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You are here because your Lhasa Apso barks and you are looking for a response. Well, there are many causes why they behave in this manner. I will explain some of the more common reasons here.
Why do Lhasa Apsos bark so much? The first and probably the main reason why they do this so much is that they were bred as guard dogs by the monks in Tibet. They are just doing what comes naturally to them. It is hereditary for them to bark, they are alerting you to something that is abnormal in the environment around them.
The main reasons why the Lhasa Apso barks so much
- They are bred as guard dogs
- They are communicating with you and their canine friends
- When they are afraid or lonely they will bark
- Some ideas on what the barking means
They are bred as guard dogs
Many moons ago in a far way off distant country called Tibet, Tibetan Monks started to breed a race of dog, which is one of the most ancient breeds of Tibetan dogs around today. The Lhasa Apso. As long ago as 800 years before Jesus Christ put a foot on this earth, the Lhasa Apsos were already here! Now that is some history that I will cover in another post! These dogs were to become the Tibetan monks watchdogs and guards for their temples and palaces, they lived inside the temples and palaces with the monks, they were specifically bred for their awareness, acute hearing and particularly for that high-pitched barking. So it is normal that they bark. Despite their small size, they have a big bark!
These dogs have become as we know them today as the Lhasa Apso. The monks from the Himalayan mountain ranges needed an animal that would alert them at the slightest sound of an intruder trying to enter the monasteries and palaces. The Lhasa Apso met that criteria perfectly, barking as soon as they heard anything abnormal on their territory, thus alerting the larger dogs that were posted at the gates. If you own a Lhasa Apso you will know how true this is. There is a group of Lhasa Apso lovers that believe the word Apso means ”Barking Lion Sentinel Dog” I do like that idea! They certainly do bark a lot, and my Lucky has the same coat color as a lion!! So maybe they have a reason for this!
They are communicating with you and their canine friends
It is great when we have friends round for a chat over a bar-b-q, a beer, or for us just to get on the phone and talk away for ages, yes ages, do we not ladies! We love to communicate with our fellow homo sapiens, telling them all our news and gossip. Well just like me, I know you do talk to your pet, just as I talk to Lucky, they are our little children are they not? And yes they do understand our words, Lucky is bilingual in that he understands my commands in English and commands from my wife and daughter who speak to him in French!! I’m sure he barks to me in English
But how do they talk back to us or show signs? Well, they wag their tails if they are happy, that we all know. But do you sometimes know they will bark at you to draw your attention to something, maybe they want you to check something out nearby, I know Lucky has done this to me whilst I was working in the gardens, to alert me, and he did not stop barking until I followed him back to the house where I found something that was not normal, I can not remember what it was, but he has barked at me on several occasions to alert me. It is one of the reasons why your Lhasa Apso barks
When they hear other dogs barking (or talking) just like us they want to reply, it’s their way of communicating with other canines in the vicinity. Your pet and my Lucky do not have the latest cell phones at paw, so they have to make do with barking, and barking and barking, just how much have they got to say to each other amazes me? They can out-talk any human, so let them bark to each other, they will stop eventually just like us.
When they are afraid or lonely they will bark
When they are barking it breaks your heart to leave them, when you have to go to work or a shopping trip, you see those big sad eyes, that sad look on their face, they are barking at you because they want you to stay with them, but you have to go to buy their meal, you have to leave them, but do you know, your Lhasa Apso knows you better than you think, he can sense your sadness, they can tell when you are leaving, if you study your pet closely, they are watching your every move, they are picking up your vibes, they know you are up to something and when you leave home they will tell you with their barking, that they are just not happy about the situation.
So you talk to them to reassure them, but as you close the door your Lhasa Apso misses you so much, he/she is lonely and will cry and bark to talk to you, ”come back I’m lonely” and this can go on just until you do get back home. If you live in a close neighbourhood this can be annoying to your next-door neighbor hearing your dog barking and could make relations bad between you all.
Now I have a similar problem where I work, I am an Estate manager where I take care of a large villa and have the run of the grounds for ourselves for most of the year, yes it is a cool job! But when the owners arrive then Lucky, who is, of course, a Ferocious Lion will bark at everyone, sadly I control this with a dog barking trainer, a small device they wear around their neck just like a collar that gives off a tiny electric discharge to train them not to bark, and after one day he has stopped, now I do not like using these trainers but as we are alone most of the year his job is to bark and warn us if anything is abnormal.
Some ideas on what their barking means
We talk with different tones when we are happy, again different when angry, and if we were speaking normally it is again another tone when your dog is barking you can try and decipher what they are trying to communicate to you. Here are some examples, I know from now on you will listen more attentively when your Lhasa Apso barks!!
Now a bark that is of three or four ”Whoofs” with a rest in between is a signal that they want to tell you something is not right, at the same time if you have a larger dog on your premises they will also pick up this bark as their sign to investigate. Your pet is talking to his big canine friends to get to work.
When your friends arrive to visit and your dog knows them, they will normally give one or two barks repeatedly, they are saying Hello, your welcome I’m happy to see you. The bark that is high, or Yelp, means that you may be hurting them somehow, or they have pain, my Lucky now seventeen years old often does this if I lift him, he does have joint pains now
One type of bark that is known to us all is the bark inviting us to play with them, a sort of long slow drawn out bark, like ”errr whoof” That is our sign to go and play with our Lhasa Apso. Maybe the most annoying bark is the constant rapid non-stop barking, here they are literally saying ”Listen there is an intruder on the grounds” Once this tempo slows down, the bark is telling you the problem is close, be prepared to do something soon! Although annoying its this barking which is good security for you and your family.
Often in the grounds, Lucky will bark in a short repetitive style, now he is trying to get my attention to come and look at what he has found, this will continue just until I go and check out what he has unearthed or found. So now you are armed with some Lhasa Apso Whoof language in your arsenal, go and listen to your pet and try to understand what they are trying to tell you with their barking. So why do Lhasa Apsos bark so much? The answer is quite simple, they are just communicating in their own way, as owners, we need to try and understand their barking to fully appreciate our pet.