The Dog House: Owner gives away his Jack Russell
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Jules Howard, author of Wonderdog: How the Science of Dogs Changed the Science of Life, tested this out on his own pet. Mr Howard found out that when his test subject, a dog called Oz, barks, different tones came out in different situations. In a piece for the Guardian, Mr Howard claimed that his dog barks in higher pitches when it wants his family’s attention.
But when a delivery driver is at the door, the dog bellows out a low and deep bark, which Mr Howard described as a “harsh, low-frequency, unmodulated” noise.
And yet another sound is made when the canine is trying to play with other dogs – this time he said it was a quick yappy sound.
Dog expert Dr Stanley Coren claims that there are three main factors in a dog’s bark – pitch, duration and frequency.
While pitch varies from dog to dog, it is said to reveal what the animal really wants.
Dr Coren says that a higher-pitched dog bark generally indicates that the animal is scared, unsure, or in pain.
With duration, the longer bark is said to have more meaning behind it than a short “yip” sound, which comes out when dogs are surprised.
And with frequency, a fast and repetitive bark can reveal a sense of urgency, stress or excitement.
But how do you get you dog to tone down the barking?
Mr Howard spoke to Dr Zazie Todd, the author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy, to find out.
She said: “Barking is a normal behaviour for dogs, so you can’t expect them not to bark at all.”
And she urged owners not to yell at your dog their dogs when it gets on their nerves, or to use things like a bark collar.
Instead, if your dog is winding you up, the official advise looks rather different.
The Dogs Trusts offers five tips to stop them barking.
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Don’t tell your dog off
Avoid things your dog finds scary
Teach your dog calmer ways of telling you what they want
Make sure your pooch is staying active
Don’t reward your dog for barking
But Holly Root-Gutteridge, a postdoctoral dog researcher at the University of Lincoln, told the Guardian that certain dog breeds are “much chattier than others”.
She said: “Regardless of breeds, some dogs are just big talkers, so it’s good to look at why they’re talking and consider whether it’s related to something we can change.
“If your dog is barking a lot, there may be a reason that isn’t obvious, like he’s under-exercised or he’s responding to some outside noises that you might not have picked up on.”
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