How to Make Street Dogs Stop Barking with a Simple Trick

Ever wondered how to make stray dogs stop barking? This short article will tell you how, and provide a free solution.




If there’s one thing I know from living in Asia it’s that people do little to control the stray animal population with neutering, animal adoption services, or animal control. That means you’ve got a choir of barking dogs and cats in heat around you at all hours of the day and night. Which can make sleep, concentration, or work virtually impossible.

Solution? A dog whistle. Or more specifically, a 15,000 Hz – 20,000 Hz tone.

Stop Stray Dogs from Barking

I love dogs and grew up with them my whole life –well-behaved dogs in a Canadian suburb. Stray dogs are also incredibly loveable and often better behaved than those in captivity (read: owned). I’ve only met one dog that ever made me feel threatened in all my years on the road, so for me, it’s important to use a solution that doesn’t cause harm.

I used to use a dog whistle app for this, but few work when the lock screen is activated or allow you to use them over a Bluetooth connected speaker through your smartphone. And on Android, dog whistle apps are often rife with malware.

The Solution

For testing purposes, I suggest you try both a 15,000 Hz tone and a 20,000 Hz tone on YouTube first to see which one works better for you. I tend to alternate between the two depending on the dog, as every dog is different.

After that, you could rip and download an MP3 of either tone using a service like Listen to Youtube and create a playlist on your smartphone for quick access –set it to loop, and you’re good to go.

To avoid any possible issue with copyright infringement I won’t share an MP3 here, although it is my understanding that these frequencies are not subject to copyright. I am not suggesting anyone break any laws in their respective countries.

These tones will work on both barking dogs and fighting cats (or those trying to do the dirty in your ceiling when you’re trying to sleep). These tones are an annoyance at best and they’ll usually just leave the area.


Additional Notes

The 15,000 Hz tone may be audible by adults, the 20,000 Hz tone probably won’t be so the latter is probably more discreet. Both tones can be heard by young children and teenagers. If there are babies present, I suggest you avoid using either tone. These tones won’t cause physical harm, however the will likely cause distress to a baby and that’s not the intended use of this information. Our ears lose sensitivity over time which is why adults often won’t be able to hear these tones and a child or teenager might.

I’ve found that these tones will usually silence a stray barking dog within 30 – 60 seconds and they work most of the time. The only time they don’t is when a barking dog is tied to a pole on a short leash and can’t leave (which is incredibly cruel on the part of the dog owner). In these cases, relocate –the dog’s already got problems.

I hope this solution helps you sleep better or get more done during the day! Did this travel tip work for you? Let me know in the comments.

Digital Nomad Blog - Michael Hulleman

These frequencies are used on us, too! (Bonus reading)

Hey! Still reading? Now that you know what a dog whistle sounds like (harder to hear the older you are), did you know that your devices –laptops, smart phone, smart TV (any thing “smart”, really)– are talking to each other using a similar sound frequency? That’s right. You’re not going crazy, you hear it sometimes if it catches your ear the right way.

Here’s a few news sources that have reported on it:

These signals aren’t just linking your profile to your own devices, it’s linking your profile to those around you. Sitting next to a terrorist in a bar unbeknownst to you? How about visiting your mistress 3 times per week? They know. And yet, no one’s doing anything to stop this.

Some say it’s making the bees screwed up, others blame it for making babies cry due to their sensitive ears.

What do you think?

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6 comments

  1. I’ve tried some of these — one issue is that your speaker has to be *very* powerful to overcome the distance. A barking dog next door may hear it, but one even 50 meters away may not.

    If you want to try it, however, there are some free apps on the official app stores available offline as well.

    1. Excellent point Chris. For myself, my Oppo F3 has a great speaker for this –whereas my old iPhone 5S was slightly less effective. With just my phone, I can make the neighbors dog stop barking early in the morning.

      I like using an MP3 much more than an app because it’s great to use with a Bluetooth speaker which solves the speaker output issue.

  2. Never expected to see such a useful tip or tool! My experience of dogs hasn’t been as positive as yours so main need is to feel a bit more confident when I feel threatened. Doesn’t happen very often but there is one dog on my current commute here in Malaysia that puts me on edge. We will be leaving here in a month so curious to see if Bali dogs leave me reaching for this now bookmarked post! Thanks for sharing Mike (and reply Chris).

    1. Glad you found it useful. Just be careful, in rare situations it may aggravate a dog –as I learned once on a late night walk to a 7-Eleven. But that’s 1 out of probably over 1,000. In just about every case, the dogs slowly walk away from the offending sound, not towards it. Maybe try it out on your own once or twice, it takes about 60 seconds before dogs start to take notice and walk away (which is just enough time to keep 20 feet between you and the dog when walking on foot).

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