How Long Can a Dog Bark Legally?

You may find it really annoying when your neighbor’s dog barks excessively, especially at night. There is no federal regulation in the US that specifies how long dogs are allowed to bark, but you can certainly file a complaint with your local law enforcement agency.

The amount of time that dogs are allowed to bark is governed by state regulations and often ranges from 10 to 30 minutes. So, in this article let’s know how long can a dog bark legally.

Absolutely! Here’s a breakdown of dog barking laws and what to do about a neighbor’s noisy dog:

How Long Can a Dog Legally Bark?

  • US: No Federal Law: Rules vary greatly by state and local ordinances. Barking for 10-30 minutes straight might be considered excessive depending on where you live.
  • UK: No Set Time Limit: Focus is on whether the barking is a “statutory nuisance” causing unreasonable disturbance.

When Can You Complain?

You have a right to complain if a dog’s barking is:

  • Frequent and Prolonged: Not just occasional barking, but enough to really disrupt your life.
  • Unreasonable: Especially at night or during quiet hours.
  • Impacting Your Well-being: Causing stress, sleep deprivation, etc.

What To Do About a Barking Dog:

  1. Talk to the Owner: Approach them politely first. They might not even be aware of the issue.
  2. Document the Problem: Note dates, times, and duration of barking. This will be useful if you need to escalate the matter.
  3. Contact Animal Control: They can investigate and potentially issue warnings or citations to the owner.
  4. File a Formal Complaint: Contact your local authorities (police non-emergency line or city hall) about a noise disturbance.
  5. Legal Action: A last resort if all else fails. Consult an attorney specializing in animal law.

Key Takeaways

  • Excessive Barking is a Nuisance: Don’t hesitate to take action if it’s seriously disrupting your quality of life.
  • Be a Good Neighbor: If your dog is the barker, take steps to address it to avoid complaints and potential legal trouble.
  • Gather Evidence: Documenting the barking will greatly strengthen any complaints you need to file.

Remember: Patience and communication often solve these issues without getting authorities involved. However, know your rights and how to address the situation if needed!

How Long Can a Dog Bark Legally?

How long you can lawfully bark in the US varies on your locality’s or state’s rules. While some states consider barking for up to 10 minutes in a row to be criminal, others only consider it for up to 15 minutes. There is no set duration of disturbance in the UK. However, excessive barking is a crime with severe consequences.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 in the United Kingdom states that a barking dog may be considered a legal noise nuisance. If you take no action to stop your dog from barking, you risk being prosecuted. You can be required to pay the complainant a fine of up to £5,000 in total. Please be aware that your dog’s barking is unrestricted.

Two complaints to animal services may be sufficient in some states to start a lawsuit, but the complainant must appear in court and provide proof of the nuisance barking. While some jurisdictions do not have rules dictating how long a dog can bark, owners who are found guilty of a civil violation involving a dog that disturbs the peace face fines ranging from $150 to $2500.

When You Can Complain For A Barking Dog As Per Law?

You would never want to think that your dog’s barking could be one of the several infractions that could put you in legal hot water. However, such is the reality of our modern, noise-sensitive world.

Dogs howl. In actuality, they won’t usually grow weary of barking either. That makes great sense it’s how they communicate their requirements.

Yet living with a noisy dog housemate can be really annoying. Someone whose incessant barking habit annoys you and your neighbors! And anyone else find annoying barking to be unbearable? The legislation. Just that you, not your dog, will bear the consequences.

Your dog’s ability to bark has a legal limit. The law defines “illegal barking” as persistent, continuous barking. the kind of barking that impedes the neighbors’ comfort and peace of mind or negatively impacts their health in any manner.

How Long Can a Dog Bark Legally?

Has it ever occurred to you that your barking dog might be the reason for your initial significant run-in with the law? It’s not a good idea for dog owners to allow their dogs to bark for as long as they choose because this could get them into legal trouble.

But how long is it acceptable for a dog to bark in the US or the UK? Depending on where you live, this is how it works.

How long you can lawfully bark in the US varies on your locality’s or state’s rules. While some states consider barking for up to 10 minutes in a row to be criminal, others only consider it for up to 15 minutes. There is no set duration of disturbance in the UK. However, excessive barking is a crime with severe consequences.

I’ve tried to provide as much of a summary of the laws governing dog barking in the US and the UK below, occasionally broken down state by state to include Texas, California, and Washington.

After reading this article, you’ll have useful advice on how to stop your dog from barking inconveniently so that you don’t have to deal with the police.

What To Do If A Neighborhood Dog Won’t Stop Barking

There are various actions you can take in the USA to deal with a dog that keeps barking and is upsetting you if it is in your neighborhood:

Consult the Dog’s Owner:

It could be necessary to inform the owner of the problem and take action to fix it. Approach them civilly and gently, then make an effort to collaborate with them to find a solution.

Keep Record:

Start documenting the times and duration of the dog’s barking if speaking with its owner doesn’t help. If you need to register a complaint with animal control or your local government, this information might be helpful.

Call The Local Animal Control Agency:

Should the dog’s barking persist as an issue, you can get in touch with your nearby animal control organization. They can look into the matter and, if needed, warn the dog’s owner or take more action.

File A Complaint:

You might need to lodge a complaint with your local government or police enforcement if the issue continues. The appropriate method for lodging a complaint can be found by visiting the website of your county or city or by calling the non-emergency hotline. You might have to submit audio or video records that show the barking.

Take Legal Action:

If you’ve tried everything else and the dog’s barking is still causing you a lot of trouble, you might need to think about taking legal action. Speak with a lawyer who focuses on animal law to determine your choices and whether you have a case.


A dog that barks excessively might ruin your life by keeping you up at night and upsetting your tranquility. If you find yourself in this predicament, make sure that swift action is taken by filing a complaint as soon as you have sufficient proof. To stop your dog from becoming a nuisance to the public, take corrective action if you are the owner of a disruptive dog. If you don’t control your dog after multiple complaints, you can be subject to fines or even jail time, depending on the local regulations.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

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