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Canine communication

As people, dogs have their own language. The method used for communication depends very much on the distance between the two animals. When two dogs are very close to each other, it can use hearing, smelling and visual signals.

Hearing signals are the sound signals that are sent by dogs one to each other and are classified into many categories: short bark, long bark, the yelp, the growl, the whining, the moan, the howl and the puff.

  • The sort bark: Each owner distinguishes in his dog's barking many signals: the warning for the arrival of strangers, the presence of a strange animal, the greeting of members of the family that come home, the play with a friend or a child, the fear of danger, the ask for food, the invitation to play.
  • The long bark : A strong bark with a hostile and long tone. This way dogs behave when they are left alone in the yard at night.
  • The yelp: It is always a requesting for help, at the puppy or at the old dog.
  • The growl: There is the growl during the play (short, funny, clear) and the menacing one (long, hostile, unclear)
  • The whining : It is a sound like "cain cain" caused by pain; it can be like a protest or a request for help.
  • The moan: It shows a bad mood and ungratefulness, impatience, it provokes pity, it begs for something.
  • The howl: a howl on a higher tone, both in day time and at night; it is sometimes a reaction to music or to the bells ringing.
  • The puff: It is a kind of a warning sneeze, a smoother bark with the close muzzle, a first signal of arrival of some strangers or some suspect noises; puffing, the dog always turns its head toward the place from where the noise comes, to indicate it.

The smelling signals mean at dogs a way of finding and sending a large quantity of information. Dogs can have many sources of communication smells as: the anal and genital smell, excrements and urine, the lick and the petting.

The visual signals are very rich in significations. If a dog looks at us frankly straight in the eyes, it has with us an understanding and safe relationship. If it never looks straight in the eyes, it means that we did not succeed in understanding its language and establishing a collaborating relation. If it moves its looks from one side to the other, it means that it is afraid of us, it does not love us. If a strange dog appears in front of us, threatening us with a sharp look, it means that it is ready to bite us at the slightest move: it is better to stay where we are.

The more we succeed in understanding better and more from the communication way at dogs the more, we people succeed in understanding the man's best friend.

CRISTIAN O. - international trainer in dog training,
specialist in recovering dogs with behaviour
problems and canine education


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