Imagine that every time you attempt to talk to your best friend their response is one of harsh scolding words. Now picture this happening not once, twice or thrice but almost every single day. I’m betting soon there won’t be much of anything to call as friendship left! I’ll even go out on a limb here and hazard a guess that soon the two of you won’t be talking altogether. Perhaps you’d withdraw into some kinda shell or maybe the bombardment of negativity and criticism would drive you to lash out in anger one day.
Okay, now let’s picture this scenario a little bit differently in that you happen to be a dog and that supposed best friend of yours is your owner. That makes it a tad more complicated doesn’t it, especially if your owner is not trying to be intentionally cruel or harsh but simply doesn’t understand how to communicate properly with you!
Have you ever tried communicating with someone who doesn’t speak the same language as you? It isn’t easy is it! There’s a whole lot of arm waving, gesticulating, self-conscious grinning and facial contortions, much of which isn’t actually helping you to understand one another any better…and we are talking about communication between individuals from the same species here! That pretty much puts into perspective the monumental wall standing between you and your dog communicating efficiently with one another.
The bottom line is that you don’t talk dogspeak and neither does your dog speak any human language but that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn how to communicate efficiently with one another. And seeing as you are a member of the more intelligent species in this particular partnership, the onus is on you to create that better environment of communication. However unfortunately far too often this is not the case, more often than not it being the dog owner representing the party that gets irritated and confrontational during sessions of communication. If and when this goes on for long enough this in turn could make your dog to:
• Get depressed and withdraw
• Start avoiding you
• Whimper and slink about whenever you’re in the vicinity
• Become aggressive and unmanageable
Communication With Your Dog Starts With Understanding Your Dog
Like us humans, dogs have their own standard dog etiquette and behavior and quite naturally in the same way that we expect them to respond in a desired manner to our communication so do they expect no less from us. But as pointed out previously, being that we are two very different species, notwithstanding the fact that we have co-existed side by side for thousands of years, human beings and dogs speak very differently languages!
Thus to forge a better relationship with your dog you need to have a better understanding of dog communicative signals that comprise dog language other than the obvious ones.
Dogs bark, growl, yelp, snarl, whine, howl, warble and sing as a means of communication between themselves and other species such as ourselves. Dogs can tell pretty accurately from the tone and inflection of our voices our mood and state of mind, much in the same way that we can judge their intent from the type of vocalization they utilize. However there is only so far such communication can go and the plain fact of the matter is that so much of dog language exists in the form of unvocalized signals; something the average dog owner has no clue about.
Generally speaking all dogs no matter where they come from (thanks to their common ancestral origins, the wolf) understand what another dog is saying. However some dogs are better adapted to unvocalized signals than others. For example dogs that have docked tails cannot communicate dog signals that incorporate tail action. Also color patterns do play a part in dog language communication, for example dogs that have black outline eyes with tan spots above them are better able to communicate eye-related signals because of the contrast. Completely black dogs or white ones are at a disadvantage from this perspective, which may explain why black dogs use the licking signal more often than the ones using facial expressions.