What is the barking sound of a dog in Spanish?

Did you know that in Spain and Latin America when dogs bark they do not make the sound “woof, woof” like dogs do in English speaking countries?
Let me explain, before you ask, “¿me estás tomando el pelo?”) (Literally, “are you pulling my hair?” but the equivalent of the English expression “are you pulling my leg?”)

In Medellín, Colombia I have a “vecino” (neighbor) with a dog that barks all the time. The “raza” or dog’s breed is beagle. By the way, the name of the dog’s “raza” is called “beagle” in both English and Spanish.


Do Dogs Bark In Spanish?


I have a Colombian friend who dropped by my house recently and I said to him, “No puedo aguantar el ruido. Ese perro me vuelve loco. Siempre está ladrando.”
(I can’t put up with that noise. That dog is driving me crazy. He is always barking.)

And immediately my neighbor’s dog started barking again as if he had heard our conversation. And then my Colombian friend started to “burlarse de mí” (make fun of me), by imitating the sound of a barking dog.

I cannot describe the sound that my friend was making but it did NOT sound like “woof, woof, woof.” And it definitely did NOT sound like “bow, wow, wow.”

It was not the first time that I heard a human in Latin America make a barking sound that did NOT sound like “woof, woof, woof” or “bow, wow, wow.”

When I lived on the coast of Colombia, in a city called Barranquilla, with my “ex-novia” (ex-girlfriend), we also had a “vecino” (neighbor) with a barking dog. And my “novia” at the time would complain about the barking dog and say “Voy a poner una queja con la administración del edificio.” (I am going to file a complaint with the building’s management).

***The phrase “poner una queja” means “to file a complaint.****”

And then she’d say “cada mañana, yo escucho . . . ) or “every morning, I hear . . .” and then she would make the sound of a barking dog that did NOT sound like “woof, woof, woof” – but a sound that I cannot describe. The same sound that my Colombian friend in Medellin would make when imitating a dog’s bark.

So a few days ago, I went online and posted a question on a forum for English speakers learning Spanish and Spanish speakers learning English. I posted:

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¿Cómo se escribe el sonido de un perro ladrando? En inglés se escribe, “woof, woof.” (How does one write the sound of a barking dog. In English one writes “woof, woof”)

And several native Spanish speakers responded to say, that the sound is written as “guau, guau, guau.”

In case you want to know how to pronounce “guau, guau, guau,”
I found a “canción infantil” (children’s song) on YouTube in Spanish about a dog’s bark. The video is called “Guau, Guau” Here’s the link to the video:


By the way, you may take comfort in knowing that the sound of a cat meowing in Spanish and English is the same sound. However, it is written slightly different in Spanish: miau


Do Dogs Bark In Spanish?


The noun for meow or the sound that a cat makes is “miau” in Spanish. But the Spanish verb for meow is “maullar.”

Los gatos maúllan.
Cats meow.


Los perros ladran.
Dogs bark.