Thursday, August 5, 2010

Different Sounds Dogs Use To Communicate

There are typically three types of sounds that dogs use to communicate barking, howling, or growling. Depending on the breed some dogs may only use one of the sounds. In the case of the Basenji, which are the exception to the rule, not using any of the sounds.

  • Barking is the sound a dog makes when it wants to alert. Barking can alert someone or perhaps another dog that there is danger maybe someone has driven into the driveway or another dog has entered their territory. Barking can be used to warn someone/dog not to come any closer out of fear or aggression. Barking can be used to communicate that they are excited to see you. It can also be used as a way to get your attention say to go outside, go for a walk, or maybe just pet me.

  • Howling is something you think of a pack of wolves doing in the moonlight. Howling is used to welcome back or a joining together of the pack. Some dogs will howl when their owner comes home, while others will never howl. Once one dog joins in then you can have a whole chorus going on. Some dogs will howl when someone begins to sing. I don't think its a compliment you just sound like a howling dog to them.

  • Growling is another sound dogs make to warn. Often they are warning you that you are doing something that is making them uncomfortable. Some dogs can be uncomfortable with touch and will growl to warn that the touching needs to cease. Ignoring a growl can end with a bite because you never heeded the warning.
Learning to recognize what your dog is saying can help build your lines of communication.

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