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Thread: dogs and barking

  1. #1 dogs and barking 
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    has any research ever been done as to why dogs bark and wolves don't ? is it a sort of acquired language (maybe as a result of domestication) ?

    i'm just thinking about Dian Fossey's dog that never learnt to bark - is this as common as a feral child never learning to talk properly ?


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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    It is an interesting question. I have no idea of the answer so I shall tell a low quality joke instead.
    The hobo always slept underneath his dog because at night he liked to have a woof over his head.

    Apologies Marnix, but it has been a long ten days and I need relief, even if it pains others. :wink:


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    Wolves bark, just not as much as dogs.

    http://www.units.muohio.edu/dragonfly/com/vocal.shtml

    The explanation I saw on some nature TV show was that men selected dogs for barking because they were useful as watchdogs.
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    interesting - that seems to imply that the other modes of expression faded away with the exception of barking

    still, i seem to have a bit of info in the back of my mind about wolf puppies yelping / barking, and a dog's bark could be an extension of juvenile behaviour into adult life
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    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    I think it has something to do with the same as children and babies crying. Attention. A dog does not have to naturally bark in the wild to get food. In a domestic situation a dog will bark to get attention, and bark at nothing sometimes. Subtly, most dog owners I've seen seem to subconsciously want to reward it, walk over to the pantry and give it a chew. Thats my theory anyway.
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    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    interesting - that seems to imply that the other modes of expression faded away with the exception of barking

    still, i seem to have a bit of info in the back of my mind about wolf puppies yelping / barking, and a dog's bark could be an extension of juvenile behaviour into adult life
    I think I remember reading something like this in a Wiki article.

    Yes, HERE you go:

    "It has been suggested that the reason for the difference lies in the dog's domestication by humans. Dogs present a striking example of neoteny, the retention of juvenile characteristics in the adults. They are similar to young wolves in many of their mannerisms and physical features, such as large heads, flat faces, large eyes, submissiveness and vocalizing – all of which are exhibited in wolf puppies.

    Some believe that these characteristics were deliberately selected soon after domestication. There may have been a number of reasons for this. For instance, an overgrown puppy would very likely have been seen as a more engaging companion than a more mature but less amusing pet, as well as being less aggressive. More prosaically, an increased tendency to bark could have been useful to humans to provide an early warning system. Dogs may have been used to alert their owners that another unfamiliar band of humans or a predatory animal was in the area.
    "
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  8. #7  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    ah well, if wikipedia says so, it must be true then
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Neotony is a bit of a dead direction in the field of developmental biology. It's quite normal for processes to be delayed or accelerated and what is going to be the norm.

    I've seen several projects fail miserably that were based on the concept of neotony simply because it could just be an artificial concept.

    I wouldn't put too much value on it.
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  10. #9  
    Time Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    a dog's bark could be an extension of juvenile behaviour into adult life
    I think that's it. Dogs and cats we domesticate not so much by teaching them a new role, as keeping them immature.

    With cats (they too vocalise) we enable them to remain kittens. We are the parents, providing food and a safe nest.

    Dogs we treat as puppies for life - there is no coming of age for our dogs. It's often said that we are "alpha males" in the dog's mind but I think "we are moms" may be closer to the truth.
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  11. #10 Re: dogs and barking 
    Forum Freshman cool_nikz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    has any research ever been done as to why dogs bark and wolves don't ? is it a sort of acquired language (maybe as a result of domestication) ?

    i'm just thinking about Dian Fossey's dog that never learnt to bark - is this as common as a feral child never learning to talk properly ?
    i'm not sure but maybe dogs and wolves are differ on the shape of their larynx...something to do with their anatomical orientation...^_^ i once read in a book that basenji do not bark because of their unusually shaped larynx and a.k.a. voiceless dog...^_^
    love will endure when you keep it pure...^_^
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  12. #11  
    Forum Freshman ThaCrow187's Avatar
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    I talk to my dog and can understand certain tones and Gruffs as appossed to Ruff or Roof's, there's a whole language they have, You have to remember they hear 100X better than us. Do you have a dog? Have you ever told it to go outside and heard the dog walk away, letting out very lite (Almost under the breath like growls), There talking back at you but your not addept enough to hear them insult you. ( Or can you understand what they just insulted you with).. Dogs Mumble this cant be heard unless your like withing 1 foot of them at times... But they having better hearing talk alot more than we know.. Have you ever seen a dog have a Dream and Prance and bark growl and Discuss thing very loudly and vocally during deep sleep, (IT"S VERY FUNNY) there paws get going and you swear if they stood up they fly into the wall.. But as for Wolves.. watch your documentry again all the little Lipp quivers mumble and browls Nudges are all part of an Intricate language Dogs or K9's in general have developed over time threw direct or indirect cointact with us mostly.. but they definatly had language back in the beginning to probably not at refined or Exact as it is need to be to survive in todays world..

    Peace :-D

    If you went to Dogma were they only talked Dog theyed wonder about why you didnt speak to much, it's not that you couldnt. just after a while you relize knowbody understand and you stop trying....
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