Dog Speak: Decoding Barks, Howls and Whines
May 12, 2017
When you hear your dog barking, can you instantly tell the difference between a bark signaling your arrival versus the arrival of the mail carrier? When your dog whines, do you get up to fill the water bowl, grab a leash or simply go cuddle your pup? Does the howling you hear when you leave the house pull you back to your dog's side even if you're late for work?
Congratulations, you speak dog!
Scientific research suggests humans have been encouraging dogs to vocalize since the dawn of the human-dog relationship. The most useful of these vocalizations was dogs barking to alert his people to intruders. Today, a dog barking when someone is at the door is the result of thousands of years of selective breeding.
Just One Woof
You can't instantly erase those centuries of selective breeding for barking, but you can control a dog's excessive barking through positive reinforcement training. The American Kennel Club offers several training techniques to successfully stop nuisance barking, including first teaching the dog by rewarding her when she stops, followed by teaching a "quiet" command.
The Perfect Pitch
While certain breeds are more musically adept than others, most dogs are experts at hitting the perfect note to elicit a response from you. The context in which the dog is howling or whining is important in understanding its origin. Research suggests that a senior dog's whine could be a sign of physiological changes or a medical problem. A puppy's whine is akin to the cry of a human baby signaling discomfort, hunger or anxiety at being separated from littermates.
Decoding messages from your dog can be challenging. Find out how the temperature alert and activity tracking features of the LINK AKC Smart Collar app can assist with understanding what's going on with your dog. The accompanying LINK AKC app also makes your dog's health records easily accessible.
Kate Upton & Link AKC: Help Dog Owners "Speak Dog"
We've teamed up with supermodel, actress and dog mom Kate Upton and her BFF, Harley, in a six-part video series all about their daily adventures. Kate, Harley and Link AKC invite you to watch the series and see how our smart dog collar helps you better understand your best friend.