One of the most common and normal behaviors of all dogs is barking. It’s simply something that they do in terms of issues such as hearing strange noises or noticing strangers approaching the home. Many people wish that their dogs were actual watch dogs, that way they can be alerted to anything unusual that may be happening or about to happen. However, dogs can also bark at inappropriate times as well. In fact, three most recent studies have shown that at least 2/3 of dog owners who took part in the studies themselves reported excessive barking in their dogs.
In order to fully be able to control the amount of barking in our dogs, it is important to first understand exactly why the dogs are actually barking.
TYPES OF VOCAL COMMUNICATION IN CANINES
Dogs use many different types of noises as forms of communication. For example, when dogs are puppies, they typically utter a noise that sounds like a mewing-type noise whenever they are searching for food or something to help keep them warm. If a puppy uttered a louder noise, that generally means one of two things: they are either frustrated or they are hurt. Older dogs will typically make five different types of noises in terms of communication:
This type of communication in canines is generally used as a form of long-range communication in many different types of circumstances. While this behavior is thought to be more common with wolves, it is actually common in dogs as well. While wolves will typically howl to find other members of their pack or signify their territorial boundaries, dogs will generally howl as a reaction to various types of activities. For example, if an ambulance or police car passes by with their siren blowing, a dog may howl as a reaction to that.
Canines will generally growl for various reasons:
One big way to tell the reason why a dog is growling is by observing their body language. For example, if a dog is growling in order to be aggressive, then their growls will generally be followed by a snarl and/or a stare. Furthermore, the dog will remain in the same position in this situation. However, in terms of playing, dogs will generally growl during this time as well; however, you will know that they are playing when the dog bows and wags their tail. In addition, they will also move and/or jump a lot.
Think of dogs grunting as being the equivalent of people sighing. Dogs also use this behavior as a way to greet other people and even other dogs.
Dogs will generally whine for a few various reasons:
*Greeting other dogs
More often than not, dogs will use whining noises as a way to get attention, and oftentimes, they are rewarded for that very thing. For example, the first sound a puppy may make is a whining sound, especially when they are left alone at night for the first time. By giving the puppy repeated attention, you would essentially be reinforcing this kind of behavior and signifying to the puppy that it’s OK to continue it.
This behavior is undoubtedly the most common type of behavior in all dogs that can also come as a result of repeated encouragement by humans. However, there are certain breeds of dogs who may have actually been bred to bark, especially if they are watchdogs or if they herd animals. Dogs may also turn to barking for various reasons:
*Alerting and warning others
WHY DO DOGS BARK?
As previously mentioned, dogs will bark for various reasons. Perhaps the most common reason is to alert their owners to something suspicious, such as a burglar. This kind of barking can increase in noise and speed as the intruder gets closer to the house. If a dog is looking to show aggression, these kinds of barks will typically be low and often will be combined with growls.
Barks that are simply looking for attention are generally uttered by puppies rather than older dogs. Obviously, this is done in order to get you to focus your attention on them. While these may be hard to ignore, it’s important to do whatever possible to make this happen.
Barking in terms of playing can often be sharp, yet short, and can come when a dog gets a little too excited during play. Typically, time-outs will work to help rectify this kind of situation.
If, in the event, your dog starts barking in response to another dog barking in the area, there is no need to worry. They are simply doing this as a way to let them know that they are there.
If a dog barks out of boredom, this is typically because they need a form of outlet for all of their energy, as well as helping to create an environment that is more stimulating for them.
If a dog is lonely, they will generally resort to barking, especially if they are experiencing separation anxiety. This kind of barking can increase in speed and sound if they become more anxious and stimulated. This is something that can not only be annoying for you, but your neighbors as well.
If a dog experiences an unfamiliar movement or sound, they will generally bark as a response to this. Many people resort to training bark collars to limit or control the barking as it worsens. This is another kind of barking that needs to be controlled in such a way that it eventually stops.