Dogs bark, it is what they do and what they do well! We all know this but did you know that dogs have different barks for different purposes?
Some are friendly and some are not but the common factor is that all barks are a form of communication. Wolves will bark in the wild, it is not something they do often but they will when they need to warn their pack members of imminent danger. They bark discreetly and not in the same way as dogs, who tend to bark repetitively and loudly, wolves use an especially low-key kind of ‘whuf’.
A dog’s bark does vary depending on what he/she is trying to communicate at the time, if a dog is attempting to warn others it will generally begin by uttering a quiet and very low bark or growl which will gradually grow in its intensity. Dogs use this type of bark to warn of a potential danger and will then continue to bark until they feel the threat has vanished.
The alarm bark is a dog’s way of dealing with a problem which can be heard but not yet seen, the bark is normally a short one but carried out in a series of barks which normally cease when the dog observes some relevant action being taken. An alarm bark may occur for instance when the doorbell rings, the dog hears the sound but cannot actually see what the noise was. When you open the door the dog will normally stop barking, this sort of barking can also happen when a dog hears a car pulling up or car doors slamming shut.
Any type of prolonged barking normally indicates that the dog is unhappy about something, perhaps he/she has been left alone at home or is bored or wishes to be let out into the garden. One of my dogs has worked out if he sits outside the food cupboard at 8am and barks and barks he will eventually be fed, obviously a problem which requires some work!
A stop-start type of barking is a method employed by a dog who wishes to play, the dog is desperately attempting to gain someone’s interest and attention but does not want to seem too obvious. They bark a little and then stop to take note if anyone has actually heard them and then they start once again. Of course all the barking is always accompanied by plenty of body language which is usually easier to comprehend and read than the barking, dogs communicate more than you think and can tell their owners so much information if they take the time to interpret the signals displayed.
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