Dog Barking Sounds : What is Your Best Friend Trying to Tell You?

dog barking sounds

Most of us would love it if our dogs could talk back to us.

We love our furry friends so much and the ability to communicate with them is something we’ve all wished for.

Unfortunately, they can’t talk like we do. But, they can communicate in other ways.

Ever wondered what your dog is thinking? Or wondered what it’s bark means?

We’re here to help you understand your pup better. Here are some of the most common types of dog barking sounds and what they mean.

Understanding Dog Barking Sounds

Before we can get into what your dog is trying to tell you, we must understand the different sounds.

Any dog owner knows that their dog has many different kinds of barks. Some are loud, some are quiet. Some are short, some are long.

Understanding the differences in barks is key when it comes to listening to your dog. Here’s a quick run-down of the differences in pitch and duration of the sounds your dog makes:


When your dog makes a low-pitched bark or noise, it indicates danger. Low-pitched barks are indicative of a threat, anger, or aggression.


When you hear your dog making high-pitched barks, it has the opposite meaning.

This is your dog’s way of asking to come closer to you. Or, it’s telling you that it’s safe to approach them/something.

Bark Lengths

It’s not only the pitch of a bark you need to listen out for, it’s the length too.

Longer sounds state that your pup is aware of the nature of the signal they’re making. He is planning his next move and it’s important to them.

Growls that are long, low-pitched and continuous are threatening. They show that your dog means business and won’t back down.

Shorter, briefer growls show fear. When your dog makes these growls, they are usually worried and afraid of something.

If you’ve got a new dog, their barking may be excessive. This can be disruptive to everyday life and these barks don’t always have meaning.

It’s important to discourage attention-seeking barking. Otherwise, they will continue to be disruptive and loud. An anti bark collar is a great, humane way to change that behavior.

Understand Your Dog

Now we know the differences in barks and growls, we can start learning about different types of bark. There are many different ways your dog can communicate with you, but these are are a few of the most common.

Continuous Barking and Growling

When your dog makes continuous, rapid barks in a medium tone pitch, it’s alarmed.

This is a classic bark. It signals an alarm to their owner to come quick. You’ll usually hear this when it thinks there’s an intruder.

Growls, in short, brief bursts, mean that the dog is scared. If you’re a first-time dog owner, your pup may make this sound often as it hasn’t gotten used to new people.

Stuttered Barks

Stuttered barks which sound like “ruff-ruff” are friendly barks.

These barks are usually made with playful body language. Rear legs held high with front legs and head down to the ground.

Your dog is telling you he wants to play. Throw him a ball or treat him to some new toys, he’s excited!

Continuous with Low-Pitch Barks

A continuous low-pitched bark or growl means something is annoying your dog.

They’ll make this sound when they feel threatened or unhappy with their surroundings. They are ready to fight if they have to, and they’re signaling for pack support.

It’s their way of warning off others and telling you there is something you need to check out.

Short and High-Pitched Barks

Short, high-pitched barks are easy to understand. They’re your dog’s way of saying they’re hurt.

This sound happens when they feel unexpected pain. You’ll often hear it if you’ve stepped on their paw or tail by accident. Afterward you’ll feel that familiar feeling of regret and rush to comfort your pet!

Don’t worry, this is often for sharp, sudden pain. It’s their way of saying “Ow!”

A String of Long Howls

If your dog howls loud and long, they’re lonely.

It’s a common sound made by new puppies in the household. They want company and it can be heartbreaking, but if it’s throughout the night, you must learn to ignore it. They may continue this behavior into adulthood if you don’t train them out of it.

High-Pitched with Growls

A high-pitched bark is often preceded by growling. This is the sign of a scared dog.

It means the dog doesn’t feel it can handle the situation and wants help. It may want whatever is happening to stop. It’s a sign that something is annoying your pup, but also scaring him.

If your dog makes this sound, it may be unpredictable. If someone is the cause of your dog’s annoyed behavior, get them to move away.

This sound is often heard when loud noises such as fireworks are happening. A calming blanket can help them settle down and stop the noise.

Now You Know Your Dog Barking Sounds

Dogs are intelligent, emotional creatures. When you love and treat them well, they’ll love you in plenty.

There are many different ways your dog can communicate with you. The ways they bark and growl have different, complex meanings.

These are the most common types of barks your dog will make. Understanding their meanings is an essential way to communicate with your pup.

When you know what your dog is trying to say to you, you know what actions to take.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, check out our pets posts for more!

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