Follow Us
Dog barking

Bark management: Establishing the type of barker you have [Part 1]

Barking is a part of normal doggy life. While there are some dogs that just bark now and then, barking can become a problem when the dog barks too much, too loudly or when it is accompanied by other undesirable behaviors.

Training and management can help improve the behavior, but, unless you have a basenji, your dog may always bark.

Finding a solution for problem barking depends on understanding just what type of barking your dog is doing. 

In “The Bark Stops Here,” Terry Ryan groups barkers into six broad classifications:

Attention-seeking barkers. Characterized by a bark that is high in pitch and accompanied by pauses and moments when the dog looks around and listens for a response from anyone. ASBs are not picky about who they get attention from.

Territorial barkers: Characterized by a low-pitched, intense burst of barking. This kind of barking is usually startling and short lived. It is accompanied by a distinct body posture: the tail is up, the ears and the corners of the mouth are forward, the stance is tall and forward on toes, the hackles are up, and the nose is wrinkled. Territorial barkers initiate barking when a perceived threat enters into the dog’s imagined territory. (Remember – the dog defines his territory, not you.)

Boredom barkers: Characterized by a flat boring bark with occasional howling directed at nothing. This kind of barking is repetitive in nature and is usually of medium pitch.

Fearful barkers: Characterized by sharp, high-pitched barking accompanied by a distinct body posture in which the dog’s tail is tucked between her legs, the hackles are up, the pupils are dilated, the nose is wrinkled and the corners of the mouth are back. Barking is initiated by a perceived threat coming close to the dog and is designed to increase the distance between the threat and the dog. 

Excitement barkers: Characterized by high-pitched barking, accompanied by a great deal of continuous movement, a wagging tail, and variable intensity.

Separation anxiety barkers: Characterized by high-pitched frantic barking, and accompanied by pacing, drooling, whining, scratching, chewing, and howling.

In Part 2, we’ll discuss solutions for problem barking.


Jaime Migdal is the founder and CEO of Fetchfind, a talent recruitment and services organization dedicated to the pet industry.

Close-up of dog's teeth | Pet dental health month

Bad breath might put a crimp in your...

Getting To Know The Great Dane | Figo Pet Insurance

Looking for a faithful and loving dog...

More From Figo Blog
Getting To Know The Great Dane | Figo Pet Insurance

Looking for a faithful and loving dog with an...

Pet Professionals: Interview With Larry Kay Of Positively Woof | Figo Pet Insurance

Author, dog trick trainer, movie maker,...

Arthritis In Dogs: Signs, Symptoms, And Treatment Options | Figo Pet Insurance

We all strive to be responsible dog owners who...

Pet Food Trends | Figo Pet Insurance

If you thought that pet food is just about...

Pug and terrier on road trip looking out of a car window

Summer is vacation season, and many of us will...

Introducing dogs for successful dog-to-dog interaction

Many of us want our dogs to be friendly with...

Man and dog hiking in the mountains

Dog ownership should be a joy for both you and...

Dog waiting to be adopted in animal shelter

Pets are awesome! Ever feel like you want to...

HELP