Friday, June 29, 2012

Teaching Dogs to Tell Time

In a lot of areas, barking laws have some sort of time element.

What this means is that a dog is only allowed to bark for so long before its noise is considered to be in violation of the law. In response to such silliness, let's engage in the following thought experiment:

Let's say you're in a community where there's a 15-minute limit on barking. Can you visualize a dog glancing at his watch and thinking "I've been barking for 14 minutes. If I cut it out in the next minute, I'll still be legal."

Of course you can't. Because dogs don't wear watches. And, unless they're really smart and can be taught to do so, they can't tell time.

I'm of the mind that these laws are yet another non-solution to the problem of chronic barking.

The Department of Shameless Self-Promotion. If all of those dogs that can't tell time are making your life miserable, have I got a store for you. At the QuietBarkingDogs store, you'll find all sorts of simple, to-the-point fashions for peace and quiet activists. Such as this tee shirt -- "Is this a neighborhood or a kennel?" Wear that one to your next block party. I guarantee that you'll get some interesting reactions.


  1. YQN:

    Not to nit pick, but the law actually applies to the owner, who *should* be able to tell time. OK, most barking dog owners are probably too dumb to tell time but that does not excuse them from their obligations. My proposal is, all prospective dog owners should be required to PROVE that they can tell time. If they can't figure out what time it is, they can't own a dog.

    The above proposal should eliminate a large majority of dog owners up front. Problem solved.

    On a more serious note, I suppose the underlying theory to the "time limit" is, we give the dog owner a short period of time to control their dog. Its built in flexibility. The longer it goes on, the more annoying it is.

    Biggest problem with the "time limit" is, what if you are surrounded by dogs? That happened to me on a camping trip at Christmas. The CG was overflowing with dogs... no individual dog barked that long, but you almost never did not hear a dog barking.

    Another problem with the "time limit" is, its another one of those unfair advantages given to dog owners. NO other law is enforced that way. What were to happen if I were to drive drunk for 14 minutes and 59 seconds? I'd get a DUI, THAT is what would happen. When you put it in THOSE terms it becomes apparent how ridiculous it is.

    I am at a point now where I support mandatory de-bark surgery for ALL dogs. Dogs don't have a right to express themselves, particularly not at 105 decibels! The problems created by uncontrolled, useless barking FAR outweigh the extremely rare case of useful barking.

  2. Love your blog! My neighbor's dogs have rendered my backyard useless. We can't set foot in our yard without setting off a frenzied barking alarm. It got so bad one day last week that my kids and I yelled ''SHUT UP!'' as loud as we could.

    I have my own anti-dog blog that you might like to read:

    1. Thanks for stopping by, DHU.

      Truth be told, I'm not anti-dog. I take them on a dog-by-dog basis.

      That's because some dogs are an absolute joy to be around. Their owners have trained them well. And they have sound temperaments.

      Other dogs? Let's just say I'd rather not be on the same planet with them. Same goes for their owners.