, or a tree branch. He is old… I’m hoping he dies soon.

      One of her other dogs barks at squirrels which wouldn’t seem like a huge issue until you realize our back yards face a creek and a valley which is heavily wooded with oak trees… so we have hundreds of squirrels running around.

      However, what is worse than the dogs is the idiot owner to yells out the back door “BUDDY…. BUDDY… BUDDY… BUDDY… BUDDY” about 30 or 40 times as the dog ignores her. I have heard her doing this at all hours of the night and she yells loud enough that she has actually women me up from a dead sleep when all my windows and doors are closed.

      Actually, the neighbors on the other side of her ended up taking her to court and the end result was she had to put up a privacy fence on that side of her yard so they could be in their yard without the dogs seeing them (and thus barking at them the entire time). That was before I moved in though… so she still has a crappy chain link fence betweeen our yards.

      So basically if I’m in my back yard mowing or sitting on my deck or landscaping etc chances are one of the dogs will bark until she gets off her rear and “collects them”. I feel bad however because around the time I moved in she lost her husband to cancer and I suspect the dogs are her only form of companionship at this point (she pretty much keeps to herself).

      I have to be honest though… I wish she would sell her house and move, because she isn’t well liked in the neighborhood.

  9. hackeynut says:

    The god damned dog next door to me has been yapping since I bought my house 2 years ago

  10. Cat says:

    Cat approves.

    If you’re letting your dog bark for more than 10 minutes, you either have no concern for your neighbors, or are just not paying attention to your pet.

    If you think it’s okay to let your dog bark “because that’s what dogs are supposed to do!”, (Dumb ass comment!) bring him inside your house so I don’t have to hear it.

    And you shouldn’t be havin’ no damned roosters unless you have a big chunk of land and are zoned for farming.

    • Cat says:

      And get off mah lawn.

    • Onesnap says:

      My town does not allow roosters and we have to go through this giant hearing process and red tape to get chickens.

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        You are so lucky! I spent many sleepless early mornings wishing nasty things on my neighbor’s roosters.

        • orion70 says:

          Do roosters make repetitive constant noise though for hours on end? I have never lived near one so I don’t know.

          What I don’t understand about the “that’s what dog’s do” people is how they stand to listen to it themselves, never mind what other people think of it. If I were sitting inside my house and my own dog was barking non-stop outside, I’d lose my patience real quick. She barks once or twice to get back inside once she’s out and that’s because I go to the door right away. Who the hell wants to listen to that? The rare times she’s ever taken to barking for no reason even inside the house where no one else can hear her, she get’s shut down fairly quickly.

          I don’t understand people who seem to enjoy listening to a dog bark, or are so tuned out they don’t care.

  11. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I’m torn on the issue of fining someone for an animal’s barking, but I will at least agree with providing a finite definition of what a violation entails – too often “noise violation” definitions are so vague it ends up being whether the police officer feels like being a jerk or not.

    • MMD says:

      This is still pretty vague, though…see the discussion about “continuous” barking above. How much barking has to occur in that 10 minute span? And how long of a pause can occur between barks before we’d have to start the 10 minute span over again?

    • Kuri says:

      Or most often the police get sick of visiting because your neighbor just plain doesn’t like you and reports you on EVERYTHING./

  12. rmorin says:

    Firstly, no one should have to deal with someone (or their pets) causing a disturbance.

    However, is this based on complaints? Because once you get into the “10 minute” range it becomes next to impossible to enforce. People are TERRIBLE at estimating time when something is annoying them. Unless someone had the wherewithal (and ability) to actually time it, they’d probably be inaccurate in estimations.

    • Cat says:

      A recording device would be an effective tool. I have an MP3 player that records, that’ll do.

      • sparrowmint says:

        How is an audio recording made by the person making the complaint valid? I could make a recording of any dogs barking and claim it was my neighbour’s dogs. Code enforcement/police should be the only ones who get to gather evidence on that because people can’t be trusted to not lie and exaggerate about their neighbours.

        A friend of my family’s, in the Ottawa Ontario area, had a new dog that he left outside all the time like a jackass. It was some kind of hound mix that howled all the time out of boredom. He got a notice from code enforcement about a complaint, telling him this was his warning. He wasn’t very attached to the dog, so he gave it to a friend who had a farm the very next day. A few weeks later, the by-law officers showed up on his doorstep to issue him a citation to appear in court to pay his fine because more complaints from a neighbour had come in about the dog. The dog that hadn’t been there in weeks.

        • who? says:

          I had to go to mediation over the neighbor’s barking dog. When I started the tape, the first words out of the owner’s mouth was, “yeah, that’s my dog. So what?”

          Dogs have distinct voice, just like people. It ain’t that hard to figure out what dog is barking from a tape.

          • MMD says:

            It also ain’t that hard to digitally alter a recording. Are we supposed to just assume that you didn’t edit the recording in Garageband to make the dog’s barking jag last longer? Or is this law going to involve forensic analysis of recordings?

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      In my city, in order for a citation to be written, the barking must be witnessed either by a code enforcement officer or a police officer.

    • who? says:

      When this happened to me, I found that a tape recording of the dog barking nonstop for 20 minutes was effective. Where I live, if you have a complaint about noise, both parties are forced to go to mediation, or the city won’t take the complaint seriously. The law here doesn’t have any specifics, it just has a clause about the noise bothering someone of “normal sensitivity.” The owner was claiming we were a bunch of overly sensitive women (all the people complaining just happened to be women). When it was my turn to speak, I started the tape, and just let it play while we were talking. After about 20 minutes of nonstop barking, the mediator stopped the session and told the owner to get his dog under control or he “would absolutely be fined.”

      • orion70 says:

        I think requirements like that are what keeps many legitimate complaints from being made. Just the thought of actually reporting a neighbor’s dog is stressful enough sometimes, never mind lack of anonymity or having to go to a hearing.

  13. Olivia Neutron-Bomb says:

    No problem with this at all.

  14. Firevine says:

    The Libertarian part of me does not approve. The part of me that can not stand dogs approves.

    • pop top says:

      What does Libertarianism have to do with barking dogs?

      • Firevine says:

        I am generally no fan of laws such as this, and prefer to not have them.

        But personally, I really, really do not like dogs in the slightest.

        • MMD says:

          Libertarianism: “Laws I like are ok! Laws I don’t like aren’t!”

        • pop top says:

          Why don’t you like noise ordinances? Do you think it would be OK for instance, for someone to blare music as loud as possible at 2AM on a work night? I know Libertarianism is all about personal freedoms but, shouldn’t people have the freedom to sleep through the night? Why does the noisy neighbor’s rights trump everyone else’s?

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            Some people just don’t like ordinances and that’s why so many of them move to places that don’t have any.

          • You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

            I would say that noise ordnance laws are very libertarian. They are there to protect individual and property rights.

            • Firethorn says:

              This is a reason I tend to call myself a ‘moderate libertarian’. It’s hard to tell the extremists from anarchists.

              The trick is, where do you set the balance?

          • StarKillerX says:

            Your comment raises an issue, why is 2am sacred but 2pm is okay?

            For years I worked the night shift and trying to sleep when the sun was out was bad enough but then suddenly everything feels that since it’s daylight out they can make as much noise and humanly possibly whenever possible.

            One Saturday morning, after a 14 hour shift i got home, showed and right to bed and my landlord drilling into a block wall out outside my bedroom window, with a hammerdrill, at 7:30am. Thankfully a polite and kindly worded death threat sent him packing. LOL!

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      Where I live, people who don’t want to deal with ordinances or zoning just move outside of city limits.

      Whenever a county vote comes up regarding county zoning, it always fails handily. At the same time, whenever a new strip bar, porn shop, hog farm, junk yard, or Super Walmart gets built, people line up at the county commission in opposition.

      I like living in town and having land use laws, zoning, and basic code enforcement.

    • longfeltwant says:

      Libertarianism is a childish ideology, a political religion at odds with both reality and reason.

    • Kuri says:

      So you plan to file reports about every dog in your area?

  15. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    Texas already has a state law about disturbing the peace. If you’re in your own house and some noise outside is disturbing you (and you’re a “reasonable person”), that’s a violation of state law.

    Same with cities that think they have to issue ordinances about minibikes and electric scooters. State traffic law already covers those.

    These city ordinances are largely unnecessary. They’re just a way for the city to get the revenue instead of the county/state.

  16. chrisb71 says:

    10 minutes seems too short, 30 would be better. Some dogs with separation anxiety will bark for 10 or 15 minutes then their owner leaves, then it will finally shut up.

    My neighbor’s dog barks, i would not turn them in though, it’s not at night and we can live with it.

    Though in the end, there is help and training for dogs with separation anxiety or border issues, so I think telling the owner they need to get that done will help make everyone else’s life easier.

    • Arcaeris says:

      Nothing motivates someone to get that training done already than a huge fine. I’m all for this.

    • MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

      10 minutes is not too short at 3am.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      Thirty minutes of non-stop barking is pretty excessive.

    • longfeltwant says:

      If your dog has separation issues, then GET RID OF THE DOG BECAUSE YOUR LIFESTYLE DOESN’T SUPPORT IT. I feel this way about most dogs owned by city dwellers — not all of them, but most of them. Unlike cats, most dogs don’t do well when left alone for hours and hours every day.

      Incidentally, I once had a cat with similar issues. I think it was just a super-duper loving cat which didn’t like to be left alone, and would act out by peeing on things, sometimes when it heard us coming home in the afternoon (as in, brand new fresh stain when we came through the door). It was very, very sad for me to get rid of that cat because it was so loving, but my lifestyle was wrong for that cat. I think I did the right thing, and I think too many people won’t do that right thing.

      • pop top says:

        It is harmful to advocate that people just get rid of an unwanted animal because “it doesn’t fit their lifestyle” when it is a situation that can be remedied with a small amount of effort. Animals are abandoned enough as it is and people should have some responsibility when it comes to their well-being. Some animals have issues that can be worked through, like separation anxiety, but there are lazy people who don’t want to put any effort or time into correcting the behavior so that the animal becomes more well-adjusted. It’s sad that people see pets as disposable commodities.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          If an owner is unwilling to make such an effort and the animal is disruptive to their neighbors, then he absolutely should find a new home for it.

          If our dog barks, we just have him come inside. If we’re not home, he also comes inside. It’s actually pretty easy.

        • longfeltwant says:

          In my opinion, you are advocating for a fantasy, and your advocacy is what perpetuates the mistreatment of the animals.

          And anyway, the tiny minority of dog owners who care for their dogs the way you suggest fit into my “most but not all” statement. It’s the vast overwhelming majority of other dog owners that I am beefing. The kind of dog owners you are talking about, I don’t beef.

          It is better to give up a dog which you can’t care for, than to persist in pretending that you are giving it adequate care, and then leaving every day and going to your job.

  17. Brontide says:

    Good. Our town also has a 30 minute intermittent noise as a secondary standard.

  18. Onesnap says:

    Had to take a neighbor to court over aggressive dog barking. Two male dogs would fight with a female dog and it was super loud. Especially for those of us that work from home a lot. I used to schedule conference calls around dog fights. Remember, it’s not the dog it’s the owner. Leaving your dog out during a thunder and lightening storm is unacceptable. Finally, my next door neighbor took them to court and the couple bitched and moaned about not being able to afford a dog trainer/ dog sitter. The guy was the TRAINER for the RED SOX. I tried doing the note in the door tactic (did not want to make enemies). That did not work. The court also did not like how I did not sign the note. Anyway…they are gone now (he works for another team) and after that case they had to adopt out two of the 3 dogs so things got better. Horrible pet owners–and a very nasty couple to boot.

  19. craftman says:

    The new breed of dog owner:

    1) “I love my dog so much!”

    2) *Neglects dog in yard all day to bark at anything and everything that comes within a 20 ft radius*

    3) *Neighbor [me] makes comment about noise, being polite as it’s first contact*

    4) “How dare you say negative things about the dog I love so much!”

    5) Repeat step 2

    :-

    • Geotis says:

      I’ve learned this lesson in college. Some people can’t get over their righteous indignity.

      You can ask them to be quiet and they tell you to “F” off. You call the police. Police come out and force compliance. They know who called the police and carry out their revenge.

      Or… you can forgo the personal request, call the police, have the police come out and force complacence, and you’ll never be suspected and be targeted by spiteful/vengeful people.

      I find option 2 works best for me.

      • who? says:

        Or option 3….you’re the one who goes directly to the neighbor to complain. Then somebody else goes directly to the police, and you get blamed for calling the cops.

  20. gellfex says:

    It’s a rare city that will cite for dog barking, no matter how disruptive it is. This is a good sign of progress. My neighbor will put his Shepherd out in the yard all day, and all day it will bark at the slightest sound, terrifying my kids. If he happens to be home, he’ll yell at the dog to shut up from the window. One time I commented that the dog barks all day when he’s not there, and his reply was “that’s MY yard”. Yeah. Good thing I love animals or a strychnine steak would have been heaved over the fence long ago.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      Our township cited my sister in law. Her dog barked at night, all night, tied out in the yard while she wore earplugs. Neighbors pounded on her door in the middle of the night. She was mad they woke her up.

      Finally, rather than shoot her dog, the neighbors got the police involved, and she was fined.

      Her response? To call the neighbors assholes and vow to never speak to them again. Ugh.

    • Kuri says:

      Or you just enjoy not going to jail more.

    • JennQPublic says:

      If your children really are ‘terrified’ by the sound of a known neighbor dog barking, you have bigger issues to worry about than noise.

  21. Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

    I have a very barky dog and agree that nobody should have to listen to their neighbor’s dog bark non-stop for 10 minutes. When our dog barks we get him to stop or make him come inside. I wish our idiot insensitive neighbors would do the same thing. If you want to leave your dog outside barking all day/night then move out to the country.

    • Cat says:

      If you want to leave your dog outside barking all day/night then move out to the country.

      No, No, just no!
      Even in the sticks, you have neighbors. Noise carries for miles at night.

      If you want to leave your dog outside barking all night, you shouldn’t be owning a dog. Dog ownership is not a “right”.

  22. psm321 says:

    Good.

  23. kataisa says:

    Dogs who excessively bark tend to be neglected dogs who are left outside alone tied up to a tree. Dogs are social pack animals who need to interact with the rest of their “pack”. Untie your dog and give him some attention, and then the annoying barking will stop.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      Tend to be, yes…but not always.

      My dog loves to chase her tail, and she’ll randomly decide to do it any time of the day or night. She barks and growls and spins in circles and sounds like a 10-dog fight all by herself, sometimes for 15 minutes at a time. It’s hilarious, but also loud. As long as she’s doing that and not just barking randomly, I let her do it. No cop seeing it could write me a ticket unless he was a soulless bastard. Oh…wait…

      • mrstu says:

        Actually, that dosn’t make him a soulless bastard, it makes him able to empathize with the fact that your neighbors might not appreciate how amusing your dog is as much as you do.

    • orion70 says:

      Many people around these parts seem to be of the “it’s an outdoor dog so I can leave it outside no matter what” variety. And outside the noise ordinance, the only legal requirement is that the dog have shelter and access to food.

      I had one neighbor a few years ago that left their dog outside tied to a tree until it dug a hole under the step for shelter. Never did see a bowl out there. The dog was reported, and they abandoned the place and high-tailed it anyway (heard a pretty ticked off landlord out on the property not long after). As annoyed as I was with that dog (or more so the owners) my heart went out to it, because that was no life for any creature.

      My new neighbors also have a husky, except this one is tied to a dog house all day. Sure, these dogs are hardy, but I still fail to see why a dog should live it’s life tied up outside in the worst kind of weather, dog house or no dog house. It’s a different story perhaps with working animals.

  24. Matt says:

    I hate my neighbor’s dog. He pretty much personifies (dog-ifies?) everything that I don’t like about dogs. He’s a little moron that barks at everything and his keepers don’t do a damn thing about it. If you live in a house and your dog barks at people in your yard then, fine, because maybe they don’t belong there. But if you live in an apartment and you don’t HAVE a front yard and your dog barks at every person, dog, cat, squirrel, or figment of its imagination that’s minding its own business on the public street then have some respect for your neighbors and SHUT IT THE HELL UP!

    • balthisar says:

      I think that part of choosing to live in an apartment instead of a house is having to accept that you live in inhumane conditions. Don’t get me wrong — my life on the road often has my company putting my into apartments, and that sucks, but it’s something I’ve chosen, and I have to deal with the consequences.

      It really becomes a problem if you live like a real person in a house and the noise from a distance greater than 4″ through sheet rock disturbs your peace. That’s a real property issue.

      • Matt says:

        Inhumane conditions? That’s cute. There wasn’t a lot of money around when I was a kid but I do well now so my apartment is nicer than the house I grew up in. It’s also nicer than many of the houses in the same zip code. I moved in a year ago and I could have bought a house but I don’t have a family so I didn’t see the point. Evidently, I did neglect to consider the ill-conceived superiority complex I could have developed with a house so perhaps I’ll factor that in next time. It looks like fun.

        Also, the dog in question lives two units over so the noise carries through roughly thirty feet and two walls. Mostly though, it carries out through his front door, where he does most of his barking, and down the street to everyone else. Just like in a house!

    • Not Given says:

      Once I was driving a large dog to the vet, he was in the passenger seat of the truck. He loved to bark and wag his tail whenever someone road by our house on a bicycle. (He did the same thing when given leftover meatloaf.) He jumped into my lap and barked when we passed a bicyclist.

    • Kuri says:

      I get annoyed with that too, especially when a dog is barking at me from another yard when I’m standing in my own yard. Teach your dog that his turf ends

  25. MMD says:

    How does one prove how long a dog has been barking? Sure, you can say you used a timer, but is everyone just supposed to take your word for it?

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      You call the city and the city (eventually) dispatches an enforcement officer to see if he witnesses anything. If he does, he writes a citation, if he doesn’t he goes to the next call.

      • MMD says:

        So if a dog is barking now, but is not barking when the officer comes and hour or a day or a week from now…

        ?

    • NumberSix says:

      Record it? Seems kinda obvious really.

      • MMD says:

        And how does one make a recording that would be admissible in court (i.e., that we can prove hasn’t been fabricated, which is incredibly easy to do)? People can challenge citations, you know.

  26. gqcarrick says:

    My dad routinely calls the cops on neighbors who leave their dogs out barking. Most times it’s all night long or during the day when people are at work. A few of the neighbors have had to go to court over numerous fines.

  27. Kate says:

    Just debark your dog. It’s not mean, it’s not hard and it makes everyone a lot happier.

    • Kuri says:

      Yeah, not everyone considers that to be humane, I know I certainly don’t. as bad as declaration a cat in my opinion.

  28. SamEBates says:

    My upstairs neighbor’s sasquatch dogs bark constantly when she is not home, which happens to be between the hours of 10PM and 5AM. When she’s home, they shut up. So, how would that be enforced? It seems very subjective.

  29. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Roosters should not be allowed unless they’re out of earshot of any surrounding house. My neighbor had just roosters for years. The stupid things would start crowing at 3:30 AM and never shut up until nightfall. I had to wear earplugs.

    Called the township about this, as we have a barking dog ordinance, and was told since we’re zoned agricultural, roosters were allowed and there wasn’t anything they could do.

    I spent several sleep deprived years wishing a meteorite would fall on the stupid chicken house. I hate that crowing sound to this day.

  30. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Does this include little dogs barking, like those of the Republican debates?

  31. pot_roast says:

    I live in Fort Worth. Certain areas of the city have had numerous problems with illegal rooster fighting and dog fights. As bad as it’ll sound (and I know someone will cry “that’s racist”), the problems have been in the heavily Hispanic areas. Cockfighting, dog fights, etc. Several raids recently have turned up some vicious animal abuses as well: http://bit.ly/rJ3pRg (Star Telegram article about just one such recent event) – same areas in town where you can drive around and see pit bulls chained up in yards, barking at anything that moves at all hours of the night.
    The bird/dog fights might be cultural in some areas, but here it’s almost always gang activity related as well.

  32. NumberSix says:

    That sounds about right. Barking dogs are pretty damn annoying. I couldn’t get mine to shut its yapper either so I had to start keeping her in the house during the day.

  33. madcatcasey says:

    Having read the comments in this thread, I know I’m not the only one who’s thought “… Hmm. I wonder if I could just slip something in a piece of meat, and throw it over the fence…”. Of course, I never did it.

  34. caj111 says:

    Interesting ordinance, how they will enforce I don’t know. I live in a small building and three of the building’s residents have dogs that do bark a fair amount particularly whenever someone enters the building. I’m so used to them they don’t bother me, and I’d like to think that they deter would-be burgulars. What I really wish is that my city would enforce the ordinance requiring people to pick up their dog’s poop in the public areas. I see it everywhere – in the parks, on the sidewalks, streets, etc. Just so nasty and so inconsiderate. If the city could enforce and fine the hell out of people for failing to pick it up, my city would have wiped out its budget deficit long ago.

  35. oldtaku says:

    Everyone complaining that 10 minutes is ‘too short’ (it’s not when you’re listening to some stupid yappy dog go on and on and on) should figure there will be an overkill time. When you’re trying to get a million petition signatures you get two million – in this case if the damn dog barks for a half hour then you’re well over the 10 minutes and should get no pushback.

    Also, ‘how will you prove it’? Use your phone. Record it.

    • MMD says:

      A) Not everyone has a smartphone.
      B) If the recording is audio only, it’s incredibly easy to doctor.
      C) If it’s a video recording, unless you actually see the dog barking the whole time (i.e. the dog is outside), it’s incredibly easy to just add audio.

      • Kuri says:

        Well, plus, nothing to stop them from recording a few barking sessions back to back to make it seem like ten minutes straight.

  36. Kuri says:

    I’m fully expecting this to be abused hugely. Some just hate dogs and will report barking no matter the mount, in other cases a neighbor might just not like another and might keep filing reports.

  37. shibotu says:

    I don’t know how I could ever hear a dog over the leaf blowers and back up sirens but a dog that barks for more than 10 minutes may be neglected so I thing it’s okay.

  38. Dallas_shopper says:

    Recently I got an anonymous nastygram on my front door from a neighbor upset about my dog’s barking.

    My dog barks sometimes when he goes out. Sometimes, almost always in the afternoon, he’ll bark nonstop. I do not allow him to bark nonstop for more than a few minutes before I bring him in, mostly because I find his barking annoying too.

    He is never left outdoors overnight or unsupervised at any time. My idiot neighbor complained to me anyway, then the following day complained to the city. I got a note from the city on my door about a “noise nuisance” so I called them right back and told them the TRUTH. They came away from the conversation with the same impression of my anonymous neighbors as I now have.

    They also log complaints by the address, and my address has been tagged to not accept any anonymous complaints. The city was basically like “Look, if you’re going to complain unreasonably about this woman’s dog, at least tell us who you are.”

    Word.

    • Bionic Data Drop says:

      You sound just like my neighbors. Anyone with barking dogs have one of two typical responses: Either “Dogs will be dogs” or “My dogs bark, but not a lot”. If you need to give one of those excuses, then yes, you are part of the problem. Even a 10 second bark fit can wake people up from naps, especially young children (trust me, I know). Google search “*dog breed* bark training”. I’ve had dogs of all sizes throughout my life and I know for a fact they can be trained not to bark excessively.

    • orion70 says:

      I can’t say I fully understand. Yes, I would be upset if someone came to my door and told me my dog was annoying everyone but instead of being defensive, a little humility might go a long way.

      I also don’t understand all the do not call unless not anonymous. If a bunch of people were partying out on the lawn next door and someone anonymously calls the police to complain about the noise, they might show up once and allow someone to explain and apologize/turn down the volume, but a few more calls and I doubt the callers would be told, sorry, nothing we can do about it unless you tell us your name etc.

  39. xamarshahx says:

    Bravo! I like dogs, but if you don’t like them in your house, then don’t keep one. It’s so annoying to have to keep my windows shut in the summer time because the retarded dogs wanna bark at every jogger that is out for a morning run!

  40. sister says:

    There was a fellow who lived in the house behind our yard. He had a large, mixed breed dog. Every day, I could tell when the owner went off to work because the dog was left out in the yard and he would begin to whine and howl. I felt sorry for the dog because he seemed so sad. I’d go out and talk to him, using a soothing tone of voice. That seemed to have done the trick because he’d quiet down.

  41. Ilovegnomes says:

    Good luck getting PD to enforce this. I was on bed-rest for the last two months of my pregnancy, not allowed to get out of bed unless to go to the doctor or bathroom and the neighbor’s dog would literally bark 24 hours a day. Through my closed, double pane sound control windows, it still sounded like that dog was barking in the room, with me. It was that loud.

    My husband talked to the neighbor who told him to f-off. We called PD, they said call animal control. Animal control said the dog already had complaints and that I’d have to go around the neighborhood with a petition to get the state to take the dog because the dog was property and that was their process. Otherwise, they did nothing and it was up to me and I was not in a state that I could do something. So for 2 months, *Bark, bark, bark* around the clock!

    Finally, after I had my kids, I came over to the neighbors, sleep deprived and scary looking, and had a talk with them. I think they were to scared to tell me to f-off (hahahaha!!) and finally contacted a rescue organization to re-home the dog. To make a long story short, you can pass all sorts of ordinances and laws but unless your city actually does something about it, it’s all bark and no bite!

  42. asphaltzeppo says:

    Um, dogs are animals, and they bark at stuff! If it is daytime, what is the real harm? We don’t round up non-domesticated animals because they make too much noise. Ridiculous! As long as the animal isn’t neglected, and it comes in by bed time, get over yourself.

    • Bionic Data Drop says:

      Because everyone works during the day and sleeps at night. Also children don’t need to take naps. What difference does the time make? Barking dogs are a nuisance. As a member of a community you have a responsibility not to cause or maintain a nuisance. Barking dogs can keep people from enjoying their own homes and yards. If you are too ignorant/lazy to train your dog then don’t own one.

      Bravo sir. That was the most ignorant comment I’ve ever read on this site.

  43. sunshine2go says:

    Hurrah!!! I wish all towns had that law. Also wish there was a cat law out there for wandering cats pooping and peeing and eating birds on my property. Excessive barking and wandering animals show animal neglect. If you love your animal, take care of it.

    • nakago71 says:

      Umm, cats wander, loved or no. You can say all cats should be indoors animals, but otherwise, you’re being illogical.

  44. Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

    Can they have an ordinance that fines parents if their kid squeals/screams/cries in a store/restaurant for over a minute?

    I had a really bad experience with a kid while shopping in an outlet store. The kid was screaming and throwing a tantrum the whole time the mother was in the checkout line (AND the line was slow — so I’d say 5 minutes of high-pitched screaming?). Someone was shouting at the kid to “shut up” but he wouldn’t stop. I was about ready to kick his head.

    Peace came when the mother and the kid left the store. My head was still ringing half an hour later.

    • Bionic Data Drop says:

      Those people are no different than the people who this ordinance targets. Any idiot with $50 can own a dog, but it might actually take some time and effort to properly train them. It’s a lot easier to let your kid/dog do whatever they like instead of stepping up and taking the time to teach them right from wrong.

  45. Kodai says:

    Get a Basenji. They barely ever bark. (they baroo, look it up on youtube)

  46. MECmouse says:

    Dogs that continuously bark have not been properly trained…which comes as no surprise since those who own these kind of dogs have not been properly trained on how to be a good neighbor! Would they think it was a nuisance if everyone decided to take turns ringing their doorbell at all hours of the day and night for 10 minutes or more? Bet so!

  47. jacobs cows says:

    Good ordinance.Poor doggys.

  48. SilentAgenger says:

    Now if they can just do something about dog walkers that don’t clean up after their dogs…or dog walkers who go the half step of bagging their dog’s poop only to turn around and leave the neatly tied bag of dog poop on the ground (yes, at least you’re marking your pet’s “land mine” for others to avoid, but it’s still littering and I’d argue that it’s better to just leave the waste unexposed to degrade on its own).

  49. Auntie_Carolina says:

    Why only dogs? We have Crows in our neighborhood. A dozen of them crow relentlessly. And squirrels when they get territorial, will wail for an hour. The darn giant woodpeckers get on my last nerve.
    Lawnmowers set my teeth on edge, and worst of all are all the Harley cycles. We need better mufflers on them.
    Leave the dogs alone, we have wolves here that mark their territory at night by howling. Back and forth for hours. At least the foxes are quiet.

  50. Sad Sam says:

    My dog does not bark very much, trained via a squirt bottle. He has barked once in the last month when he was startled.

    As for neighbors, I have a wonderful neighbor who lives next door and he is a collector with hording habits. Right now he has 7 dogs, 5 little ones and 2 big ones, and he is 3 dogs over the limit in our city (which limits dog ownership to 4). He also has rabbits and birds. The 4 little ones bark all the time, any our bedroom window faces his back yard so I’ll be asleep and then bark, bark, bark, they quiet down and bark, bark, bark. He does bring them in when they get riled up and he tries to keep them quiet but those little ones cannot help themselves.

    I have no plans to turn him for being over the limit or for the nuisance, and we do have a noise ordinance, because he is a sweetheart, Mr. Sam has not put our trash out in 4 years because he does it (and we have three time a week trash/recycle/bulk pick up) and because he watches our dog when we go away. Although I’m always worried our dog is going to learn how to bark again.

  51. Martha Gail says:

    I just moved out of Ft Worth. I would have loved that ordinance. My apartment complex was “pet friendly” and had miniature fenced in yards for first floor tenants. Dog owners would leave their dogs out there all day and all night.

    While some were quiet, there were several yappy ones that barked non-stop. No amount of pleading with the office ever accomplished anything. I’m pretty sure they just shook their heads and took notes and then never confronted the dog owners.

    Luckily the new place I’m at in Dallas has pretty strict pet policies and I’ve barely heard any barking at all since I’ve been there.

  52. Samerightsasyou says:

    I am a dog owner, for four years now within the city limits. Last fall, Animal control left notice on my door based on a bogus report (no specific violation stated, except to say abuse), and when I called them to immediately come back out to my home, it took a week, but they was confirmed the complaint to be an outright lie, apparently reported by a neighbor (complainant anonymous). My two dogs were observed behind my privacy fence to be well feed, have adequate water, well groomed and trained to have good behavior. There was an apology given and no further problems. My concern is how do you enforce this? I too would be upset by a barking dog or any intruding and annoying noise that disturbs the peace in my home. But am I allowed to be a victim because of neighbor(s) who might not like me, because I do mind my own business. I have lived in the same house for 17 years and always a good neighbor. It is against the law to muzzle or chain up a dog
    (Neither would I do), NOW I will be subjected to someone standing outside my fence with a timer and noise meter? Where do we reach a compromise? What would you have me to do, turn them over to a shelter? Animals are territorial and will bark if you are too near my property line; if you stand there for ten minutes, they will at you for ten minutes. I am an animal lover, I work in law enforcement, but most importantly I’m a law abiding citizen. Will this law be enforceable with regard to all, in a fair and reasonable manner? Or turn in to another fight for the ASPCA and City Hall?