When Your Dog Speaks To You, What Does He Say?
Were you even aware that your dog has a vocabulary of about 11 different vocalizations? Most of them are only made in the company of their other dog peers or companions. But there are four basic vocalizations saved for the master and his family, or even other human beings.
Those four pieces of vocabulary that are reserved for us homo sapiens are: howling, growling, barking, and whining.
All out BARKING; this could mean two different things for the master! It is either “I am here, I need your attention” OR “Go Away and Leave me Alone”. I found this kind of strange because I have never had a dog tell me to “go away” before. I am trying to think of an instance where my dog might tell me to “go away” because she is such a needy dog most of the time.
Perhaps that is why she is barking so loudly when someone comes to our front door? She is ready to lunge at anyone who enters through our front door. When I am expecting someone to come by the house, I simply ask them to call me before they get to my front door. It is at that time I move my dog to my bedroom and shut the door. She gets really annoying and somewhat aggressive at a knock or a doorbell. It is possibly that she is yelling “go away” to whoever it is that wants to come in.
As far as wanting my attention, I do not recall her barking for it. Actually, if she was barking to get my attention? Hmm, this would get her the opposite of what she is asking me for! She is much better at getting my attention if she simply comes and sits down in front of me. Not lying down, but sitting down and she occasionally will give me a quick look, then she averts her eyes in another direction. She knows when she has connected with me; she sees that I am looking at her and this causes her to get up and come very close with her tail wagging, and her tongue is out for kissing me.
Barking that has a high pitch to it; telling human parents that he wants something. This kind of barking is barely a bark, but has a very quick type of squeal to it at the same time. This is more of a happy type of bark; a very quick bark that seems to say in a polite way “oh, I am glad you are home now” or “please please, can I have a bite?”.
A dog that barks but with a low pitch added to it? This is a bark that seems to say that “I am defending MY territory here”. When he spots a forei]gner on his property (a bird or a squirrel) is a good example of when you will hear this kind of bark. Perhaps the dog has heard something but didn’t quite see what was causing the noise; this is when you will hear that low pitched bark coming up from behind those dog teeth.
Have you ever heard a dog that tends to be excited, or worried? There is some definite whining going on in this vocalization. Whining is a call for attention. Maybe some pacing back and forth, or even running the length of the backyard fence when he sees that you are headed his way. The dog will also use this tone when he wants to play with another dog or dogs.
Whining is meant to get the dog parent’s attention though. Whining is the closest thing to people speaking that your dog will ever accomplish; even much more so than doggy talk. It is also something that a shy or nervous dog might do. It could be that your dog has spotted an aggressive or a much bigger dog headed in his direction; he has become a nervous pup now and begins to whine; asking for your “help, please”. Perhaps your dog is in pain. Upon examination, if in pain, you will touch the spot that is painful for him; contact your vet immediately.
Anyone who knows their dog well, should be quite adjusted to some of their dog’s vocabulary. This is part of what a “dog whisperer” is reading when they observe your dog. These aren’t secrets; these dog whisperers just chooses not to share them with you because this is how they make their money.
Growling? A dog who growls is a dog to be taken seriously. A dog should never growl at their parent, pack leader, or master. This includes all people in the same home as the dog. If this happens, and is continuous, you will want to talk to your vet. Hopefully your vet will do the right thing and give you the name of a good dog behavior specialist.
Howling? This is actually like a long distance phone call from one howler to the next. Have you ever seen the movie 101 Dalmatians? The dogs in this movie were sending “howls” out to the dogs on down the road that trouble was coming. It is also a call out too when a dog is particularly lonely, especially if their pack leader is gone for a period of time. Their pack leader won’t know that their dog is making all of this racket because they are absent. But when their neighbors come to report this all day long noise, and investigate the reason behind it; they should feel flattered that their dog is smart enough to know that he has to howl extra loud and extra long, trying to find his pack leader who has been gone all day and is probably very far away from he house. The fact that your dog is smart enough to figure this out, should make his dog parents very proud and very happy.
Yawning! This is not a yawn like you or I have when we are tired, bored, or our brains simply are not getting enough oxygen. A dog yawn is something entirely different. It is a signal of distress. Yawning for a dog helps them to calm down. Simply watching another dog yawn will help to calm your dog if he is distressed. If your dog is worried or anxious, a big yawn is just the medicine that they need. They aren’t tired or bored if they give you a huge yawn when you are talking to them; but don’t stress about it. They still love you and you are still their best friend; you’re just stressing them out for some reason.
A mother dog will yawn to get her puppies to quiet down and go to sleep. When they are all excited, searching for something to eat and being extremely noisy, it becomes a stressful situation and all she has to do is sit up and yawn; those puppies will quiet right down and head off to dream world. Yawning also will lower their blood pressure temporarily.
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