Barking is a way dogs communicate, including for reasons like anxiety, distress, boredom, lack of or excess stimuli.
What to do when dog barking causes a nuisance
If a dog is constantly barking in your street and is causing a nuisance, you can tell the City about it. We have regulations to address the issue of barking dogs.
1. Contact the dog owner
Let the dog owner know you're concerned about the barking and give them a chance to make it right. To motivate the dog owner, mention that you'll report your concern to the City if the barking continues.
Try speaking to them directly, or if you're not comfortable, leave an anonymous note.
2. Report your concern
Report the barking dog. Provide the following details:
- Your name, address, and phone number
- The specific address and unit number of the barking dog, to help us investigate efficiently
- The description of the barking dog, if possible
- The date and time when you hear the barking
We ask for your name, address, and phone number because we contact you to discuss your concern and explain next steps. We keep your information private. While we allow anonymous reports, they are only recorded, not investigated.
3. We investigate your concern
After we receive your report, we assign an animal control officer to:
- Contact you to discuss your concern and explain next steps
- Visit the owner of the barking dog to communicate the complaint (while keeping your information private) and suggest ways to prevent nuisance barking
4. If the barking continues, record it as evidence for possible legal action
If the dog keeps barking, the assigned animal control officer will:
- Ask you to log the barking activity during a two-week period for possible legal action under Animal Control Bylaw.
- Contact the owner of the barking dog to explain that the barking is now being logged for possible legal action
Use the log (called a barking package) to record the day, time, and duration of barking, and impact it has on you.
Send your completed barking package to the animal control officer. They will review and present the barking package to the city prosecutor to approve charges.
5. If legal action is approved, attend the court date
If the city prosecutor approves charges, a court date is set. You will need to attend court and verify the details you recorded in the barking package. By attending court, the owner of the barking dog will know your identity.
The court judge can decide to fine the dog owner and impose a court order to stop the dog barking.