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How Long Can a Dog Bark Legally?

The rules vary from one city to another and from one state to another. The legal limit for dog barking is 10-20 minutes in most states. Excessive dog barking or howling is declared as a public nuisance. It can result in dog being impounded and dog owner will be fined as per the local laws.

Key Takeaways

A dog can bark 5-10 minutes continuously before neighbors can file a legal complaint or call animal control services.

The laws vary from state to state, but the maximum time is not more than 15 minutes anywhere in the US.

Make sure you train/stop your dog from barking too much to avoid complaints.

Barking Dogs: State and Local Laws

According to an ordinance passed in 2010 in the U.S.A., a dog can bark up to 10 minutes before the neighbor can file a complaint against the owner. This ordinance was revised recently, and according to the revised edition, a dog can only bark for 5 minutes before a neighbor can file a complaint against the dog’s owner.

minutes before a neighbor can file a complaint against the dog’s owner.

Different states and counties have different rules and regulations for keeping pets. Some rules and laws suggest different actions if your neighbor is disturbed by your pet, especially nuisance dogs.

According to Lincoln, California Municipal Code: “Whenever the chief of animal control receives in writing by three or more persons each having separate residences or regularly employed in the neighborhood, that any dog is a habitual nuisance by reason of its howling, barking or by its actions, potentially vicious or in any manner causing undue annoyance, the animal control officer shall investigate the complaint and if he or she finds such conditions to exist, he or she may issue an order to conform requiring said owner or custodian to abate such conditions within a reasonable length of time.” (Ord. 804B § 2(part), 2006)

Californian laws define barking violations for continuously 10 minutes or intermittently for 30 minutes in a 3-hour period.

Similarly, U.S. Placer County Code Regarding Domestic Animals 6.08.020 Nuisance States: “If the dog has barked or howled for an aggregate period of twenty (20) minutes out of one hour shall be sufficient for conviction. If the first nuisance barking or howling complaint is determined to be provoked by any other animal or nearby pedestrian(s), it may be excluded from the aggregate time if the owner: (1) provides documentation that the provocation exists and cannot be avoided; and (2) takes remedial steps to change the environment of the dog(s) and abate the nuisance within a six-month period from the date of the complaint.”

Massachusetts law also allows the people to file a complaint to the city council against the barking dog. If your neighbor has a dog that is a nuisance because of excessive barking, you have the right to complain about it. (Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. Ch. 140, § 157)

Oregon State law declares if a dog disturbs someone with excessive barking, it’s a public nuisance. The county will surely investigate the complaints. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 609.095)

New York noise laws state that it is illegal for dogs to bark non-stop for more than 10 minutes from 7 am to 10 pm. From 10 pm to 7 am, the maximum legal time a dog can bark is 5 minutes. The time includes continuous or aggregate time with intervals.

Aurora, Colorado limits dog barking to a maximum of 15 minutes from 7 am to 10 pm and up to 10 minutes from 10 pm to 1 am.

How long can a dog bark legally in Pennsylvania, PA?

The excessive dog barking laws in Pennsylvania, PA states that

“It shall be unlawful for any owner or keeper to harbor any dog which barks repetitively during any given 1 hour period or which barks continuously for 10 minutes or more and which creates annoyance or disturbance on public premises, public rights of way or private premises.”

The law further states that a dog owner, upon conviction, can be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $1,000 plus costs. In case of default of payment, the convicted dog owner can be imprisoned for a term not exceeding 90 days.

You can file a dog complaint using this form.

How long can a dog bark legally in Texas?

The state of Texas doesn’t have a dog barking law. The law varies from city to city or local neighborhood. So, contact local authorities if you want to know how long your dog can bark legally in Texas or if you are considering filing a complaint.

For example, Houston laws state that a dog interfering substantially with the basic rights of people other than the owner, including long, frequent, or continued barking or howling, can be declared a nuisance. You can read more about it here.

How long can a dog bark legally in Ohio?

Ohio state laws don’t mention the exact time and duration. However, it clearly states that dogs cannot annoy others by continuous barking or howling.

You can call 3-1-1 from your home phone or 330-375-2311 from any phone to complain. The animal control warden will collect the relevant information and guide you further in complaining. It is compulsory to provide your testimony, dates and times of barking, and at least two names and addresses of corroborating witnesses who don’t reside with the complainant.

You can read more about Ohio dog laws here.

How long can a dog bark legally in Georgia?

There are no laws that control dog barking at the state level. You must check the city or county laws to determine how long your dog can bark before the barking can be termed a nuisance.

For example, Athens city laws state that an owner cannot allow his dog to disturb the peace of any other person by loud, persistent, habitual barking or howling. Click here to find out more about dog barking laws in Athens.

Augusta, Georgia, has similar laws but urges residents to settle the issue between them amicably before filing a complaint. If a complaint has to be filed, the complainant must have the time and date of the dog barking events. Dog barking laws for Augusta County are explained here.

The laws in Atlanta were changed in September 2022. Under the new laws, your dog cannot bark or howl for more than 10 minutes (continuous, without a 20-second break between barks). Any dog doing so will be considered a nuisance. The previous laws allowed 20 minutes. You can read more about the laws here.

How long can a dog bark legally in Connecticut, CT?

Connecticut’s laws on barking dogs don’t define a time limit before a dog can be considered a nuisance. However, the laws mention that no person shall own or harbor a dog that is a nuisance through barking, vicious behavior, or howling. Owning or harboring such a dog is punishable by a fine of $60 for the first time and up to $100 and up to 30 days imprisonment for subsequent offenses. The court may require restraint or disposal of the dog if it deems it necessary.

How long can a dog bark legally in Kentucky?

Most cities and neighborhoods in Kentucky term dog barking or howling for more than 15 minutes (continuous, without brakes) as a nuisance.

The dog owner can be fined from $10 to $100. The dog can also be impounded if the court finds it necessary. Click here to read more about dog laws in Kentucky.

How long can a dog bark legally in Minnesota?

There are no dog-barking laws at the state level. Different cities have different laws. Hence, you must check the local codes before filing a complaint.

The laws in St.Cloud state that no person shall own or keep a dog that barks, howls, cries, or whines for 6 minutes or longer.

The laws in Saint Paul are different from St.Cloud. The laws don’t mention an exact time frame but state that it is unlawful for a person to own or harbor a dog that disturbs others’ peace through yelping, barking, or howling. A detail of all these laws is given here.

The laws in Forest Lake, Minnesota state that no person shall keep, harbor, or own a barking dog. A barking dog is any dog that barks, howls, cries, yelps, or makes any other noises continuously for 10 minutes or intermittently for 30 minutes.

Barking dog laws in Minneapolis don’t mention a time limit. However, the laws mention that residents (excluding city employees) can report dog barking if it is disturbing their peace. The complainant must provide their name and address, dates and times of barking, and the exact address of the barking dog.

The animal control officer will verify the complaint. The court can issue fines of up to $200. The repeated violation can result in fines of up to $2,000.

How long can a dog bark legally in Michigan?

Michigan dog laws don’t limit the maximum time a dog can bark. The laws vary from one city to another. Hence, you must check local laws to find out how much barking is legal.

Dog Barking Complaint Procedure

  • Speak to your neighbor amiably about excessive dog barking but keep a record of incidents if speaking doesn’t help. Record the incidents’ duration, time, and date, and also note if your neighbors try to make their dog stop barking.
  • Contact the local authorities and report the problem. They’ll guide you on how to proceed with the complaint.
  • Follow up with relevant authorities if the problem has not been solved.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I stop my dog from excessive barking?

There are several ways you can stop your dog from barking excessively. The easiest is to use a bark-controlling device. Such devices are humane and instantly stop your dog from excessive barking, jumping, or scratching.

Why do dogs bark uncontrollably?

Barking is a dog’s way of speaking and communicating with fellow dogs and owners. However, excessive dog barking without an intruder alert is often due to an underlying reason. Your dog may bark excessively if bored, stressed, anxious, hungry, sick, or disturbed by surroundings.

 anxious, hungry, sick, or disturbed by surroundings.

Can excessive dog barking be a noise complaint?

Yes, especially in the U.S., dog barking is illegal for above 10-20 minutes, depending on the state and county laws. You can file a noise complaint against your neighbors if their dog is continuously barking.

What is the fine for a barking dog?

The fine varies from state to state and depends on the complaint’s severity. The fine is usually under $1000 for the first and second compliant. The fine increases if the owner doesn’t resolve the issue. The authorities can also impound your dog if the complaints continue.

What is the law on barking dogs in the U.K.?

According to the Environmental Protection Act 1990, a barking dog can be a legal noise nuisance, and you can be taken to court if you did nothing to stop your dog from barking. There could be a fine of up to £5,000 that you will have to pay to the complainer. Please note that there is no limit on how much your dog can bark.

Can animal control take away your dog for barking?

Yes. Animal control can take away your dog due to excessive barking, but only after you’ve been fined 2-3 times. The judge may decide the matter based on the severity of the compliant.

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