Thursday, May 27, 2010

Talk To Me

Gaylen started an interesting subject on her blog today. She talks about conversing with her dogs. They hold conversations and she hears them with human voices. She tells us who each of her dogs voices would sound like to her.

I hold conversations with my dogs, too. But I hear their own doggie voices. I can't even think of human voices that would fit their personalities. Each dog has a distinctive voice and I know the differences. Rob used to be surprised that if I was in a different room and a dog barked, I knew who it was and often why they were barking. Now he can do it most of the time, too.

Morgan has a surprisingly deep, but clear bark, but when she's talking to us she uses deep moans. Think a cow in pain. That usually means she wants something, to go out, to have a snack or she want one of us to move so she can curl up in our place.

Samba has the widest range of sounds from a deep bark to a shrill yip when she's excited. She grumbles a lot. In case your dog doesn't grumble, it's a low gravely growl that she uses to express dissatisfaction with a situation.

Tsar despite his size has a surprisingly high pitched voice. He has a big bark, but in conversation he uses lots of high squeaks and shrill sounds that startle the others and let him do whatever he wants. If he's resting or playing with a toy, no other dogs can get near him without hearing that siren of his go off.

Tess has always been a barker and she has a very deep bark that doesn't match her at all. In conversation she uses more body language than vocal language.

Bailey and Lola are both breathy in a Marilyn Monroe sort of way. They come up to you panting fast and excited and you're supposed to guess at what they want. They both have staccato barks when you don't pay attention fast enough.

Norma Jean and Noah are both pretty quiet. They use their body language to get their message across. They both have big barks if necessary, but they don't often need to use them.

Since he was a baby I've called Sky my 'first alert system'. He's a big barker with a big voice. He just likes to bark and doesn't necessarily need a reason. He also groans in conversation .

As you may have guessed, Fudge has an enormous range of sounds to communicate with. He barks if you don't pay attention quickly enough, but he yips and squeaks and groans. When he's in trouble he goes "woo-woo-woo" to explain his actions. He sings which sounds a little like a yodel.

Since he was a puppy, every morning when I first get up, Fudge makes a throaty sound directed at me. First thing in the morning is the only time he makes that particular sound and now both Noah and Sky also make the same sound. I think they're saying "Good morning". If you use a little imagination it even sounds like "good morning". All three boys say it to me once each morning and I love it.

If the phone rings and I don't pick it up by the second ring, all ten dogs howl. Monty taught them to do that and it actually helps if I'm outside or in the shower. It lets me know I have a call. I am working with Tsar teaching him to howl on command and I enjoy when I can get them all howling at once. It's very primal.

I've never pictured human voices connected to my dogs, but I think I understand some of what they say to me in their own voices and their own language.

Speaking of voices, does anyone else have a Furby? These things are so much fun. My dogs race to see it when it starts talking. I don't think they like it very much. Anyway, Furby is reminding you to get your bandana pictures to me. I'll be offline part of next week as I'm having surgery on Tuesday. I won't be able to remind you, so do them this weekend and send them in.


Janet said...

Such a fun post! Your pack has so many personalities. Sydney has that grumble when she disagrees (and wants the last word) or is just plain tired of trying to get your attention.

Mad about Craft said...

I don't remember our last dog 'talking' as much as Meg does. Meg gives a deep, low 'rough, rough, rough' when she is happy and playing and she grumbles when she wants something or is unhappy. She rarely barks at sounds or with other dogs barking - thank goodness!

LizzieJane said...

I know that our cat has certain sounds when she wants certain things. Finally after all these years she has her humans well trained! Fun post Sue.

the teacher's pets said...

That is too funny that all 10 of your dogs howl if you don't pick up the phone by the 2nd ring! My dog and cat clients either run for cover, continue with their visit as if they didn't hear a thing, or they look up at me until I answer the phone.
I agree that all dogs have a different noise for every situation and the sounds are all unique. What a great post about your dog's personalities accompanied by their precious pictures.

Sam said...

It would make sense that Fudge has a range of sounds to match his personality. Marge is a grunt-and-groaner, and only barks if she's scared of something or is begging to get up on the couch with me.

I don't think I ever had a Furby. I wonder what Marge would do if she saw one. I think she'd be curious, but scared.

Dianne said...

It's amazing how siblings can be so very different! I'm planning on getting some shots of the dogs in their bandannas this weekend. Of course, that's just MY plan. The DOGS generally have plans of their own, especially when I take out the camera and try to make them pose...

Lola and also Franklin, too said...

You have a Lola, too? I didn't realize that. How cool! Say hi from me, OK? I don't talk much. I only rarely bark, which is common for my breed. I do a lot with body language, a well placed paw and my assortment of grunts and snuffles. I manage to get my point across most of the time.

wags, Lola

the many Bs said...

hey, our human knows our dog sounds too - especially Brody's fantastic belch! heehee!

we are going to do our bandana photos this weekend. thanks for the reminder.

good luck on your surgery. we'll send you some poodle power to heal fast!


Anonymous said...

I loved your post! You know each of your dogs and only a mother does.

Bella Roxy & Macdui said...

We've all got different barks. Kendra has a 'cough' that she uses if Alpha's is slow to get up or prepare dinner. She also has a grumble that sounds like a swallowed growl. She has a distinctive 'someone's around' bark. Bella has a high annoying 'come and play' bark, but otherwise she has a deep bark.
Me? I talk. I let everyone know when something isn't to my liking. It's a row-row-row type of thing.

Usually we communicate very well. It's only Alpha who's obtuse sometimes!

XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

SissySees said...

Giggle... MJ has a couple of Furbies, but they went behind glass with Mugsy. As you might imagine, he thought he should silence them - permanently.

My dogs have always been very vocal. Both girls have quite the range of strange sounds, with specific purposes.

Marjie said...

I did a piece on Thor's barkcabulary a while back. We all know exactly what he's saying. He doesn't talk much, but when he does, he means it.

I'll be thinking of you Tuesday, and wishing you well with your surgery. I hope you have sunshine for the next week, when your vision is clearing up!

Anonymous said...

I just heard about the Bandana Days, so will have to see what can be arranged. With uncharacteristic heat right now we're doing lots of water play.

Loved your personal descriptions of the kids.