A Dogs Verbal Communication

Welcome again, to the African Dog Whisperer blog!

This week we are getting pawsonal with some interesting canine facts about canine communication and what our animals are trying to tell us. In this blog, we will be discussing verbal communication.

There are multiple signals and sometimes problems that our dogs try to communicate to us but do not or cannot understand them. These signals includes their emotional, psychological, biological and physical needs as well as personal boundaries. Yes, dogs have rules, structure and boundaries to follow, which nature graciously provides for them in order to have balanced lives!

The average domesticated canine inherently follows their human for guidance (even when we are not being very good leaders), and continuously communicates information about their biological and psychological state through their verbal and non-verbal actions.

At about 4 weeks old, dogs already know the majority of vocalizations that they will use throughout the rest of their life. Here are the 2 Most Common Verbal Communication Signals that we can misunderstand as Fur Parents (Owner)s:

  1. Barking:

It is true! That some breeds are more disposed to barking than other breeds. But! All barking from your canine is communication about something. Barking always shows a lot about your canines mental state, do not ignore excessive barking. There could be psychological issues that need to be addressed.

There are different tones and sounds that distinguish what a bark means. As an owner you should have an idea about when your dog lets out a “bored” bark or an “alert” bark. Here are some reasons about what our dogs are communicating to us when they bark. You will be able to relate some of them to your canine!

  1. Alert
  2. Scared
  3. Playful
  4. Surprised
  5. Annoyed
  6. Warning
  7. Lonely
  8. Anxious
  9. Unfulfilled
  1. Whining:

This sound is most regularly used by a dog to indicate their feelings of stress or anxiety. True whining is always a signal that the dog is in an uncomfortable situation and that they feel unrelaxed in some kind of way, however it does not mean it is a completely negative situation. A good example to explain normal whining is if a dog wants to eat their dinner, they will whine to their owners, which does not mean that the dog is in pain, but only that they are hungry.

Dogs can also whine when they are frightened, or because they don’t like something that is going on in their current situation. These reasons can become more complicated and often lead back to low self-esteem.

  1. Showing excitement
  2. Anticipating something
  3. Scared of getting hurt
  4. Frustration
  5. Pain or fear, varying in severity

Certain issues communicated by our dogs are easy to understand and respond to, while others can be related to psychological reasons or struggles, that they need our help with. A Behaviorist will be able to help tell you what in specific your dog is trying to tell you, as well as how you can change it and become a better leader!

Remember our dogs are always communicating, are we listening?

Until the next time. 

Bianca-Abigail Promnitz


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