Play barking at your dog

Posted by fasequeira
Sep 5, 2010

I have a 10-week old black lab that has been with us for 2 weeks now.
She is a great puppy and is coming along well with her house training, etc.

Tonight while playing with her, I pretended to bark like an adult dog. She immediately perked up and started to look around. Then she went upstairs to her bed and looked around some more. I lay on the floor outside the door of the room and watched her. Then I made more barking noises to see what she would do. She looked around again to find the sound and then came to me and started licking. Then she cuddled up and lay down beside me. She doesn't usually do this.

Is making barking noises bad? Is it reminding her of her mother? A couple of times while looking around for the barking sound, she gave a little whimper.

She also panted like she was tired or stressed.

The reason I ask is that for the next hour after that, she was really well behaved and didn't nibble me or anything like usual.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
Posted by KOPCaroline
Sep 6, 2010
Hey fasequeira,

I dont think theres anything wrong with play barking, or your girls' reaction. It probably confused her a bit, and might have either made her a little weirded out (what was THAT?!) or comforted, if she knows the sound of other dogs' barking as a home kind of thing, from her first 8 weeks with mom and dad.

Pups (and dogs) often will whimper a bit if they're looking for something. Its not a sign of discomfort or unhappiness, but moreso them kind of saying "where is it??". My dog whimpers if I hide a toy from him for a bit, but its just a curiosity thing; I wouldn't worry over it.

Try it again in a couple days and see what happens. The only downfall I see to play barking is it teaches some dogs to bark a lot when they are playing, so be cautious of continuing it if she starts to bark a lot during play time and you don't want her to do that sort of thing.

Have fun!
Posted by fasequeira
Sep 6, 2010
Thank you for your reply.^^

She hasn't started barking yet, but it is definitely interesting to watch her reaction and change in behavior!