Different types of Dog barks and their meaning

Have you ever wondered what is the meaning of the different types of dog barks? Would you like to know whether a particular Dog hates you or loves you? Read on to understand the different types of Dog barks and their meaning.

Dog’s specified communication behaviours are most overtly visible in their barking styles. A Dog’s barking behaviour is based upon 3 dimensions: the pitch of the bark, the duration of the bark, and the frequency or repetition rate of the barks.

  • Low pitch vs. High pitch:Low pitched sounds like a growl usually indicate threats, anger and the possibility of aggression. One should not approach a dog who is making such growling noises. High pitch is mostly harmless barking where your dog may be trying to gain your attention. A good question is the reasoning behind this low versus high level of pitch. The answer lies in sizes. Most heavy things make low pitch noises as compared to smaller things. A Lion’s roar is one of the heaviest sound which can travel a long distance and strike terror in the jungle. Similarly dogs give a low pitch growl when they are trying to threaten someone in the nearby vicinity. Alternatively a high pitched signal like a whimper conveys that they are quite small and is an affectionate way to gain your attention.
  • The duration of barkingGenerally speaking, a longer the sound, like the threatening growl of a dominant dog means that the Dog has every intention of holding his ground and not backing down. Barking in smaller bursts conveys the some attention seeking behaviour or in case the Dog is in fear of something.
  • High frequency vs. low frequency barks:Barks which are repeated quickly indicate a high degree of excitement or urgency. On the other hand intermittent barking conveys only showing mild interest in something. A dog barking in multiple bursts and repeating them over and over is signalling that the situation needs your attention.

With our new understanding, let us try to decipher what these common types of barking might mean.

  • 2-4 rapid barks with pauses in between: This is the common classic bark where the dog is trying to ‘call the pack’ or you to come and take a look at something. So many of us love this dog ‘superpower’ where they can sense something suspicious much faster than we humans can.
  • Few high pitch ranged barks: You may come across these sounds as you are about to enter your home after returning from office. It is a typical greeting bark when the visitor is recognized as friendly. It just conveys the happiness of your dog upon seeing you.
  • Continuous barking with conscious pauses in between: Such barking is the result of a dog wanting some companionship of the pack or the humans.
  • A stuttered bark in a medium pitch: You may have seen your dog lie with his front legs flat on the ground with rear held high letting out a stuttered bark clearly imploring you to come and play with it.

What other barking sounds does your dog make and what do you think is the implied meaning behind those barks? Do share your insights under the comments section.

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