San Diego Mobile Pet Grooming Blog
As professional pet groomers, we have to be great doggie communicators. We read a lot of what our furry friends are telling us from doggie body language, and we also get an earful of their vocalizations: everything from the yap-yap-yap that means, “I’m so excited you’re here” to the throaty rumble that lets us know they’re reaching the limits of their patience.
Dogs communicate using a variety of sounds. You’ve probably heard a throaty "woof," a high-pitched "yip" or "yap," a short-but-frequent "bark-bark-bark," and possibly even a baying, soulful howl. Different barks mean different things, and all those vocalizations can tell us a lot about what’s going on in our dog’s world, if we just take the time to figure out what they are saying.
One of the most common reasons a dog barks is to give an alert. Dogs have much keener senses of smell and hearing than us bipedal folk, so when our furry friends suddenly yip, woof or howl, they may simply be trying to let us know what’s up – even if we can’t sense what all the excitement is about.
There are many other reasons for barking, and each dog has a vocabulary of different vocalizations for various situations. Your dog could be barking to tell you that he is hungry, thirsty, or has to be let out to relieve himself. Your dog could be trying to warn you about something – possibly just the mailman’s arrival - or maybe something of greater consequence. Your dog may bark when you come home, or to let you know he’s in a playful mood. Continuous barking could be because he is bored or looking for attention. Some dogs suffer anxiety when left home alone and bark the whole time you are gone.
To better understand what your pet is trying to tell you, study them closely over a period of time. Notice whether your dog is “talking” with a bark, howl, woof, ruff or yap, and watch for visual clues like where your dog is standing, what he is doing, and what his body language is like each time he barks. If you listen and watch carefully and notice what types of vocalizations your dog makes in certain situations, you’ll soon be speaking his language!
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