Ask McFartnuggets: "Is it Wrong For a Human to Bark at a Dog?"

Dear McFartnuggets: 
Sometimes when I’m out for a walk alone I’ll pass a person who’s walking their dog and the dog barks at me so I bark back at it. Whenever I do this the owner of the dog usually gets mad at me and I don’t understand this. The dog was barking at me first. I’m just talking their language. If I had a dog and the dogs barked at each other that wouldn’t be a problem, but when a person barks at a dog it is? Can someone explain this to me? -- Lana from Rockport, Maine

Dear Lana:
Yeah I can see how some people might react negatively to a person barking at their dog. I think that’s just something your average person isn’t accustomed to. People expect humans to speak English to their dogs. I think that’s because they speak English to their dog. Unfortunately, few people are like you and actually choose to speak the canine national tongue and it’s more acceptable to speak our language to them. It’s kind of like how someone might speak English to a foreign person instead of try to speak broken Spanish to them. Speaking someone’s native tongue poorly is preferable to speaking your own to them if you’re trying to communicate, but it does make you look stupid and I think that’s what people are afraid of. I don’t think it’s rude since that’s the way that dogs communicate. They all bark loud. You almost never see a dog barking in measured tones at a conversational decibel level. So in order to communicate with a dog you would have to bark just like them so if anyone has a problem with that it’s just because they’re not used to seeing it.

If your dog accent is off even by a little they'll interpret anything you say as "Bark more!"

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