In a recent post I shared my tips about getting the things you want, which I call snaffling. Thank you to everyone who commented and shared their experience on this important aspect of our daily lives.
Today I want to share my tips about barking.
To be honest, I don’t remember the first time I barked. I do remember the first time I did a loud bottom burp but that is another story!
Remember, everything is new when we are puppies and it takes time to match the bark to the event. Don’t worry about this. You will soon learn what type of bark should be used and also that it is not necessary to bark at everything all of the time. Remember, barking for long periods can be tiring – you don’t want a sore throat or be ignored if there is a real emergency or threat!
We all bark and the bigger we are the bigger the bark! It’s one of the most important ways we communicate. I tend to use the following types of bark:
1. Alarm bark – I use this when I hear something that I can’t see and I want to alert the people in the house. A few days ago I heard some loud bangs in the neighbourhood and used my alarm bark to warn the tall person who came out to the yard. He told me that it was the sound of fireworks, which are popular at wedding celebrations here in Georgia. I will try to remember that for next time I hear that noise. Remember, don’t stop your alarm bark until you are sure that your concerns have received attention. Never forget, it is your job to look after your people.
2. Warning bark – this is my favourite because I combine it with a spine chilling growl. It is very scary! Sometime ago, a man came into my yard unannounced and I immediately began growling and barking. I have never seen anyone run away so fast! Remember to show your teeth if you feel that you or your home people could be threatened. Many of us have very large teeth and bad people are scared of them.
3. ‘I am here’ bark – I use this short but quite loud bark to remind people that I am here and I want something. I used this last night to wake up the tall person because I needed to go outside. Because it is loud it is very effective and difficult for people to ignore! I also use it when I want someone to share something with me. This usually means I want to eat what they are eating! Use this type of bark sparingly. It can startle people and make them jump and you might find yourself removed from the room!
4. ‘I’m excited’ bark – this is one of my favourites. I use this when I see someone I know and I like. I also use it when I am playing. I don’t have to remind you that wagging your tail as hard as you can is an essential accompaniment to this type of bark. In fact, it’s probably impossible not to wag your tail. Remember to be aware of the surrounding furniture, small children and valuable ornaments – tails have a mind of their own – especially when you are excited!
When I’m sitting on my balcony in the evenings I often hear other dogs barking. I recognise the types of barks and it helps me know what is going on in the neighbourhood. Try this yourself – it’s a great early warning system. There is one type of bark that I do hear in the neighbourhood sometimes and it’s one that makes me a little sad. It’s a lonely bark. I am lucky because I’ve never really felt lonely and never felt the need to use that bark. I hope you are as lucky as me.
Remember, barking is our best way of communicating so use it wisely. It is one of the best ways that we can protect our people. Try not to cry ‘wolf’ – although as a Caucasian Shepherd dog living in Georgia I may have to legitimately have to cry ‘wolf’ one day!