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Yes it's loud. But who started it!!

NoiseNet completed a job early this year as part of a trial of our technology.

A complainant had 4 small dogs and was upset about the noise levels from 3 large dogs on an adjoining property. NoiseNet completed a standard monitoring assessment for the complaint, and found during the 14 days of monitoring that there were a number of cases where excessive noise was detected (using 6min/hr day and 3min/half hr night as a reference criterion). A total of 4 exceedances were detected for all the dogs combined - all of these were AT NIGHT.

During our preliminary analysis we noted that a significant amount of the barking seemed to come from the small dogs and in agreement with our client we proceeded to carry out dog differentiation.

We do this by selecting multiple audio samples from each of the different dogs in the environment. These are then compared with every single bark heard during the 14 days of monitoring using a mathematical technique called geometric distance and this allows us to determine the best match for each bark.

image courtesy of boilingwords big dog, small dog

This allowed us to determine where the problem came from. The results were telling:

  • 40% of the barking was coming from the complainants dogs (although they didn't by themselves create any exceedances)

  • Only 1 exceedance existed once the complainants dogs were removed from the calculation

  • 80% of the serious barking sessions were INITIATED by the complainants dogs (determined by looking at the first bark in each barking session).

So, it proved in the end that the complainant could eliminate the noise nuisance themselves. There was also a case to be made against the owner of the larger dogs, but in reality it was the non-dog-owning neighbours who needed relief. So both residents were requested to take steps to reduce barking at the property.

This is a great example where the long-term monitoring available from NoiseNet provides insights that council rangers, no matter how diligent, will struggle to find out, and have even less ability to prove.

The council effectively closed out the noise complaint and the nearby residents can sleep more soundly.

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