Why Dogs Bark


Often times, we all ask why are dogs bark? We all know that dogs descend from the wolves and that being their descendants; we also know why dogs howl. But why do they bark? One answer I could give right away would be “because they can”. It’s pretty much like asking why people talk! Dog however bark more often than wolves do. Wolves are more known for their howling, the kind that gives us the creep whenever we hear one.


There comes a time when our dogs can’t seem to stop barking. Since barking is one of the many vocal communications for dogs, it’s understandable why they bark when they see other dogs and this also pleases us coz it alerts us when people approach or when they want something or something bad is happening. 


Dogs bark to communicate just like us. They have this different pitches and sounds that convey different thoughts and emotions to another dog. We should not be surprised if our dogs bark but we should worry if they don’t. Barking is one way of letting us know as well of how they feel and how they think. It’s pretty much like wagging their tail when we arrive to show that they are happy. 

The bark has evolved into a complicated means of communication between dogs and, potentially, between dogs and people, says a group of animal behaviourists, or ethnologists that includes Dorit Feddersen-Petersen at Christian-Albrecht’s-University in Kiel, Germany.


There are also long lists of reasons why they bark. We pet owners have indirect effect on their barking and the different nature of the barking. It has been suggested that the reason for the difference lies in the dog's domestication by humans. An increased tendency to bark could have been useful to humans in providing an early warning system. Domestication has altered the physical appearance of dogs. Individual dogs bark for a variety of reasons. They may bark to attract attention, to communicate a message, or to express excitement.


When a dog goes to his owner and deliberately barks, it is simply meant to attract attention. You must try to guess his general behaviour, rather than from the particular form or pitch of bark he makes. The howling or baying of hunting dogs is an instinctive hunting cry informing the pack that the dog is on a trail. Barking at strange noises is a warning as well as a threat display.


Natural catastrophe or calamities has this certain effect on animals that make them restless. Often thunderstorms and lightening make them cower due to the anxiety they feel. Even simple thud could trigger them to bark. Gunshots and fireworks make most dogs uneasy and unruly.


Most of us tend to shout or hurt our dogs when they bark. This is a no no! They most we could do are to train them or discipline them in a firm but gentle manner. Make the experience as positive as you can. Do not over react to our dogs when they bark as this is their nature. It is natural for them to bark at things they don’t know or they think is a threat. The more we try to silence them, the more they will bark.


But there as cases when their barking can be excessive. It’s very important to identify its cause and your dog’s motivation as barking serves a variety of functions before you start considering it as a barking problem. Every type of barking serves a distinct function for a dog, and when he is repeatedly rewarded for his barking, which means, if he gets what he wants-he learns to use barking to his benefit. For example, dogs who successfully bark for attention often go on to bark for other things, like food, play and walks. For this reason, it’s important to train your dog be quiet on cue so that you can stop his attention-related barking and teach him to do another behaviour instead-like sit or down-to get what he wants.


Now barking that is a behaviour problem may result from one of several different issues. The key is to first identify the cause of the barking and then to change your dog’s triggers. As a pet owner, you have to know or identify why your dog is barking just by its specific bark. For instance, a dog’s bark sounds different when he wants to play as compared to when he wants to come in from the yard.


It’s crucial to determine why your dog is barking. It will take some time to teach your dog to bark less. Unfortunately, it’s just not realistic to quick fix or to expect that your dog will stop barking altogether. It’s extremely impossible that this would happen. It’s pretty much like a person. A person can’t stop talking suddenly! Not unless it’s traumatized or dead. Now we don’t want that. Our goal should be to decrease, rather than eliminate, the amount of barking. Bear in mind that some dogs are more prone to barking than others.


Our tolerance to dogs barking varies with each person. Some can tolerate extreme levels of barking while others cannot. Canine barking however can be a nuisance to neighbours, and is a common problem dog owners or their neighbours may face. Thus we have to consider out neighbours’ tolerance as well. Different kinds of barking often require different kinds of approach to reduction.