Understanding a dog’s barking: deciphering

A dog’s barking is part of its language, expressing significant emotions that you must learn to decipher. This expert guide invites you to explore the different situations in which your pet barks and will help you better understand his barking. On the other hand, if your pet never barks, a veterinary consultation is quickly necessary.

The origins of dog barking

In order to better understand the main reason why dogs bark, we must go back to their ancestors: the wolves. These canines let out howls, somewhat frightening, to announce imminent danger or a forthcoming attack. The dog, close to the wolf, can deploy untimely and painful barks, nevertheless, they warn of a threat. Moreover, some breeds bark more than others, it is written in their genes:

  • Terriers, Beagles and Westies, as well as hunting dogs are known to bark frequently.
  • Rottweilers, Siberian Hushies, Great Danes and Newfoundlands bark in a more moderate way.
  • the Bassenji or Levrier are more silent.

Characteristics and differences of barking

There are specific criteria that define the different barks of a dog. The duration of the bark, its repetitions and its tones depend on it.

  • A short bark is primarily instinctive.
  • A long bark indicates that something disturbing is going on.
  • Close barks indicate a certain state of stress.
  • Distant barks are not worth your attention.
  • A high-pitched tone is a sign of excitement or just plain joy.
  • A low tone indicates fear or existing threats.

It is important to distinguish between pathological barking and natural barking that stops after the animal has satisfied itself (relieved itself). In this case, it is better to be observant and attentive to your pet. You will know if it is due to a lack of education or physical suffering. This barking may express a feeling of affection (at the time of a caress), an excitement (during a game or a walk), a fear (unwanted presence of a person or another animal). Be careful if your pet is on the defensive, a bite may follow. Finally, some whines are a source of anxiety or signal an instant need.

The language of the dog finally decoded

My dog is bored

Left alone for too long, your dog will bark at anything: a noise in the house, a shutter slamming in the wind, a pedestrian or cyclist on the road.

My dog is anxious

If your dog has not learned to stay alone at home or in your apartment, he will bark at every moment. Therefore, he must be able to relieve his natural needs in full autonomy, at the risk of not becoming clean or of damaging your furniture.

My dog is aggressive

With his bristling hair, growling and visible canines, he guards your property and protects it against malicious intruders. Or, his hunting instinct prompts him to catch a prey or a passing pest. In front of another domestic or wild animal, and in front of a particular person, he may appear threatening to defend his territory or his master.

The law protects against barking

A collective and respectful agreement requires the respect of neighborhood rules. Indeed, the Public Health Code (article R1336-5) “No particular noise must, by its duration, repetition or intensity, be detrimental to the tranquility of the neighborhood or to human health, in a public or private place, whether a person is himself or herself at the origin or through a person, a thing in his or her custody or an animal placed under his or her responsibility” allows you to be protected against too much repetitive barking.

Also, the mayor of a municipality can take a municipal decree and penalize any owner of a barking dog, after the observation of noise pollution.

In short, you understand the translation of your dog’s barking, linked to its behavior or to a natural need. With time and experience, your beautiful complicity gives way to an obvious mutual understanding. If any doubt persists, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian.