Ever wondered why Dogs Howl, Pant and Bark? We have and here is what we found out…
Having a dog is a wonderful thing: they provide loyalty and companionship and can
sometimes provide entertainment with their child-like qualities. But it can be really hard to
understand what they’re thinking or feeling.
Quite similar to babies in that they have to use sound, in place of speech, to communicate,
dogs can’t always get across what they’re feeling, and can sometimes be left feeling quite
Here, we take a look at the three key sounds that dogs make and what they can mean.
Why Do Dogs Bark?
Often a sound that’s misconstrued as aggression, dogs can use barking as a way of trying to
communicate a range of emotions.
They can bark as a way of saying hello, or to show excitement for something – which could
be as simple as welcoming you home after a long day.
In addition to this, dogs can bark to ward off other pets or people. Whether this is to assert
their authority over a stranger that isn’t welcome or to show aggression, dogs can use
different pitches and volumes of bark to try and get across what they want to say.
Barking can also be a protective characteristic, which is why so many dogs are used as
security and guard dogs.
It’s important to note that if a dog is barking regularly it could be a sign of something else,
so pay a visit to your vet or dog behaviourist to help get to the bottom of it.
Why Do Dogs Howl?
Mainly due to their ancestry as descendants of wolves, dogs can howl for a multitude of
reasons, just like they bark for a range of motives.
Whether they’re warding off other animals, asserting their authority and territory or acting
as a canine siren, dogs use howling as a way of communicating particular feelings.
Whilst these reasons are similar to the ones that make dogs bark, it can all be down to the
type of dog you have. Your dog may howl at situations that you’d perhaps expect them to
just bark at, but it doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong.
However, it is important to note if there is a change in your dog; for example, has the way
in which they howl changed or have they gone from a bark to a howl? If so, it’s likely that
something else is wrong.
Dogs can also howl when they express sickness, injury and anxiety, so it’s imperative to
listen to these signals and work out what feeling they are trying to convey.
Why Do Dogs Pant?
Just like when you go for a run and get out of breath, with a dry tongue desperate for a
drink, dogs are the same. So whilst they might not be exerting their energy by going on a
five-mile run every day, they are running around and depleting their energy for most of the
day, so it’s imperative they get enough water.
In extreme circumstances, panting can also indicate something more serious, including a
physical condition such as poisoning or an allergic reaction, so it’s a good idea to make a
note of when your dog pants so that if there are changes in their behaviour it’s more
noticeable for you – and the quicker you notice any changes the better.
Age can also play a part in the way your dog may be panting, so this is also something to
take into account.
It’s important to remember that howling, panting and barking can all be normal responses
for a dog. It’s vital to learn what is typical for your dog so that if there are changes in his or
her behaviour you can identify this more quickly.