Understanding Dog Rumbles: The Other Reason Why Dogs Yelp and Scream

Dogs don’t always say what they’re feeling, so it’s understandable why we want to know the reason why dogs yelp.

Each sound our dog makes is crucial; it can signify hunger, distress, and pain.

So it’s no surprise our dogs’ sudden yelping sounds can make us spring into protective, worrying mode.

Yes, a yelping dog can be a dog in pain. But a dog letting out a high-pitched, petrifying sound isn’t always a pained dog… and it’s an essential truth owners should understand.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dogs yelp for various reasons, not always due to pain. It's important to discern the context of their yelping, which can indicate hunger, distress, or leadership struggles.
  • Yelping during interactions with other dogs can be a way of establishing or conceding leadership, not necessarily a sign of pain.
  • The concept of The Dog Calming Code emphasizes the importance of human leadership in a dog's life. By establishing themselves as the leader, owners can reduce dog fights and power struggles.

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Table of Contents:

  1. The Other Reason Why Dogs Yelp: For Dogs, It’s All About Leadership
  2. Why Do Dogs Yelp During an Intense Interaction With Other Dogs
  3. Why Dogs Yelp Reason #1: Yelping is a Sound of Conceding
  4. Why Dogs Yelp Reason #2: Yelping is a Shock Factor to Make the Other Dog Stop Charging
  5. Why You Should Not Immediately Intervene Between Two Dogs in a Rumble
  6. Dealing with Dog Rumbles: When Do I Step In?
  7. The Doggy Dan Dog Calming Code: Becoming the Leader In Your Dog’s Eyes… The Gentle Way

The Other Reason Why Dogs Yelp: For Dogs, It’s All About Leadership

Here’s a truth I truly embrace: dogs are all about the hierarchy. Knowing who leads and who follows is business #1.

When dogs meet, they first sort out leadership because dogs are BIG on leadership.

(Thus, the reason for the creation of my popular course, The Dog Calming Code™️ , which you can learn more about below.)

If you can observe two dogs that just met at the park, there’s a high chance you’ll catch them growling and seemingly testing the other.

Eventually, they will engage in a brawl, a classic way of challenging one another.

After a few minutes of commotion, everything gets back to normal. The two dogs fighting earlier will start to interact without any aggression.

When two dogs stop fighting or challenging each other, they have already settled who the leader is and who the follower is.

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Why Do Dogs Yelp During an Intense Interaction With Other Dogs

Where does yelping come in?

Somewhere during the brawl, one of the dogs might let out a sharp cry. (Think: loud, human shriek). It’s a sound that can make any dog owner spring to their feet.

But here’s what I want dog owners to know: a yelp isn’t always an indication of pain.

Of course, keep an eye on the dog fight and intervene when physical harm is involved.

However, I encourage you to also assess the situation BEFORE immediately getting between two dogs.

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Why?

Because yelping can also mean two things:

a.) It’s a sound of conceding.

b.) it’s a shock factor to tell other dogs, “Stop chasing me. You win.”

Why Dogs Yelp Reason #1: Yelping is a Sound of Conceding

Dogs understand the value of leadership more than they show.

Because of this reason, a dog will not back down until they’ve established themselves as the leader.

However, the screaming will start when a dog sees they’re at a disadvantage.

The scream that they let out isn’t always a scream of pain.

When another dog pins them down, their scream can mean, “Okay, enough. You win. You’re the leader!”

It’s like tapping out in a wrestling match, a sure way to communicate surrender.

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Why Dogs Yelp Reason #2: Yelping is a Shock Factor to Make the Other Dog Stop Charging

To explain this part, I’m sharing the story of my two kids, Stanley and Sage.

Like what children normally do, Stan and Sage would have really intense playtime that could end up in shrieks and cries.

There was this one time where Sage, out of nowhere, let out a blood-curdling shriek.

Of course, I was very worried. I dropped what I was doing and charged inside the house.

“Sage, what did he do to you?” I asked my daughter.

She simply said “Oh, nothing. I just didn’t want him to catch me.”

And it made sense to me!

Screaming so loud can make another person think “Yep, that’s it. They’re over this. They’re done. They won’t be fighting anymore.”

It’s the same with dogs!

A dog uses loud sounds to ward the other dogs off or to stop fights.

An intense sound from your dog is not always an indication of pain, but a way to communicate defense against their strong opponent.

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Why You Should Not Immediately Intervene Between Two Dogs in a Rumble

Your dog let out a scream of pain… checking in on them and stopping the fight is the most sensible thing to do.

I totally recommend intervening in a dog fight when signs of harm are evident (for example: blood and scratches).

HOWEVER, YOU DON’T ALWAYS NEED TO GET IN THE WAY OF A DOG FIGHT.

“But why, Doggy Dan?”

It’s because dogs ALWAYS want to sort out who leads the pack and who follows.

When we intervene, we could also get in the way of dogs sorting the leadership issue out.

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In a more dominant dog’s mind, the other dog is still not conceding. The power struggle will still continue. There will be more chasing, fighting, screaming.

Dealing with Dog Rumbles: When Do I Step In?

If you’re dealing with more frequent dog rumbles, I recommend being quick in observing the severity of the dog fight.

We don’t always need to get involved in the middle of the fight, BUT we still have to keep an eye on when the rumble becomes serious.

When there are increased levels of aggression (forceful biting, blood, deep scratches), quickly stop the fight and place dogs on timeout if necessary to help them regulate their emotions.

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The Doggy Dan Dog Calming Code: Becoming the Leader In Your Dog’s Eyes… The Gentle Way

Knowing the other reason for a dog’s yelp can help you not panic whenever you hear them make that sound.

But here’s the thing: if we can do away with that sound, it’s so much better, right?

If dogs stop fighting for dominance, you can rest your mind from dealing with constant fights!

That’s where The Dog Calming Code comes in.

In your household, one leader should be in your dogs’ eyes: YOU.

When they see you wearing the hat of leadership, any aggression towards other dogs to establish dominance will be minimized.

Power struggles between dogs will be lesser because every dog in the house know it’s YOU who is in charge of the pack.

I know that because I have seen tens of thousands of dog owners get over the problems involving dog fights and dogs hurting each other.

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All because the owners truly showed they are capable, strong, confident leaders their dogs can trust.

Your dogs will no longer have to vie for leadership; with The Dog Calming Code, you already got it covered.

If you want to learn more about The Dog Calming Code, click here.

~ Doggy Dan 😄

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Doggy Dan

Doggy Dan is the founder of The Online Dog Trainer, a wildly successful online training program for dog owners. His goal is to continue to share his unique approach to dog training with like-minded people who wish to make a difference in the world of dogs. His training methods focus on creating and building the connection between dogs and dog owners, and are shared and used around the world.

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