Barking dogs bring frequent complaints to the Village of Skokie, particularly in warm weather when windows are open. There are many reasons why a dog might bark excessively, including anxiety, attention-seeking, boredom, responding to other dogs, playfulness or excitement. Many times, if you can figure out what is troubling your dog, you can stop its barking, make the dog more relaxed, comfortable and happy, and at the same time, bring peace to your neighbors and your family.
In Skokie, there is a Village ordinance, Noisy Animals: 18-9, that states, “It shall be unlawful to harbor or keep any animal which disturbs the peace by loud noises at any time of the day or night.” If you have been informed your dog’s incessant barking is disturbing another person's peace, you need to take action. For example, if a dog is let outside and has been incessantly barking, it is the owner’s responsibility to bring a dog inside or stop the dog from barking before it reaches that point.
After Skokie Police Animal Control Officers receive a detailed complaint, they try to make contact with the dog’s owner. Skokie Police Department Animal Control Officers advise the dog’s owners about the Village of Skokie’s Noisy Animals’ ordinance and may issue a warning. In addition, Skokie Police Department Animal Control Officers educate the dog’s owners about ways to prevent their dogs from excessive barking and recommend the following information:
- DO NOT let your dog bark constantly outside, regardless of the reason.
- Monitor your dog to assess the reason it is barking.
- Talk to your neighbors to find out when your dog is barking. Often a dog barks only when the owner is not home, so owners do not realize the extent of the disturbance that neighbors face.
- Ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise, so your dog has less pent-up energy to burn by barking. Take your dog for walks instead of just letting it out in the yard. Staying with your dog while they are in the yard may help prevent excessive barking.
- Avoid leaving a dog alone for long periods of time if possible.
- Give your pet toys and provide soothing sounds, like radio or television while you are away.
- Shouting at your dog to stop barking does not help; in fact, this may actually cause your dog to bark even more. A dog cannot be trained to stop barking by yelling across the yard.
- Correct the behavior immediately by training your dog.
- Try blocking your dog’s sightlines to the sidewalk (e.g., privacy screen).
- Consult your veterinarian and/or trainer if you continue to face barking issues despite your best efforts.