Dog Barking – An over-unpleasant noise pollution, in dBs
Dog barking is quite a loud problem. The table below presents the Sound Pressure Level in decibel dB caused by some common sources, as well as a few not that usual. In other words, we demonstrate the high intensity of noise that canines produce.
Included are also a few noise limits when psychological and even physical harm start to occur in humans.
Beyond that, we include some of the loudest sounds that ever happened on Earth.
Don’t forget to pay special attention to the level of noise that barking dogs generate, specially a large dog. Dog barking is more than just loud, it is health damaging.
The list of the noise level of major sources… and dog barking.
Sound Pressure Level (dB)
|Threshold of Hearing||Confortable|
|Quietest audible sound for persons with excellent hearing under laboratory conditions||0|
|Quietest audible sound for persons under
|Noticeably Quiet – Voice, soft whisper|
|Quiet whisper (1 m)
Room in a quiet dwelling at midnight Broadcast Studio
|Quiet Home Voice, low
Small electric clock
|Distraction when learning or
during concentration can occur
Room with window air conditioner
|Loud – Unusual Background, Voice conversation 1 m||The human body starts to suffer the impacts of noise|
|Moderate to High risk of heart circulation disease at constant impact can occur||65|
|Loud – Voice conversation 0.3 m||Start of noise epidemics|
|Inside a car
Outside a car (15 m)
Vacuum cleaner (3 m)
Freight train (30 m)
|Loud – Intolerable for Phone Use|
|Automobile (10 m)
Pneumatic tools (15 m)
Buses, trucks, motorcycles (15 m)
Road with busy traffic
|Over a duration of 40 hours a week hearing damage can occur
|Motorcycle (10 m)||88|
|Food blender (1 m)
Jackhammer (15 m)
Bulldozer (15 m)
Heavy diesel vehicle
Heavy city traffic
Airplane cabin at normal flight
|» Large dog bark (10 m)
Diesel truck (10 m)
Motor horns at distance of 7 m
Car at highway speed
Loud street noise
|Lawn mower (1 m)||107|
|» Loudest barking by a single dog – World Record by the Guinness Book||113|
|Pneumatic riveter (1 m)||115|
|Threshold of Discomfort|
|Large aircraft (150 m overhead) Accelerating motorcycle
|Chainsaw (1 m)
Very noisy work – boilermakers workshop…
|Deafening, Human pain limit|
|Amplified Hard Rock (2 m)
Siren (30 m)
Small aircraft engine
|» Loudest barking level produced by a group of dogs – World Record by the Guinness Book||124|
|Threshold of unbearable pain, above this fast-acting hearing damage in short action can occur|
|Jet plane (30 m)
Artillery fire (3 m)
Large pipe organ
|Turbo propeller plane at take-off||140|
|Short exposure can cause hearing loss|
|Military jet take-off (30 meter)||150|
|Older military jet plane engine
Slap on the ear
Fire cracker explodes on shoulder
Small arms at a distance of 50cm (maximum level)
|Pistol fired close to ear (maximum level)||180|
|Permanent hearing loss|
|Saturn Rocket* (At launch base)||200|
|Atomic Bomb* (1-Ton TNT Bomb, standing 250 feet away from the impact)||210|
|Earthquake* (At the underground epicenter of a 5.0 event in the Richter scale)||230-240|
|Tunguska Meteor* (Meteor crash at Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, on June 30, 1908, most likely caused by the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet fragment at an altitude of 5 to 10 kilometers (3–6 mi) above Earth’s surface. It was measured with the similar impact of a 1000-Mega-ton bomb. This is often considered to be the loudest single-event in history.||300-315|
* These extremely high sound pressure levels would break all measurement microphones and other equipment as well as completely torn human beings apart when they are close to those sounds. No hearing protection (ear muffs or ear plugs) can help a person there, for obvious reasons, since they would be dead anyway. These unimaginable sound levels will never be measured but only estimated or calculated.
What is the difference in the ‘Amount’ of Sound?
Decibel dB is measured in a logarithmic scale, whereas an increase of (added) just 6dB equals to twice (2X) the “amount” of sound.
As an example, the difference from the ambient noise in a Quiet Room (20dB) to the noise of a Large Dog Bark (100dB) is ‘just’ 80dB. However, the sound level is actually over 10.000 (ten thousand) times stronger! Visualizing in numbers, it is:
20dB → 100dB = 80dB => 10.000x
That’s why normal people get subtly startled — even to a point of leaping off a chair — when, for example, reading a book or working on the computer and then a loud noise abruptly interrupts our private lives, like a dog barking next door. Not to mention when a baby is sleeping in the middle of the night.
How much Noise can a human bear, constantly?
The maximum sound exposure recommended by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act – USA) is an average of 85dB during 8 hours. Exposures at or above this level are hazardous, so a person can contract hearing and even health problems, from temporary to permanent.
Some exposures to sound, even for a short duration, can and do cause permanent hearing loss, as you could see above.
As a reference, here are the SPLs for two persons talking (not shouting) at various differences (level at the receiver’s ear):
We can notice the intensity of a human conversation is much, much lower than a normal barking. Dogs are then shouting out loud all the time they bark.
What are the differences among Noise and Sound?
In this article, for the ease of understanding, we used the words Sound and Noise most of the time as ones that give the same meaning. However, they provide quite different meanings. We have another article just for that, on the differences of Sound and Noise. Please take a look.
Why are dog’s noise or dog barking so annoying?
Dog barking is even more annoying than another source at the same dB level. The noise measured in dB is something a little different if you relate dogs and other sources. If a car and a dog each generates, let’s say 100dB , the annoyance generated by the dog would be greater and more uncomfortable.
Barking generates a physiological reaction in our body because humans have been conditioned for thousands of years to relate the sound of some animals as dangerous (lions, wolves…), so that humans could defend themselves, which allowed human evolution. This is proven in scientific research and we will write an article about it soon.
So, in our opinion, one should never “measure nuisance” from dogs in dB because it does not reflect the reality and intensity of the real problem.
In other words, laws against dogs which are based only on dB are also not adequate.