Reader Suggested Question of the Day

Big Dog Barking like crazy, originally uploaded by thrashfall.

A local NBC affiliate is reporting that Albemarle has passed a dog barking ordinance. The article says:

“The new rule states that if a person’s dog barks longer than 30 minutes, a neighbor could take that resident to court.”

So the question is does DC need an ordinance like this? Or does DC have bigger fish to fry at the moment? But keep in mind being woken up by a barking dog for over 30 minutes is absolutely brutal. Though seems like it would be difficult to prove that the dog was barking for over 30 minutes. I’m thinking this ordinance would only work in a small town. What are the steps currently that DC residents can take when dealing with such a situation?


21 Comment

  • Just what America needs, more litigation. And does anyone actually think this would work in DC. Between our indifferent police force and an overloaded court system exactly who is going to be the arbiter of a policy like this? There’s a guy who comes to my block every other day. idles in his car blasting his radio outside my window for an hour while he socializes with his homeboys and MPD seems incapable or unwilling to move them along despite my repeated calls. Him I would like to sue, the dogs I can tolerate.

  • Before passing any additional dog-related legislation, how about the city working on what’s already on the books….the poop-scoop law…I swear there is a certain spot in hell for people who do not clean up after their dogs…I mean is it really that hard?

  • Vonstallin

    I would just bare the damn dogs barking, but I had 2 neighbors who dogs bark all day and all night. They were totaly unmoved by it. One was a big ol Rot and the other was a small fart of a dog.

    The small Fart of a dog bothered me the most tho. yerp yerp yerp non stop…sigh…
    thank god both dogs are gone.

    I know DC and they dont get off their asses to make an ordinace unless someone busted their balls about it.

    The last thing DC want to do is enforce something they can’t enforce. lol

  • I’m with you AdMo. I absolutely hate dog owners who don’t scoop the poop!

  • Yeah people have enough trouble picking up poop, do you really think they will be able to handle stopping their dogs from barking?

    I predict a law like this will just lead to more owners abusing and abandoning dogs.

  • Yeah, I can’t imagine this law is really going to mean much. What might be more effective, is just talking to the offending dog owner about the problem candidly if it’s a constant problem, rather than filing litigation against them. Seems like a waste of time and money all around.

  • You can get collars that shock the dog when they bark

  • Great idea and needed, but wouldn’t be enforced in the current era. Not enough police, no real incentive to enforce, etc. Look at all the things that are illegal which go on constantly.

    FYI though, re: barking, you may want to try the human society, call them and chat them up. Often a barking dog is a neglected dog, and a dog shouldn’t be outside 24/7. There a couple awesome humane society police officers who (eventually) could maybe help.

    Note I let my dog off the leash almost every day in a local park, and if I ever got a ticket for it I’d frame that sucker. One of them nice deep frames from Pier One or something…

  • Having endured a neighbor who let his damn poodle outside at 5 AM and then went to work, leaving him alone all day, I might be in favor of the legislation. I realize it probably wouldn’t get enforced much, but at least it’s some leverage if you have a serious, ongoing problem with an irresponsible neighbor who isn’t reasonable.

    On the other side of the coin, a lot of people really ARE reasonable. I hate it when terrified suburban transplants who aren’t used to living in close quarters with other people call the cops over noise and general neighbor issues, when a simple knock on the door and a friendly conversation would solve the problem. And maybe even make a new friend. Though usually they do neither and just whine on the Mt. Pleasant forum.

  • To be a little less cruel. They make dog collars that release a smell, rather than shock, when a dog barks. Shocking the dog only leads to a fearful dog that will likely just bark more later.

    D.C. does has a law regulating maximum decibel levels for noise. Its usually used by the police as pretext to pull over suspected gunboats, similar to the law mandating maximum window tints for cars. Maybe dogs are already included under that law depending on how loud the bark is?

  • There is a guy fighting pit bulls behind my house. I take my life in my hands every time I take my trash out. About three weeks ago, one got loose and chased a neighbor and I in the house. I can take the barking. it is the menacing I can not deal with.

  • Friends-I am the one who forwarded this to Dan. I know what you all (or some of you all) mean as far as local enforcement of such a law-but as someone who has had to deal with this up in the North Country-I don’t think talking to the folks I had the pleasure of living near would have ended the war, shall we say. I mean, I am not talking yappy dogs.. but Chrysler Bldg-sized dogs.. And-ah-BWI… Brothers with attitude.

  • Friends-I am the one who forwarded this to Dan. I know what you all (or some of you all) mean as far as local enforcement of such a law-but as someone who has had to deal with this up in the North Country-I don’t think talking to the folks I had the pleasure of living near would have ended the war, shall we say. I mean, I am not talking yappy dogs.. but Chrysler Bldg-sized dogs.. And-ah-BWI… Brothers with attitude.

  • re: the no-bark spray collars — I tried one of these on my dog some years ago, when she was regularly outside through a dog door and would park at passers-by.

    She’s fairly special, I’ll admit, but when she would bark and the citrus scent sprayed out, she discovered that she liked the scent and would just keep barking until she’d consumed all the scent. It was funny to watch, but really didn’t help the problem. Now she’s indoors all day, so not to worry.

  • Pet owners just have no idea how non-pet-owners perceive their animals.

    Dogs bark. Dogs pee and poop everywhere. Dogs are an ambulatory quality-of-life offense.

    And letting your dog off the leash in a public park just ruins it for the (non-pet-enamored) humans. The leash laws are there because not everyone enjoys playing with your dog. And no, your laughing assurance of “don’t worry, he won’t bite” doesn’t do anything for me; if I enjoyed being slobbered on / pawed / charged at by a dog, I’d get one.

    Want your animals to run free? Move to a rural area. If you’re going to live in the city, follow the city’s laws about animals; they’re there for everyone’s safety and sanitation.

  • nate- jesus christ! that sounds illegal and downright immoral. i’d call the cops on his ass and rescue those poor pups.

  • CB: dogs and people have only been together for 15,000 years or so, I’m sure with some more griping you can break that relationship 😉

    As for dogs being a nuisance, so are people. They poop and pee all over the city and bother me in the park as well. They also play tennis, and thus somehow I am paying for tennis courts and other things I think are bothersome and ridiculous. I’d love to move to a rural area but that’s not quite possible and, frankly, none of your business to tell me where to live. My dog was also a rescue dog, rescued from some fighting operation in the city, and thus she belongs in DC as much as any person. She didn’t ask to be born here, after all.

    I wish I could convince all people to be courteous with their dog, but therein lie deeper issues of DC citizens. I am courteous with my dog, don’t allow her to bark at people or bother them, I pick up her poop, etc. As someone pointed out here recently, I’ve had all of two people in five years tell me to my face what a nuisance dogs are. I’ve had dozens, if not hundreds, of delighted people and kids pet my dog and remark how nice she is, etc. Also, frankly, she eats so much trash off the city and park streets she should be on the city payroll.

  • I was bitten by a dog left off of its leash in a park when I was only 5 or 6 years old, so I have to agree with CB on asking dog owners to follow the laws regarding their pets, the laws are there for a reason no matter how wonderful you think your dog is. As for adopting a new barking-limitations law, I would support it if they would enact a noise limit for small children along with it!

  • For the record I do keep my dog leashed whenever in a park with people, whenever I am around people, etc. I do recognize that many people are insanely rude with their dogs, just as they are rude in many other respects. My point is don’t lump all dog owners into one category I guess, and don’t blame dogs for the fact that their owners are uncivilized animals themselves.

    Also, fyi, dogs are my security system. One of the few benefits of living in a city run by gangstas is that many local folks know of dogs only via vicious dogfighting rings, and thus they think all dogs are dangerous fighters. My dog is a well-tempered cuddlebug but still scares folks, and for that I am grateful. Of course the one time she tried to let me know some jerk was in the backyard stealing stuff, my reaction was “shu’up and go sleep mmmfffzzzz”. Goodbye bike and rake….

  • I’m walking down the sidewalk with 15 lbs. of groceries and have to step off into the mud because a dog and it’s owner will not walk single file.

  • A couple I dog-sat for in Arlington were threatened with $1000 fine if the county received a third complaint about their dog’s barking. I’m not sure what happened, as I moved shortly after that. If DC thought they could get that type of money, they might just enforce such a law. But I would worry about what happened to some of those dogs. I don’t see DC passing a law like that, however, and there are other animal and noise problems more pressing, like dog-fighting.

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