What’s in a Bark?

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Dogs bark. It’s a fact of life. Some bark more than others, some howl, some yip, some have a deep resounding bark. It’s one of the ways that dogs communicate with us.
What's in a Bark

Sally was probably what I would call an average barker. She’d let out a bark or two when someone knocked at the door but then that behavior would be replaced with excited tail wags and greetings. She also had different barks. A quick yip when she wanted our attention, a low rolling bark when she was sounding the alarm or a excited happy serenade when she was playing a rousing game of chase.

Tino didn’t bark much, he would bark at strange people or noises that came near his property and he also liked to howl at sirens or the ice cream truck. But overall he was kind of a quiet old soul.

Our most prolific barker was Becca. Becca barked a LOT. She would bark whenever someone came to the door of course, but she also liked to bark at the birds and rabbits in our yard…and we have a lot of birds and rabbits, so Becca barked a lot. When we got Jack after Tino passed, Jack picked up on Becca’s noisy barking and was quite a barker himself. Both Jack and Becca had those deep, deep barks. Jack still barks on occasion, but it’s very infrequent. Sometimes he’ll bark at the gardener in the yard if he happens to see him, but he’s pretty quiet.
Maggie has never barked. She has never made a sound since we adopted her four years ago. Nothing has sparked her to make a noise. Seems odd, but she’s kind of a quirky dog anyways.
If you pay attention, you’ll be able to discern by the tone, frequency and volume what message your dog is sending. I wanted to post some different dog barks to see if we could discern the different messages behind the barks, but you have to pay a licensing fee for any sound files, so instead I found this on YouTube. TWELVE HOURS of dog barking – just in case you don’t have enough at home.

How about your dog – do they have different barks and do you recognize them?

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  1. Our huskies were howlers but no barkers, so it was a challenge with Easy who is… well… very verbal :lo)
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  2. Sam’s not too overly vocal, only when someone (aka the ‘serial killer’ mail lady) comes to the door. It’s hilarious when he stifles that voice when corrected. It’s as if the bark got stuck deep in his throat. 🙂

  3. It’s so funny because I totally know Cocoa’s barks. When she is upset or mad or bored or crazy!!
    Julie recently posted…Party at the VetMy Profile

  4. Luckily for us (and our neighbors) Eko and Penny fit the Ridgeback mold of not being barkers. If we hear one of them bark or growl, we know they think something is seriously amiss.

  5. Pierre loves to bark at squirrels, lizards, dogs, or people walking anywhere near our home. Bentley doesn’t bark at squirrels or lizards but he joins Pierre in letting people and dogs to steer clear of our yard. We are working on his howl. He has only done it a couple of times in the car as we drive for a walk on the trails. Yes, we are the couple howling in the front seat of our car with a Basset & Westie in the back. LOL!
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  6. Cash is not a big barker, but he is a big whiner. That said, his one and only baby daughter came for a visit this week-end, and she is a huge barker (like her momma was). Most of her barking took place when she was in a pond with him, as she had not yet mastered swimming – only running around the bank and barking (mad) at her daddy because he would swim and swim to his heart’s content. With the help of her human daddy, she began to swim and fetch sticks in the water, and thus, the barking ceased because she could do what her daddy was doing – and she took all sticks right out of his mouth while he was swimming as he is the most wonderful daddy. She also barked if he and I got too far ahead of her while running (I was on an atv) as if to tell us to ‘slow down!’
    Marcia Weiser recently posted…Mother whose child died from brain-eating amoeba warns othersMy Profile

    • Well she was sure communicating her feelings!
      mkob recently posted…What’s in a Bark?My Profile

  7. We don’t really bark much, just howl, but Mom can tell by our howls what we are doing it for most of the time.
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  8. I’ve got an occasional barker and growler. Jax seems to prefer to growl when he’s trying to warn me about something. Harley barks for doorbells, mail trucks, and of course “Harley Davidson bikes” 🙂

  9. Yup mine have different barks, I like it thou that Gamn doesn’t bark.
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  10. Shadow howls at sirens and train whistles; and once in a while Ducky will join in. Callie used to howl right along with Shadow, but always waited for Shadow to start. When they were younger, their barks were usually happy ones – unless the one neighbor was outside – and Shadow is still that way. Ducky barks at everyone and everything. And her barks are pretty distinguishable if you pay attention to the body language as well.
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