It’s proven history that dogs played a humongous role in early human civilization. But not many know it’s for the simple fact that dogs have the ability to sound the alarm.
A dog’s bark used to bring peace. The bark provided security. Times are different now, though.
Dogs bark for a number of reasons. And it’s mainly due to the fact that they are comprehensible animals.
A dog’s bark provides a lot of useful information for those around them, including other dogs. Neighbors for example, whether they’re dog-smart people or not, will never forget where a dog lives. Barks are literally warning-shots fired into the air. Everyone is going to think twice about hopping a wall to retrieve a basketball. At least I did as a kid.
So why do people get so fussy about dogs barking if they do all these good things.
The simple answer to that is: most people don’t know what dogs truly are.
Dogs, for as long as they’ve been around in modern America, are still a mystery to the masses. Most people would not believe the things dogs were capable of doing; or the chores they were helping early man with. Through natural genetics and thousands of years of selective breeding, we created an animal designed to make human life more efficient. And that’s where the dog still stands. Dogs have not changed genetically. They are still hardwired to do what they were bred for. Humans, not so much.
But even if dogs weren’t working, barking is all part of their body language. It’s how dogs talk.
Whether a dog was contributing to warding off lions, wolves, or other large predators, the dog’s sole ability to bark is what helped earn their stamp in early human development. A dog’s bark was a siren. Understanding the types of barks hinted at the possible danger for village people, farmers, and most importantly, families. A bark spoke volumes; especially for those that knew how to decipher them.
It’s quite obvious we don’t need to work dogs like we used to in the early days–aside from some special cases, dogs don’t contribute much to our current technological advancements. Dogs are living the good life as pets–essentially freeloading off their ancestors hard work.
The biggest problems with modern day dog owners are, we really seem to hate that bark. Whether it’s your dog continuously barking, or the neighbors dog barking their head off at 3am, it’s annoying. Especially if there is no significant danger present.
Some of us no longer need a dog to patrol the household and bark at every critter, or human, beyond the yard perimeter. We especially don’t need them going into a barking frenzy when guests, or strangers, arrive at the front door–there’s a doorbell for that. Then there’s the damn doorbell itself–doorbells are barking-triggers because dogs learn to recognize that sound with fresh faces at the door.
I sometimes wonder: what if we didn’t have the security provided by all technological advancements? What if we weren’t as civilized? What if there were no laws, suddenly? What if it was the Wild Wild West all of the sudden? Would we want dogs to bark then–at anything and anyone?
We all sleep so comfortably knowing we have state of the art alarm systems and cameras throughout a home. Some people even resort to household guns strong enough to blow through concrete walls. So, sorry dog, if you haven’t noticed already, but your barking days are over. Humans have everything under control. For the most part.
It’s too bad though, because barking is embedded in a dogs DNA. There is no true training method that will train a dog to keep them from reacting the way they want to. Even if you implement hundreds of hours of training, their instincts will tell them to bark when they see fit. They will however, cease barking, almost immediately, if one implements training. That, I’ve learned to live with. I’ve learned to appreciate the bark for what it is, but don’t hesitate to cease it with a hush or two.
There is no amount of training that can tell a dog to never bark at things that make them want to bark. Dogs are individuals; there will be dogs who bark at absolutely everything, while others, not a single squeak.
If you can’t accept the fact that a dog’s bark is their most powerful tool, one should consider getting a different pet. Turtles are pretty quite–and just sit there, too. You also don’t have to feed them for half-a-year, or whatever it is while they hibernate.
My dogs rarely bark. But when they do, they make sure anyone present knows they’re concerned with something. If I know for a fact there is no possible danger (door bell from TV), then I tell them to hush. However, if it’s the middle of the night and they bark with some bass, I double check the yard to make sure everything is OK.
Dogs have paid their dues, which is why they still exist. What are we to do? Dispose of the whole canine race because their true roles are obsolete? Dogs deserve the sweet ride of luxury we are all benefiting from now. We just don’t need them to do all that crazy super hero stuff as much.
So remember, the next time you tell your dog–or a dog–to quite down, always keep in mind, dogs were bred to bark in the face of danger. To keep their integrity intact, see if there’s something more to their bark before telling them to pipe down.
You just might own a dog that knows that they are barking about.