The city of Clifton is not going to the dogs. At least not if the City Council has anything to do about it.

Later this month, the council is expected to introduce an ordinance setting a limit on how long dogs can bark.

Noisy canines will be defined as those that bark for more than 30 minutes on two consecutive days.

The city already has nuisance and "noise laws that can be used to address annoying and disturbing noises such as constant barking." But officials said those laws are sometimes difficult to enforce.

Police have to investigate complaints, and the city Health Department sent 11 letters last year warning that a summons could be issued if the barking continued, health officer John Biegel said. Clifton has issued 3,756 dog licenses this year.

Getting a summons is rare, because the person who complained must go to court to sign a complaint.

Fines for the new ordinance could start at $250, Biegel said.