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Learn How to Communicate with Your Dog

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Understanding your dog’s body language and the sound it makes is essential to understand its mood and if it needs something. Understanding what your dog is trying to communicate with you is interesting, which makes training your dog easier.

Behavior training for your dog is a must. A lot of pet owners do not give it as much importance, which only leads to the making of a destructive dog. Especially dogs that are adopted from shelters usually have a sad history which affects their behavior.

My perfectly trained Goldendoodle was actually adopted from a shelter. Though I was giving him the same training as my other dogs, he was particularly not ready to get disciplined. I had to consult a vet to understand the issue, and I was told that the dog had an excessively matted coat that was pulling its underskin and causing discomfort, which he was expressing through the behavior. When I used the best dog grooming shampoo to groom the dog and get rid of the mats, it became a perfect gentleman and one of the most loving dogs I have adopted.

To understand them, you will have to learn how they communicate. These dogs are anxious and fearful as they have been homeless for a long time. You may wish to offer them the best home, but it may take some time for you to unravel the dog’s usual behavior.

Here we have listed different communication methods the dog uses to interact with you.

Different Sounds Your Dog Can Make:

1. Howling:

Howling is a way of communication between dogs. Howling is done to communicate messages to their pack members. If you leave your dog alone at home at night and it is not used to it, it may start howling and try to communicate with you. It can also mean a sign of danger or a way to express excitement or happiness.

A few dog breeds howl a lot as compared to others. Huskies or their mixed designer version like Pomsky are known to howl the most. This is an adorable trait if you love to be around a talkative dog. Hence, you should check out Pomsky puppies for sale. On the other hand, you will hardly see a retriever howl or bark. A few breeds are more vocal, and it is natural. Hence, you need to learn about any breed traits to know more. If you prefer a quiet dog, then you have to do extensive research to figure out breeds that are less likely to howl.

Though you will need to understand that howling is known to be one of the oldest forms of dog communication, experts believe dogs howl nowadays to communicate their location or find out where other people or dogs are.

2. Barking:

Dog barking is a natural way of communication, as that is the only way they can express themselves. People who do not understand much about dogs assume it is aggressive behavior, but honestly, most dogs bark to greet you, demand attention, express emotions, or warn you of danger. Sometimes we may get irritated about the barking, but you need to understand the dog also has urges to communicate with you, and it can do that by baking.

Having said that, excessive barking can become a nuisance. Especially if your neighbours live close by then they may start complaining about the excessive barking noise. Also, any delivery guy or guest that comes to your neighbours home will trigger the dog’s barking. Hence,, if you want the dog to bark less, there are many things you can do about it. One way is to provide the dog with plenty of exercise. If the dog is tired, it is less likely to bark excessively than a dog full of energy. Hence ensure your dog gets plenty of opportunities to run and play in your yard. If you do not have one, take the dog to a park.

3. Whining:

Whining is a communication form that dogs use to express what they want. It could mean anything from begging for food to show fear or requesting a walk. Whining happens when dogs need attention; ignoring them is the best way to stop them. Once they see that they are not getting the response they want, they will eventually stop. If your dog is whining out of anxiety or fear, you will have to address it to ensure it improves.

4. Growling:

Growling is another sound your dog can make to express their emotions. Growling can be both positive and negative emotions, so you have to take note of the context in which the dog is growling. If the context is happy, then it is growling out of excitement. However, if the dog is growling in a negative context, then it may be aggression or fear. If you are unsure about it, you better consult a professional trainer.

Reading the Dog’s Body Language:

1. When Anxious:

An anxious dog can communicate its feeling through facial expressions. You will see its tail between its legs, its ears flat against its head, and a tense body posture. This dog may corner itself in a room and avoid eye contact altogether. It may also try to hide behind its owner or any other furniture. If you are not the owner, it is not a good idea to directly approach this dog as it can get suspicious of you and try to attack you in the process. The dog needs to be calmed first before doing any interactions.

2. When Fearful:

It is easy to understand a dog is fearful when you see its tails down and its ears back. They may be crouching and whining, whimpering, or barking. Fearful dogs may try to escape from the place or the source of fear. Some may freeze in place. It may get aggressive if you force the dog to confront the source of fear.

If you see a fearful dog, you may feel the urge to comfort it immediately. You need to refrain from that as the dog may get aggressive towards you if it senses you as a threat. You need to deal with this situation carefully. Feed the dog some treats to showcase that you are a friend. Its body language will change when it does not see you as a threat. Approach the dog only after it is ready to be submissive.

3. When Aroused:

An aroused dog can display various behaviors, such as panting, pacing, or restlessness. High-pitched whines or barks can also indicate excitement but do not get it confused with low growls, which indicates stress or aggression. Dogs also may vocalize to express their arousal level. You may also see physical behavior like humping various objects which may showcase this emotion. If you do not plan on breeding your dog, it is advisable to get it spayed or neutered if this problem increases. Many intact dogs are known to be more destructive than the ones that are fixed.

4. When Aggressive:

Dogs can communicate aggression in many ways, like growling, snapping, or even biting in some cases. This may cause when they are fearful of a situation or person. They can also get territorial at times and act aggressively towards other dogs. You will also find a dog aggressive if it feels you mean to harm its pack, and this aggression comes because of its protective nature. While a few dogs are super friendly, like labradors who wag their tail and get excited to greet a stranger also, guard dogs like German Shepherds may act differently. This is why, while you may be a hardcore dog lover, you must understand any dog’s temperament before approaching it.

Many dog lovers make the classic mistake of approaching any dog without knowing about its temperament from its owner first. This leads to attacks and accidents. It is advisable to first understand about the dog’s temperament before approaching it as most of them love human interaction; there are a few that may get anxious when approached by a stranger.

5. When Happy:

This is the best part of owning a dog. Watching a happy dog will fill your heart with joy as it wags its tail fiercely while licking you. A happy dog would want you to pet it and interact with it. It just shows gratitude that you have done something right to make it happy, and this is the most common thing you will notice if you have a happy dog at home. A happy dog is also very playful and would want to play games that involve you, such as fetch or tug. If your dog has stopped, being interested in playing suddenly, it would mean either it is not feeling healthy or is anxious or sad about something. You need to closely observe any behavior changes to understand your dog’s mood.

The Bottom Line:

Relaxing communication with your dog is the key to keeping your dog calm. If you showcase extreme emotions, then it will either make the dog fearful or extremely excited, which you do not want. Relaxed communication, on the other hand, can help you build a bond with your dog based on trust.

Felicia Wilson


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