Why does my dog bark and what do different types of bark mean?
A dog barking is just as natural as humans talking. However, it can be very difficult to understand dogs' barks, not least because different barks can mean different things. The fact that different dogs bark differently, and in different ways, can also be quite confusing. Although you may recognise most of the barks that your own dog makes, it can be useful to be able to read different types of bark in different dogs. Below we go through everything you need to know about why dogs bark!
Why dogs bark
As we've discussed before, there are a number of natural explanations for why dogs bark. The most basic of them is that dogs communicate by barking, it's like their way of talking to each other as well as to others.
When dogs bark, they can communicate and express different emotions, just as we communicate and express different emotions through our speech. In turn, dogs can bark if they are scared, happy, angry, bored, or if they just want to say hello.
Common examples are dogs barking at other people or dogs, which can be because they are happy and want to say hello, or because they are scared, stressed or want to warn their surroundings and their owner/mother. Dogs also often bark when they are bored to get your attention. In other words, there are several reasons why dogs bark.
Different types of bark
For us, however, it can be difficult to understand what they mean by the different types of bark - for most people, dog barking sounds the same whether the bark expresses fear, joy, anger or stress on the dog's part.
Dogs' body language is therefore very important as it helps us to understand the signals in context. The surroundings, possible needs, situations and environment should also be taken into account when trying to get a grip on why the dog is barking and what type of bark it is. Although they may sound similar to us humans, dogs try to express different emotions.
Calls about physical needs
It's quite common for dogs to bark because they need something, in much the same way that babies bark when they're hungry, tired or have a tummy ache. Dogs can also bark when they are hungry, thirsty, need to pee or poop, bored or tired. Make sure your dog has everything it needs to prevent this type of bark.
Environmentally related rales
It is also common for dogs to bark because of something, or someone, in their environment. This could be anything from other dogs and people to chirping birds, passing cars, windy weather or a falling leaf.
Many times this is because the dog is scared, unsure, surprised, uncomfortable or stressed. Or it may be because the dog is happy, curious or excited. Getting used to this type of environmental noise is not overly difficult, but it can take a lot of practice. Especially if the dog is scared. Make sure you yourself are calm and collected and the dog will feel more secure.
Shells that show emotion
Last but not least, our dogs may bark because they want to express different emotions. For example, it could be that the dog is bored, stressed, happy, insecure or excited. Emotional outbursts often occur if the dog is under or over stimulated, but can also be related to the environment and surroundings, as well as needs and wants.