Translating a bark

We have several canines in our neighborhood.  With the leash law, you rarely see one running loose unless it has escaped from its house or fenced-in yard.   Most seem to be very territorial.   You often hear them barking when someone passes by.  What are they saying?   Can you translate this bark?  My translation:  “THIS IS MY YARD.  YOU STAY OUT.   I TOLD YOU TO STAY AWAY.   AREN’T YOU LISTENING?  I’M GOING FOR HELP IF YOU DON’T STOP.   CAN’T YOU SEE HOW FEROCIOUS I AM?  LAST WARNING:  YOU COME INTO MY YARD, I WILL BITE YOU!”  The problem with translating a bark some times parallels the problems we have with each other.  
We may think we’re reading a person’s body language accurately only to be bitten and disappointed.  The people who disappoint us have bites worse than their barks.


One Response to “Translating a bark”

  1. Ms. M. Says:

    I think you’re misreading the dog’s body language. I would translate what it’s “saying” as something more like: “you’re freaking me out. Please don’t come so close.” It’s displaying a lot of calming signals, which dogs use to try to defuse tense situations: the head turns to the side, the quick licking of its lips, the sniffing, the turning and running away. The ear movements (repeatedly flattening them out horizontally to the sides) also look like a dog uncertain of what to do. If this dog bites, it’s probably out of fear because some wierdo (in its mind) with a camera is creeping closer and closer and doesn’t take the hint that it’s getting very uncomfortable.

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