According to animal psychologist Alexandra Horowitz of Columbia University, canines are capable of many types of vocalisation when they make dog barking noises. Beyond the raucous sound of a dog’s bark is the canine’s effort to communicate with you. Therefore, exercise a little patience and couple it with understanding because a dog’s bark tells a story, just like Momo, the disabled puppy.
The Pup Who Found Her Voice
A South Korean netizen had a sleepless night in his apartment as his neighbour’s puppy kept barking ceaselessly all night long. Aside from getting slowly fed up with the loud barks, the netizen was also curious if the pup is new. Therefore, he decided to venture out and investigate.
His questions were answered as soon as he stepped out of the door. There was an envelope that was scribbled with ‘Please accept our apology!’ placed on his doorstep. Within it are two touching letters that assuaged his exasperation.
‘Hello, I am your neighbour.
My dog has not adapted to the new environment. I am very anxious now. I have been calling for a few days, especially at night. It has no sense of security and adds a lot of trouble to you.
I am very sorry. We have prepared some refreshing drinks and snacks for you; I hope you can accept them. ’
I am the new puppy MOMO.
I have been wandering on the street since I was born. I also lost one eye. Recently I came to the new owner’s house. She is very good to me, but everything feels unfamiliar, so I am very scared, I hope you don’t get too angry, I will work hard to adapt and learn, I am very sorry!’
Both letters were accompanied by snacks and drinks as the peace offering. After reading the letters, the netizen could not stop himself from crying. Despite knowing that the second letter was written by Momo’s owner, he feels sorry for the puppy’s sad past. The incident encouraged him to explain Momo’s condition to the other neighbours who were kind enough to understand and accept her sincere apology.
Through the pet owner’s patience and compassion, Momo was able to find her voice. Her barks were never considered a nuisance to her pet owner, but instead the pet owner patiently tried to decipher Momo’s barks.
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What Does a Dog’s Bark Say?
Animals use sounds as another way to communicate with each other. Although different species have varying sounds, there is a hint of universal sound code which is used by the majority of the animals such as dogs. It is based on three dimensions:
- Low Pitch – It commonly implies that the dog is warning you to stay away. Low-pitched sounds like growls can also mean that he is angry or irritable, which makes him capable of aggression. A dog will use this type of pitch if he is warding off a stranger or intruder or scolding a fellow furry companion.
- High Pitch – If a dog has a high-pitched bark, it means he poses no harm and wants you to come closer. A dog whining or barking in a high-pitched tone also signals that he is enjoying his playtime or yearns for your companionship because he feels lonely.
You may also like to read:
- The Smart Pet Owner’s Guide to Dog Body Language
- Why Do Dogs Tilt Their Heads When You Speak to Them?
- Why Your Dog Stares at You: All the Answers Right Here
- Dog Communication: Researchers Say ‘Dog Talk’ Is Key to Pet Bonding
- Longer Duration – It means that the dog is seriously contemplating the nature of the signal and what his next reaction will be. A lengthy succession of barks may also translate to an angrier dog. For example, if a dog is guarding his territory against a trespasser, he will emit low-pitched and prolonged barks.
- Shorter Duration – It hints that something is making the dog anxious and fearful. He is worried if he can properly protect himself from the impending attack. If a dog is caught out of surprise or mildly irritated, then he may emit a short string of barks.
- Spaced Out and Unrepeated
It generally indicates that the dog has a low level of excitement with what is happening around him. Therefore, if your dog barks once or twice at a passing squirrel, then he must be only mildly interested in it, not to the point that he will chase it around your backyard.
- Multiple and Repeated
It implies that something has greatly caught the dog’s interest. Furthermore, it may also signal that something important is happening or a potential crisis has occurred. For example, movies often portray dogs barking incessantly when an accident happens.
From a Puppy’s Point of View
If a puppy is introduced into a new home, he is faced with the adversity to adapt in a new environment. Therefore, he would yip, whine, howl, and bark to communicate his needs or express his emotions to his pet owner. There are common reasons that cause him to bark, such as:
- The need to relieve oneself
- Feeling lonesome
- Distressed or panic
- Health issues
- Separation anxiety
It can be a tricky task to figure out why your puppy is barking. However, there are methods to help him gradually calm down and get accustomed to his new home:
- Move his bed beside you. New puppies tend to be homesick since they miss sleeping in heaps together with their brothers and sisters. By moving his bed near you, you are able to establish a comforting and familiar zone for your puppy.
- Play music. You can play dog-formulated music or soft classical music. It will help to soothe his nerves.
- Use a familiar scent. Place your shirt you have worn into your pooch’s cage. Because of its familiar scent, your dog will be less agitated. The scent of your puppy’s previous home that may linger on his favourite blanket or chew toy is also another alternative. You can use a pheromone spray by making him feel calmer.
By actively listening and observing your furry companion’s way of communication, you will be able to reduce his excessive barking. But most importantly, you will slowly gain more understanding of his needs and wants that would make your bond even stronger.