Understand A Dogs ‘Bark’ And Why They Do It


Is it even possible to write about why dogs bark without conjuring up the image of a particular Far Side cartoon? You know, the one which features a researcher donning an intricate dog decoder cap while listening in on the neighboring canines who are all apparently just saying, “Hey?”

The humor lies, of course, in showing the comic reader that there is no real big reveal here. However, change up the tone and body language of any “hey” delivered by a human and you get a wide range of meaning too — from a friendly greeting, a sudden realization or a show of irritation. “A dog’s bark is an intricate form of communication much like our voice,” says Linda Simon, a veterinary surgeon based in London, England.


And surprisingly, studies show people are pretty good at matching a dog’s bark to the reason for the bark, Simon adds — with even non-dog owners appearing just as adept at drawing meaning from the tone.

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