The Meanings Behind Different Dog Sounds

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The Meanings Behind Different Dog Sounds

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Post bark, do you ever look at your dog and just think,

“My gosh, I just wish I knew what you were trying to say!!”

We know the feeling, at PawPals, we are OBSESSED with our furry companions and strive to meet their needs as best we can. But unfortunately, as hard as we may try, we don’t speak dog and can’t understand their verbalisations.

Luckily, people have been wondering what man’s best friends want for years. Researchers have put in the work so you can know the differences between a growl, a whine and what they mean so you can better communicate with your four-legged companion.  

So we are going to break down for you the Meanings Behind Different Dog Sounds. 


This is a dog’s main way to communicate, and it can mean a bunch of different things. A bark can be a greeting, a way to command attention, express fun in play or ask for a treat! On the flip side, barking can be an alert of threat, expression of fear or airing frustration. 

Also, dogs bark for no reason; they could just be bored. Good luck deciphering exactly what your pooch may mean by barking, but their environment will be your biggest indicator of how they are thinking. 


Howling by wolves and feral dogs are a way to indicate to the rest of the pack where they are. If your pooch is howling whilst you’re out of home, they sign you to where they are and come home (cue tears). 

Howling can also express anxiety, from discovering injury, attracting attention, or letting other canines know this is their territory – so back off! 


If your dog is whining, crying or whimpering, it is most likely them trying to tell you they need or want something, like some attention or something to munch on. But whining is also the indicator your dog could be in pain, scared or stressed, so you must always listen to your dog when they make these sounds and investigate for any possible injuries. 

If your pooch had to be told off and is whining… they are most likely trying to say sorry. Even the naughtiest of pups melt our heart!


What about grunting, we hear you ask?

A sound you are likely to hear less often, grunting is a sign your dog is content and happy. They make this noise when they are relaxed, like settling into bed with puppies more likely to grunt a lot. 

If your pup is grunting excessively, it could be an indicator of pain, and it vital you bring it up with your vet. 
We hope this sheds some light on all the different sounds your dog makes and what they could mean!

Want to give your pooch the best life possible?

Educate yourself! There is plenty of information out there and you can check out the rest of our blog posts for more advice, like How Often Should I Walk My Dog and Things To Consider When Leaving Your Dog Home Alone.

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