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How Loud Is a Dog’s Bark in Decibels (dB)? Facts & FAQ

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on May 29, 2024 by Dogster Team

poodle dog barking

How Loud Is a Dog’s Bark in Decibels (dB)? Facts & FAQ

Dogs make a variety of sounds to communicate. While it would be nice for them to communicate to us at the same level as conversational speaking, they often bark when they want to get our attention or express their emotions. A dog’s bark can be very loud and easily reach 80 dB, and some dogs can bark up to 100 dB.

Unfortunately, noise levels above 70 dB can start to cause hearing damage. So, it’s important to address your dog’s barking appropriately and promptly.


Can a Dog Bark Damage Hearing?

Prolonged exposure to dog barking may cause hearing damage. Loudness is measured by decibels, and the quietest noise that humans can hear is 0 dB. The highest number of decibels that humans can hear without damaging their ears is around 70 dB.

Sounds at around 80-85 dB can cause hearing damage after about 2 hours of exposure. Sounds that are at 100 dB may cause hearing loss after about 15 minutes. Sounds over 120 dB can cause pain and ear injury.

So, in some cases, dog barking can lead to hearing damage. Here’s how a dog’s bark compares to other noises that can harm ears:

Sound Decibels
Dog Barking 80-100 dB
Normal Conversation 60 dB
Human Shouting 80-90 dB
Wolf Howl 90-115 dB
Lawnmower 80-85 dB
Motorcycle 95 dB
Whistle 104-116 dB
Music Concert 100 dB
Thunderclap 100-120 dB
Siren 120 dB
Jackhammer 130 dB
Firecrackers 140-150 dB


Which Dog Breed Has the Loudest Bark?

Not all dogs have the same level of barking, and some are louder than others. Many working dogs, like German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies, bark loudly. Hunting dogs, such as hounds and terriers, also tend to have loud barks. In special circumstances, dogs need loud barks in order to be heard clearly. For example, hunting dogs need to bark loud enough for their owners to locate them when they’re off-leash.

Interestingly enough, the dog with the loudest recorded bark is Charlie the Golden Retriever. He holds the Guinness World Record for a bark which measures 113.1 dB.

golden retriever barking
Image Credit: Adrian_Sobotka, Shutterstock

Which Dog Breed Is the Quietest?

While some dogs are known for their barks, others prefer to live a quieter life. The Basenji is known to be a non-barking dog breed. Basenjis can’t bark due to having a shallow laryngeal ventricle. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re quiet. They can still make loud noises and are known to yodel rather than bark.

Some dog breeds aren’t known to bark excessively. Greyhounds, Chinooks, Irish Setters, and Whippets are all dogs that have reputations for being quieter than most breeds.

Despite their quietness, barking is a normal part of communication for dogs. So, dogs will bark if they feel like it’s necessary. Dogs can bark for a variety of reasons. Barking is normal behavior when dogs want to get your attention or express excitement. Some dogs will start barking if they’re threatened or feel the need to get aggressive.

Can Neighbors Complain About Dog Barking?

Excessive barking can warrant a valid noise complaint from neighbors. Most condominium associations and apartment leases have clearly laid out rules and regulations for disruptive noises. Common rules include respecting building quiet hours and not consistently creating loud disturbances.

So, before you bring home a dog or sign a lease on a new apartment, make sure to get a clear understanding of the pet and noise complaint rules. Evictions due to noise complaints vary from state to state. Landlords typically have to provide sufficient evidence of a violation of rules for evictions to occur.

Angry dog barking at something or someone
Image By: alexei_tm, Shutterstock

divider-dog paw

In Summary

Dogs can have loud barks that reach levels of annoyance and irritation for human hearing. Some dog barks may even cause hearing damage if they’re excessive and take place over prolonged periods of time.

While it is impossible to prevent dogs from ever barking, you can train and teach them to bark less or stop barking on command. If you’re facing noise complaint issues, you can always work with a dog trainer to try to find a way to reduce barking.

Featured Image Credit: PAN Michal, Shutterstock

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