Reasons Why Dogs Bark
From tiny little yipping noises to booming "woofs", dogs use barking as one way to communicate with us. Some of the reasons why dogs bark include:
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- To get attention. Both puppies and adult dogs may bark to try to get your attention.
- "Play barking." Some dogs give short little barks to try to engage other pets (or people) in play. Often this is accompanied with a play bow and/or a wagging tail.
- Warning barks. An example of this is barking when someone approaches the door, ie. the "watch dog" bark. The dog's barking may become much more rapid as the stranger approaches, and the dog may growl as well.
- Barking because the dog is bored. You may have experienced this yourself: the dog that sits outside and barks continuously (while driving you crazy) because he has nothing else to do. Proper exercise and mental stimulation can help to tire out the dog and keep him occupied so that this type of barking is minimized.
- Anxiety barking. Some dogs suffer from separation anxiety when they are left alone. Often times the dogs seem unable to stop themselves, and the more they bark, the more they appear to stimulate themselves and continue to bark.
- "I'm here" communication. Have you ever heard one of the neighborhood dogs start barking, only to be joined by other dogs a moment later? Dogs sometimes bark to communicate that they're also in the area.