Your dog barks for all kinds of reasons. It's his way of communicating with you and the other things around him. He might be happy to see a dog pal across the street, anxious about a stranger at the door or feels lonely and is trying to signal your attention. High-pitched sounds in particular are known to trigger barking fits in dogs. By using a few techniques, you can change your dog's motivation for barking and feelings regarding high-pitched sounds.
Why Dogs Bark at Sounds
When your dog hears a certain or uncomfortable sound, he's likely to vocalize his concerns or feelings through a bark. He might let out a series of fast, short barks when a stranger is at the door or more sing-song howls at the sounds of other doggie pals in the neighborhood. Perhaps he hears the jingle of his choke collar and leash and is excited about going on a walk. Or maybe he hears a hurt dog yelping and wants to alert you to the situation. A dog might also bark in response to your high-pitched voice. If you start singing, Fido is likely to belt tunes alongside you.
It is common for dogs to bark at sirens on emergency vehicles, such as police cars, fire trucks and ambulances. Because of your dog's wolf heritage, this sound can be interpreted as other dogs or wolves from the pack calling out to him. He may bark in return to signal that he hears them. The same holds true for other dogs in the neighborhood who are barking incessantly. Fido may simply be responding to let them know he's there also. In addition, children laughing and playing outside may trigger barking. Perhaps he's trying to alert the gang that he's ready to play, too.
Some dogs bark at every-day high-pitched noises, such as the tea pot's whistle, a song on the radio or the door bell ringing. It can be annoying to owners when a dog runs in circles and barks simply because a mechanical toy goes off or the phone rings. Musical instruments are also known to set off a dog's bark. It's important, however, not to shout at the dog when this happens because he's likely to think you're joining in.
The goal is to control the barking from high-pitched sounds, says renowned dog expert Cesar Millan, although you never want to stop a dog from barking completely. Let Fido bark once at the siren or ringing telephone, give him your full attention and firmly say "No" while closing his mouth. Another way is to stop your dog from barking is to instruct him to bring you a present. He can't naturally bark with something in his mouth. Sometimes a dog needs another sound to distract him from the initial noise. A tool that emits another high-frequency sound is likely to interrupt his barking.
Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.