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The Mailbag: Is my barking dog violating any laws?

Sarah Weber • Jan 15, 2012 at 10:31 PM

Q:  I was wondering what city laws Sandusky has pertaining to barking dogs. A neighbor recently threatened to call the police after my dog was outside for about 5 minutes barking at 4 p.m. in the afternoon. I try my best to be respectful of me neighbors and bring him in as fast as I can. I was just wondering if there were any laws I might be violating. Thank you very much! — Mac from Sandusky

A: Hi Mac. I looked up the section of Sandusky's codified ordinances about barking dogs to answer your question. It is as follows (from section 519:10):

"Domesticated or caged non-farm animals may not bark, squeal, crow, howl or make any other such noises for more than five minutes if continuous or more than 15 minutes if intermittent."

So, in short, if your dog is barking for no more than five minutes, you are not technically breaking the law. But, it's not uncommon for Sandusky police to get calls about barking dogs. Usually officers just ask the owner to take the pet inside. If it becomes a habitual problem, the officers could write up a noise ordinance or nuisance violation.

Perhaps to save your neighbors from having to listen to your dog (and you the headache of having to listen to your neighbors) you can try to train your dog not to bark while he's out in the yard. Take him out on a leash and if he barks, tell him "no" and take him back inside. Give him a treat and praise him abundantly if he goes out in the yard without barking. Repeat until he understands that he can enjoy the yard as long as he isn't being noisy.

The Mailbag is a daily feature on SanduskyRegister.com. Every weekday at noon, we will post one question-and-answer from a resident.

To ask a question, send a letter to The Mailbag at 314 W. Market St., or e-mail mailbag@ sanduskyregister.com. Please include your first name and a location in the e-mail, e.g. “John from Decatur Street."

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