Don’t Fine Dog Owners Who Allow Barking

Reject Fine for Barking Dogs

Target:  Ernie Hall, Chair of Anchorage Assembly, Alaska

Goal: Stop law that fines dog owners up to $400 for dogs who bark for five minutes

Some dogs bark a lot. It is part of their nature, but Alaskan lawmakers do not have much patience for loud dogs. Previously, they had passed a law that gave owners seven minutes to get their dog under control. Now owners have only five minutes. If a dog continues to bark during the day for more than five minutes, without a minimum of a minute of silence between barks, then annoyed neighbors can file a complaint against the dog and the dog’s owner.

The new law is designed to primarily help night workers who have to sleep during the day, and the five minute rule already applies for dogs barking at night. The problem with the new law, however, is that more dogs are awake during the day. Not only that, but they may be left at home for short periods of time while their owners run quick errands. Dogs interact with the world by barking. It is not fair to expect them to be any different.

Nor is it fair to punish a dog’s owner if the dog barks for five minutes. Fines can be as high as $400 if the same dog has received multiple complaints. This is an injustice. Demand more patience for dogs that bark. Demand that, at the very minimum, the fine is lowered to a manageable amount so that owners are not punished for their dog behaving in a normal way.


Dear Ernie Hall,

Would you appreciate it if, in the middle of your sentence, someone came into your home and told you to stop talking? Probably not. Yet that is exactly what the new law limiting the length of time a dog can bark during the day intends to do for dogs. Instead of being allowed to bark for seven minutes uninterrupted, the new law limits the dogs to a mere five minutes of barking.

The law is favoring workers who have to sleep during the day because they have night shifts, but it is discriminating against dogs and their owners. If a worker is having trouble sleeping during the day, he or she could do a number of things to help, including wearing earplugs.

It is not fair to punish dogs who are more talkative. Dogs like to engage with their world, and one of the primary ways they do that is by using their vocal cords. While sometimes barks might be loud, dogs do not understand how their voice is perceived. It is not fair to punish dogs or their owners for dogs doing what comes naturally to them.

At the very minimum, the fine should be reduced from a staggering $400 to something much more reasonable. Especially since there is no reason for such a law to exist in the first place.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Lilly M via Wikimedia

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  1. aristide armaganc says:

    dogs barking during daylight – say, from 8 to 6, when outside, i can accept. dogs should be taken inside for the evening. after all, dogs protect what they know and a dog inside should be for the owners’ protection. it is not wise to leave a dog outside, ever. bad weather and lightning can make a dog uncomfortable.

  2. Sally L Hernandez says:

    As an owner of two dogs who were rescues and have separation anxiety we do experience times and occasional barking at people walking near our fence, stray cats and squirrels on the fence I understand how annoying it can be. Owners are not always within a 5 min time limit to get to their pets to stop barking.

    However, wearing a shock collar is also not an acceptable means of stopping a dog from barking.

    My neighbors and I have exchanged phone numbers and if my dogs are barking and I am not home they call me much nicer to work with the neighbors than have problems with them.

  3. It is amazing how the human race continuously tries to force our human laws upon animal.A dog barks.That is their speech,and how they communicate with us and each other, so why is it that people think that just because they write a law that the dog is going to snap do and become law abiding canines? Really are people serious? I can understand about the night workers. I have personally been in that situation,but I also understood that a dog is a dog is a dog, and they need to communicate. Rather to warn us of impending or immediate danger.Or perhaps to just say hi to their neighbor.I’ve had some people that’s talking was really annoying, can I get a law passed on that? Same thing. People need to stop being so hard and restrictive on our animals.

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