Have you ever wished your dog could talk to you? Well, they do; just not with words. Research shows that dogs have their own way of communicating with their owners, as well as with other dogs. We’re sharing different ways of communicating with dogs and how they communicate back.
Communicating With Dogs Through Body Language
Any dog owner will tell you that their four-legged family members speak volumes with their bodies. Here are some typical signals dogs use:
Face: Dogs will wrinkle or straighten their foreheads to show confusion or determination.
Eyes: A dog’s eyes brighten when they look at a creature they consider friendly. When they are afraid, their pupils dilate and they show the whites of their eyes.
Lips, teeth, and tongue: If your dog is happy or wants to play, they may pull their lips back and show their teeth in what appears to be a smile. This is a gesture that is reserved only for human/dog communication; a dog will not do this with other dogs.
Ears: If a dog’s ears are raised, they are relaxed or listening. If they are back, they might be signaling submission.
Tail: If the tail wags more to the right, it is a sign of positive feelings; left-side wagging indicates negative feelings.
How Dogs Talk to Each Other
Dogs are social animals, and there is a universal language they share when communicating with other dogs, according to Marc Bekoff, a biologist and author of “Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues.”
Play bow: This means let’s play. However, it can also be a sign of apology; it’s a dog’s way of saying, “Oops. I didn’t mean to play so rough. Let’s keep playing!”
Paw slap: This is like a human coming up and slapping you on the back. This gesture puts the dog at an awkward angle, so it’s also a sign that the dog trusts the dog it is playing with.
Rearing hind legs: When dogs rear up on their hind legs, it’s a sign of affection. It often looks like dancing when dogs do this together when they’re playing.
Biting: Again, it’s a sign of play. Dogs are careful to avoid sensitive areas on the other animal.
Dogs Communicating Through Barking
Just like their human owners, dogs like to talk. However, unlike body signals, barking can represent different things to different dogs. They can use barks to indicate if they are hungry or thirsty, want to play, or want to go outside. They can also bark to alert their owners to an intruder or emergency. The pitch or volume of the bark will increase with the dog’s level of emotion.
Understanding Each Other
We send our dogs to obedience school to teach them how to understand what we want from them. But they also need to tell us what they need from us, and they do so every day. We simply have to open our eyes, ears, and hearts to understand what they are trying to say.