Dog Bark Facts [Infographic]

Dog Bark Facts Infographic

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  1. Squirreis also bark. I have been walking under trees and hear a strange yapping noise and found a squirrel looking in my direction and making what I would only describe as a barking noise. It seemed to be some sort of protective action.

    • I have heard this, too. Whenever my dog and I sit on the bench under a particular pecan tree, the squirrels do exactly what you described.

      • Oh, yes. My grandmother recently said this behavior was seen in our local squirrels. Previously, I’ve only known sugar gliders(Australian Flying Squirrels), to do that. I have two that bark when my cats are bothering them at night, which is extremely convenient, ’cause then I know that the cats are up to no good and I need to spray them.

        I was quite surprised to find out that even our local squirrels will do this, and, apparently, other squirrels of all localities.

    • I also have heard it many times. I have squirrels galore around my house. What it is, to me at least, it a huffing noise. I think they do that to warn us to back off and make them seem bad ass. :-P

  2. The closest translation of the common bark of domestic dog is: “Go away, come here! Go away, come here!”

  3. My Mother-in-law barks at me. Is that significant??

  4. Fun facts, though I must say that not all basinjis are barkless. I own a basinji named Nelson, and he barks more than any other dog I know. He also sings, yodels, howls, talks, yawns, and makes a Chewbacca gurgle. I think the “barkless” thing is only sometimes true. I just don’t want people getting these dogs because they think they are quiet animals. On the contrary, they are extremely vocal.

    • “Chewbacca gurgle” – priceless.

      Thanks for the info Jo!

    • Good call. I’ve cared for some Basenjis and they were far from quiet! They made some awesome sounds, which did include something very close to a bark, if not a bark.

      • I also have a basenji. He’s about to hit 11 years old and Ive never heard him bark once. But, but, he can make a sound that cuts right through you!

      • Sure you may use my cotnent by all means if you include a link to my site. Thanks

  5. Having had a white Shepard before, I can totally believe one having the loudest bark.

  6. What?!? – the methods to stop barking are insane.

    Also be careful with “play bows” they are typically an indication of play – but fear aggression (or more PC “fear reactive”) dogs may give a play bow – that does not mean it’s safe to approach.

    Better resources:

    If you click ‘gallery’ on Turid Ragaas’ link you can see illustrations. I also like these illustrations and Kikipup has a cute video. Also Leah Roberts. The cutest illustrations I have found are here.

    As far as methods to stop barking:


    Remove the dog from the ‘trigger’

    If the dog barks for attention/food/play never respond. Get up and leave the room if you have to. If you respond sometimes the dog will learn to try harder when you ignore him. If you used to respond, it will take a little longer to extinct this behavior – remember the dog will try harder before he gives up. Also, a attention seeking dog may bark for attention even when the attention is negative. Make sure you spontaneously give the dog attention when he is being good.

    Sophia Yin has some good videos on counter conditioning. (I think, she changed her website and I have not rewatched). The idea is that you put the dog in a situation where the trigger is present but small or quiet enough that you can keep him calm with treats. Keep rewarding him at high frequency, lowering the frequency of reward or raising the intensity of the trigger overtime. Remember high value treats.

    Train a strong “down” as part of the above bullet. Some dogs just won’t bark when they are sitting down.

    The most awesome and effective method is BAT, also a blog about BAT here.

    Remember the best way to deal with barking is to get an accurate diagnoses of why the dog is barking. Fear barking will respond to different methods than boredom barking. Same idea with warning barks. I recommend an experienced, certified trainer for that. I have faith in any of these or anyone they recommend. Otherwise ask lots of questions – and be sure to pick someone whose methods don’t involve making the dog more anxious. Even ‘dominance’ or warning barks have an anxiety component. A truly confident dog doesn’t feel the need to be on the offensive. That means non-aversive training only.

    If you have a dog who you think might bite it’s especially important never to punish a bark or growl – the bark or growl may be the only warning you have. Punishing does not make the situation better – in fact it confirms to the dog that he has a reason for aggression.

  7. Wow, great info. thanks Allie!

  8. I agree, great info Allie.
    Your last statement is very important. I just wish more dog owners would realize it!
    The same is true if you raise your voice or yell at your dog to shut up. He/she perceives this as you barking too, leading them to believe there is a necessity to bark.

  9. Most of those ways or not good ways to stop a dog barking. Infact, they are INSANE.

    Giving them drugs? No, unfair because that alters their mood with no choice, however, it is ok for YOU to take prescribed drugs to calm YOU down when the dog does bark.

    Shock collar? Cruel. Why would you want to cause your beloved pet pain because you can’t teach them what is good or bad? YOU wear the shock collar round the dog so when it barks, YOU get the shock. If you still think it will be ok, the collar is obviously defective so why not, give it to the dog.

    And surgical removal? Have you lost the plot? This is TOTALLY unneccesary and cruel. Imagine saying to one of your mates “yeh, I’m just taking the wife down to the hospital to get her vocal chords removed, she yabbers on too much” … NONSENSE. Solution, take yourself down to the hospital and get them to block your ears permenantly so you never have to hear again. Should work.

    • edit … “YOU wear the shock collar *when you are* round the dog …

    • the process is actually quite simple and painless and it dosent stop the barking it just reduces the sound it is generally for dogs who cannot be trained to be quiet or have excesievly loud barks its not removal of anything its an incision in the vocal chords and is not unneccesary infact my friend who is a vet that recomended it for my moms dog who has a very loud bark. so get your facts staigt before you rant

      • Ok,I don’t like reading your typing,so let’s surgically remove some damn part of you that makes you function normally? Wow!! Makes sense to me… Dogs BARK…they’re DOGS! dumbass

      • Okay, let’s get this straight.

        I’m studying veterinary medicine right now–meaning I have the latest information possible. Many vets, especially the older ones, will recommend ridiculous treatments or surgeries for two reasons: a) they want to earn more money (I have to unhappily agree that there are way too many vets who do this job only for money), b) they were taught this way during their course of studies–but the technology and science both moved on a lot since then.

        But, back to the point. Every and any surgery has its consequences. You can’t say a surgery is painless. For gods’ sakes, the dog’s skin is cut! Until it scars over, it’ll hurt. Maybe the dog won’t show it (because the animals try to not show their pain), but it doesn’t mean the dog doesn’t feel it.
        Quite simple surgery is the male cat castration. This is truly the least invasive surgery I’ve ever heard of. And it still hurts–a little, but it does. I don’t know if you ever saw a cat after castration, but I feel obliged to inform you it starts licking the place. This itself is the indication that the cat feels (at least) slight, uncomfortable pain.

        And every surgery starts with anesthesia (there are several kinds of that, but let’s skip the details). And EVERY anesthesia is dangerous for an animal. One of my cats stopped breathing after getting the anesthetic and had to be resuscitated for 3 hours until she regained her own breath. My other cat can’t be put under anesthetic at all, because he has a chronic cat aids, so when he got leukemia tumors it was pretty bad and we all prayed for the steroid to work.
        Big dogs, what’s more, often have problems during the operation, as it is hard to give them the right dose. If you overdose the anesthetic, you can kill the dog, so the vets prefer to underdose it–but if it’s underdosed, the dog will wake up several times during the surgery, which is a very traumatic experience for the animal.
        Anesthetics are also very heavy on the animal’s heart, which often ends up in older dogs dying on the surgery table.

        Incision or whole cutting, it all depends on the technique and the vet. Like every surgery, this one, too, can be done in different ways. But, as I said, we’re skipping the details. You seem to think this surgery is uninvading. You couldn’t be more wrong.
        This surgery is performed on the dog’s NECK. Even if the dog lies still, it’s very dangerous: one unexpected sound, one twitch of a muscle and the dog is left without a vocal chord or even a carotid. And it’s very rare for the dogs (even the small ones) to lie still the whole time.

        Given the above-mentioned information, the vet must be insane to recommend a surgery before even trying any other ways of treating the animal. It is, of course, unless the vet is a greedy son of a…
        So, get your facts straight before you speak. And learn to spell.

    • As far as what you’re going on about with some of this being cruel and whatnot, there ARE some canines out there that just don’t hush up, even if they’re put through classes with professional trainers and the like.

      In fact, I personally know a couple who have a Dachshund that literally, would NOT be quiet, no matter what they did. Because of this, they opted to remove the dog’s vocal cords. The pooch still tries to bark, but it’s more of a “whoosh” sound instead of a bark. No pain or hindrance at all to the canine, so really there is no harm done here at all.

      And shock collars? I’ll have you know that some dogs are resistant to shock collars. A dog my parents owned as well as a neighbor’s dog both ignored the shocks from the collar, they didn’t even flinch from it when they ran over the invisible fence. We never had it on full because obviously that’s just wrong, but we learned other methods to show the yard boundaries. Shock collars aren’t for everybody, but other methods don’t always work, and sometimes just a slight prickle to startle a canine works. Think about when you rub your feet over the carpet and go zap someone? It makes them jump, right? Well, the same principle goes for canines as well. It’s just a jolt to startle them so their attention is removed from the barking distraction, thus reducing the incentive or need to bark.

      I will say that Citronella works like an absolute dream when trying to train dogs to not bark an inappropriate times. One spray and they will hush immediately. Once the two dogs we had figured out what made the god-awful smell, we would merely have to show them the spray collar, and both would hush, until we no longer needed to use the collar and they knew when it was okay to bark and when it wasn’t.

      I have never heard of giving a dog medication, but say you have an over-excited pooch who is like that at all times, and needs to calm down a notch? Perhaps it’s the Fourth of July in the USA, and your dog is absolutely TERRIFIED of loud noises? My ex-boyfriend’s family had a dog who would tear apart the house (dig up the carpet, rip furniture, etc etc) unless he was medicated with drugs to help calm him down.

      These methods are all reasonable if you look at them with a point of view that isn’t hard-headed and looks at everything one-sided. I swear, some of you people amaze me at what you think is harsh or cruel or wrong. If you actually took the time to pull your head out of your backside and look at things in a light that actually makes SENSE, the world would be an amazingly better place.

      • I don’t know, where in your mind is the line between the ‘alright’ and the ‘cruel’, and I don’t really care. But I think you should apply your own advice to yourself. Ever tried to look at the world from the animal’s point of view?

        Imagine you’re a dog and you’re terrified of loud, unidentified noised on the Fourth of July in the USA, and that person, who calls themselves your owner and who’s supposed to take care of you, instead of letting you into the house, into the room, under the table, onto their lap–jerks up your head and forces a pill into your throat. Or brings you down on the floor and gives you a painful injection. Would it make sense to you then?

        Of course it wouldn’t. If you were a dog, being injected for being scared wouldn’t make a slightest sense to you. Just as wouldn’t being put into sleep and waking up with aching throat, just as wouldn’t being zapped every time you try to say something.

        Another thing: the shock collar doesn’t work because it draws the dog’s attention away from the thing it barks at. It works based on the painful or uncomfortable sensation caused by the collar, which the dog sees as the slap across the head or the shout when he does something wrong. The collar makes the dog believe that barking is bad.
        And as the shock collar makes sense when teaching the dog where the limits of it’s territory are (because the dog learns that crossing those limits is bad, so he stops), it’s completely out of place when it comes to barking. You can’t teach the dog barking is bad, because barking is necessary for it to communicate. It’s like shouting at the dog, when he wags its tail–doesn’t make sense to me.

        Okay. If your dog barks, because he sees another dog outside or because he’s startled by something, maybe the shock collar does make a slight sense. But why didn’t it occur to you that your dog barks because he needs something? Putting a collar to stop it from barking is like putting a collar on a cat in heat to stop it from meowing or on a new-born baby to stop it from crying for food. (Not to mention that for me human baby crying is more annoying than the dog’s barking.)

        I have two cats and a dog. When my cat sits on the window’s ledge and starts meowing, I open the window, so that he can see more of the neighborhood or jump onto the roof and have fun, whatever he does there. When my dog barks at other dogs outside the fence, I either ask the person with the other dog to come closer so that they can meet through the fence, or I take him for the walk, so that he can explore the area, too, just like that other dog. And if he sits at the patio and howls to the moon, I go out there and give him a hug. Believe me or not, works like a charm.

        Face it. The only reason you want your dog(s) to stop barking is because the sound is loud and annoying, and fulfilling the dog’s need is so troublesome. You can’t pour him water right now, you have to finish the level. You can’t give him the food, you’re busy completing a project. You can’t take him for a walk, you’re too preoccupied with answering to the comment of a person, who doesn’t agree to you.

  10. Who the hell has a dog’s vocal cords removed to stop it barking? If you can’t train it not to bark, you shouldn’t have a dog.

    • I think the worst I’ve ever seen was when a family in my neighborhood got two beagles.

      Beagles bark. /Everyone on the goddamned earth knows this/

      What do they do when they can’t stop the barking? Surgically remove the vocal cords, of course!

      • it wouldnt have been ‘removal’

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  12. The point of surgically reducing a dogs vocal chords is to allow the dog to bark more.
    Many dogs bark extremely loud and it can damage your hearing, the standard solution has been to keep the dog from barking, or try to train it not to, or scolding it when it does…people with a dog know that this is nearly impossible, you can easily train a dog not to bathroom in the house, and once they get it, most will never do it again…not so with barking.. dogs like to bark and I would argue they need to bark…it’s there way of communicating….scolding them for something they should be doing seems backward..If there’s a way to keep my dog barking, only quieter, it seems like an option worth exploring.

  13. Ever hear of “barking spiders”?

  14. Great info Allie!
    Thankfully, some are seeing that ANY NON-medically needed surgery(vocal cords, tails, ears, declawing, etc)are nothing more than CRUELTY! Some states are making this illegal and more importantly, many veterinarians are no longer doing these procedures. Anyone that thinks its okay to do these awful things has no business having ANY furbabies in their lives!

    • i just imagined a cute little chinchilla barking a REALLY loud bark hahah

  15. Chinchillas bark also.

  16. I totally agree with Allie and everyone about the jaw-dropping “Methods Used to Stop Barking” section, as well as the awesome info on dog behavior. We’re big fans of BAT, too!

    Who on earth put this content together? As a dog-nut designer/illustrator, I would’ve had a really hard time executing this project as-is. :/

    • About the “Methods Used to Stop Barking” section: These are most common methods that are used to stop dog barking…it’s not a value judgment as to whether or not those methods are humane. We’re not going to pretend those methods don’t exist just because we may not like them and the goal of the infographic was to provide facts about dog barking, hence the name. I think the designer did a fantastic job on it.

  17. As possibly the only actual dog commenting here, I feel the NUMBER ONE reason dogs bark was left off the list. We bark when a tennis ball or toy rolls under a piece of furniture. Our bark is a way to let the closest person know of the urgent nature of the situation and to gain their assistance.

    As to the ‘humans’ who replied that you should ignore a dog who is barking for your attention… I say just think what would have happened to poor Timmy if Lassie’s bark had been ignored. Nuf barked! Woof! Woof! :>)

    Keep On Wagging! wherever life takes you.

    • Max, you are fantastic :)

    • Love Ur response Max:) I have had 2 reach under many a couch for the crisis of the lost tennis ball & it was worth it every time:)

    • Max, I think you should get a big, juicy bone for this. You deserved it well! =D

  18. I bark at deer and peacocks. I bark at them to let my humans and bro Griz know there’s peacocks and deer outside my fenced yard. Did I tell you I bark at deer and peacocks? Well I do. I do it a lot. I bark at the deer when the humans are, well, were sleeping at 3 am. I bark at the peacocks whenever they are visible, which is a lot of the time. Griz ignores them. He’d rather sleep. Hey, did you know I bark at deer and peacocks?

  19. Hahahah my dog almost NEVER barks. But when he does when he wants to go for a walk but my family is too busy to take him for a walk and we put him outside it’s a ‘double-bark’ and it like normal bark–YELP! and so it sounds like he barked then we kicked him!

  20. hey, in Bali we say: guk guk! and meong meong from Korea is like meow meow, for cat :)

  21. not right

    to prevent barking, you have to let your dog know You are the leader, if so, they wont bark unless emergency.
    and there is no point to show those inhumane method in stop barking

    check out “dog leadership”

  22. my sister has a cocker spaniel named sandie and she almost never barked until a couple years ago (shes 11 human years) the only reason she barks is if she hears another dog bark but thats it.

  23. I agree with Allie, dogs bark for various types of things. I have a dog and he barks when he is happy.

  24. Pingback: Bark! 7 Facts about Canine Communication | Artistic Infographics

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