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Leerburg Dog Training Blog

The best source for dog training news, tricks and treats, right from world class leaders in dog training.

The best source for dog training news, tricks and treats, right from world class leaders in dog training.

Why is My Dog Barking?

Dogs do things every day to tell us something. They run to the door when they are ready to go outside. They give us a ball when they want to play. We can usually pick up on what they are trying to tell us by observing their moves. But one thing that is harder to translate is a bark. Dogs bark all the time and all for different reasons. Here are some common barks and how you can interpret them.

One/Two Sharp Barks- Mid Range Pitch

This is the bark that you’re probably going to hear when you come home. This basically just means “Hello!” They are just excited to see you and want you to know they are there.

Yelp/Bark- High Pitch

This is not a good bark. One short bark usually is from a sudden pain that your dog experienced. However, if they keep doing these short yelps over and over, they are really hurting or scared. The series of yelps comes from intense fear. If you hear this, you should immediately go to your dog or stop whatever you are doing.

Continuous Rapid Barking- Mid Range Pitch

This type of bark tends to be a call to the pack. They are suspecting that something may be happening, like someone approaching and come into their “territory.” If there are some pauses in between, this means they are trying to say the same thing, but they are summoning the leader to investigate.

Constant Barks with Long Intervals

This may be most common when you’re not in the room with your dog. This may happen most when you’re not even home to hear it! When your pup barks like this, they are trying to see anyone is around. They usually want someone to play with and are lonely.

One Sharp Bark

There are two types of single short barks: one at low pitch and one at a higher pitch.  If it’s at a lower pitch, they are saying stop. They may do this when playing with another dog or if you are doing something they don’t like. At a higher pitch, it can be interpreted as a question. They are asking “What is this?” and they are surprised. If it happens multiple times, then they are calling for the pack to come investigate.

Stutter Bark

The only way to explain the bark is to write it. It sounds like ““ar-ruff” with a little stutter in the beginning before the bark. This means your pup wants to play!

While all of these barks are normal, sometimes a dog can bark too much. One way to reduce barking is to get your dog lots of exercise. This will tire them out and decrease their chances of barking at you. If your pup’s barking in the night or morning is really disrupting you, you could try a bark control collar. These give your dog a gentle correction when they bark so they understand when it is not okay.

It can be hard to figure out what your dog wants from you when they just keep barking. With these tips and also listening to your dog, you can build the communication between your pet, which will lead to better times for the both of you!

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  1. Avatar
    Rowena Fenstermacher
    August 26, 2017

    Very helpful. Our 10 month old German shepherd barks very little, but one short bark, repeated, is “Take a look out the window!” We have learned that she sees raccoons in the tree, a person in the yard, or deer at the edge of the yard, or a bunny outside the door. This is one bark we always check out.

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