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Dog Barking 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 cords.

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.

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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 system.

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 territory.

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.

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