Barking Dogs

A certain amount of noise must be tolerated living in urban and suburban areas, as it is part of daily life. However, when the noise becomes unreasonable, such as a chronic, excessive barking dog, we offer these suggestions. 

If a neighbor’s dog barks regularly

  1. Speak to the dog owner directly.  
  2. If that is not possible, send them a letter.  Being neighborly, offering solutions and compromises, and allowing some time are all part of solving the problem at a neighborhood level.
  3. If the problem continues, contact Bothell Police Animal Control and provide the address of the offending dog. An officer will contact the household and encourage them to solve the problem to avoid further action.
  4. If the dog continues to cause noise to an unreasonable degree, please contact Bothell Police Animal Control again. We will provide you with a witness statement. Once you have completed the witness statement, the owner of the offending dog may receive a written warning.
  5. Ongoing issues can ultimately result in a case being sent to the City's prosecuting attorney, who may issue a citation.

If your dog barks regularly 

If you have a dog that barks regularly, investigate and determine why your dog is barking. Here are some reasons for barking and some possible solutions:

  • Excess energy: Dogs often bark in order to get rid of excess energy. Going for walks, playing ball or visiting off-leash parks are some ways to help your dog work off that pent-up energy. When you are gone, leave some chew toys at home for your dog.
  • Noises: New or sudden noises can incite dogs to bark. While you’re away, turn on a radio when your pet is in an enclosed space. This way, your dog won’t hear every noise and will be less likely to react.
  • Outside distractions: Your dog may see people and dogs passing by outside your house. These distractions may threaten or frighten your dog. Obscuring your dog's view of the outside can keep your dog more at ease. Block windows with curtains, shades or large blankets. You may also want to install a wooden fence or add slats to a chain-link fence.


Contact your neighbors and tell them that you are working on the dog-barking problem. Solicit their help to keep track of when and why your dog is barking. Encourage them to contact you when there is a problem.