What Noise Do Dogs Make Around The World?

“What the hell is that? Is that a dog?! What noise do dogs make here?!?!?” I asked incredulously. Turns out it was. Apparently the dogs in this country make different noises than the traditional “bark bark” I grew up hearing. The more countries I traveled, the more I realized that dogs around the world make different noises in different countries.

It all started back while I was learning Bahasa Indonesia in Indonesia (no surprise there).

We were practicing new phrases when my friend and teacher Chika drew a picture of a little dog with a talk bubble that read “guk guk” 🀨 Confused why the dog was guking instead of barking, I had to learn more. What follows might just be one of the strangest things I have learned in all my travels.

What noise do dogs around the world make? It turns out they all make different noises.

She explained to me that in Indonesia dogs don’t go “bark bark” or “woof woof,” they say “guk guk.” So this got me thinking: What other crazy noises do dogs around the world make?

Between my subsequent travels and through conversations with other travelers, I have composed a list of the sound dogs make, broken down alphabetically by country.

What noise do dogs make around the world?

What sound do the dogs make in your country? Share your bark at the end of this post πŸ™‚

Afghanistan“haap haap”
China“wong wong”
France“waouh waouh”
Iceland“voff voff”
India“phaw phaw”
Indonesia“guk guk”
Iran“haap haap”
Italy“bau bau”
Japan“wan wan”
Korea“meong meong”
Lithuania“au au”   (oww oww)
Malaysia“auk auk”
Mexico“guau guau”
Netherlands“blaf blaf”
Norway“voff voff”
Peru“wau wau”
Philippines“ja ja” / “to to”   (two-two)
Poland“chaΕ‚ chaΕ‚”   (how how)
Romania“ham ham”
Russia“gav gav” / “vav vav”   (whav whav)
Singapore“wo wo”
Tajikistan“haap haap”
Turkey“hev hev”
United States“bark bark” / “woof woof”
Vietnam“don’t eat me!”

Okay, that last one might not be entirely true. I’m sure a smart person like you already realized that. But what you probably don’t realize is that dog might just be more delicious than beef.

What sound do dogs make in your country?

This is just one example of some of the useless but interesting things you learn when you wander the globe at a much slower pace. Welcome to my life πŸ˜‰ All nomads should try slow travel for at least one chapter of their journey.

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About Derek Freal

"Some people eat, others try therapy. I travel." Β  Cultural enthusiast. Adrenaline junkie. Eater of strange foods. Chasing unique and offbeat adventures around the world since 2008. Derek loves going to new destinations where he does not speak a word of the local language and must communicate with hand gestures, or places where he is forced to squat awkwardly to poo -- supposedly its healthier and more efficient. For more information (about Derek, not squat pooing) including popular posts and videos, check out his bio.

21 thoughts on “What Noise Do Dogs Make Around The World?”

  1. As noted, the dogs in Japan say ‘wan wan’. What I also find amusing is that people refer to dogs as ‘wan-chan’ – which is essentially calling them ‘little Mr. Woof’. πŸ™‚

  2. Yup, trying Lennara. Writing for myself, writing for clients, editing videos, reorganizing/redesigning my web site, having Skype meetings to organize the Rickshaw Run, and a whole slew of other long overdue work.

  3. Wow, Italy is bau-bau , in Indonesian bau means Smelly..
    in Afganistan is Haap haap, in Indonesian haap means; if somebody throw something to you (such as ball, beer can etc) and we say; please haaap
    in Korea is meong-meong.. LOL, Derek … Meong is Meow in Indonesian. Maybe you can make another Tuesday humor, what noise cats around the world…. Interesting, as a cat lover I’d like to know what meow around the world sounds like, meow, meong (indonesian for cat’s sound), miauw…. and again, Vietnam & China in the last list; DON’T EAT ME..!!

    Regarding the guk guk one, a little information, There is a clan name in North Sumatra, Bataknese .. called Raja Gukguk. Raja means King, gukguk is woof woof..(we dont know whether this clan is relevant to the dog, since ‘some’ bataknese is dog eaters) I had class mate with this clan and in his last name Raja Gukguk, and we’re so bad, we made fun of it anytime our teacher called him.. XD .. yeah… high school students, what can you expect… πŸ˜€

  4. Hi Derek,

    Here in Jimbaran Hills, in Bali, the 3 Balinese street dogs we’re watching do the unmistakable Bali dog howl, and the street dogs we encounter daily during our walks make a noise like “We won’t bite you but we’ll hound your ass for a block, walking within 3 inches of your behind, barking the whole way” πŸ˜‰ You lived in Indonesia, you know how it works.

    I also appreciate the dog next door and his name: Dodo. As we walk by him, with Dodo barking, and posturing, we envision him signing off on cards, writing, “I want to tear your face off. Delightfully Yours, Dodo”

    Fun post D!


    • Lol yup, I know how the dogs there act all too well…especially the ones in Bali hahaha. Kintamani is the name of the Balinese breed — you know, those white ones you see everywhere that all look identical — and they are lazy dogs, love to lay in the streets and won’t rarely move if you pass within centimetres of them on your motorcycle.

  5. I love this! I had NEVER thought of this either until I was learning Spanish and my instructor wrote something crazy for what sound a dog makes. It’s just one of those things you don’t consider until it’s presented to you. She also told us that in Spanish cats say “miao” which I love… so fancy!

    • So true Ashley, it’s one of those little things you don’t think about until one day it hits you and you’re like “holy shit, that’s amazing!” So you speak Spanish, yeah? Me too! And yes, “miao” is totally a classy cat sound. Speaking of, non-Spanish speakers have laughed at my tweets when I type “jajaja” (the Spanish “hahaha”) thinking that it was a typo…but hmmmm, now I wonder if people laugh differently in different countries? πŸ˜‰

      • YES! The “jajaja” I forgot that’s sort of the same! I mean, it’s funny that we try to spell sounds in the first place. I will text something to all of the non-native English speakers I know and see how they respond. πŸ˜‰
        I wonder what other sounds out there are spelled differently. I will research this and get back to you!

    • Most of these sounds are actually legitimately different. Enough so that when I have brought up this topic in hostels to gather peoples’ feedback, everyone usually ends up laughing because they sound so different. To use Indo as an example again, “guk guk” is pronounced with a double-o sound, like took only gook. Not even remotely close to a bark or a woof or even a ruff-ruff. However other’s like Iceland’s “voff voff” do sound somewhat similar to the noise we would consider belonging to a dog.

  6. Just gotta comment on this post since I stumbled upon it. Remember when we tried to literally ‘cat calling’ the cat in Korea and was ignored? Still thinks it ‘meow’ differently in Korean language lol


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