Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Baark! On: Are you Paw-lingual? Part II.

How to be Paw-lingual: understanding your dog’s vocalization

Last week we wrote about body language; the primary method of communication for dogs. This week we focus on the vocalization of a dog as a secondary method of communication. Learning to discern the meaning your dog’s vocalizations can be a big step to a healthy dog- human relationship.

Yelps: Yelping is a good indication that the dog is hurt or anxious. Although some dogs, those who interact with humans more, can use this vocalization as a way to manipulate the situation for attention.

Whining: This is a sign of frustration for a dog. The whining is like our complaining, they do not have what they want yet.

Growls: This is a dog’s “back away sign”. Dogs growl at each other when they are encroaching on each other’s territory or food source. A dog will growl at people when he does not know the person or if you try to take away something that the dog believes is his. Growls do not indicate aggression; aggression is often silent in a dog. A growl is more of a warning sign saying, “I am not happy or comfortable with what is going on”.

Howls: We have all heard this in here in the Bahamas, all the dogs in a neighborhood begin to howl at once; but what does it mean? The howl is simply an attempt by the dog to locate his friends (or people). The howl acts somewhat like a primitive GPS system for the dogs.
This dog is whining, wanting to go outside.

Barks: Here we find most of our vocalizations, to describe them all would be overwhelming so let us direct you to some generalizations about barks.
It is important to first take note of the pitch of the bark. If the pitch is higher than normal these are a good indication that the dog is feeling insecure and possibly fear. If the overall pitch of the dog sound is lower than normal then the dog is most likely communicating a desire for dominance or asserting himself as a threat.
Barking indicates something needs attention, whether they feel threatened or are hungry, or sense something that you don’t yet. The bark is the dog’s way to alert their humans (and each other) to what is going on.

Now you are armed with knowledge of how to better understand your dog and therefore create a stronger human- dog bond. Enjoy!

Please spay and neuter your animals.
By ensuring your animal cannot produce more litters you are saving lives and decreasing the suffering of unwanted animals.  Please consider donating or helping with Baark!’s efforts to improve animal welfare in the Bahamas.
For more information contact us at or (427-SPAY) or visit our website

No comments:

Post a Comment