Can dogs communicate with us?

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Are dogs able to communicate with humans? Yes, of course and they do not use spoken words as we know. It’s strange how much we seem to take communication with our dogs for granted.

Picture this familiar scenario:

You have just returned home after a long, gruelling day at work. You want nothing more than to be warmly welcomed home and relieved of your stress and troubles at the office. However, upon opening your front door, all you hear is kids screaming, loud music; you say “Hi!” to your family and no one replies. You shrug, hang your coat and head to your office. You feel miserable. Suddenly, you are warmly greeted by a special member of the clan. From whom might this welcome greeting have come? It is none other than Blacky, your lovely dog.

Blacky happily wags his tail from side to side, prancing around. He would lick you all over if you let him and is delighted that you are home. He doesn’t mind whether you are happy or grumpy, he is ecstatic to see you! Blacky has expressed his emotions in a language he knows you understand.

Dogs use a variety of vocal noises, sounds and body language to speak with people. They are able to communicate emotions such as love, loyalty, danger and desire with nothing more than simple vocal sounds and actions. He talks to you when he is sad or scolded. He barks loudly when he senses you’re in danger or distress and he shows you how delighted he is to see you after a long day at work.

A dog will come to his owner to be patted by, for example, putting his head on the person’s lap. Or he will be running up and down to the door to be let out to do his business.

A dog’s best form of communication is actually through his tail. When a dog tucks his tail between his legs and cowers down, he is actually showing his submission to you. Dogs hide their scent and presence by tucking their tails in and this behaviour dates back to ancient times when compliance and dominance existed in pack life.

In addition to their ability to show submissiveness through their tail movements, dogs are also able to communicate happy feelings through it. When a dog is energetically wagging its tail from side to side, it is a sign that it is enjoying itself and in a generally positive mood. Apart from small actions like these, dogs are also sometimes able to display much higher levels of conveying thoughts and feelings.

There are many stories where dogs became depressed after their owners died to a point where they had lost the desire to live and starved themselves to death.

Some dogs suffer from separation anxiety when they are separated from their owners. People have reported these dogs would wait in front of the entrance door for hours until their owners came back.

Dogs are also able to detect the mood we are in. If the person feels sad, some dogs will try hard to cheer them up by wanting to play, seeking attention and pats. They know they can help us. Unfortunately, we don’t always pay attention and their talks go unnoticed.

But what about communicating via telepathy?

Well, animals do use telepathy to communicate with us and here too, it is a matter of listening. There are many stories I could tell you about interspecies communication!

Taking the previous example about dogs waiting for their owners to come back, some dogs will know half an hour earlier that their owners are coming back and will sit in front of the door, no matter the time of the day it is.

You may suddenly receive the idea to go check something outside to find your dog tangled in something dangerous. Or you might suddenly feel the urge to check the water bowl to find it empty. You are out during the day and decide to change your plans and go home to discover your dog is ill.

Your dog suddenly shows a strange behaviour by wanting to lick a specific area on your body. Weeks later, you discover a mole that does not look healthy. Have it checked by a doctor as it may be melanoma.

So next time your pooch comes to you for a pat or seeks your attention, just ask yourself what he is trying to tell you.

4 thoughts on “Can dogs communicate with us?”

  1. I read books about raising dogs when I was a kid and bugging my mother to buy one. Then when I finally had a dog of my own as an adult, I thought I knew all the essentials about dogs. Only recently have I come to realize how much one can continue to learn from our furry friends.

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