The Australian Kelpie will communicate with you through its voice. They begin doing this as puppies. Understanding the different sounds of this vocalization will promote a harmony and bond between you and your dog.
Whining - The Kelpie will whine when it is trying to get the attention of its owner. It will also whine when it is showing submissiveness to another dog.
You may hear them whine when they are cold or are feeling hungry. They will softly whine and whimper whenever they are feeling afraid, frustrated or are hurt.
Howling - The Australian Kelpie will use howling as a form of communication for long-range purposes. If the Kelpie hears another dog howling, he will join in order to communicate with him. Some Kelpies will howl whenever they go hunting, hear sirens, or even certain music. It is not known if they are howling with the music in order to sing along or express their displeasure. This is when it is important to follow the body language and posture of the dog in order to determine what they are telling you.
Growling - The Kelpie will use growling to express itself in many different ways. They will growl to show aggression. They will growl to show dominance. They will growl to show defense. They will also growl to show a sign of warning.
The Kelpie will accompany his growl with lots of movement and tail wagging in order to show he wants to play. It is important to follow the difference in the posture of the Kelpie at this time. A Kelpie who is showing aggression will remain stationary and firm in their stance. This will be accompanied by stares and snarls amidst the growls.
Barking - Although the Kelpie will display normal behavior in barking to communicate, it may cross the line of acceptable behavior by barking excessively. It is important to understand why it might do this.
An Australian Kelpie will bark excessively when it is nervous. It will bark excessively whenever it is afraid. It will bark excessively when it is distressed or even feeling anxiety from the separation of its handler. It may feel that when the door closes, the handler will never return.
The Australian Kelpie will bark to show excitement and other emotions. It may bark to get your attention. The Kelpie likes to release its energy and play hard. If it becomes bored, he may bark in order to expel his pent-up energy. If he is lonely and no one is there to stop him, he may make barking a hobby. A bored and lonely barker is not a good situation in which to develop positive neighbor relations!
Often, Kelpies will be taught to bark by an unsuspecting owner. Because the Kelpie is so intelligent, if he barks to go out, to play or be cuddled, or to get treats, the owner will comply to quiet the dog. However, the Kelpie will realize that they can bark to get whatever they want and the behavior will continue indefinitely, according to the whims of the dog. Sometimes they will view the barking as a game, and the Kelpie loves to play games! Understanding the voice of your Kelpie will promote harmony and peace in your home.