Interpreting Puppy Cries

Sally the basset hound is a foster puppy.

I’m a puppy of mystery.

The hardest part of having a short-term foster puppy? Learning to understand her unique puppy sounds.

Silent Honey

Puppy Honey was pretty quiet. She had two cries:

  • I’m hungry. Feed me now.
  • I gotta pee. Let me out.

Why was she so silent? Because it’s hard to cry when your mouth is full of sweater, hand, arm, and boob.

Sally’s Song Stylings

Sally isn’t mouthy at all. Which means her voice is free to express herself on a range of topics.

Now we just have to learn the difference between each cry. There’s the:

  • I-know-I-just-peed-outside-twice-but-I-gotta-go-again desperate shriek.
  • Please-cuddle-me-right-now whimper.
  • I’m-lonesome-in-my-exercise-pen-even-though-you’re-right-beside-me bawl.
  • Why-won’t-you-play-with-me-Honey wail.
  • You’re-making-my-dinner-too-slowly lament.

And of course a few dozen more I haven’t figured out yet.

And by the time I do, Sally will be on her way to her new home.

Maybe I’ll publish a Sally-to-English dictionary for them.

Your Turn: How many cries does your dog have? And how long did it take you to learn them?

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  1. A Sally-to-English dictionary for her new owners sounds like a great fun idea. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. Be sure to make a Sally Dictionary for her new family…Dakota is remarkably quiet for a corgi – she’s not a big barker or whiner. I can tell the difference between the barks that mean “Squirrel!” and the one when someone is coming to the door. She sleeps in a crate beside my bed, and when she really has to go out before I’m ready to get up she kind of grunts “humph” and I let her out of the crate and she runs outside through the doggy door.

  3. When Cooper was a puppy, he was a lot like Honey. He had two very distinct cries: “I have to go to the bathroom!” And “I’m so cold! Pick me up!” Of course, the second cry was always immediately after the first cry… Potty training in the dead of winter is no fun! 🙂

  4. Max's Ma says:

    Gosh Max just has a one loud bark it another dog is barking up a storm (but they really have to bark a lot for Max to contribute his 1 loud bark) or he has some softer repeated barks that I have only heard 3 times which is a “hey Ma help, I’m scared and gonna hide behind you soon” bark. Them a growl only made in a deep sleep 😉

  5. Bishu had the “I’m thirsty,” “I’m bored,” “let me out,” and a series of groans for general, existential angst (as far as I could tell) generally spoken while under our bed at night.
    Last night I just realized when we pick up the puppy in another town and state, we will have to stay our first night in a hotel! OMG! puppies have their noisiest nights on the first night! We won’t be very popular. Perhaps we’ll have to sleep in the car?

  6. Oh, my. Most of my dogs either bark or howl; barking when the Pack is in motion to “protect our property,” and howling/baying either together (hound-song) or when on the “hunt.” Shiloh especially will change from a general hunting bay to a RABBIT! run, bunny, run bawl. Squishy only has his rabbit bawl. At first, I thought he was ill but now realize, sigh, he only has one note – it’s loud, it sounds distressing, and it often leads to hound-song. Hound-song is interesting. The hounds join in at different points but most all stop on a dime at the same time. How they do it is a mystery to me.

    BTW, thank you for the Frosty Paws. Glad you all had a chuckle. With the weather finally warming up, I know the dogs will enjoy them.

  7. She’s adorable!

  8. Dexter makes only one sound for everything and it’s annoying! The only noise that Jersey makes is when she’s whining for another doggie chew.

  9. Oh ho…Sally sure is a hound! I am all too familiar with the “You’re-making-my-dinner-too-slowly lament.”

    I think Kolchak has a million sounds. My favourite? His Snoopy sounds. When he’s disgruntled, he chides me with these adorable beagley sounds that are just like Snoopy. I should hate them, because they mean he’s being a brat, but they’re just too sweet.

  10. The most wonderful sound was Beau’s Love Growl – a cross between a rumbling cross between a play growl and a purr and only bestowed on our immediate family. I miss the love growl. Zachary’s nickname is little bird for the plaintive tweets he makes when unhappy. Henry is called Angry Gerbil for his rediculous play growl. 🙂

  11. You’ve got a great sense of humour, your posts always crack me up. Hannah had her tormented, “I will die right now if you don’t return from two feet away from me” howl. She had terrible separation anxiety, but thankfully that’s resolved completely now.