As an Australian Shepherd owner myself, quite often I get a question of whether Australian Shepherds are vocal or not? And I can say yes, they are quite a vocal breed. And by saying that Australian Shepherds are vocal breed I do not mean just constant barking. Often they just howl, whine, or sometimes it even looks that they are trying to say some words. In this article we will explain why Australian Shepherds are vocal, you will be surprised!
Vocal Australian Shepherd. What Does It Mean?
Australian Shepherds are considered as really “talkative” breed. They are closely related to their wolf ancestors. As well, Aussies stands out as leading breed, and talking is the way to communicate. It is important to mention that Australian Shepherds make all kinds of noises, not only barking. They can bark, but often they choose to either howl, whine or even imitate the owner and say some word.
Are Australian Shepherds More Vocal Than Other Dogs? How Talkative They Are?
Well, Australian Shepherds are really vocal. According to wagwalking.com, they are in the Top 10 most talkative dog breeds. Aussies are derived from herding dogs, what means herding is in their instincts. And the way to lead some group of animals is communication. However, how they are doing that – it is individual. Some can be more talkative than the others. In most cases, they Australian Shepherds are vocal when they are playing, working or want to say something. Read below about this more in detail!
Why Do Australian Shepherds Talk?
Australian Shepherds usually talk to get attention, connect with others, and announce their presence. Let‘s cover all the reasons why Aussies talk:
In order to get to know your Australian Shepherd better, it is good if you watch him more carefully, how he reacts in different situations. Or even videos online, what kind of noises other dogs are doing.
The main thing why our dogs talk is that they want to say something. Sometimes they ask for something, sometimes they talk out of boredom. Over time you will understand your dog better, so these kind of strange vocals will become more meaningful and you will know what to do.
2. Reacting to external sounds
One more common reason why Australian Shepherds talk is reacting to external sounds. It can be that they imitate you or any other family member. As well, they can start spreading some noises during strange sounds, such as fireworks. In this case, the meaning can be that your dog is scared, frightful or nervous.
3. Reacting to stressful or sensitive moments
Probably every dog owner can hear variety of strange vocals when they start talking about the food or going for a walk in front of the dog. This is a sensitive moment for the dog that brings good emotions. And there can be a lot of these kind of sensitive moments for your dog. For example, when your dog is left alone, when you are playing games or even cuddling him.
4. Ancestral behavior
Various vocals for dogs is a completely natural manifestation. Howling, roaring and all sorts of other sounds informs other gang members of the danger. So, one of the reasons why dogs make certain sounds in an exceptional situation is inherited from their ancestors.
Australian Shepherds Are Vocal In What Ways?
In addition to barking, there are many other sounds, some of which only differ in small nuances. You will find out what these are in the next section.
1 Way How Australian Shepherds Are Vocal: Barking
Probably a whole book could be written about barking alone, there are so many differences. Some dogs bark a lot, others do not bark at all. This is kind of individual thing, depends on what mood a dog is in, its barking also changes. Sometimes dog barks low, sometimes high, and this indicates what mood he is in. One indicates aggressive mood, the other can express joy, excitement or fear. You also have to take into account that some dogs naturally have a deep voice, while others have high-pitched voice. It will take time, but when you get to know your dog better, from barking alone you can understand the mood and what he wants.
Here is more in-depth article about barking
2nd Way How Australian Shepherds Are Vocal: Whining
The reasons why Australian Shepherds whines are totally different from barking. And the reasons range from boredom, joy to stress, or even fear and pain. If your Australian Shepherd suddenly become vocal, it is important to recognize the reason. In case the reason is related to dog‘s health, make sure to take appropriate actions!
3rd Way How Australian Shepherds Are Vocal: Low, Almost Voiceless Barking
My Aussie usually spreads these kind of voices when he notice something and want to draw mine attention to this. Usually there is a short break between these “woooofs”. Sometimes the dog turns to me and waits for my response. It looks like he is checking the situation and whether he should continue or do something else.
4th Way How Australian Shepherds Are Vocal: Growl
A dog‘s growl can have many variations. If it is a low, prolonged growl, it usually means a warning. However, growling can also occur while playing, especially such games when the dog wants to take away something. When that is part of gaming behavior, there is nothing wrong. But if your dog starts to growl at you without a reason, it is necessary to start working on his behavior.
5th Way How Australian Shepherds Are Vocal: Howl
Howling dogs reminds most people of a wolf. They put their heads back and stretch their mouths upwards. The howl is usually a drawn out sound that sometimes sounds almost as if the dog is trying to speak or sing. It may be holding a single sound or alternating between different ones.
Here is in-depth article why Australian Shepherds Howl
Sometimes your Australian Shepherd‘s vocals can be annoying, but they are important for him to communicate. Therefore, you should carefully question which mood is associated with which sound in order to be able to react accordingly.
Important to mention, that you should not punish your Aussie for making certain sounds, such as growling. By doing this, you can increase their stress levels. Is is better to practice alternative behavior in a positive way and work on the cause. An excited dog will stop whining when comes to rest. A bored dog will bark less if it is exercised accordingly. And separation anxiety dogs will stop yowling, once they get used to being alone.