Almost as soon as they are born, puppies will cry in a variety of tones. The mother will know whether they are hungry, contented or in pain from the noise they make. The first bark may be heard from about three to six weeks after birth. Barking is used by your dog to communicate a variety of sentiments and a different sound may be employed in different situations. He will bark as a warning to ward off intruders or to claim his territory, in greeting other dogs, during play or as a general call for attention.

Growling is used to convey a warning or threat and may be used in defence. You should not challenge or approach a growling dog, since this may provoke an attack. Dogs may growl when playing with other dogs, but their body language in this situation is clearly not suggestive of aggression. Some dogs may emit a low murmur of ‘conversation’ when petted by their owners, but again the body is relaxed and is not preparing for attack.

A howl is a long-distance call and it can be heard much further away than a bark. A howling dog is often alone and is probably seeking social contact of some sort. Whimpering and whining are used in submission, greeting and pain; yelping when in pain or defeat; and high-pitched yapping when excited.

This information is referenced from the Waltham website which can be located at


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