If someone asked you to quantify the loudness of your dog's bark, you might be at a loss for words -- until you remembered the concept of decibel levels. Decibels help to express sonic intensity, whether it comes to your precious Cairn terrier's barking or an orchestra playing classical music.
When a dog barks, it is a minimum of 60 decibels, according to the Southwark Council in the United Kingdom. In some cases, it can increase to more than 110 decibels.
If you want to compare the loudness of a dog's bark to some ordinary sounds, consider that a sewing machine is around 60 decibels -- the same loudness as a "starting point" bark. A child in the midst of a shrieking tantrum goes to around 110 decibels, which is the same as dog barks on the noisier end of the spectrum. As for defending your ears against possible damage, it's a smart idea to sport earplugs when you're ever exposed to sounds that are a minimum of 85 decibels, advises the Washington Post.
If you're looking for real life examples of canines with impressively loud barks, waste no time and look straight at Charlie, a golden retriever out of Adelaide, Australia. The cutie's bark measures in at 113.1 decibels -- not unlike rock tunes blasting at a weekend live show. Thankfully, the pooch isn't considered a nuisance to his neighbors, as he only barks when specifically instructed by his owner to do so. His big bark started when he was merely a year in age. The furry guy was honored with the title of "loudest bark" by Guinness World Records in 2013.
Why Dogs Bark
Instead of being frustrated over decibels and your pet's noisy bark, figure out the root cause behind his barking. Barking is undoubtedly a normal behavior in dogs, but excesssive barking can be a sign of a problem. Many different things can trigger barking in canines, including pure enthusiasm and giddiness, tedium, the presence of an "invader," the need for attention and acknowledgement and nervousness due to isolation and loneliness -- think separation anxiety. Get to the core of the noisy behavior and get on the path to fixing it, both for your pooch's happiness and for your ears.
By Naomi Millburn
Inside of a Dog; Alexandra Horowitz
Southwark Council: Dog Barking
The Independent: Meet Charlie - The Golden Retriver With a Bark That's Louder than a Pneumatic Drill
The Washington Post: How Loud is Too Loud?
MSN Now: This Sweet Little Dog Has the Loudest Bark in the World
ASPCA: Separation Anxiety
The San Francisco SPCA: Barking
Maryland SPCA: The Barking Dog
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.