Barking Dogs

One of the best things about living in Wilderness Rim is enjoying the quiet.  One of the greatest frustrations is listening to barking dogs—especially now, as the weather warms and windows are open and people are out walking.

Sometimes Wilderness Rim residents come to the WRA Board of Trustees for help with getting relief from their neighbor’s barking dogs.  The Board does not have any power to intervene.  Dealing with barking dogs is a legal action that is handled by King County.

Your neighbors have a right to live in peace.  If a neighbor comes to you to complain, be considerate.  They, and probably many others, have probably put up with the problem a long time before working up the courage to say something.

If your dog barks at everyone who walks by, or for no reason at all, it is a “nuisance”.  Whether it is disturbing just one person or your entire neighborhood, you are responsible for solving that problem.  If you ignore your neighbor’s complaint, you are inviting legal action.

If you have a dog that barks, here are some ideas from the county about solving the problem:

There are also various devices that can be used to train dogs not to bark.  For example:

If you have a neighbor who has a dog that barks, first go to your neighbor and tell them.  Often dogs bark while their owners are at work and the owner may not be aware of the extent of the problem.  If, after making an effort to get relief by asking, you have the option of filing a complaint.

Here is how to file a complaint:

The applicable laws are clear and have significant penalties:


11.08.160  Dog control zone – Wilderness Rim community.  Under the provisions of this chapter, there is created a dog control zone in the following described area:  Wilderness Rim Division No. 1 (Vol. 82, pages 48, 49 and 50); Wilderness Rim Division No. 2 (Vol. 84, pages 95, 96, 97 and 98); Wilderness Rim Division No. 3 (Vol. 90, pages 60, 61 and 62), all recorded in volumes of Plats, Records of King County, Washington.  (Ord. 4909 § 1, 1980: Ord. 4385 § 1, 1979).

11.04.230  Nuisances defined.  For purposes of this chapter, nuisances are violations of this chapter and shall be defined as follows:

  1. Any animal that howls, yelps, whines, barks or makes other oral noises to an unreasonable degree, in such a manner as to disturb a person or neighborhood;

11.04.190  Violations – misdemeanor – penalty.  Any person who allows an animal to be maintained in violation of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars and/or imprisonment for a term not to exceed ninety days.  (Ord. 1396 Art. III § 3, 1972).

11.04.200  Violations – civil penalty.  In addition to or as an alternative to any other penalty provided in this chapter or by law, any person whose animal is maintained in violation of this chapter shall incur a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed one thousand dollars per violation to be directly assessed by the manager of the animal care and control authority plus billable costs of the animal care and control authority.

We all have a right to a peaceful neighborhood.  Please help keep Wilderness Rim a wonderfully quiet place.