Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Language of Woof

Listening to the "Satos" on the hill gives me the opportunity to learn the dogs' verbal language in a stable canine community. Blondie and Bonita sound so much more like Stormy when they make the woo-woo sound than they did last January.
Dogs in the kennel have a variety of barks. The complainer bark is basically an I am not happy about whatever. I take a complaining bark seriously; it's about being sad and lonely. Helping a dog settle in the kennel often takes no more than calling the dog by name as I talk to them when I walk past. Spending a couple of minutes in the kennel just sitting with them brings around the rest usually; it's the ones that have been reinforced for the screamer bark that set your teeth on edge. Dogs figure out what gets results and some scared little dogs use the screamer bark often enough that it becomes their bark. This bark would not exist in nature because in a pack of charged dogs it over sitmulates the dogs which makes them more of a threat to screaming dog. This is one of those things that is all about us.
After nights of hearing this screaming sound from dogs getting injured to hearing it from a dog who barks like that all the time, hmmm do I think our dog's are challenged in the communications department? Maybe.

1 comment:

  1. Nothing raises my blood pressure and anxiety than an unhappy barking dog. We could do our pet dogs a huge favor by teaching them to feel secure when left alone away from us. Teaching people not to reinforce barking is often a huge challenge. Some of the barking our pets do is just normal dog... barking when alerting something... barking while playing... much of their "nuisance" barking is caused by us: the lonely barker, the bored barker, the scared insecure barker, the seperation anxiety barker.... We cause the barking... then blame the dog because it's a "bad dog"??? Crazy world.