Decoding the Dog Bark

Decoding the Dog Bark

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Have you ever wondered what your dog is trying to communicate when he seems to bark at nothing? For some dogs, barking seems to be a non-stop activity, especially if there is a leash or toy around. Here are some of the most common types of dog barks and what they mean:

  1. Rapid and continuous barking at midrange pitch โ€“ This is a sign that your dog is trying to alert his pack. They usually do this when an intruder comes into their territory. If the pace of the barking drops and the pitch gets lower, it means that the danger is closer and he is getting ready to defend himself.
  2. Barking in a rapid string, with intervals between each utterance โ€“ This is a sign that your dog suspects that there might be an intruder in the vicinity. It is a plea to the pack leader to look into it.
  3. Incessant or prolonged barking, with intervals between each individual utterance โ€“ This is a sign that your dog is lonely and is looking for companionship. This type of barking is most often seen when dogs are confined or left alone for a long time.
  4. A couple of short barks in the midrange pitch โ€“ This is the most typical dog greeting sound.
  5. A sharp, short, single bark in the low to midrange pitch โ€“ This is the bark a mother dog often uses on her puppies when she is disciplining them. It might also indicate that your dog is annoyed, like when he is disturbed from his sleep or if you pull his hair during grooming and so on.
  6. A sharp, short, single bark in the mid to higher range โ€“ This is every dog's staple surprised sound. If they repeat it more than once, it means they are calling you to come check something out. It is their way of alerting the pack to a unique and novel event. The same type of bark, a little longer, means that they are trying to call you towards themselves. Some dogs also use this kind of bark to indicate that they want to get out of the house. If they lower the pitch of the barking to midrange, it means that they are excited with your response.
  7. A short high pitched yelp โ€“ This is their response to sudden and unexpected pain. If it is a series of yelps, it means that they are responding to sever pain and fear.
  8. Rising bark โ€“ This is a little difficult to describe, although it is unmistakable after you have heard it once. It typically comprises of a series of barks, starting at midrange and slowly rising in pitch. This is a play bark and dogs use it during rough games and it indicates excitement.
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