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  Dog barks are canine conversation
Updated 10 June 2004, 15.57
Dogs chat to humans
Scientists think they've proved yapping dogs aren't just making a big noise - they're trying to chat to their owners.

They say that the pets use different barks to try to explain to humans how they are feeling.

Researchers found pooches use noisy woofs when they are defensive, insecure aggressive or distressed. But they bark musically when they are happy.

Experts have long suspected there may be more to barking as it's much more common in domestic dogs than wild dogs.

Wild dogs, including wolves, foxes, jackals and coyotes, tend to whine and howl more.

They generally only bark to show aggression, though as puppies they do bark when they're playing.

A cat
Cats can't compete

The research also showed that cats just don't have the same vocal range as their canine equals.

Dogs were found to have more ability to change their tone, pitch, length of bark, break between barks and volume.

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