Why does my Dog Bark

Why does my Dog Bark? Is He Trying to Tell me Something?

Ruff. Arf. Woof. Bow-wow. Au-Au. Sound familiar? Yes, dogs bark – some more than others.  It is a fact and part of nature.  There’s more to a bark than what it seems like, which to some of us – is just a plain headache.  There are a number of reasons as to why your dog barks.  Keep reading to find out why your dog barks.

First, keep in mind that your dog barks as a means of communication similar to how a human gets his point across.  As your pet’s parent, you should be able to differentiate between the types of barks.  Pay close attention and you can ascertain the “why” fairly easily.  Each bark has its own unique meaning.  A few we will discuss below:

Security. Many dogs bark in an effort to alert their owner to something not being right or out of the routine.  Your dog’s trying to protect you from potential danger in the form of a stranger at the door, intruder or perhaps a sales-person approaching your gate.  This is an alert to the intruder to keep away!  A bark can be a territorial signal.  Letting anyone or anything know that this is “his” space and keep away.  You should always pay attention to your dog’s alert bark as it could be your warning that something is just not right.

Playfulness.  Many dogs bark when they are playing.  It will normally be a loud single bark.  Perhaps they are telling you to “get the ball” for them or “pay attention and let’s play”!  Next time you and Fido are playing around, listen to that bark so you can categorize it in the future.  This may be a bark you are already familiar with.  If not, shame, shame, shame.

Anxiety.  If your dog is upset, bored or anxious he may bark as well.  Again, a dog’s bark is totally natural.  When you leave, your dog’s barking could be his way of “calling” you to return.  After all, you are his pack leader. If your dog is an anxiety barker you need to work with him to calm his fears. Through positive reinforcement and praise in the presence of the stimuli, you can help your dog understand that there’s no need to fret!

Pain.  This bark could be a sort of yelp.  A single sound usually comes from your dog when they have been hurt.  You may recognize this one too.  You know, you just may have steped on your pooche’s tail or toe at one point or another, somewhere along the line.  I’m not pointing any fingers or anything but…well, you know. Some dogs even bark or whine when they don’t feel well similar to a baby crying.   The yelp could even indicate that a physical ailment exists and you definitely want to make a trip to the vet if it persists.

Remember, your dog can’t tell you what is bothering him so; his bark is a way to verbalize to you in his own way, what is going and what he needs.  Pay attention to each bark and what it signifies.  Do not simply punish your dog because he is “barking”.  Work with him and figure out what is taking place at that time.