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What Your Dog’s Bark is Really Telling You

chihuahua barking blogYour dog may not be able to use words, but if you pay attention, there’s a good chance you can understand what he’s trying to communicate! Dogs bark differently depending on the situation they’re in. Below are a few common things canines try to communicate with their barking:

“I’m lonely”

Prolonged or incessant barking, especially when a dog is left alone, is probably a sign of loneliness and boredom. If you know your dog barks like this while you’re away, there are a few steps you can take to combat the situation. Be sure he gets plenty of exercise before you leave the house so that he’ll be more inclined to rest, and leave toys or a food puzzle to keep him occupied. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you might consider a dog walker or doggy day care. Dogs are social creatures and need stimulation and interaction to promote happiness and ward off problem behavior, like barking.


A single yelp or a high pitched bark is indicative of sudden, unexpected pain. Just one yelp probably means the injury isn’t serious, but be sure to check your dog out thoroughly just in case. A series of yelps typically indicates that a dog is really hurting or scared.


Some dogs don’t have great manners when it comes to saying hello. This might result in a bark or two at a lower to mid-range pitch.

“Stop that!” 

A single, sharp bark (possibly accompanied by a growl or a snarl) likely means your dog is telling another dog or person to knock it off. If your dog displays this behavior, it’s probably a good idea to remover her from the situation.


A continuous, rapid bark usually means your dog is alerting the rest of the pack to a potential danger like an intruder. It’s not uncommon for this type of bark to be triggered by something as innocent as the doorbell ringing.

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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Debbie December 2, 2015, 12:23 pm

    What does constant whining mean? I’m sure it’s habit and she’s learned it somewhere (she’s a rescue), but how do I get her to stop, or just tone it down? She’s not in pain or distressed–other than just wanting more attention (or a treat or…). She’s a strong-willed Dachshund, probably about 10 years old now. I know I have to be firm and consistent… but can you suggest any other tips that might help?

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