How Long Can a Dog Bark Legally? What the Law Says?

Last Updated on March, 2024

Ever wondered how long you have to shut your dog up before you get SWATTED? (FBI OPEN UP)

Well, you aren’t the only one. Dog owners far and wide have wondered what the dog barking laws are at some point. 

Stick around! We will not only teach you how long you have before local animal control comes busting out your front door but also how to tackle these sticky situations (not the local authorities) and much more! 

Quick Summary

The legal barking duration in the USA is 10-15 minutes, but this can differ depending on the state you live in.

Dog barking laws vary from nation to nation and state to state, so it’s important to be aware of local regulations.

Excessive barking is considered a nuisance and can result in consequences such as fines and even imprisonment if it continues. Effective communication and finding the root cause of the barking are key to resolving the issue.

How Long Can a Dog Bark Legally in the U.S?

A black labrador dog with its mouth open

How long dogs can bark excessively before local law enforcement gets involved depends on your country. You see, laws differ from nation to nation. 

But in the USA (MURICA YEAH!!!) urban areas, you have between 10-15 minutes before you are in trouble. Again, laws differ depending on which state you live in. So it’s always better to check the state and local laws with your local animal control officer or the city council. 

State-By-State Laws for Dog Barking: Detailed Breakdown

StateLaws
AlabamaThere are no state ordinances or laws in Alabama for barking dogs. People who want to address such situations may speak to the owners first and then contact animal services. Two complaints with animal services are enough to go to court.
AlaskaThe law can differentiate between normal dog owners and licensed mushers. A normal dog is allowed up to 5 minutes, while licensed mushers are permitted to bark for around 20 minutes. (talk about privilege)
ArizonaThe state laws do not specify how long the legal barking duration is, but if anyone is guilty of having a dog that disturbs the peace of the neighborhood, they can be fined from $150 – $2000.
CaliforniaA dog barking for over 30 minutes could get in trouble with local law enforcement. But a dog barking for over 24 hours directly violates the noisy animal ordinance. According to the LA County Code Section, owners of noisy dogs can be subject to $1000 fines and up to 6 months in prison.
ColoradoDogs are only allowed 10 minutes of consecutive barking during the day and 5:00 pm. But if a dog barks for over 20 mins between 7:00 am and 9:00 pm or for 10 minutes between 9:01 am and 6:59 am, they can be the subject of a noise complaint.
ConnecticutConnecticut law does not specify how long the legal barking duration is. But if you own a dog that barks enough to become a nuisance, it will cost you a $60 fine, a $100 fine, and 30 days in prison if the situation continues further.
D.C.D.C. can change and depends on the county. But generally, “No person shall own or keep a dog that, by barking or in any other manner, disturbs the quiet of any neighborhood or person.”
DelawareDelaware House Bill 378 in Delaware makes it possible to fine people for dogs who bark for more than 15 minutes.
FloridaIf a dog barks for “20 minutes or longer with less than 20 seconds of interruption during that 20 minutes,” the law can be applied against the dog and/or the owner.
GeorgiaA dog in Georgia may bark for up to 10 minutes. But it will cost the owner a 150$ fine if it goes over 10 minutes. 
HawaiiOnly permissible up to 10 minutes. 30 minutes if the barking is not continuous.
IdahoExcessive dog barking can cost you up to 300$ in fines.
IllinoisDogs may not bark for longer than 15 minutes
IndianaDogs can legally bark for 20 minutes at night and 30 minutes at day.
IowaIowa doesn’t specify any laws on dog barking
KansasYou cannot issue a complaint in Kansas; rather, you need to collect evidence with an animal control supervisor. And you have to be willing to testify under oath if you’re from Wichita.
KentuckyDogs barking longer than 15 minutes may be impounded. You can also be fined between $50 – $1000
LouisianaDogs may not legally bark for over 10 minutes. Your neighbors can build a case by presenting audio recordings of your dogs barking. The laws in St. Landry Parish are much more strict. Dogs may not legally bark continuously for over 10 minutes and intermittently for 30 minutes.
MaineIn York, Maine, it’s against the law for a dog to bark non-stop for 10 minutes or intermittently over a span of 30 minutes. On the other hand, Farmington has more lenient rules, permitting dogs to bark without interruption for an hour or intermittently for up to three hours. Meanwhile, in Wilton, dogs are allowed to make noise for a total duration of one hour. These examples illustrate how dog barking regulations can vary significantly between towns and municipalities within Maine. 
MarylandIt is unlawful to own a dog that disturbs people.
MassachusettsAccording to Massachusetts law, a person can file a complaint for any amount of noisy barking. 
MichiganContinuous barking can incur a 100$ fine on the first offense.
MississippiA noise ordinance exists for any loud and excessive noises made by Mississippi dogs. 
MontanaThere are no specific laws here, but if your dog’s barking disturbs the community, you can be held legally liable and responsible for the dog’s actions.
NevadaDogs aren’t allowed to disturb people to “an unreasonable degree.”
New HampshireNew Hampshire dogs aren’t allowed to bark at night. Excessive dog barking is not allowed for more than 30 minutes.
New JerseyNew Jersey dogs are permitted to bark for up to 20 minutes between 7:00 am and 10:00 pm and up to 15 minutes from 10:00 pm to 7:00 am. 
New MexicoYou can call 311 to file a complaint about loud dogs. Owners have up to 7 days to regulate barking dogs.
New York:The New York City Noise Code limits New York dogs to 10 minutes of barking during the day and 5 minutes during the night.
North CarolinaIt’s unlawful to keep a dog that barks so much it becomes a nuisance.
North DakotaOne is not allowed to own a dog that disturbs others.
OhioDogs that bark too loudly and frequently can be impounded. 
OklahomaA dog may not bark for more than 10 minutes.
Oregon30 minutes of intermittent barking or 10 minutes of continuous barking is illegal.
PennsylvaniaDogs may not bark for more than 10 minutes or on and off for 30 minutes.
Rhode IslandThe legal barking duration is limited to 15 minutes.
South CarolinaIf a dog barks intermittently for 30 minutes or continuously for 10 minutes, violates city ordinances.
South DakotaYour dog might be listed as a public nuisance if it gets carried away with any habitual barking or howling. 
TennesseeA dog is allowed to bark 4 times per hour at night and 30 times per hour during the day.
TexasDogs are allowed to bark as long as they want during the day as long as it’s not unreasonable or incessant. If dogs bark continuously, they are in violation of the Texas Health and Safety Code. 
VermontVermont sees any dogs that bark continuously and howl as a public nuisance.
VirginiaA dog is considered a public nuisance if its barking is “audible at least once a minute for ten consecutive minutes.”
WashingtonDogs cannot bark legally for more than 10 minutes per half hour. 
West VirginiaMost West Virginia local laws do not specify how long a dog can bark. However, no person is allowed to keep a dog that makes “unreasonably loud and disturbing noises” that disturb peace. 
WisconsinWisconsin doesn’t specify anything about excessive barking. But dogs who bark continuously can be reported and can incur fines. 
WyomingDogs may not “habitually, constantly or frequently disturb the sleep, rest, tranquility or peace of any neighbourhood or person.” 

What is Considered Excessive Barking? 

A German Shepherd looking up and barking

You’ll know when your dog is barking too much when either of the following happens:

  • Your neighbors file noise complaints. 
  • The neighbor’s dog bark excessively too (often your neighbor’s dog barking, could be a direct result of your dog’s provocation)
  • You’ve been hearing loud barking for more than 5 minutes.

And the list goes on.

All jokes aside, if your dog is barking non-stop for over 5 minutes I’d call that excessive barking. 

Of course, sometimes, your dog might bark constantly for multiple reasons. Let’s tackle that later. 

How to Handle a Continuously Barking Dog in Your Neighborhood?

(Oh. YOU are the one who’s facing the problem. I didn’t think of that. Sorry, my old narcissistic and victim mentality habits keep creeping in)

Okay, believe it or not, there are MANY things you can do to deal with excessive barking and avoid breaking the local laws. 

  • Talk To The Dog’s Owner 

Communication is always key. Instead of escalating things, try to resolve everything through a nice conversation over a cup of tea.

A dog is standing in front of a fence
  • Gather Evidence

Speaking with the dog owner might not always rectify the problem. If you find yourself in this situation, consider gathering evidence such as video or audio recordings or statements. These can be crucial in supporting your case in a legal setting. 

  • Issue A Complaint

If the dog owner still has not addressed the nuisance barking, you take it a notch up and issue a noise complaint. This might force the dog’s owner to fix the problem swiftly. 

  • Contact Local Authorities 

If the problem still continues, you have no choice but to alert the authorities. Together with them, an outcome that benefits everyone can surely be cultivated. 

  • Go To Courts

If you tried everything that was humanely possible, this is the last step that you have left to take. Consult an attorney and go through your options. But be careful, the consequences for either party are severe! 

What Do I Do if I Can’t Get My Dog to Shut Up?

A white and brown dog yelling in the grass

If you’ve tried everything to shut your dog up, whether it be yelling at it, punishing it, or straight-up jamming your dog’s mouth shut, here are some friendlier options:

  • Take it to the veterinarian 
  • Take your dog for behavioral therapy
  • Go for cheap dog training with Online Dog Training Programs
  • Hire a professional trainer

Other guides and tools you might need when training your dog:

FAQs 

According to dog barking laws, it is acceptable for a dog to bark for about 10 minutes without any breaks. Beyond that, it is considered obnoxious and therefore not acceptable.

Dogs bark excessively to communicate, with some reasons being anxiety, fear, loneliness, habitual barking, or giving warning signals. It can also be a sign of being mentally unwell.

Yes, you can. However, first consider the local dog barking laws and how long your neighbor’s dog has been barking. Just don’t be a wet blanket.

Yes, you could receive a noise complaint and be subject to state laws, including warnings and fines from animal control, impoundment of your dog, and legal action for non-compliance.

In the UK, excessive dog barking can be a noise nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Local authorities can issue Noise Abatement Notices, and non-compliance can lead to fines.

The fine for having a dog that barks excessively varies depending on the local laws and regulations. It can range from a small fine to more significant penalties in cases of repeated offenses. It’s important to check the specific regulations in your local area for accurate information.

Concluding Thoughts

At the end of the day, how long a dog can legally bark depends on where you are located.

But more importantly, be sure to always be mindful of your environment and your surroundings.

Don’t be a liability and a hindrance to others’ peace. Keep your dog in control and stay out of legal trouble. 

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Laura Vinzy
Laura Vinzy is one of our contributors. She is also a certified professional dog trainer & currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and her two rescue dogs.

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