The language of dogs: learn to interpret their signals

how dogs communicate with humans Training

What are you saying to me? If you have a dog at home, surely on some occasion you or a visitor has asked this question to the animal. We know that the dog tries to communicate, but we do not understand what it means to us.

Dogs have their own way of communicating emotions and states, just like any other animal. Therefore, it is vital that we learn to interpret the language of dogs and their non-verbal communication signals.

The importance of the language of dogs

Understanding what the dog says, how it feels and what it perceives – they are very intuitive animals – will solve risky situations for him, for you and for those who are with you at that time.

Think that with each gesture and action, the dog is showing you that something is going to happen, be it for better or for worse, through a canine language that is very easy to interpret.

How dogs communicate

We, as humans, combine spoken language with non-verbal communication to communicate. Instead, dogs use non-verbal language and chemical language .

The language of dogs is based on four communicative areas:

  • The chemical communication , which involves the senses of taste and smell.
  • Physical contact or touch .
  • The sounds through the sense of hearing. Bear in mind that dogs have a very sensitive ear, capable of picking up waves that escape us.
  • Visual communication, which is one of the most important for your relationship with your dog.

Chemical communication as language in dogs

Have you ever wondered how dogs see the world? The answer is simple and striking: more than seeing it, they smell it, and it is that sense that gives them the most information about the environment and how to behave.

Think of drug dogs, whose greatest value lies in their ability to discriminate what drugs are and what they are not.

To a lesser extent, taste is also an interesting source of information for their situation in the environment.

Auditory communication in canine language

If smell is one of the main senses of dogs, sound is just as important to the language of dogs.

It is through smell and sounds that it communicates with other living beings , be they people or other animals. The dog does not vocalize, but it does emit sounds that we must learn to identify and interpret to ensure the well-being of the animal.

Dogs bark, make high-frequency sounds, cry, whine, snort, howl, and pant. The proper interpretation and understanding of these canine language signals and signs will depend on the tone, duration and frequency of the sound emitted by the puppy.

Thus, any deep, long and repeated sound indicates that the dog feels a threat ; if they are high pitched sounds, it is trying to get your attention. On the contrary, when the sound is slow and there are no sudden movements, the dog tells us that it is calm .

Visual communication, the authentic language of dogs

These types of signals are the ones that humans perceive the most: movements, attitude … All of this has a bearing on the gestures of dogs (and humans).

Confrontational or agonistic signs

If the dog feels in danger or believes that the owner (member of his pack) is in danger, he can adopt a confrontational posture and fight . Our ability to interpret your discomfort and control the cause will make the difference between a good walk or a fight.

Signs of appeasement in dogs

When there is a tense situation, we must find ways to appease the animal’s spirits . Sometimes they also do this work with other dogs through simple actions:

  • Licking muzzle and / or ears
  • Taking little leaps
  • Curving the body
  • “Smile”
  • Head down

Signs that tell you that your dog is angry

Yes, dogs get angry. You will know that your dog is angry or disgusted with you if he leans his body forward, if he has a tight face and growls; if it is pulled to make a quick or deeper bite; or if he wags his tail or keeps his gaze fixed.

Signs that your dog is under stress

When a tense situation arises (because they do not like the visitor or one of the family members), it is necessary to be even more aware of the signals and the language of the dog . A stressed dog without proper appeasement work may attack.

After this little introduction to canine language, you will surely be able to recall some moments when you have misunderstood what your dog wanted to tell you. Don’t worry, just like them, we too have the ability to learn the language of dogs and their signals.

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