Barking – Wild dogs, feral dogs and mature wolves seldom bark.


Although they howl, mature wolves don’t bark like our dogs do, only cubs and juveniles bark . Wild dogs may make sounds but they seldom bark.

If there is an enemy about, a wild animal instinctively knows the safest option is to be silent and hide. Our domestic dogs shout GO AWAY, GO AWAY, GO AWAY. Woof woof.

Our pets live with us humans and we are very vocal, largely relying upon speech to communicate with our dogs (and cats).

As Dr. Sophia Yin says, ‘The phenomenon may puzzle some, but it’s clear to me. Cats and dogs quickly learn that we humans are blind to their visual signals no matter how pronounced, but it’s hard for us to ignore a constant meow or ear-shattering bark. So cats and dogs may have developed the herculean ability to bark and meow for hours on end because it’s a great way to get our attention’.

Ethologist Csaba Molnar believes that dogs living and working with humans speak the same ‘Bark’ language and suggest we might usefully synthesise it. In an article by Brandon Keim  he also proposes that that because we want gentle friendly dogs, we breed for juvenile behaviour – and it’s only the wild juveniles who may bark.

Wikipedia has an interesting summary on barking.

Here is the story of two little dogs I went to that used to bark at every sound they heard.

Theo Stewart, The Dog Lady

Go to the main website:


About Theo Stewart

I am a dog Behaviourist C.C.B (Certified Canine Behaviourist) INTODogs). I have helped over 3000 dog owners over eighteen years. In addition to online consultations all over the world, I cover Beds, Herts, Cambs and Bucks for home visits. A 'Victoria Stilwell' Positively Dog Trainer (VSPDT) and a full member of the IMDT. Graduate ISCP, International School for Canine Practitioners. My main site:
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