Most dogs have a lot to say; it’s up to their people to learn to interpret those dog sounds.
Dogs use barking, baying, howling, and sighing to convey various messages.
It’s up to you to understand dog communication so you know what your dog is trying to tell you.
Dogs may not have words, but they do vocalize. Recognizing they use more than dog body language to communicate is crucial.
So, pay attention to whimpering, whining, barking, howling, panting, and more.
Dog sounds: Whimpering or whining
When your dog softly whimpers, that means: “I’m hurt!” or “I’m frightened.”
The average human is most likely to hear this at the vet, when a dog is suffering, or when an obedient dog is in a strange, intimidating location. Whimpering and whining can signal separation anxiety.
It also is a mewing dog sound that young dogs make when they feel cold, hungry, or troubled.
Loud, long-drawn-out whining or high-pitched whining sounds mean: “Please give me something,” or “I want something.”
A puppy usually uses this sound effect when waiting for his meal, for you to clip on the leash before a walk, or when he wants your attention.
Sighs and baying
When a dog sighs while lying down and placing his head on his forepaws, there can be two meanings, depending on the context and facial expressions.
With his eyelids half-open, this is a sign of enjoyment or content, and it means, “I am happy and ready to relax.”
But if the dog’s eyes are wide open, this is a sign of dissatisfaction that something the dog expected hasn’t transpired, and the message is: “I quit!”
When a dog bays, he’s sharing the sound hounds make during a hunt.
That message translates to “Follow me this way!” “Let us attack him!” or “All together now!”
Dog barks and howls
When a dog yip-howls — or more of a yip-yip-yip-howl, with the final howl entirely drawn out — your dog is saying, “I am very lonely,” “I feel deserted!” or “Where is everybody?”
When a dog howls, he’s saying: “I’m over here!” “This is my space!” or “I hear you out there!”
A confident dog will howl to announce his location. Howling also often happens in response to a yip-howl from another canine.
Notice that the sound is more of an echo than the yip-howl, which can sound mournful.
Dog sounds: Moans and panting
When a dog moans: “ar-owl-wowl-wowl” over a short period, it is a sound of impulsive pleasure and excitement that means “I am flabbergasted!” or “Let’s play!”
A dog usually moans when he anticipates something exciting is going to happen.
When a dog is panting, it means he’s very excited and is trying to tell you: “Let’s go now!”
Dogs can also learn vocalizations.
For example, the bark dogs give to the command “speak,” sounds different from an impulsive bark. Police dogs also learn different barks to signal their handlers.
Not all sounds indicate behavior problems.
Focus on teaching your dog to make specific sounds to help you understand. Many dogs can learn to use certain sounds in particular settings, from simple barks, moans, or play growls to more complicated sounds resembling yodeling.
Understand dog sounds
Dog owners often lament that their dogs can’t talk.
However, many fail to understand essential canine communication and recognize that dog sounds carry meaning.
Learn to understand what your dog’s telling you.
Pay attention to dog cues and recognize different sounds have essential meanings.
Kelly Marshall is a featured author on Oh My Dog Supplies. For more articles by Kelly, visit Oh My Dog Supplies.