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Re: Barking Dogs
I'd like to offer a few more thoughts on the subject of
possible new ordinances to deal with the barking dog
problem, which I see within the context of the larger problem
of general irresponsible pet ownership and neglect.
I suggested that municipalities (or states) require dog
owners or potential owners to pass an exam demonstrating
knowledge of their responsibilities both to the dog and to
the community. Those who pass the exam will be granted
a license to keep the pet. In other words, dog ownership
should be seen as a privilege, not a right, and the privilege
should be revoked if sustained patterns of irresponsible
Some would no doubt proclaim that the barking dog is a
comfort to them, because it scares away potential burglars
and intruders. Very well, then, the moment such a purpose
for the dog is declared, then it should be classified, under
the legal reforms I suggest, a work animal instead of a mere
Those wanting to keep the dog as a work animal of this
nature should be required to obtain a special license, and
should demonstrate that the dog has been trained to the
task, or that professional training is in progress. Watch
dogs can be trained not to bark indiscriminantly at everyone
who happens to be walking down the sidewalk.
There are no doubt certain breeds which are more suitable
to be trained watch dogs. A serious applicant for this type
of license will have obtained one of these breeds, and the
law should recognize this. No one should get away with
declaring their yapping Chihuahua a watch dog.
Those who resist professional training of watch dogs should
be denied the work dog license, and should be citable for
nuisance barking on the same terms as all the other dog
owners licensed for general pet ownership.
-- Michael Wright
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