How Dogs Communicate: Are They As Humans?

dog communication

Dogs are not big on dog language and vocal communication, but they speak producing various types and intensities of sounds, ranging from whimpering and muttering to growling and barking, and, through this means, achieve some crude communication signs with other dogs and humans.

Now what you can do is to continue to read this post until the end, and you'll learn how to speak dog and reading dog body language.

Do dogs talk to each other?

Dogs may be better at communicating with humans in this way than with other dogs. Infact, they have many different ways of expressing themselves beyond barking. Most (but not all) dogs communicate in a similar manner and these expressions can usually be easily recognized by other dogs.

Some forms of puppy body language and dog communication are easy for people to understand, but some unique expressions are harder for people how to speak dog and comprehend without taking the time to learn about them. Dogs communicate in many ways including: 

  • Distance creating signals used to keep someone away or increase the distance from another individual. Examples are showing teeth, lunging forward, snapping, biting, growling, and barking.
  • Quieting signals used to express respectfulness, fathom clashes, or to show cordiality.
  • Non-verbal communication that expresses dread or protection. Illustrations are tail between the legs, hunching, moving down or taking off, and obviously the anxiety manifestations like peeing, scratching, and shaking.
  • Indications of bliss. Illustrations are a swaying tail, licking, hopping, squirming the entire body, and demonstrating a glad face.
  • Dog barks furiously (high energy bark – excitement over seeing a squirrel on TV).
  • We try opening the door (maybe he wants to go out?).
  • Dog thinks we're strange – but registers what has transpired.
  • Dog wants to go out – tries a few things that don't work and then remembers the effect of barking. Tries it out and it works.
  • Stimulus-response association is strengthened and high energy barking becomes the signal for going out.

And then there are all the sounds that canines make including:

  • Barking
  • Whining
  • Growling
  • Howling

All of these are a natural part of what we can call the language of dogs. They are intended to communicate something to the world around them, and to express the feelings the dog has at that moment.

Picking up a superior comprehension of what a canine is attempting to impart and why he might be attempting to convey when he barks will be the concentration of the rest of this book.

In Barking, creator Turid Rugaas, surely understood for her work on recognizing and using canine "quieting signals," turns her consideration regarding understanding and overseeing woofing conduct.

On the off chance that you can recognize what your puppy is communicating when he barks, you can find a way to limit the negative impacts of yelping in situations where you discover it an issue.


Dog Body Language Communication

Reading dog body language is very important! But here the talents are reversed. In canine body language they are experts at sending and receiving body language signals and, in contrast, we are dumb clucks.

The signs dogs use to communicate with each other are fairly well known and include certain facial expressions, body postures and movements.

Of course, dogs try using these expressions to communicate with humans, assuming that we speak the same language. Some people understand what they see - and some don't.

Although most humans understand extremes, such as the threatening expressions and postures of attack, the subtleties of canine "signing" are often overlooked or misconstrued.


The Mechanics of Dog Communication

Dog Sounds         

  • The whimper – anxiety (I'm miserable)
  • The whine – frustration (can be inadvertently reinforced as an attention-getting behavior)
  • The growl – back off
  • The howl – I can't find you (long distance communication, loneliness, misery)
  • The bark – different types of bark mean different things. There are greeting barks (excitement/happiness), alarm barks, barking for attention and as a threat (frequently reinforced by the person's response)

    The Dog Look

  • Direct eye contact – looking for attention or serving as a threat (depending on the context)
  • Averted eyes – submission/deference
  • Looking at an object – to direct the owner to the object in question, whether a ball that has rolled under a couch or a door that is creating an impasse.

  • Dog Head/Neck Posture

  • Up – attention or challenge
  • To the side/turning away – deference/attempts at avoidance
  • Head held low – submission

  • Dog Body Language

  • Tense muscles – subconscious sign of impending fight or flight
  • Relaxed body, relaxed musculature – easy going attitude for dogs body
  • Head held low but rear end elevated, tail wagging – I want to play

  • Dog Tail Language

    We can read the dog's mood from the tail position/movement, but the tail is not really intended to communicate anything to humans. However, when the tail is up it means the dog is actively interested (a confident, attentive gesture).

    Tail tucked is submission; tail horizontal is neutral mood or indifference; tail movement (wagging) reflects the dog's energy level/excitement level.

    Dog Movement

  • Movement toward a person is designed to get their attention.
  • Movement away from a person transmits the dog's uncertainty about that person.
  • The dog's movement away from the person is a defensive move.

  • Conclusion

    As owners learn more about communicating with dogs and understanding dog body language, their dog's abilities, they build a more harmonious and more fulfilling relationship. The more we can understand about what our dogs are trying to tell us the better dog owners we will become. Some people have lengthy conversations with their dogs.

    The dog clearly cannot understand much of what is being said, but he may realize that he is getting attention, may recognize occasional sounds, and will probably pick up on the mood of the person talking to him. 

    And how do you communicate with your dog? Write in the comments below!

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