Big and small, dogs that bark have a variety of reasons for doing so— ‘I need to go outside’, ‘Pick me up’, ‘I’m hungry’, ‘I’m excited’, or even ‘Intruder ALERT’. Your dog’s bark is an important method of communication that, while probably undesirable in excess, is a very effective way of getting your attention.

Next time you hear your dog bark, instead of being annoyed or frustrated, see if you can observe the distinct pitch, frequency, and tempo that makes your dog’s voice as unique as your own! Take notice of how different each of your dog’s barks are and see if you can tell the difference between a few of these the next time you hear them: 

  • Alarm/Alert Barking
  • Attention Barking
  • Excitement/Play Barking
  • Barking out of Boredom
  • Fear Barking


Barking sounds different to different people around the world. In English we may say ‘woof, woof’ or ‘bow-wow’ but in Arabic they say ‘hau-hau’. In Mandarin they say ‘wang-wang’, in French ‘vaf-vaf’, in Irish ‘amh-amh’, in Italian ‘arf-arf’, and in Thai ‘hong-hong’. How many words can you think of for the sound of your dog’s bark?