Sounds - When You're in the Dark About Your Dog's Bark
By Michael Lee
To the average person's ears,
dog barking sounds are merely animal vocalizations.
To the grumpy old neighbor, the noise may be a menace. But as
any dog lover knows, dog barking sounds are
a canine companion's way of communicating. And like the indulgent
master that you are, you might even engage him in conversation!
It isn't fully understood why
dogs bark, or how they managed to stray from their next of kin-wolves-for
that matter. Though wolves may bark from time to time, they
are more inclined to howl or bay-and for good reason, unlike
their domesticated descendants, which seem to find every occasion
imaginable as a perfect opportunity to exercise their vocal
Wolf cubs, however, do most of
the barking. This fact-along with many other similar physical
features they share with dogs, as well as habits like the tendency
to be submissive-has led experts to theorize on neoteny. Neoteny
is a condition where adults retain juvenile traits. In this
case, dogs and young wolves seem to exhibit like behavior.
Another possible explanation could
be the phenomenon of domestication itself. When humans and dogs
first got together in a symbiotic relationship of mutual benefit,
the former found in the latter a most convenient and effective alarm
The barking warned them and prepared
them against impending danger from predators, marauders, and other
intruders. And so the barking was encouraged, even highly prized,
which is why some breeds-like hunting dogs, for example-are significantly
louder and more vocal than others.
The many instances when a dog barks
can include the expression of an emotion (loneliness, elation, excitement,
stress, fear, etc.); when a dog is feeling hungry or neglected;
when he hears other dogs barking or when he hears strange sounds
he is unaccustomed to; and sometimes, he barks simply because he
feels like it.
Your pet may bark when you leave
him home alone, especially if he suffers from separation anxiety,
and he will bark his approval once he senses you approaching the
front door after you've been gone the whole day.
There are two types of barking-the
warning bark and the alarm bark.
The first starts out as a rumbling,
low-pitched growl (playful dog barking sounds have
a higher frequency), which gradually increases in volume and intensity
as a full-blown howl meant to show dominance and aggression. It
is usually employed when in the presence of a perceived threat and
a dog may feel the need to fight back and defend himself and his
The second type, on the other hand,
is not hostile and is simply a dog's way of calling his master's
attention to something in particular that needs it, such as a ringing
phone or a car pulling up in the driveway. And he won't stop barking
unless these events are taken care of by his master.
Sometimes, a dog's barking can get
a bit too much to handle and you'll want to know how to get him
to stop when his barking is unnecessary. Give your puppy the proper
training early on. Do not reinforce the behavior by petting or soothing
him while he makes a racket. Instead, reward him once he's settled
down and don't forget to praise him lavishly. This is reassurance
to him that he is doing the right thing by being quiet and will
likely avoid barking too much as he does not wish to displease you.
Now that you've read up on dog
barking sounds, perhaps you'll be able to understand what
that furry friend of yours is trying to tell you. Or perhaps, as
with any dog lover, you've known all along.
viewing and use of this website signifies your agreement, acceptance,
and understanding of our: