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    Why Do Dogs Bark?

    Dogs seem to bark all of the time, but did you know that each bark is different? A dog’s bark is their natural way of communicating with humans and, of course, other dogs. There are lots of reasons why dogs bark, though, and it’s important to understand what kind of stimuli can trigger a dog bark so you can understand what they’re trying to communicate. 

    Reasons for Dog Barking 

    While the constant barking of some dogs may lead to the assumption that dogs just generally love barking all of the time, dogs don’t just bark for the sake of it. Dogs aren’t barking to annoy you, nor are they barking as revenge for the scraps that went into the bin rather than their bowl. 

    Some dog breeds have a tendency to bark more than others, with some dogs originally being bred for the sole purpose to bark at intruders. Such dogs can use their loud barks to protect homes, scare off unwanted visitors, and even lure out prey for bird hunters. Some other dog breeds, such as the Basenji, don’t really bark at all, but have their own special ways of communicating with humans. 

    Generally speaking, each dog bark is different, just like our own human voices. If you’re wondering why dogs bark, pay close attention to the pitch and sounds they make. Use this information alongside the below knowledge of bark responses to determine what’s causing it. 

    Barking as a Warning or Alert 

    Dogs are often the first to let you know if there’s someone approaching your house and will do so by barking. This could be strangers passing by or someone knocking at the door. This sound of bark is loud and authoritative. They want their voices to be heard clearly as some dogs’ reaction to an alert is part of their instinctive behavior to protect the homes they live in. 

    Anxiety 

    Separation anxiety in dogs is pretty common. This is often a high-pitched, yelping sound of bark that is often accompanied by whining shortly afterward. It’s not just separation anxiety that can trigger anxious barking, common fears and phobias in dogs can trigger it too. Be sure to address the root cause of this anxiety so your dog doesn’t suffer. 

    Barking for Attention 

    Of course, there are times where dogs will simply bark as a way of saying “hey, look at me!”. This will usually be a loud, excitable bark, accompanied by the wagging of their tail, although some dogs can also whine if they think that’s a better way of getting their owner’s attention! 

    Playful Barking / Excitable Barking 

    Similar to barking for attention, playful or excitable barking is distinguishable by the behavior of your dog and the pitch of the bark. Dog barks that are playful sound more upbeat and sometimes jump dramatically between pitches like a piece of chaotic music. 

    Barking in Response to Other Dogs 

    When dogs start barking, it’s often because there are other dogs about. It’s a scenario that all dog owners are familiar with and one that isn’t necessarily merrier the more dogs there are! 

    Dogs Barking for Boredom 

    Dogs can often bark just to keep themselves occupied. If they’ve not had any interaction in a while, they might just want to hear the sound of their own voice. Similar to excitable barking, the tone can jump up and down but sound more melancholic. Sometimes they’ll be accompanied with short bouts of yelping or heavy sighing. 

    Is Your Dog’s Barking Cause for Concern? 

    There are times when a dog’s barking can become troublesome. If your dog is acting aggressively towards yourself, people you know, or other dogs, it’s important to take the necessary steps to address it. Similarly, if your dog is barking in response to a fear or phobia, it’s important to identify the relevant fear and work with your dog and vet to ensure it doesn’t become a major issue. 

    Unfortunately, a dog’s bark can also reveal underlying health conditions and might be your dog trying to communicate with you that something isn’t right. To avoid making such issues more difficult than they ever need to be, it’s important to make sure you’ve got dog health insurance so you’re covered against the risk of unaffordable vet bills.