Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Barking

My Facebook friend, BB, in San Francisco read in her local newspaper that owners of barking dogs will be fined up to $100 in Los Angeles. A real money maker for the authorities . Animal Services officers last year wrote nearly 20,000 notices to pet owners who had violated city barking dog and leash laws, but there was no financial penalty. The City Council voted unanimously to put some teeth in the ordinance after learning $2 million could have been raised if $100 citations were handed out. The citations will now be issued and stiffer fines will be given habitual offenders.
I myself live in a city and I agree that barking dogs are a nuisance. Especially at night but how do you stop a dog from barking? Or from barking incessantly? I get asked this question frequently and the answer is difficult to give. Articles in specialised magazines and books have been written on the subject.
We have to ask ourselves why dogs bark.
Dogs bark when they are hungry or bored or lonely; they bark when they want to come into the house; they bark when another dog has a bone; they bark when other dogs bark; they bark when their favourite toy is out of reach on a shelf; they bark when their owner comes home; they bark when their owners leave the house; they bark when they hear a noise; they bark when they hear rain; they bark because they have decided it’s time to get up when you are having a lie-in on Sunday mornings; they bark when you are watching television; they bark because they like the sound of their own voice; they bark when the postman or milkman comes near the house; they bark when visitors come to the house; they may even bark when a burglar comes into the house! They may even bark for no reason at all. The amount of energy dogs expend in barking is phenomenal, totally out of proportion to any benefit they can possibly derive from the activity.
A fine will not stop a dog from barking. It might make the owners more aware but I think the way forward is to make resources available to train dogs more effectively.

2 comments:

Violets new Vintage said...

Yes, training is one real answer to the barking problem. I'm hoping the penalty for barking dogs will help the barking dog who doesn't want to stay out in the yard all alone or isolated in the family garage all day. Your friend,BB

Winchester whisperer said...

Maybe LA should set up a "silent suburb"?