Basic care

Sounds That Annoy Dogs the Most

Marta Sarasúa
By Marta Sarasúa, Psychologist. March 4, 2024
Sounds That Annoy Dogs the Most

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It should be no surprise that certain sounds annoy dogs. Canines have an advanced hearing capability which far outweighs our own. While humans can perceive sound frequencies ranging from 20 to 20,000 Hz, dogs are capable of registering sounds with frequencies between approximately 20 and 60,000 Hz. This means they can even hear ultrasounds that we are completely unable to detect.

Having such acute hearing is a huge advantage for dogs, but it also has its drawbacks. One of the most significant is their ability to perceive discomfiting sounds with a greater intensity. When they do not recognize the sounds or they are similar to those which might represent a threat, fear can be generated more than annoyance. At AnimalWised, we look at the sounds that annoy dogs the most so you can best avoid them.

You may also be interested in: What Sounds Make Dogs Happy?


  1. Fireworks and pyrotechnics
  2. Thunder and storms
  3. Traffic sound
  4. Home appliances
  5. Ultrasound devices

Fireworks and pyrotechnics

One of the main sounds that can cause very intense reactions in dogs is that produced by firecrackers, fireworks and pyrotechnics in general. These are artificially created sounds that use explosive materials such as black powder or even gunpowder in some smaller firecrackers. These bangs are designed to cut through ambient noise, but their violence often upsets the dog. More than being an annoying noise, fireworks can cause significant fear in dogs.

The use of fireworks is restricted more in some areas than others, with some even having total bans. They are commonly used in celebrations, whether public holidays such as New Year's Eve or private events such as weddings.

The loud bangs can cause serious distress in dogs. It is common for the dog to hide when they hear fireworks or pyrotechnics. They can shake, whine or even become incontinent, the latter being a symptoms of acute anxiety in dogs.

If our dog is particularly sensitive to fireworks, we will need to support them during the time they are being used. Do not crowd them, but provide an opportunity for security and affection if they are receptive. Be calming and try to block out the sound as much as possible. If our dog has a severe reaction to these sounds, we will need to educate them and accustom them to the noises using positive reinforcement. Also be aware of celebrations when you can and prepare the dog during these times.

Sounds That Annoy Dogs the Most - Fireworks and pyrotechnics

Thunder and storms

As with firecrackers, the sound of thunder is a stimulus that causes fear in many dogs. In addition to the loud clapping of thunder, a storm will also have other annoying sounds such as heavy rain or whistling wind. These sounds provoke a primitive response in the dog since animals in the wild need to protect themselves during such periods of inclement weather.

Depending on the acuteness of the storm and their individual sensitivity, the dog will show signs they are scared. Since thunderstorms are an atmospheric phenomenon, it can be easier to predict them. We should stay on top of the weather report and prepare the dog when the rains come. As with fireworks, we should prepare a comfortable bed for the dog with their favorite toys and other reassuring items.

If your dog urinates when they are afraid of loud noises, you can set out absorbent puppy pads to help with hygiene. You can also play some soft music to help them relax, give them massages and provide treats to positively reassure them. You can also use synthetic pheromones to help the dog feel more positive. Use the link below to purchase them online:

Traffic sound

Especially if you live in an urban area, traffic noise can be a fairly constant presence. While this can cause anxiety in the dog, it will be more annoying than frightening. Exceptions may be if there is an accident, a car backfiring or a particularly loud noise such as a motorbike. These sounds can annoy the dog and cause them to bark out the window. They usually do so because they perceive them as a threat to their home security.

Over time a dog should gradually adapt to the annoying noise of street traffic. However, some dogs can have more trouble doing so than others. This can be due to many reasons, but one of the most important is socialization. Puppies should be socialized from a young age so they can learn how to react appropriately in different situations. It is particularly important to react appropriately near loud traffic because it can prevent them being spooked and running into a collision.

Chronic exposure to intense sound can affect our own well-being over time. The same is the case for dogs. We should ensure we take them for more relaxing walks and outdoor experiences. Go for a walk in the countryside, a forest or similar area. These places are not only quiet, but they often many stimuli in the form of sights, sounds and smells which can provide a great boon to our dog's happiness.

Sounds That Annoy Dogs the Most - Traffic sound

Home appliances

There are common sounds in the home which we come to accept as background noise, but which can be particularly annoying sounds for dogs. Home appliances are some of the worst offenders, especially the following:

  • Washing machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Humidifier/dehumidifier
  • Airconditioning units
  • Blow dryers

Sounds emitted by such home appliances can bother our dog, making them grumpy or otherwise negatively affecting their well-being. Since our dogs have such acute hearing, even the low hum of such appliances can be loud and annoying to canines.

Using electrical appliances at home is necessary and we need them for our day-to-day lives. For this reason, it is important to introduce sounds to the dog from a young age. For example, it is advisable to associate the sound of the hair dryer with positive experiences. This is especially important since we might need to use it when we are drying the dog after bathing.

Another important factor when helping to ensure our dog has peace and quiet in the home is where we provide a rest area. We should not put them bedding in a place where there is a lot of foot traffic, loud appliances or similarly annoying sounds. Create safe and quiet spaces for the dog where they can rest peacefully.

Ultrasound devices

As we have already mentioned, dogs can hear sound frequencies that reach up to 60,000 or 65,000 Hz, sounds much higher than those we are capable of hearing. This means what we might think of as a quiet environment is actually quite bothersome to the dog. This is especially so with anti-barking ultrasound devices.

These devices for dogs are designed to emit ultrasound frequencies which are believed to prevent the dog from barking. However, some canine ethologists have questioned their safety. It is possible these are some of the most annoying sounds for dogs, made worse by the fact we cannot hear them. They may not be effective in deterring barking, but even if they are, they might provoke side effects which can seriously harm our dog's well-being.

Our recommendation is avoid the use of these devices and seek the help and advice of a professional ethologist to work on any behavioral problem such as the dog barking at everything. We should also ensure we provide the right training and education in our dog, something which is likely influencing their problematic behavior. Ultrasound machines, especially when played constantly, can be causing harm and are best avoided.

If you want to read similar articles to Sounds That Annoy Dogs the Most, we recommend you visit our Basic care category.

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Sounds That Annoy Dogs the Most