Wednesday, February 10, 2010

When Is A Bark Not Just A Bark

I am so proud, I cracked the code. For years I've listened to dogs barking.

Back in Illinois we are still pretty much out in the country, so we could figure where the coyotes are by how each dog barked. That was easy; it was the dog that sounded most pissed off. The dogs close to that dog’s territory made themselves sound fierce, so the coyotes know not to come by them.

Other times the dogs would do what I call chatter. One dog would "woo-woo" and another would, "woo-woo" back. Eventually all the dogs in the area would be heard from briefly.

Of course, there is the intruder alert. Most of us know when our dogs use that one. We just automatically get up to see who is coming, we know.

The dogs here in Puerto Rico seem to have a wider range of things to say. There is the here I am chatter, the who is in my territory, the get out of my territory.

There is also a non aggressive, call to action bark. It does not sound aggressive like a get out of my territory I'm coming to get your butt bark. With Stormy, who is the only dog I can predict when he does this bark next thing he is heading out with ears forward, focused in a smart, but not hurried trot. I've been listening to his vocalizations for a long time. Last night while I worked on line I heard the "woo, woo, woo" three syllables in that tone. I knew it was the call to action bark. I got up in time to see Stormy heading down the hill. Always before I put it together after the bark,trying to get it together that this is the bark.  This was the first time I recognized the bark and knew what was going to happen next. Listening finally paid off, "Woo-hoo"

Now, I'm going to have to find out where he goes and what he does. The mystery continues.

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