Can You Stop A Barking Dog?

Photo courtesy: Google Images

By Marissa Mitchell

Last week, a woman in Eastvale posted her frustration on the city Facebook page regarding a very loud dog her neighbors have.

What to do about neighboring barking dogs – particularly when they consistently disturb the peace of surrounding residents – can be a relevant question for many.

If a person calls Animal Control, this will not do much to alleviate the immediacy of the barking noises. Animal Control will mail a form to the complaining resident, one that stipulates that the dog is disturbing the peace. That form, in turn, will be sent to the address of the dog’s owner, after which the reporting resident will have to attend court to finally issue a citation. This process can take quite a while.

Those affected by the barking of a neighbor’s dog may take the old-fashioned approach of simply asking the dog owner/neighbor to control their dog’s barking, perhaps through a bark collar. This may or may not be effective depending of the type and receptivity of the person approached. If so confronted, the dog owner may also voice a concern of humane animal treatment, since dog collars are suspected on some level of incurring pain to the animal.

One resident responded to the Facebook complaint by suggesting a “Sonic Bird House Bark Control” sustainable outdoors. This essentially is a bark collar but in a birdhouse form, one that can be placed outdoors, in one’s own yard, without breaking down because of weather. If a person uses this, he or she is essentially controlling the barking of a neighbor’s dog without that neighbor’s permission through ultrasonic sound waves.

Back in 2009, Riverside County – Eastvale and Norco included – approved an anti-nuisance ordinance aimed at silencing noisy dogs by increasing fines for owners up to $500 and including remedies such as obedience training. This process, however, does go through Animal Services and through the Court process, as described above.  The law is meant to expedite the process by allowing an administrative hearing officer, sometimes a practicing attorney in arbitration, to hear the complaints and make the decisions quickly, but this is not always the case.

In Chino Hills, residents are instructed to contact the Inland Valley Humane Society. In Chino, citizens must call Animal Control, and if after hours, a police officer will be dispatched, but only if the caller reveals his or her identity. Generally, simply a warning is issued initially. The same process is outlined for Diamond Bar residents. Thus, there doesn’t seem to be any one expedient way to handle barking dogs in one’s neighborhood, and, while there is some sort of process, it will not be quickly remedied through the government.