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Understanding Different Dog Barks: What’s That Bark Mean?

Just like people speak in different tones to express their feelings, dogs use different barks to express themselves. This goes beyond the simple barks, growls, and whimpers many pet owners are already aware of and expands to include the different expressive pitches dogs use. If your dog sees a stranger on the porch, their bark will differ from when they see a furry friend. Understand the different barks and uncover what that bark means!

“I’m Happy”

Whether you’re playing together or you’ve just arrived home from a long day at work, your pup may let out a bark or two. A playful bark has a higher pitch. You can detect the emotion by listening to the pitch, frequency, and duration of barks. The more frequent they are, the more urgent the message is.

If your dog lets out several high-pitched barks in a short period, they want you to share their excitement! Likewise, your pup may bark a bit when someone comes to the door—if the bark is high pitched and frequent, your dog’s just saying hi.

“Let’s Play”

Plenty of dogs make the sound of a bark that’s not quite a bark. Instead, it’s low and gruff with a bit of a rumble to it. When a dog goes “harr-ruff” while wagging their tail, it means they want to play! Plenty of pooches do this when they watch the neighborhood from a front window.

“Back Off”

Unlike the previous two barks, this one isn’t so friendly. The growl may sound drawn out, resulting in a longer duration between each bark. Note that a warning bark has a deep pitch. Regardless, this is a warning that your dog needs some space.

“Attention, Pack”

Many doggy-professionals also say there’s a “call the pack” bark. While this is a warning bark, it’s not to tell you to back off but rather to warn you of threats. You can detect this bark by listening carefully. If your dog lets out a few low barks and pauses between each, then danger may be nearby.

Extra Info on Canine Speech

Remember that you can understand the way your dog feels by the frequency, duration, and pitch of their bark. Several high-pitched barks with brief whimpers could mean your dog is in pain. Likewise, a few single low barks or a growl could mean your dog is agitated.

Keep your bond with your canine strong by understanding one another. Listen to those barks and know when your dog wants to embark on a new adventure or play! Then, remain prepared for training, walks, and more by shopping at Julius K9—buy everything you need from K9 dog collars to bite training tugs and more!

Answering the question of “What’s that bark mean?” helps you understand your pup. When you understand the different barks, you can make fulfilling your dog's needs easier. Whether your dog’s saying, “Can I have some love?” or “Please give me space,” you can now note the difference based on how they bark! Listen carefully and watch their body language.