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Why Do Dogs Bark? It's Still Mostly a Mystery.
Real Clear Science ^ | 4-24-14 | Ross Pomeroy

Posted on 04/24/2014 4:35:17 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic

Whether a woof, ruff, yip, or yap, dogs bark dozens, if not hundreds, of times each day. Imagine if every pet canine in the U.S. -- all 83.3 million of them -- congregated. The chorus would be a postal worker's nightmare.

Dogs sound off in almost any situation. Maybe the doorbell rang, or a stranger approached, or a bird fluttered nearby. Even with little to no obvious stimulation, dogs can bark incessantly. Behaviorist and biologist Raymond Coppinger once observed a dog that barked for seven hours straight, even though no other canines were within miles.

Because dogs bark repetitively and in varying contexts, for decades, a hefty chunk of scientists argued that these sounds served no specific purpose. Coppinger, for example, put forth the notion that barking relieves arousal, and merely indicates an emotional state. At the turn of the century, however, these views started to evaporate. A key clue came in 2002. UC-Davis animal scientist Sophia Yin recorded the barks of different breeds of dogs at play, when the doorbell rang, or in isolation. She found that bark frequency and duration differed significantly between the situations.

"The fact that barks were context specific... strongly suggests that barks serve specific functions," she reasoned.

For all the barking the dogs do, their closest relatives, wolves, rarely bark at all. As little as 2.3% of their vocalizations are barks; the rest are almost entirely howls. Moreover, wolves bark only in warning, defense, and protest. Even though 30,000 years of evolution separate the two species, many breeds of dogs look quite similar to their lupine cousins. But the sounds they make are easily discernible.

Taking note of this contrast, Hungarian ethologist Csaba Molnar forayed into the barking discussion, postulating that the bark came to prominence through the process of domestication, in essence, as a way to communicate with humans.

In 2005, Molnar presented evidence to back his assertion. Molnar had 36 subjects listen to a variety of barks from a breed called mudis. The barks were recorded during different situations: when the mudis encountered a stranger, acted aggressively, were prompted to go on a walk, begged for a ball, played, or were left alone. Regardless of whether or not the subjects were dog owners, they were able to guess the situations in which the barks were recorded at levels significantly higher than chance when presented with the choices.

Further evidence backing Molnar's theory came courtesy of Dmitry Belyaev's domestication experiments on silver foxes. For years, researchers selected the most docile foxes that showed the least fear of humans and bred them. Over the generations, the foxes began to sport characteristics like spotted coats, floppy ears, and curled tails. They also began barking a lot more, specifically when they saw people!

It might be presumptuous to think that barking evolved on our account, but right now, it's the most plausible explanation we have!


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Pets/Animals; Science
KEYWORDS: animalhusbandry; bark; dog; dogs; domestication; fox; godsgravesglyphs; wolf
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1 posted on 04/24/2014 4:35:17 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic; Joe 6-pack

Barking dog ping


2 posted on 04/24/2014 4:35:43 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: AnAmericanMother; Titan Magroyne; Badeye; SandRat; arbooz; potlatch; afraidfortherepublic; ...
WOOOF!

Computer Hope

The Doggie Ping list is for FReepers who would like to be notified of threads relating to all things canid. If you would like to join the Doggie Ping Pack (or be unleashed from it), FReemail me.

3 posted on 04/24/2014 4:37:21 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

What about foxes? What do they say?


4 posted on 04/24/2014 4:37:46 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: afraidfortherepublic

dogs are narcissistic and crave attention. And the only way they can get it is by barking..........


5 posted on 04/24/2014 4:38:14 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (Under Reagan spring always arrived on time.....)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Why do dogs bark? It has to be global warming.


6 posted on 04/24/2014 4:38:26 PM PDT by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Dogs in domesticity are alone or with one or two fellows when not with their owners.

They bark to summon the rest of the pack: i.e. humans.


7 posted on 04/24/2014 4:39:00 PM PDT by bakeneko
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To: GraceG

It’s in the article. They say that domesticating silver foxes, breeding the tamest, resulted in foxes with spots,curly tails, and the ability to bark.


8 posted on 04/24/2014 4:39:25 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Dogs were trained to be man's best friend.

Talking back and complaining with specifics of long ago transgressions wouldn't help in staying a best friend.

QED.

9 posted on 04/24/2014 4:40:23 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: afraidfortherepublic
they bark cause they can't talk... wonder how much that cost us???

dogs bark, but the caravan rolls on

10 posted on 04/24/2014 4:40:50 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Our dog is losing her hearing....so now, she barks more....it seems to be her way of talking to us and being reassured we know what she wants. She usually barks when she wants something.


11 posted on 04/24/2014 4:41:51 PM PDT by goodnesswins (R.I.P. Doherty, Smith, Stevens, Woods.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
"biologist Raymond Coppinger once observed a dog that barked for seven hours straight, even though no other canines were within miles."

The biologist should'a checked for squirrels or deer just beyond the fence or run.

12 posted on 04/24/2014 4:43:19 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Why Do Dogs Bark? It's Still Mostly a Mystery.

My dog barks when she it is time for dinner, time for a walk or there is someone at the front door. In short - because she has something to say...

13 posted on 04/24/2014 4:43:30 PM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Because it is too hard for them to quote Shakespeare.


14 posted on 04/24/2014 4:44:06 PM PDT by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Why Do Dogs Bark? It's Still Mostly a Mystery.

My dog barks when she it is time for dinner, time for a walk or there is someone at the front door. In short - because she has something to say...

15 posted on 04/24/2014 4:44:32 PM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
The chorus would be a postal worker's nightmare and an armed LEO's dream.
16 posted on 04/24/2014 4:45:50 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (Operating out of weakness? Imagine if he was working from a position of strength!)
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To: 2banana

Someone ask Debbie Wasserman Poodle Shultz...she knows.


17 posted on 04/24/2014 4:45:57 PM PDT by gwgn02
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To: afraidfortherepublic

So dog bark to talk..hmm bet the one that barked 7 hours straight about nothing was a female


18 posted on 04/24/2014 4:46:56 PM PDT by tophat9000 (Are we headed to a Cracker Slacker War?)
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To: GraceG
What about foxes? What do they say?

"Hi, Yortuk. Hi, Georg. Sorry we're late."

19 posted on 04/24/2014 4:49:07 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (Operating out of weakness? Imagine if he was working from a position of strength!)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Dogs bark because they are undisciplined. In the wild, dogs seldom bark.


20 posted on 04/24/2014 4:50:30 PM PDT by rey
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Because it would be silly if they mooed.


21 posted on 04/24/2014 4:52:13 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I have a neighbor who lives around a quarter of a mile away, maybe just a little further than that. They have a dog that barks at anything and everything.

It is so sensitive that it will often bark when I just go outside. I am not sure if it hears me or picks up my scent. I can’t hear it when I am inside so it is not that big of a problem but if I lived really close I would think about doggycide.


22 posted on 04/24/2014 4:54:40 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I’m still wondering why moonbats bark.


23 posted on 04/24/2014 4:56:02 PM PDT by TurboZamboni (Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.-JFK)
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To: nickcarraway

Meowing would not make much sense either.


24 posted on 04/24/2014 5:01:34 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: Paladin2

Only a scientist could not figure out why dogs are barking in a given situation.

To warn off intruders into their territory, to get attention such as to be released from a leash or let out of an enclosure, for food, when a pack is running together so they can stay together and make themselves known to each other, to threaten, to greet people or other visitors.

I’m sure I left some out.


25 posted on 04/24/2014 5:02:13 PM PDT by Williams
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I’ve noticed that my dog has different barks for different situations! All of which are designed for me to do something for her! I love her lots!


26 posted on 04/24/2014 5:02:51 PM PDT by Empireoftheatom48 (God help the Republic but will he?)
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To: rey

You got that right. The house behind us - two frikken yappy dogs all day long. Owner gone, owner home, doesn’t matter. (BTW - it is the OWNER that is undisciplined. Probably thinks it is cute?)

Our dog didn’t bark at all when we brought him home as a rescue puppy (large dog). Had to train him to bark a few times when people came to the door to 1) let me know as I can’t always hear the doorbell, and 2) to warn strangers away.

He still will sit quietly in the backyard with the yappy dogs on the other side of the fence and wonder what the heck they are yapping about.


27 posted on 04/24/2014 5:04:45 PM PDT by 21twelve (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts 2013 is 1933 REBORN)
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To: tophat9000

Lol....


28 posted on 04/24/2014 5:04:56 PM PDT by Popman ("Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God" - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Williams

Much like learning the communications with an infant.


29 posted on 04/24/2014 5:05:19 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Joe 6-pack

Simple.

Because they can.

:)


30 posted on 04/24/2014 5:05:41 PM PDT by Salamander (Agent Of Fortune)
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To: NonValueAdded

20th Century foxes or 21st Century foxes?


31 posted on 04/24/2014 5:06:28 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: MadMax, the Grinning Reaper

LOL


32 posted on 04/24/2014 5:07:37 PM PDT by Salamander (Agent Of Fortune)
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To: 21twelve

Dog size is strongly correlated with yapping (assuming similar dog-human socialization).


33 posted on 04/24/2014 5:07:53 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Salamander

In the case of my Ranger, the answer is clearly: catz.


34 posted on 04/24/2014 5:09:23 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

How can you pick out a dogwood?

By its bark.


35 posted on 04/24/2014 5:09:25 PM PDT by outofsalt (If history teaches us anything it's that history rarely teaches us anything.)
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To: rey

I had a male Golden Retriever, 110lbs with no fat.

This guy barked, literally, maybe 3 or 4 times in his life.

He was the sweetest most loving dog I’ve ever owned.

When he did bark, it wasn’t some “RUFF RUFF RUFF” going on and on. The first time, it was a really slow and really deep RUUUUUUFFFFFF, that took time to build into a final RUUFF.

It was soo funny, because he actually scared himself.

He wasn’t a very smart dog, I admit.


36 posted on 04/24/2014 5:09:52 PM PDT by Zeneta (Thoughts in time and out of season.)
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To: 2banana

I taught one of my dogs to bark when she’s hungry. Boy, does she let you know in no uncertain terms.


37 posted on 04/24/2014 5:10:59 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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Which brings up the question:

Why do dogs lick you in the face?

It gets that butt taste out of its mouth.


38 posted on 04/24/2014 5:12:46 PM PDT by Clay Moore ("To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize." ~Voltaire)
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To: tophat9000

39 posted on 04/24/2014 5:13:50 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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To: goodnesswins

Ours went stone deaf and I have not heard her bark in probably a year.


40 posted on 04/24/2014 5:15:48 PM PDT by Clay Moore ("To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize." ~Voltaire)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

~~~Why Do Dogs Bark?~~~

To get the other side?


41 posted on 04/24/2014 5:15:57 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I don’t think any dog breed barks more than a dachshund.


42 posted on 04/24/2014 5:17:11 PM PDT by hdbc (FUBO)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nupfxo2ihQc


43 posted on 04/24/2014 5:17:19 PM PDT by kanawa
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To: afraidfortherepublic

The same reason they lick their you-know-whats.......Because they can!


44 posted on 04/24/2014 5:18:04 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: GraceG
What about foxes? What do they say?


45 posted on 04/24/2014 5:20:41 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: 21twelve

“the OWNER that is undisciplined”

Quite often, but not always, the animal is a mirror of the owner. yes, undisxciplined owner, undisciplined dog.

When I go shoeing, if the dogs are yapping and acting like idiots, the horses will almost always be bad, and the kids will be running wild as well.

I remember being in a barn where one of the girls that worked there was complaining about guys taking advantage of her. It was interesting, because the horses took advantage too, though not in the same way.


46 posted on 04/24/2014 5:20:55 PM PDT by rey
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To: Paladin2

“Speak softly and carry a big stick!”


47 posted on 04/24/2014 5:22:13 PM PDT by 21twelve (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts 2013 is 1933 REBORN)
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To: F15Eagle

Dog on the left...Moochelle, is that you?


48 posted on 04/24/2014 5:23:00 PM PDT by k4gypsyrose
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To: Salamander

I think mine do it to annoy me, along with the low grade whining.


49 posted on 04/24/2014 5:23:12 PM PDT by Roos_Girl (The world is full of educated derelicts. - Calvin Coolidge)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
It might be presumptuous to think that barking evolved on our account, but right now, it's the most plausible explanation we have!

For humans, tribal warfare is the special evolutionary pressure that selects for gradually increasing advanced intelligence. Tribes with dogs that alert of impending raids have a competitive advantage over tribes without. The primary function of the domesticated dog is to hear, see, or smell approaching thugs, government or freelance, then bark their head off. Since the Waco fiasco, SWAT teams now use silencers for the sole purpose of killing the dogs at the start their raids without blowing their cover. Police hate dogs.

50 posted on 04/24/2014 5:25:24 PM PDT by Reeses
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