Ever seen someone talking to himself? You probably thought that person was crazy. But what if your dog barks at practically nothing? No trigger, nothing to scare him or get him excited. Yet he’s barking as if there’s a reason for it. Or perhaps there really is a reason for it and it’s just not obvious to us.
Howling and Growling
If you’ve ever noticed your hairy friend howling or growling when there’s nothing there, you may think he’s gone nuts or he’s sensing some paranormal activity. Worry not, as neither is the case. Your dog is as normal as the sun shining on a hot day. He’s just simply perceiving something our senses cannot capture.
Playing by Ear
Dogs are equipped with ears that have a state-of-the-art hearing system that’s much more superior to what we have. They are capable of detecting frequencies between 40 to 60,000 Hertz. We humans are only capable of hearing just half of what they can – around 20 to 20,000 Hertz. If the frequencies are higher in pitch and we can’t detect them (unless we use a special audio equipment), they’re known as ultrasonic.
That explains why dogs seem to bark at nothing. They’re simply detecting sounds or noises that we can’t.
Our pooches actually don’t only bark as a reaction to sounds they hear. There’s another sensory organ that detect stimuli that can set him off into a barking frenzy: his nose. We all know that our dogs have a sense of smell far superior to ours. How superior? Their nose is equipped with about 220 million olfactory receptors (we only have a measly 5-6 million receptors). If they are able detect explosives and drugs, they sure can smell a wild animal a mile away, which, by the way, is advantageous for us as it gives us time to prepare and defend ourselves and our home should the need arise.
Other than hearing and smelling things beyond what we can, some of the other reasons why they howl, whine, and growl include frustration, seeking attention, boredom, or it can even be a health problem such as canine dementia. As to the latter, aside from barking, dogs with dementia may also display strange behaviours. Ask your vet what can be done about it.
If the barking becomes excessive and is beginning to cause lack of sleep and peace of mind for you, your family and your neighbours, get him the Petking Premium Anti-Bark Collar. It’s a safe and humane way of getting the annoying barking under control effectively and quickly.
Dogs bark because, like us, they need to communicate. They are telling us something we need to know. As responsible dog owners, we should know what they need so we can address them in a timely fashion.
Content dog, happy owner. The world becomes a better place.