Has your dog just made some funny noises? Did he warble on and off for a few seconds as if he was actually trying to string a sentence together? It's strange how dogs like to make funny noises, isn't it? It's even funnier when they look at you with an expression which questions whether you fully understood what they've just said or not.
Does your pup seem to have his own special canine language? Have you said something to him and been surprised to find he attempted to reply? Well, okay, maybe he just let off a series of funny noises which sounded as if he was trying to answer you back. Has it left you asking yourself, was he really talking to me? If he wasn't, what was he doing? Probably only your dog knows for sure.
So why do dogs make funny noises?
The Root of the Behavior
Every creature, no matter what species they may belong to, has their own particular way of communicating. Some, like cats and dogs, we can hear and attempt to interpret. Others, like bats or whales, we can't because they're out of our audible range. Nature gave animals a means of interacting with others of their own kind or of transmitting warning messages to possible predators to back off and hopefully prevent them from getting eaten. Every sound your dog makes will, to him at least, have some significant meaning. All you have to do is learn to decipher it. Which could be easier said than done as, so far, no-one has published a doggy language translator.
Dogs are by nature very communicative animals among themselves. They have all sorts of different noises for all kinds of occasions which, when they were still pack animals, would have been an important way of letting other pack members know who was who and where they stood in the hierarchy chain. Barks, growls, howls, yelps, whines, and whimpers, you name it, they know how to do it. Now that dogs are more singular creatures and live in a domesticated environment, he feels he's part of your pack and so you may well find yourself the target of your dog's inter-species banter. Though if your dog is making funny noises while he's got his nose pressed up against the backyard fence, you could find he's not actually trying to communicate with you, but possibly with another dog who lives further down the street. Their acute hearing means they don't even need to be that close to conduct a canine chat.
There's no doubting dogs have a voice and they like to use it. Some breeds, just like some people, have a lot more to say than others. Let's be honest, even though they might not form words, it's great when you talk to your dog and he tries to talk back. Are we guilty of encouraging their behaviour? Of course we are. Dogs, when they're making funny noises, can be very amusing.
Encouraging the Behavior
The same as with many things, there's a time and a place for everything. If your dog decides to get vocal and make funny noises all night long, you're not going to get a lot of sleep, nor are you going to find it very entertaining at four o'clock in the morning. If your dog decides to communicate with all the dogs in the neighborhood by howling out his message while you're in bed, you'll soon discover your dog making funny noises really isn't funny at all.
Dogs do like to mimic the sounds we produce and we encourage them to do it. This could lead to you misinterpreting something important your dog is trying to convey to you. Dogs do have specific noises which they make if they are feeling stressed or suffering pain. You may innocently reproduce a similar sound, your dog will copy it as a means of responding to you and so you won't recognize the moment he's actually doing it because something is wrong.
If your dog discovers his voice and likes to use it by barking constantly, it can become tedious when they don't want to stop. He may well keep himself amused by barking or howling when you're out. That's a form of canine chat which is definitely classed as not very neighbor friendly.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If you're not sure if your dog is whining, yelping, or making funny noises because he's either in pain or unwell, the best thing to do is consult with his veterinary surgeon. After a check-up, you'll know whether your pup needs medical help or if he's just intent on exercising his vocal chords.
If you think your dog might have become obsessed with the sound of his own voice and doesn't appear to want to give your eardrums a rest, you might want to consider signing up for some training sessions with a professional dog trainer. They'll be able to advise you on some great techniques to teach your dog which will help him understand that, just sometimes, silence is absolutely golden.
Yes, dogs do make lots of funny noises and so long as they're healthy, happy, and not causing a nuisance to you or anyone else, there's nothing wrong with their chitchat. If your dog's warbling is musical enough, you just might want to consider getting him his own personal karaoke kit and bravely endure one or two of his howling renditions.
By a Chihuahua lover Liz Correal
Published: 02/26/2018, edited: 01/30/2020
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