What does the barking dog law say?

Are you bothered by your neighbor’s dog barking or, conversely, is your dog barking constantly to the point of disturbing the neighborhood? Keep in mind that the law considers a dog barking night and day as a fine noise nuisance for its owner. Let’s take stock of the regulations in force and the solutions to be put in place.

What Does the Barking Dog Law Say?

What Does the Barking Dog Law Say?

A dog’s barking is considered a domestic nuisance by law. In short, they are perceived as annoying to the neighborhood such as the noise of a lawn mower, loud music or television, songs, screams or heels, etc.

However, the law makes a distinction depending on when these barks are emitted by the animal.

Daytime noise (7am to 10pm)

It is Article R. 1334-31 of the Public Health Code which governs the rules relating to the various forms of noise pollution. It is specified in particular that “no particular noise must, for its duration, its repetition or its intensity, prejudice the tranquility of the neighborhood or the health of man, in a public or private place, whether a person is himself ‘origin or through the intermediation of a person, of a thing of which he has the custody or of an animal placed under his responsibility ”.

It is therefore forbidden to make noise during the day between 7:00 and 22:00. If your dog’s barking disturbs your neighborhood due to its repetitive, intense and / or long-lasting nature, you are putting yourself at risk of penalties. As a result, your pet’s barking can be considered a nuisance if it is too loud, too repeated, or too long.

The power of barking is not subject to tolerance thresholds as it may be for other sources of noise, although some municipalities impose strict rules. However, neighborhood tolerance is also to be considered, as some people are more sensitive to noise than others.

If your dog’s barking is considered a daytime nuisance, you are liable to a fixed fine of 68 euros, with an increase of 180 euros if you fail to pay within 45 days. If the injured neighbor goes to court, you may be forced to pay him or her.

Noise at night (from 10pm to 7am)

If your dog barks between 10pm and 7am, then it’s night time. In this case, the law is stricter and it is article R. 623-2 of the penal code that decides the penalties to be applied in the event of “offensive or nocturnal noise or disturbing the tranquility of others”.

When barking at night, it is considered a nuisance, even if it is not repeated, loud or long lasting. The inconveniences caused, in the middle of the night, are in fact sufficient to consider them an anomalous disturbance for the neighborhood.

What to do in case of annoyance if you are annoyed by the neighbor’s dog?

Sure, your neighbor’s dog barking can be hard to bear, as can rooster noises. But even if the law proves you right, avoid threatening his master, at the risk of seriously affecting your relationship. Here are our tips.

A benevolent dialogue

Instead of attacking and threatening your neighbor with lawsuits, start by engaging in thoughtful dialogue. In fact, she may not be aware of the annoyance her dog barking may be for you or she may already be looking for solutions.

Start by talking to him calmly, letting him know that his pet barks at certain times of the day or night. If it happens in her absence, she can genuinely ignore it. But it is also possible that your neighbor is also experiencing this bad barking and that he has not yet found a solution.

There are many reasons why a dog barks. It can bear the absence of its owners badly, but it can also be an anxious animal, that is bored, that does not try hard enough, that does not know how to manage its frustration, that has too strong a protective instinct, etc. There are solutions to help your pet stop barking, but owners don’t necessarily control them.

You can be, on your side, a force of proposals. Do not hesitate to talk to your neighbor about possible solutions to help his pet feel better and to reduce and thus stop his repeated barking. Be as kind as possible to avoid serving as a teacher.

Of course, for this guide to work, your neighbor must be receptive and willing to improve the situation. It also happens that some people find it difficult to receive advice about themselves or their pet, because they feel judged in the way they do.

A friendly reminder of the rules

If dialogue is impossible, you can move on to the next step, which is still an amicable solution, preferable to legal action. You can send a polite letter to your neighbor reminding him of the regulations in force regarding the barking of his dog, classified as noise pollution, as well as the penalties to which he is exposed. Do not hesitate to mention the Public Health Code and the related regulatory texts.

At the beginning, a simple letter is sufficient, but if the situation does not improve, it renews the sending by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt. This can be proof of your transaction attempt.

You can also enlist the help of the co-ownership union or a justice conciliator to settle this dispute as amicably as possible, or even kidnap a bailiff who can come to the site to observe the annoyances of dog barking.

The litigation process

If your attempt to find an amicable solution was unsuccessful, you can call the police (gendarmerie or municipal police) to come and observe the nuisance on the spot.

If the disturbance is actually detected, the police can impose a fine of 68 euros on your neighbor, whether he is the owner of the dog or is under his temporary responsibility. If your neighbor does not pay it within 45 days, it will be increased to 180 euros.

The police can also send a warning to the neighbor asking him to find a solution to remedy the problem of noise pollution. If they do not comply with this directive, your neighbor may be fined a second time or their pet may be kidnapped.

You can also take legal action in court to seek damages. To do this, you will need to present solid evidence such as your letters sent to your neighbor, a copy of the police report, testimony from other neighbors who are also victims, a medical certificate from your doctor stating the negative effects of noise pollution on health and well-being, etc. If you get satisfaction, the judge can order your neighbor to pay you damages, or even take other measures (such as terminating the neighbor’s lease if he is a tenant).

If, on the other hand, you notify the police or if you go to court illegitimately, your neighbor may instead file a complaint against you for slanderous denunciation and the criminal court may force you to pay him or her, pay a fine of up to 45,000 euros or up to 5 years’ imprisonment in the event. of complaint.

What to do in case of disturbance if your dog disturbs the neighborhood?

If your dog is causing the discomfort, you need to take action to help stop his barking. At first, you will need to identify the source of this disorder to provide an appropriate answer. Let’s take a look at the main causes of excessive barking in dogs.


If your dog is too excited, he may bark repeatedly to vent his frustration and excess energy. Teach him a simple command that will help calm him down.

  • Step 1: At home, teach your dog to associate “stop” with something positive. Say “stop” and give him a treat.
  • Step 2: As soon as he starts to fidget on your outings, tell him “stop” and invite him to come back to you for his treat.
  • Step 3: Stimulate your dog with a toy he likes. As soon as he approaches, tell him “stop” and give him a treat if he obeys you.
  • Step 4: As soon as your dog barks, try the same technique. Tell him “stop” and reward him with a surprise if he obeys.


Your dog may bark out of boredom. If he can’t try hard or if he can’t stand your absence, establish good habits. A trip to the garden is not enough, your dog needs to go out for a walk at least 30 minutes every day to explore new stimulating environments.

Also, in your absence, leave stimulating toys close at hand to occupy it.

The conditioning

You may have inadvertently taught your dog to bark for satisfaction. For example, if your dog barks because you play with him in the garden and if, in order not to annoy the neighborhood, you give in immediately, he will deduce that as soon as he wants to play with you, he will only have to bark. A habit that can be repeated for every request.

On the contrary, you have to ignore your dog. His barking at him will quickly cease if he finds that he is not getting what he wants.

Do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian for his opinion on this. If necessary, he can refer you to a behavioral vet to put a more appropriate solution in place.

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