Why do dogs bark so much? Evolutionary biologist Kathryn Lord thinks the answer has got something to do with trash dumps and scaring away intruders:
“What we’re saying is that the domestic dog does not have an intentional message in mind, such as, ‘I want to play’ or ‘the house is on fire,’” explains Lord.
Rather, she and colleagues say barking is the auditory signal associated with an evolved behavior known as mobbing, a cooperative anti-predator response usually initiated by one individual who notices an approaching intruder. A dog barks because she feels an internal conflict?an urge to run plus a strong urge to stand her ground and defend pups, for example. When the group joins in, the barks intimidate the intruder, who often flees.
“We think dogs bark due to this internal conflict and mobbing behavior, but domestic dogs bark more because they are put, and put themselves into, conflicting situations more often,” she says.
Needless to say, dog lovers who think that their pets are communicating with think, of course, that she is barking up the wrong tree: Link