Archive for the ‘Dog Barks’ Category

What a Dog Smells (and Hears)

In Cute Dogs, Dog Barks, Dog communication on September 3, 2017 at 11:30 am


Zoey the Cute Dachshund stops to smell the flowers during her downtown walk.

As a member of the canine species (and a very cute one), I find smelling things to be my favorite way of using my senses.

I experience my world first through smells of different types and intensities, instead of relying on visual information like most humans. I track and explore these smells to obtain my information.

When I go on a walk, I have to stop at every brick wall, light pole, street sign and grassy area to check out the smells. If I encounter another dog (hopefully not a big dog), we’ll engage in mutual sniffing to greet each other, as if shaking hands or exchanging business cards with our essential information, such as sex, breed and mood. I might be friendly, but I still want to tell the dog that this is mine, all of what I can see, smell and touch.

I don’t do so well with sight, because, unlike humans who can distinguish the full color spectrum, I only see blues, yellows and grays; plus, I use vision as a secondary sense to confirm what I already know.

With sound, I am better than my human counterparts. I can hear higher-pitched sounds and am quicker at identifying a sound’s direction.

If you hear me (or other dogs) whimper or whine, I might be telling you I’m hurt or that I want something. If I yelp, I might be hurt or terrified. If I growl, it’s likely I’m fearful, angry or demonstrating threat to another animal or human. And when I’m repeatedly barking, I’m telling you I’m excited.

And, yes, I’m excited to have you read my blog.

Bark, bark, bark!



Ways to stop (bad) barking

In Barking Dogs, Cute Dogs, Dog Barks on August 21, 2016 at 11:30 am

I’ve got a bad habit.

I really, really like to bark.

That’s because I want attention. Or I might have a request. I might want to let the big dogs know I’m big, too. I bark at wheels. I bark to say “hello.”

I’m not supposed to bark just to bark. I’m supposed to bark only when it’s necessary, such as an emergency or to say I need to go outside. (That’s what I read, but I just patiently wait at the door.)

My BFF Shelley has decided she wants me to stop. She looked up some things about barking and told me about them. She said she’s going to employ a few behavior modifications (Woof! Woof! as if I’ll listen!).

She learned that to stop my attention-seeking noises, she needs to stop giving me what I want, which is lots of attention. That means ignore me (As if!), but don’t punish me either, because that won’t work (and it’s not nice).

When you tell me to not bark or to stop, you’re giving me attention. If you yell at me, especially if you’re losing your patience, I’ll think you’re talking back and responding. I’ve been conditioned to expect this response, even a negative one.

It’s best to not even look at me and to do your own thing. I’ll eventually get the hint (maybe).

When I stop barking, reward me for my good behavior. You can praise me and give me treats, and eventually I’ll learn that being silent and a good girl brings better results than my naughty barking.

Give me the reward quickly, so I associate my good behavior with the treat. (I do agree with this, so maybe I’ll start listening).

Give me a verbal praise, such as saying, “Good dog” (or in my case, “Good girl, good cute girl”) and then hand over that treat.

As I catch on, extend the period of time between quiet and treat, so that I also have to learn patience (is that a word?).

And then vary the amount of time between quiet and treat, so that I have to be the one to pay attention to you. I won’t expect things to be exact but will have to be on my toes—or paws. I’ll not bark to get attention, what I wanted in the first place. We’ll be paying attention to each other (and nicely

What Your Dog’s Barking is Telling You

In Barking Dogs, Dog Barks, What the Barking Means on March 8, 2015 at 5:30 am

I'm telling you, "Come here and pet me! Now!"

I’m telling you, “Come here and pet me! Now!”

I get centered when I bark and when I get petted. I bark for attention, you know that whole philosophy question of thinking and being.

As a very cute miniature dachshund, I want to let the noises, or the maker of those noises, even trucks and trains, know that I am here. I may be on the fifth floor of an apartment, but I am convinced that my barking brings awareness to the noise causers of my existence. In other words, I bark, therefore I am.

As a master of barking, I thought I would provide a cheat sheet on how to figure out what the different barks mean.

The first is a general bark that means here I am. Notice me. Look at me. Acknowledge my existing.

Here are some other bark meanings:

  • If dogs yelp, they might be hurt or terrified.
  • If they growl, it’s likely they’re fearful, angry or demonstrating threat to another animal or human.
  • When repeated barking occurs, they’re telling you they’re excited.

I also bark for my own reasons:

  • Loud bark near a big dog: I think I’m the bigger dog.
  • Growl, or snarl: I’m protecting my BFF from intruders and other big dogs.
  • Happy play bark, with rump in the air: Play with me, now!
  • A quick, repetitive yelp: Get my teddy bear or toy (even though I could get it myself).
  • Tongue-out pants: I’m totally excited, or tired after exciting play-time.
  • Howl: A loud, squealing noise hurts my ears, so I’m covering up the noises with my own.
  • Silent, plus not to be found: I’m usually underneath the bed and before I go, I wait for you to see me, so that you will know I’m mad at you, usually for ignoring me and not making me the center of your attention.
  • Silent, cuddled next to you: This happens when I want dog-person time.

So, therefore, for all concerned, I bark and when I bark, life has meaning.

(See my writing partner Shelley’s blog about finding meaning in writing at shelleywidhalm.wordpress.com.)