In today’s post I would like to talk about another book I read and enjoyed by Turid Rugaas, author of On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals and which I reviewed a while back. The book I will be reviewing in this post is called Barking The Sound of a Language.
Barking The Sound of a Language analyses the different types of barking, the reasons why they may happen, and ways to deal with them. She also describes several situations she or her clients encountered and how she/they managed to solve them.
The book is only 108-pages long, and it’s very easy to read.It’s written in a plain, clear and concise language. Because of this, I believe its target audience are dog owners, although this does not mean it wouldn’t be useful for dog professionals.
The main thing I learned from the book is that when dogs bark they are trying to communicate something to us. By making an effort to understand their message, it’s possible to actually stop the barking, as the dog will know that “we got it” and now we’re in charge. According to Turid, dogs should never be punished for barking.
For this reason, this is not a book to stop your dog from barking. It’s a book to help you deal with unnatural barking (unnatural in the sense that has a higher frequency than usual, or learned barking), starting from its causes and discussing to ways to solve them.
In my opinion, it’s a good book to have because it’s informative and very easy to read. However, I find it difficult to identify the ways that Nix barks with the barking types mentioned in the book. I think it would be great if there were some online videos linked to the book illustrating the different types of barking. Fortunately, I would not say that we have a barking problem, as most of the time it’s easy to see the reason why Nix is barking and she usually becomes quiet pretty quickly. In any case, however, I think it’s important to learn as much as possible in regards to dog language, and this book certainly helps in that direction. If you’re wondering whether to get this one or On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals, I would certainly go for the latter first, as I believe there is much ignorance on the topic of calming signals.
Rugaas, Turid. Barking The Sound of a Language. Wenatchee, USA: Dogwise, 2008.