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The sound of barking dogs are the bane of most people, especially if it is excessive and in the middle of the night. Dogs do bark, though, and the cause of this behavior is varied. Most pet owners will have some inkling about the communication occurring in their pets’ bark. But there are several reasons why a dog feels compelled to sound off.

The team at Conrad Weiser Animal Hospital is here to decode the mystery of the bark and the purpose it serves our four-legged friends.

What Does a Bark Mean?

While there are some breeds that don’t bark, collectively speaking, barking is the signature sound of our canine companions. Dogs vary in their barks, from high-pitched wailing to assertive “get back” warning barks. A bark can be a cute way your pet gets attention or it can be the cause of problems with your neighbor. So, why does your dog bark, you may wonder?

  1. The rapid-fire bark – This continuous bark alerts the pack to gather together. Usually, the tone is a medium pitch, but the barking is steady and fast. It’s like a call to action with other dogs (and you) to join together.
  2. Lengthy, excessive bark – This bark verges on howling and moaning. This bark is the tale-tell sign of loneliness and is the calling card of a dog who has separation anxiety, or spends too many hours alone and bored.
  3. Howdy bark – This is a greeting bark whose pitch is between medium and high. It’s a one or two bark sequence that greets you or other familiar members of the pack.
  4. Stop it bark – A single, distinct bark at a lower tone is a sign that your pet is unhappy with whatever is occuring. It is a warning sign to stop.
  5. Ouch bark – This yelp or quick high-pitched bark is a sign of sudden pain in your pet, such as an injury or accident. If the yelp continues into rapid barking, then the pain is progressing. Obviously, your pet requires immediate veterinary attention.
  6. Happy bark – When your dog is excited you are home, or is having fun at the dog park, this high-toned, single bark is responsive. Usually they are signaling their pleasure in play or when they see you.
  7. Ruff-and-rumble bark – This low pitched, ruff-ruff bark is an invitation to play. This occurs when dogs are together in a playful environment (doggie daycare or park) or a situation where everyone is relaxed.
  8. I might bite bark – A low-pitched grumble, accompanied by growls, are the distinct signature of aggression. Your dog may be warning someone that they might bite. 

When a Bark Is a Bother

Because there are so many things that your dog may tell you through their barks, it’s understandable why dogs bark as much as they do. They seemingly attempt to understand us and our speech, and the only way they can signal their needs and feelings is through these sounds. Unfortunately, dog barking can venture into problems.

If your dog is barking excessively, there are a few reasons that may need to be addressed. Chronic barking can mean your pet is suffering from separation anxiety, fear, boredom, and pain. To get to the bottom of this problem, phone our team.

When Your Dog Barks

You probably know what your best furry pal is saying when they bark their chit-chat with you. It’s exciting to learn more about the ways of our pet companions and why they do what they do. Through this understanding, the bond is strengthened.

For more information about dog barks and other behaviors, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us!