Do you Speak Dog? Learn What your Dogs Sound Means

    dogs do speak

    Do you speak dog? Every dog makes sounds. How many sounds does your dog make? Is she a barker or howler? Do you ever wonder what your dogs sounds mean? Do you know what she is trying to say? Yes, I said say. Some people say dogs don't speak. I say they do, but only to those who listen. It's important to listen but it's even more important to understand what they are trying to communicate.  Sometimes they are communicating happiness and other times they are communicating fear. Do you know the difference?

    These are the five most common types of sounds your dog can make in order to speak with you.

     The five most common types of sounds

    • Barking
    • Whining/Whimpering
    • Growling
    • Howling
    • Sighing/Groaning
    1. Barking

    Your dog is barking, now what. Why is she barking?  She can be barking for a couple of reasons. Most common, is to alert you. She could be barking to alerting you to something she sees, or something she things is dangerous.  Alter barking is usually sharp. The next most common is demand. She could be barking to demand food, play or potty. Demand barking is usually a monotone sound.  The last most common reason for a bark is distress. She could be barking because she is experiencing anxiety. Anxiety could be from isolation or separation. A distress bark tends to be a high pitch sound.

    1. Whining/Whimpering

    Is your dog making a nasally high pitched sound with her mouth closed?  She is probably whining.  She may be whining because she wants something. Some dogs whine/whimper when they need to go outside, just want attention or she may be feeling frustrated because she is separated from her master.  Most adults view the whine/whimper as a dogs cry. A whimper or a yelp can also mean your dog is in pain. If your dog is extremely excited, they can whimper. When you leave her for a long period of time and return, does she make a sound? She is most likely whimpering in a sign of excitement. Excitement whimpering is unusually followed with jumping, licking and possibly barking. 

    1. Growling

    We have all heard our dog growl and one time or another. Your dog is most likely growling to warn you she is not comfortable. Consider the situation, and try to make her more comfortable. Is there a stranger that she is not familiar with? Are you at the dog park, and she is trying to warn you of a dog she feels frightened by? Growls are most often a warning that serious aggression may ensue if you persist in whatever is going on around her. Now is she is just softly gurgling, she is probably happy and just playing with a new friend.  Her body language will assist you on learning the difference between a growl and a gurgle. When in doubt or if you are uncertain, it is always best to remove her or the threat that creates her behavior.

    1. Howling

     Some dogs will never howl. Some dogs love to howl. Howling is a noise they make to communicate with others. Howling is sometimes triggered by a high-pitched sound such as a police siren, or high pitched music. Some dogs howl out of separation of distress.

    1. Signing/Growing

    Did you just hear that? It sounds like your dog just sighed.  Well, she probably did if she is content. Now if she just groaned, it probably means she is disappointed.  Ever notice when your dog is circling to settle down and nap, it is sometimes is followed by a sign? She is telling you she is comfortable and content. Now your dog has been demanding play from you and you just don't have the time. She finally gives up and drops to the ground. If at that time, she lets out a grown, she is probably disappointed that you didn't play.

    Some dogs may use all five common sounds. Others may just master two or three. Regardless of how many sounds she makes, she is totally talking to you and trying to communicate her wants and needs.

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