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Dogs speak. Yep, not just with a bark, but with all kinds of sounds. Right now, I am writing this as my “pack” is howling. Mournfully howling aka Baying. Why? Because my girls are in heat and the boys are “begging”. When the boys beg, the girls respond with their mournful cries too. Breeding is rewarding until its time for breeding season, then you need to invest in some ear plugs…. for real!

I love my dogs, adore them as a matter of fact and I like them better than most people I know. They are never selfish and always forgiving. They don’t get offended when I yell “HUSH”! But the mournful howls can really get to me and not in a good way. I don’t feel sorry for them, although most people would if they heard it, I just get frustrated. Mainly because I can’t give them what they want. I doubt unless you are a breeder or own a hunting hound dog that you will ever hear this sound. Be glad. My poor dogs are communicating with me and I am telling them “Sorry, but I can’t help you the way you want to be helped!”

The other sound that just rakes me is the high pitch whine. This one you may have probably heard especially if your pup is a Sully pup. Sully can’t help making this sound. It is his go to. He reminds me of my second son that constantly had to make noise. My second son always hummed. That is Sully. My husband never hears this, it is meant for my ears only, I guess. It is very subtle but is it constant. Nnnnnnnnn…. nnnnnnnn…. nnnnnnnn. Kill me now Sully! I hear it mostly when I take him in the car. He gets overly excited about the car. He gets overly excited about socks, the car, food, toys, treats, being with me…you name it, he hums it…Nnnnnnnn...nnnnnnnnn...nnnnnn. Oh Sully!

Then my dogs like to preform the barking howl when I come back from being away for a few hours and I have put them in their crates. That is a fun one. THANK GOODNESS that I don’t live in a townhouse, condo, or apartment. I would have lost my home and been kicked out years ago. When we pull up and open the car door, we can hear them begin the chorus of sounds. One will bark (Kizzy), one will bark and howl (Biscuit) and the other two just high pitch yelp (Sully and Stinker). It is quite loud, and they will instantly become silent when they hear the key being placed in the door. As if they had just been waiting quietly for me, the sneaks!

My dogs rarely just bark. I have done much training in this area. This is probably why my high-strung poodle has a constant hum. Poodles are notoriously alertist. They have a deep need to let you know about anything that touches their packs area. Hey! Hey! Hey! That squirrel is in the driveway again! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! He is on the porch now! Hey! Hey! Hey! I saw a leaf in the yard, a man on a bike rode past, the cows are in the pasture again, the cat is climbing a tree…shall I go on? Then just forget it when the doorbell rings and takes them by surprise and they missed the stranger walking up! I think they lose all rationality then. The bark spin takes effect! That is what it used to be like for us growing up with poodles. I vowed to NEVER have a dog like this and for most of my adult life with poodles and now goldendoodles (which are so much better about not barking), my dogs do not alert me. It is simply unacceptable. So poor Sully has resorted to a steady high-pitch hum. Nnnnnnnnn…. nnnnnnnn…. nnnnnnnn. That only I can hear.

These are the sounds that I most frequently live with and from time to time I will get a pleasure groan or a sigh of frustration. These sounds are comical to me and always make me laugh.

During puppy season, the puppies are typically quiet until it is dinner time, or they see their mom. Then it is a chorus of yips, whines, barks, and whimpers. Every once and a while we get a talker. One that uses his/her voice to make their needs known. I never correct natural talkers as puppies because they are quick to teach their humans what they need. Like barking or whining to go outside (housetraining made easy!) or when they are hungry, thirsty, or ready to play. When you get a talker, you get a dog that learns how and when to communicate with you. Sully is not a talker; he is just a needy boy that wants his ways to be known. A talker uses their voice appropriately.

The only natural talker I had was Jubi, a toy poodle that started my desire to breed. This may sound crazy, but when I picked her up from the breeder at 6 weeks of age (the breeder was not very ethical, but I didn’t know it at the time), and was driving her home to meet the family, she told me her name. She was so jubilant and happy. Thus, I named her Jubilee and called her Jubi for short. Jubi would always tell me things. If you have a natural talker, you will know exactly what I am talking about. She has been my one and only natural talker. We actually taught her to say, “I love you!”. It was in a bark howl but if you ask my kids to this day, they will tell you that Jubi could say “I love you!”. She was unique and awesome and the reason I began breeding. It was and still is my opinion that everyone needs a Jubi in their lives.

So, what are the sounds your dog makes? I have a list below of that the potential sounds a dog can make. Did you know that they make 15 different sounds?

The 15 sounds of your canine companion and what they typically mean:

1. Bark (alert)

2. Whine (please give me….)

3. Howl (where are you?)

4. Growl (Warning)

5. Snarl (bite will follow)

6. Whimper (I need….)

7. Yelp (ouch!)

8. Grumble (usually because they are happy, sometimes discontentment)

9. Huff (stress)

10. Yip (you surprised me!)

11. Baying (mournful howl, come quickly)

12. Sighing (frustration/ not getting way)

13. Groaning (contentment)

14. Coughing/Hacking (sick or the trachea has been touched)

15. Yawning (anxiety)

Sounds can be used to understand your dog and can make a world of difference if you learn what your dog is saying to you. If you really want to understand your dog, it’s very important to understand his/her vocalizations. After all, dogs can and will talk to us because they want to deepen their bond with us. If you take the time to listen, you’ll strengthen your relationship with him/her especially if you make the effort to learn what they’re trying to communicate. Figuring out why they’re making certain sounds and the meaning behind them ensures you’ll be the best dog owner you can be! Now go and communicate with your best friend! It’s more than rewarding.

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