Example sound computation: dog barking
Health - Hear and see
Tuesday, 31 May 2011 05:13
This may sound like a silly question but I'm having trouble figuring out your 
calculator.  I'm not that great at math!! I am currently battling with my 
town/selectmen to get a special permit to start a dog daycare.  

At our next meeting, we would like to present information regarding the noise decibel 
level of a dog barking and how the sound would lessen as it traveled a distance.  In 
doing research, I find that a dog barking is 75 db.  The people who are opposing the 
special permit due to noise live approx. 1500 to 1700 feet away from us.   

We are in a very rural area with lots of trees, farm land, fields, etc. separating 
us. Actually one of them is across the main road which is a state road and gets 
approx. 14,000 cars passing per day so they are on the other side of the road.  What 
I need to find out and present at the meeting is what the decibel level the dog bark 
would be when it travels to their home 1500 to 1700 feet away.  
If this is something you can possibly assist me with, that would be wonderful.  If 
not, if you know where I should be looking, please let me know.

A dog is barking at 75 db, let's say you have measured this at 1 meter distance, or 3 feet. If they live 1500 feet away then they will hear a noise of less than 20 db, probably much less than the highway nearby. This can be computed by entering 75, 3 feet, and 1500 feet in the first three lines of the Sound Distance Salculator and pressing Compute.

But you want to keep more than one dog, maybe even 50 dogs. Do they bark at the same time? Probably, when they are fed. To compute the noise contribution from 50 barking dogs you can add sounds to replace the 75 db, using Sound Addition Calculator.

You can use this calculator to add portions of 20 db 50 times. The result is approximately 37 db. Of course this is a simple computation, which does not take any reflecting or damping effects of the soil into account. Especially trees, buildings and hills will block most of the noise.

Hope this helps.