We spoke with a few experts on dogs and humans to get some insight. Alexandra Horowitz, author of Inside of a Dog , does research into how dogs think, but she's also interested in how people talk to them. She collects these one-sided conversations — like the owner overheard saying to his dog, "Last pee for a while, buddy," before the recent snowstorm in New York — on her Twitter feed , with the hashtag thingspplsaytotheirdogs.
Surely part of why we do this is that our dogs often react like they understand us, but most of our dogs are very different from Chaser or the service dogs who respond appropriately to many commands.
Ask any dog trainer and she'll tell you that most of us, even when we think we've taught a command, haven't done a thorough enough job of repetition and training in different situations. But even if our dogs do come to recognize individual words, they don't understand the ever-changing nature of sentence structure. So when Horowitz overheard a woman saying, "No, that isn't food. No, I mean, that isn't food for you," we can be sure her dog didn't get the difference between those two sentences. However, if she spoke in a stern voice, the dog probably got at least part of the intended message.
It seems obvious to most people that dogs pick up on the emotions conveyed in our tone of voice. But what we think is obvious doesn't always turn out to be true when scientists do the research. For instance, that guilty look doesn't mean what you think it does.
Dog Communication and Body Language
In the case of our tone of voice, though, the science backs us up. Emily Bray is a graduate student in animal learning at the University of Pennsylvania who's worked with Brian Hare of the Canine Cognition Center at Duke University on how dogs of different temperaments respond to intonation cues. She says that many studies have shown that a dog's behavior is affected by whether a person speaks in a friendly tone or an intimidating one. For example, dogs may understand what a pointing gesture means, but their reactions change depending on how an experimenter speaks to them. It's actually not at all surprising that dogs understand our tone of voice, because, in fact, there's nothing special about the way humans convey emotion — we do it the same way as our fellow mammals.
So when you talk that squeaky baby talk to your pet, he's probably getting exactly the affectionate message you're intending. Similarly, animals — including us — use short, repeated vocalizations when excited.
In fact, one difference between experienced dog trainers and the rest of us is that trainers are better at using intonation to communicate effectively. Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…. Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats?
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The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns. For example, if he is standing at the door whining, he probably wants out OR is excited about whoever is on the other side of the door.
This one is often missed by owners and definitely kids when you are handling your dog. But if your dog whips his head around quickly to the area you are touching, it either means it hurts or he is not comfortable with you touching there.
5 Reasons To Talk To Your Dog On A Daily Basis
Knowing this can help you learn if your dog has a painful spot and also keep you or a child from being bit when handling a sensitive dog. You can see the dog in this picture is showing the whites of her eyes, another sign she is not comfortable. Does your dog bark at you to get something — food, a walk, play time, you to throw that toy? Most dog owners pay good money to dog trainers to get their dog to stop doing this, but it is communication nonetheless.
Be aware of this signal can help you avoid the next part, which can lead to fights and bites. Shop Now.
7 Ways Your Dog Is Trying To Communicate With You
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