Dogs are very special and social creatures. They are the most loved pets in the world known for their friendliness and loyalty towards their owner.
Obviously, dogs can’t communicate in human language but they do have their own ways of communication. Dogs communicate through their body language and behaviour. In this article, we’ll discuss how dogs communicate with humans and other animals.
So, if you want to learn more, keep scrolling!
Table of Contents
How Dogs Communicate?
Dog communication system is slightly complex. It is a mix of vocalization, body language and sometimes scent cues. A dog uses these signals to communicate with his fellow buddies and to the humans.
Dogs are very familiar and flexible with their family group. Hence, it is very important to socialize your dog at a tender age so that he knows how to behave and communicate with humans.
In general, your dog includes you and other members of your family in his family group and hence behaves differently to the strangers.
Why Is It Important To Understand Canine Communication?
It is very important to learn how dogs communicate because the lack of this knowledge can result in many behavioral issues in dogs such as barking, chewing and more.
Most of the time, we talk to our dogs in human language thinking that they’re understanding our words and meanings. But that’s not true, dogs don’t understand our vocal instructions, instead, they try their best to interpret what we are saying.
The way we communicate with our dogs seems like a foreign language to them. But when we repeat the phrases over and over again and make them take certain actions, they learn the corresponding meanings accordingly.
How Dogs Communicate With Humans?
Ever wished your dog could talk to you? If so, you’re no different. Dogs are very affectionate towards their owners. In fact, they do communicate with you, but instead of using words, they use their body language. Any dog parent can tell you that their fur buddy speaks volumes with their body language and vocal signs.
Below are some of the most common signs dogs use to communicate with humans :
- Face: Dogs make different types of faces and move them in different ways to display their emotions and feelings. When a dog is confused or excited, you can tell it from his face.
- Eyes: Dog’s eyes become big and bright when he looks at his favorite person or a person he considers his friend. Similarly, when he is afraid, his eyes become gloomy and he shows white portion of his eyes by rolling his eyes.
- Tongue And Teeth: A dog pulls his lips apart and shows his white teeth when he is happy or wants to play with you. It looks like he’s smiling wide. This gesture is only limited to dog to human communication. A dog never does this to another dog or animal.
- Ears: When a dog is relaxed or listening to your instructions, his ears are raised. If they are flat towards the ground, he might be stressed or sick.
- Tail: A dog’s tail tells much about his feelings. When he wags his tail in the right direction, he is displaying his excitement and happiness. But if your dog is wagging his tail towards the left side, then know that something is wrong with your pet, he might be scared or upset.
How Do Dogs Communicate With Each Other?
Dogs are highly social creatures, they have a different set of language for communicating with other dogs.
Below is how they communicate among their kinds :
- Play Bow: Play bow is when a dog bows slightly by keeping his front legs forward in a “ready” position. It means he is inviting his fellow buddy to play with him. Sometimes, a dog uses this gesture to apologize for a rough play and to request playing more.
- Paw Slap: Paw slap is similar to a human slightly slapping your back in a friendly manner. When a dog does this to another dog, it means he trusts him.
- Rearing Hind Legs: Rearing hind legs is a dog’s way to show affection towards his buddies. Dogs often do this when they’re playing.
- Play Bites: Play bites is a part of their rough play. They bite without hurting each other. They avoid biting harshly on the sensitive areas.
Apart from body language and signs, dogs use their vocals to display their feelings and emotions. Here are the main types of vocalization used by dogs :
Just like humans, dogs communicate using their vocals like barking, whimpers, howling, whining etc. Each sound has a different message. Also, the pitch and volume of these vocals display the level of emotions.
Generally, the low-volume and low-pitch sounds are considered as warnings or negative emotions and high-volume and high-pitch sounds are considered to be friendly.
A puppy may start growling at cats to show his dominance. Similarly, a fully grown-up dog starts whining when you refuse to take him out for a walk or give his favorite treat.
Another important thing that can change the message your dog is trying to convey is the duration of a dog’s bark, growl or whine. Shorter sounds are used by dogs to display fear, excitement or surprises. Whereas longer sounds are mostly unnecessary.
For example, a small yelp might be a sign of pain and discomfort, while a long whimper is nothing but longing for extra food. Further, too many barks repeatedly are a sign of excitement or surprise, while a few loud barks can be used for showing interest in something.
Next, growling is considered as a warning. The deeper and intense the growl, the more intense or serious the warning. In such cases, there are good chances of a dog attacking the one he is growling at.
Dogs are amazing animals, having them as your pets is one of the most pleasurable things. But to strengthen your bond with them and to fill your as well as their life with happiness, you should understand their behavior and learn how they communicate. This guide is all about the same. We hope it helps you.