We've all heard the idiom let sleeping dogs lie, which of course means, rather than stir up trouble, just ignore the problem since dealing with it could render an even more problematic response. I'm not so sure I agree with this concept as it seems like a little bit of creative avoidance.

How would you feel about the phrase if slightly adjusted to be, let barking dogs bark? That is to say, if the neighbor's dog is barking incessantly and it's driving you and your neighborhood crazy, just shrug your shoulders and bear with it. Or, is this where you'd draw the line and make your displeasure known?

Why is Yakima Having Such a Problem with Barking Dogs?

I'm not drawing my conclusion that Yakima, in fact, has a barking dog problem based upon any statistics, public records, or late-night dog complaint hotline radio show. I'm simply sharing some recently acquired information from personal conversations and an outpouring of comments of late, on local social media.

What People are Saying in Yakima About Barking Dogs

One of my favorite Yakima-related Facebook Groups is WTF Just happened in Yakima? There have been numerous times I've been made aware of something really important, or funny, or interesting, or engaging, that has happened in Yakima by checking the posts in my feed on a daily basis. If there's smoke in the sky or sirens blaring or unusually slow traffic in the area, the WTFJHIY FB page is one of the first places I'll check.

Today, I noticed a post by a dog owner who was simply reaching out for advice and feedback. She clearly doesn't want to annoy her neighbors but finds herself with a rescue dog who's barking a lot, all day. Her post read:

Anyone that can give me advice please do.. my neighbor keeps complaining that my smaller dog barks too much. I never leave them outside at night. It’s during the day, it’s any day. She just came and banged on my door. I just had eye surgery a week ago. What can I do?

That simple question, along with a brief description of her situation and a desire for answers opened the proverbial flood gates. As of this writing, the post has garnered 485 comments. Many of these comments included some solid advice, from dog owners who've successfully dealt with their own barking dogs. Shock collars to obedience training to CBD supplements, and those are just some of the things my wife has tried on me! Just kidding, wanted to see if you were paying attention.

Others took a more critical tone, which I understood, but I don't believe it's useful when someone is asking for help. The fact is, I don't see how someone could be surprised by the neighbors' disdain for the unbridled barking. Some have said, 'Well, dogs bark.'. Yes, they do, and aside from there being a reason to bark, for a brief interval, only poorly trained, not-competently supervised dogs bark incessantly. I liken it to being a parent -- if children are jumping up and down and screaming obnoxiously all day long in the yard, chances are that one or more oblivious parents are inside the house, eating Cheetos and playing video games.

Is There an Ordinance in Yakima That Prohibits Barking Dogs? Yes.

From The Yakima Municipal Code - which is very clear on the subject:

6.20.280 Barking dogs prohibited.

(1)    It is unlawful for any person in control of premises to keep, harbor, or maintain thereon any dog or dogs which individually or together habitually bark, growl, yelp, howl, or whine so loudly and for such a duration of time as to unreasonably disturb the peace, quiet, comfort and repose of others within the city of Yakima. Any such dog or dogs shall be declared a nuisance and may be seized and impounded if such disturbance reoccurs after the person in control of the premises has received two prior warnings within a period of six months from any law enforcement or animal control officer of the city.

(2)    It shall be an affirmative defense to subsection (1) of this section that the howling, yelping, barking or another noise complained of was by a guard dog or watchdog which was responding to intruders, trespassers, or other persons entering onto or near the premises of the dog owner. (Ord. 2018-037 § 1 (part), 2018: Ord. 2018-021 § 1 (part), 2018: Ord. 2005-69 § 1 (part), 2005).

The Truth About Barking from a Yakima Golden Retriever

Tater, our 2-year-old Golden barks. Not over-the-top barking. Just barking when someone unknown is knocking on the door or when some nearby moron is lighting off illegal fireworks. But, I can't imagine allowing him to bark for more than a minute without checking on the situation and determining the reason for the onslaught of arf. It's just a no-brainer. It's called being a responsible pet lover and loving thy neighbor too.

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