Don’t you wish you could communicate with your dog? Wouldn’t it be much easier if your dog could just tell you when he / she had to go to the bathroom, or was hungry, or sensed danger? What if we told you that communicating with your dog could be easier than you think? Unlike differing human languages, the sounds that dogs and animals use to communicate are pretty similar among same species. Sound patterns and tones serve as identifying factors in communication. There is a uniform formula that makes up the way animals communicate. This formula is different for each species of animal. Each species has its own universal code made up of sounds identifiable by pitch and length. Dogs use various forms of barking to communicate with their owners and among themselves. In this article we’ve identified the main points you should understand about pitch, duration, and frequency of your dog’s bark. We’ve also compiled a list of the top 10 barks you should know and their meanings.
Understanding Bark Pitches
High pitched barking sounds usually indicate a sense of safety from a dog, it is almost a sound of affection, asking for attention, or asking if they can approach or granting permission to be approached. On the other hand, low pitched dog sounds indicate that your dog may feel threatened or invaded. Lower pitched dog sounds are usually a sign of aggression. Have you ever wondered why smaller dogs go really deep when the growl? It’s a self defense mechanism that signifies anger or proposes that another dog or a human should beware. Big Dogs use the same tactic when they want to show that despite their size, they are friendly and open to new experiences. When a large dog reduces it’s voice to a small whimper, it signifies that they are nice and they won’t bite or attack.
Understanding Bark Duration
Always remember, the longer the bark or sound from your dog, the more your dog is calculating or deciding on his/ her next move. A long growl or bark usually is simultaneous with the feelings of a threatened dog, or a dog with it’s guard up. The longer the bark, the more your dog is asserting his or her strength and power. Beware that a dog is not likely to let their guard down when they are presenting longer barks. Shorter barking duration are usually made by a dog that feels fear or feels that they are unable to defend themselves. The dog may be lacking confidence in the moment and feeling weak or unsure of its abilities to defend itself.
Understanding Bark Frequencies
The frequency of your dogs bark refers to the amount of time between each bark or sound. When a dog is barking very quickly or making sounds one after the other with only small intervals in between, they may be very excited or anxious in a positive way. Imagine how excited your dog is when you come home from a long day of work. He or she is breathing and barking very quickly while wagging its tail in excitement. On the other hand, if your dog is barking slower, with large gaps in between barks, they may be a little bored or unexcited by whatever may be causing them to bark. You may catch your dog barking in this manner at a small nonthreatening animal, or an inanimate object that struck their curiosity but not enough to actually take their full interest.
- Prolonged or Interminable Barking – (Barking with prolonged intervals) – Your dog is begging for your attention! They want some loving and they are asking for you to indulge them. When you hear this type of barking, take your dog out for a walk or throw them a toy.
- Ceaseless Rapid Barking (Usually at a mid pitch steady tone) – Check your home for a new visitor when you hear this bark. Dogs use continuous steady rapid barking tones as a sign for an invader or a problematic issue. You may hear your dog rapping in this manner when they feel that someone unwanted is in their territory.
- High Speed Barking without Pause: Another sign of invasion. Your dog could be getting anxious because they smell someone new, they may feel that someone or something is creeping up and posing a sign of danger.
- Singular low to mid pitched barking in short intervals – Uh oh! Your dog does not like what is going on and he wants it to stop. You may hear this sound if you accidentally step on your dog’s tail or if you pet him or her in an unwanted spot.
- Singular high to mid pitched barking in short intervals – Your dog is curious. He or she may have encountered something new and unexpected. Your dog may give a bark that reminds you of a human say “huh?”. Your dog is wondering what something is and may be trying to get your attention to find out more information.
- Singular or multiple mid pitched barking in short intervals – This is how your dog greets you! Your dog is saying Hello! Nice to meet you, or good to see you again! You may hear your dog barking like this in the presence of someone new and friendly who does not pose a threat.
- Singular High Pitched Yelp or Bark– Oops! Did your dog accidentally hurt themselves? This high pitched yelp or bark could be a sign of pain or unexpected discomfort from your dog.
- Multiple Stuttering bark at Mid Pitch – Your dog wants some fun time! Take your dog out to play catch or give them a nice belly rub. When you hear your dog barking in a stuttering tone he or she is in a playful mood!
- Multiple continuous series of High Pitched Yelps– Protect your dog! They may feel very scared or threatened in the moment. This is a great opportunity to check in with your dog and help them feel safe.
- Inclining Barking or a Rising Mid Range Bark– Your dog is playing rough and they like it. You may hear your dog making this noise during a friendly play time with another dog, don’t be alarmed, rising barks means your dog is having fun!