If you are here after seeing the famous TikTok challenge about barking at your dog and want to know if it is safe for your dog, you are at the right place.
What do Dogs think when you Bark at them?
Dogs communicate primarily through body language, vocalizations, and scent. While we can’t know precisely what goes through a dog’s mind when a human barks at them, we can make educated guesses based on their reactions and what we know about canine communication.
If you bark at your dog, they might be initially confused. Dogs have a variety of barks that they use in different contexts, and your imitation might not sound quite right or fit the situation.
Some dogs might tilt their head, perk up their ears, or give you a quizzical look. They’re trying to figure out what you’re communicating.
If your imitation sounds playful, some dogs might get excited and think you’re inviting them to play. This is especially true for dogs that are used to engaging in vocal play with their humans.
Fear or Anxiety
Some dogs might become anxious or scared if they perceive the bark as aggressive or are generally wary of unfamiliar noises.
Some dogs might recognize that the bark isn’t coming from another dog and might not react much.
Recognition of Mismatch
Dogs have a good understanding of body language. Even if you bark, your body might not match a barking dog’s typical posture or demeanor. This mismatch might add to their confusion.
Can my Dog hurt me if I Bark too Close to his Face? Is the TikTok trend Dangerous?
Yes, barking too close to your dog’s face can startle or threaten him, potentially causing an instinctual or defensive reaction. Even the most gentle dogs have limits, and sudden or aggressive actions in their personal space could lead to an unintended bite or aggressive behavior in self-defense. Always approach and interact with your dog with care and respect for their boundaries.
Do Dogs get excited when you bark at them?
Dogs can get excited if they interpret your bark as playful or inviting. However, their response also depends on the tone, volume, and context of the bark, as well as the individual dog’s personality and experiences.
Can Barking at Dogs Stress Them?
Yes, barking at dogs can stress them, especially if they perceive the bark as aggressive or unfamiliar. Sudden loud noises or mimicking their vocalizations without a clear context can lead to confusion, anxiety, or fear in some dogs.
What is the Best Way to Communicate with Dogs?
Consistent Training Commands
Consistency is Key: Always use the same words or hand signals for specific commands. Using “Sit” one day and “Down” the next to get your dog to sit might confuse them. Stick to one command for each action.
Positive Reinforcement: Rewarding your dog immediately after they perform a desired behavior reinforces that behavior. Use treats, praise, or toys to reward your dog when they follow a command correctly.
Understand Canine Body Language
Reading Their Posture: A dog’s body posture can tell if they are relaxed, anxious, or aggressive. For example, a wagging tail can mean excitement, but combined with other body cues, it might signal nervousness or aggression.
Facial Expressions: A relaxed, open mouth can indicate a content dog, while a wrinkled brow or pulled-back ears might indicate distress or worry.
Be Mindful of Your Own Body Language
Non-verbal Cues: Dogs are adept at picking up on our body language. Standing tall and looking a dog directly in the eyes can be perceived as threatening, whereas crouching down and turning to the side can be seen as non-threatening.
The tone of Voice: Dogs can pick up on the tone and pitch of our voices. Speaking in a calm, gentle tone can be soothing, while a sharp, loud tone might be interpreted as a reprimand or cause anxiety.
Active Listening and Observation
Noticing Changes: If your dog suddenly starts exhibiting a new behavior, it could be their way of communicating something to you. Maybe a new bark or whine means they’re in pain, or digging in the yard signals boredom.
Responding to Their Needs: If your dog is trying to show you something, like standing by the door to go outside or bringing you their food bowl when it’s empty, it’s important to acknowledge and respond to their communication efforts.