Pooch Picks – Barking Mad

The domestication of our canine friends from their wild ancestors brings with it the common bark. Dogs use a variety of sounds to communicate with us, varying in frequency and pitch, to help us understand what they are experiencing. Low growls often express aggression or threat, whereas higher emissions are associated with excitement and play.

Like hoomans, a single high-pitched yelp indicates pain or surprise. If this continues with whimpering included, it is worth checking to see that your pooch is not fearful or suffering in some way. However, be aware that random noises whilst sleeping are common, and usually not cause for concern. Conversely, a low-pitched single bark is your pet’s way of warning it wishes to be left alone, often heard when it is the subject of unwanted attention.

A series of sharp, rapid barks are used when protecting their territory, as canines are warning their hoomans of potential threats, whereas non-stop barking may suggest separation anxiety. Dogs are social creatures and enjoy attaching to their loved ones; they may also howl when you are away from them, though this is often to communicate over larger distances.

Play shows the greatest variation in barking behaviour, but generally, a high-pitched sound means your pooch is excited. The stuttered bark, followed by bowing down and tail wagging, is an invitation for you to join in the fun!

Finally, we have the whine. This indicates a ‘need’ of some kind, whether it be attention, food, or simply to be close to you. Learning to recognise what different barks mean for your furry friend will strengthen the bond between you, and ensure a deeper understanding within the relationship. ❤

~ Tania Marie de Saram