What Do Different Types of Dog Sounds Mean?

Dogs communicate surprisingly well with people, even though they can’t talk. They use body language and tone of voice to express their wants, needs, and fears, but sometimes it is difficult to understand what dog sounds really mean. Rottweilers “grow”, Siberian Huskies “talk”, Shiba Inu “scream” and Basenjis “yodel” instead of barking. For the most part, however, dogs use the following sounds to express a wide range of meanings:

  • bark
  • lament
  • growl
  • howl
  • sigh
  • wail



Bark. Some dog breeds bark more than others, and some dogs bark low and fearfully, while others have high-pitched barks. Dog barking can indicate joy or fear, anger or awareness, frustration or need. The trick to interpreting barking is context – and experience. A dog that barks when you get home, wags its tail, and bounces around with its favorite toy can tell you that it’s happy to see you. However, a dog in your neighbor’s yard running along the fence, growling and barking when you get too close, could let you know that this is his territory and you are not welcome. If your dog barks when someone knocks on the door, it is telling you that someone is there. Her barking can get you excited, if she’s the kind of dog that loves people or is downright angry, if she has a stronger “stranger danger” instinct. You’ll get a better idea of ​​how dogs bark by observing when dogs bark, their different barking patterns, and what else their bodies are doing. Dog barking can also indicate emotions. A high-pitched bark is welcoming, while a lower-pitched bark indicates a threat.

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The whine is almost as flexible as the bark of a tree, but less assertive. Dogs often whine when they want something, such as food, a toy, or attention. A dog that whines at the door might want to go outside, and a dog that whines when lying next to her leash might be hoping you’ll take her for a walk. A dog with separation anxiety may whine when left alone, and a dog afraid of going to the vet may whine in the hallway. Dogs also express pain through whining. If your dog seems uncomfortable, panting and whining, and their behavior or appetite has changed, they may be whining in pain. Like barking, the trick is to find the context around the whine.


At first glance, the growl seems simple. The growls can mean “step back,” “don’t touch me,” or “I’ll bite you if you come any closer.” Of course, in the game, a growl can also mean, “look how I made this damn rope toy, pull harder!” We respect growls when we hear them. A growl is a warning, and dogs that are punished too often for growling may decide to move on to the next level of warning – a bite. The growls and growls were intentionally menacing. Over time, you can learn a dog’s growl as well as its barking. A small rumble could mean he heard something outside. A hard growl could mean, “I want you to stop touching me, but I’m not going to bite you,” and a toothless growl could be his way of saying, “I really don’t. like that dog or person, and I might bite if given the chance.”

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Wolves howl to communicate with their pack and can express a wider range of emotions than we currently understand. Dogs howl for the same reasons. Dogs that howl when their owners leave them may be trying to communicate with their fellow human beings, and howling between dogs seems to be contagious, as it is for wolves. Many dogs never howl. However, some breeds, such as Siberian Huskies, regularly howl and even use their howls to “talk”, making strange and often amusing noises when they express joy, curiosity, frustration, and sometimes emotions that seem completely foreign to us.


Dogs sigh and whine to show contentment and disappointment. Puppies whine and whine once they’ve settled into a nap, and adults can sigh as they relax in your lap or in their dog’s bed. However, if your dog interrupts you to play or go for a walk, then falls to the ground and sighs or whines, he may be frustrated that he didn’t get what he wanted. sounds and sounds of dogs, which can be confusing. For example, dogs often yawn when they’re nervous, not tired, but when it comes to sighing, we seem to be on the same wavelength. Think about the last time you sat on a particularly comfortable couch. Do you sigh contentedly? Or about a moment when things didn’t go your way – what if you sighed, groaned in frustration or exasperation? If your dog has a sound-related behavior problem, you should consult your veterinarian or a trained animal behaviorist to figure out the underlying problem and how to fix it. it.

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