Imagine living in a world without language – it would be chaotic, right? Language is fundamental to every living being. Humans communicate through verbal, writing, or body language. But these elements apply only to us. How about dogs, to be specific?
Dogs also have their own “bark language” to express what they want. And understanding it won’t be hard, especially if you have a furry friend that accompanies you, you might be better at it than you think. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as an official “bark” language, which might help us answer the question of whether dogs think in barks.
Dog Bark History
Over the years, experts have carried out many studies about dog barks. Unlike domesticated dogs, wolves, which are their wild counterparts, do not bark frequently. Perhaps, barking is another by-product of domestication as dogs with a high level of interaction with humans barks more.
Dogs bark to communicate with one another as well as with their owners. But because we are not Dr. Dolittle, who understands every animal language, we don’t understand our pals’ bark. At the same time, we may not have the slightest idea what our furry friend is trying to say. We can often rely on their body movement and their barks’ tone when trying to understand them.
So, to answer the question, do dogs think in barks? The answer will be yes, they do think! In recent research, experts indicate that there might be more to just barking. Dogs have a relatively “modifiable vocal tract” in which they can subtly alter their voices to produce a wide variety of different sounds.
These sounds, though, could come with different meanings. When experts have taken spectrograms of dog barks, it turns out that not all barks are the same, even if they came from the same dog. Depending on the context, a dog’s bark can vary in timing, pitch, and amplitude which perhaps convey different meanings.
Understanding The Tones
To understand dog barks, you need to know the science of tones. Studies over the years have found that the tone of dog barks varies. It could be different by pitch and tone depending on the context.
The tone of when your dog sees a stranger coming into your house is generally very different from the tone of its bark when he sees you coming into the house.
For a stranger, this bark could indicate protectiveness and signs of aggression, while the latter is more of excitement and happiness at you having to come home.
In other words, deep sound barking accompanied by growling can be more sinister, while high-pitched barking often means excitement.
Why Dogs Bark?
Barking is one of the many forms of vocal communication for dogs towards other dogs and their owners. Dog barks when they are trying to convey something, whether they are trying to alert their owners, signals that they want to play or cuddle, or to say that they are hungry and want food.
Each type of barking serves a distinct function for a dog, and many owners can identify why their dog is barking just by hearing the specific bark.
What Do Dogs Think About Barks?
As an owner, do you have a good grasp of what your dog is trying to say when it barks?
Dog bark is defined as the alarm sound that is usually pitched by dogs when they try to say something. However, barking is normal for dogs when the bark from your pal is mixed with growls or lower-pitched.
This usually signifies a threat, and you should be keen on what your dog is trying to show or say to you. When our pals bark, it could mean they are conveying a message. And when they try to convey a message, that means our dogs are thinking.
Dog barks solely depend on three main dimensions: the pitch, duration, and frequency of the bark. And depends on the bark, the context of it will vary. When the dog’s bark pitch is low, it usually signifies that they are angry, threatened, or a high possibility of aggression.
If the pitch is high, your dog might be trying to say “Come closer” or “Can I come closer?”. Barks that are not frequent indicate that your dog is not excited. If your pal gives an occasional bark, it might mean mild excitement over something.
And finally, if the bark is frequent, it could signify a potential crisis or a situation requiring urgent attention. A long bark may illustrate the nature of the potential crisis and possible next action by your dog. But if it’s short bark, then it indicates your dog is worried or being fearful.
If Dogs Think In Barks, Do They Understand Our Words?
In general, dog owners bark at their dogs in hopes that they understand what they are saying. To communicate with dogs, you need to bark in the right tone while also training your dog to recognize what message you’re trying to convey.
Observe your dog’s tone when you’re out for a walk, and he is feeling excited. When he is feeling threatened or scared, listen to his bark. This will then give you an idea of the tone that you should use when barking at them.
Just like humans, we talk to express our feelings and emotions. They bark when they want food, feeling uneasy, or for anything and everything they want to say to their owners. We can watch our dogs playing and barking at another dog but what they are conveying is unknown to us.
We may think they are just barking at absolutely nothing, but we now can perceive that when the dog barks, it accompanies meaning or feelings they are trying to express, and for that, we can say that dogs do think when they bark.
If you are planning to put one, or maybe you already have one, taking the time to understand your dog’s barking is very important not just for you but for your furry friend as well. It will help you and your dog develop a very meaningful relationship!
Zoey is a long-time pet owner and animal rights advocate, a vital part of Purrfect n’ Pawesome. She shares her unique experiences and learnings with her readers to enhance their understanding of pet behavior and nutrition. Along with being an active pet writer, she volunteers at multiple animal shelters, rescue centres with some bespokenly awesome pets.
Zoey has a lot to share when raising the pets and spending life being their true friends. She has a quite pampered Persian cat and a Ragdoll, whom she loves the most. Readout her blogs to know more about being a responsible parent to your beloved pets.
“I love to be around cats and dogs; that’s my passion and my trick to get away from all the negativity and soaking in unconditional love and affection. Being attached to this platform gives me the reason to be vocal about pet love, care, and nurturing. Although I am not an expert or veterinarian by any means, I have a lot of experience and learnings to share with my fellow readers.”