Respond to a complaint about your barking dog

Take steps to address your barking dog and avoid facing any penalties.

What to do

A barking dog is a dog that barks, bays, cries, howls, or makes any other noise continuously for 10 minutes or longer.

1. Learn why you received a warning letter

You received a warning letter because someone called 311 to report a barking dog and gave your address as the noise source.

ACC and SFPD issue a warning letter to the address reported for the first 2 complaints. When a dog gets reported, 311 creates a record of the complaint.

2. Take steps to stop your dog from barking

There may be several reasons why your dog is barking. This can include pain, boredom, loneliness, or separation anxiety, among many other reasons.

Read about possible causes and learn steps you can take to address your barking dog.

3. Learn what can happen if violations are not addressed

If you are in violation of Section 41 of the San Francisco Health Code, you could:

  • Receive a citation and face fines.
  • And, depending on the number and severity of the violations, be guilty of a misdemeanor or infraction. For more information, see Health Code Section 41.13–Penalties.

4. Respond to a warning letter you received

If you believe you received this letter in error, you don’t have to take any action.

But if 2 or more of your neighbors make a report at your local police station, the Police Department may reach out to you to investigate and possibly issue a citation. You can explain or discuss the situation with the Police at that time.

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

What happens if I receive a warning letter but I don’t have a dog or do not think that it was my dog barking?

We understand your concern about the warning letter that you received, and we apologize for any confusion. You received a warning letter because your address was given to 311 by the individual(s) who reported the issue with a barking dog. Please know that nothing further is required of you at this time. If 2 or more of your neighbors decide to report it to your local police station to request that a citation be issued, you will have an opportunity at that time to explain the circumstances to the Police Department.

Get help


311 Customer Service Center


311 is open 24 hours a day, everyday.

Last updated May 31, 2023