It is pretty obvious that dogs speak in a different native tongue than us. There is no denying that dogs are smart creatures, but can a dog from Spain understand a Dog from America?
So, can dogs understand each other? Yes, dogs can understand each other via body language. Because they don’t use words as a way of communication, they can actually understand each other no matter where they’re born.
But what do your dog’s barks actually mean if dogs mostly communicate via body language? Why are some barks longer in duration and higher in pitch than others? Also, do they communicate only via their body language, or are there other moths of communication that they use as well?
Can dogs understand each other?
Yes, dogs can totally understand each other. Although a dog’s communication system might seem simple, it is actually very complicated. Dogs communicate with each other via a couple of different ways. These communication methods are:
- Via body language
- Via smells
- Via different vocal cue
Body language is one of the most important communication methods that dogs use to understand each other.
Though it is highly believed that a dog wagging their tail means that they’re being friendly, that is actually false.
One shouldn’t just look at one part of a dog’s body and assume it makes one specific thing, instead, the whole body of a dog must be observed.
A dog wagging their tail could be happy, but they also wag their tail over their backs when they become intense, defensive, or alert. Some dogs ( like pugs) tend to even tightly curl their tails.
Another sign that could mean that a dog is stressed or worried is their ears being tightly pinned back against their head. That’s not all that there when it comes to ears, though!
A dog could show their interest; as well as, agitation when they move their ears forward.
They say that eyes are the window to the soul, but how does that translate when it comes to dogs? Well, it is for sure very concerning because dogs tend to stare when they are defensive and when they’re concerned. However, they often gaze softly when they’re relaxed.
When they snarl with their teeth being exposed, then they could be about to bite whoever is in front of them or are just sad or disappointed.
Can dogs communicate via smelling each other?
Have you ever noticed how dogs usually circle each other? They also often follow that by sniffing each others’ muzzles and genitals. Well, this is just a friendly way for them to interact act, greet, and get to know the other dogs.
Some animals, including dogs, have a unique organ called the Jacobson’s organ or the Vomeronasal organ in their nasal cavities that enables them to have such powerful smelling senses.
That organ allows them to smell and identify different chemicals. It also makes them able to detect certain odors, which helps them identify whether the dog in front of them is female or male, if they could mate and breed with them. Of course, it is also a great great way for dogs to identify each other.
The Jacobson’s organ allows dogs to have such mind-blowing capabilities that allow them to communicate in ways that we humans aren’t able to do so.
Can dogs communicate with each by barking at each other?
Though barking isn’t the only way dogs communicate verbally with, it is definitely one of the most common ones that we notice. Barks can vary in pitch, intensity, tone, and volume.
Noticing things like when is the dog barking, why they’re barking, and how they’re barking could give us signs on what they’re trying to convey to the other dog that they’re barking at.
It could be out of frustration because they see a puppy stuck somewhere and that can’t reach them, or they could be barking out of excitement while playing with another dog.
The sound of the bark will vary in each scenario, but you could figure it out by analyzing their body language and what is happening in that specific situation.
Other forms of communication that fall under the vocalization section include grunting, howling, and whimpering.
Next time you see two or more dogs coming together, observe their body language. You might be surprised that there is an actual conversation going on back and forth between them.
If the dogs are taking turns in the conversation, whether it is their body language, vocal cues, sniffing action, or backing, then this is probably a friendly interaction.
What is an example where dogs communicate with each other via whimpering?
Sometimes, puppy playdates tend to be rough. However, it is never intentional. For example, two puppies could be playing with each other, then one of them pushes or bites the other the dog a little too hard.
The puppy who got hurt is going to turn away from the other dog, which could be considered as a way of telling the other puppy “Hey, you’ve hurt me” because of their body language.
However, we’re not discussing body language right now. The thing that is going to capture the puppy’s attention is the hurt puppy’s whimpering sound.
This whimpering sound signals to the the other puppy that their friend got hurt, so they should take it easy on them and stop playing so roughly.
Can dogs understand humans?
Dogs an understand humans, but not by just listening to the words we speak. If we had no way of communicating with our dogs, they wouldn’t be able to take commands, or even get trained.
Your dog might not be to understand what the words you’re saying means; however, they will understand you when you combine your spoken words with things like body language, vocal cues, positive reinforcement, and repetition.
For example, if you want to your dog to stop biting you, then all you have to do is simulate what puppies do when they’re playing with each other.
- Speak up and say no.
- Then, turn your body away from them ( this is an example of communicating via body language)
- Next, whimper a bit ( a vocal cue that they already understand cause they use it while communicating with each other).
- Finally, g
ivethem treats when they stop biting you ( you’re implementing positive reinforcement tactics by rewarding them for stopping their act of biting)
By repeating that, your dog will understand that the word ” No!” means that they can’t continue doing whatever they were doing.
P.S: If you’re interested in learning how you can stop your dog from biting, then make sure you read my How to Train A Puppy Not to Bite? blog post.
Other related questions that are frequently asked regarding dog communications:
Do dogs name each other?
Dogs understand their names because of learning techniques and external conditioning. However, they don’t name each other. If two dogs were raised together, they might know each other’s names.
However, dogs do not start their conversations with other dogs they’ve just met by asking for their names or even stating their own names.
Do dogs name things like we do?
No, dogs don’t name things. They might learn and understand the names of certain things that their pet owners often name in
Dogs see and understand the world around them as concepts, which makes the able to respond to what’s happening around them quickly.
Do dogs understand kisses?
A dog won’t understand what a kiss is when you kiss them. They’re going to understand what you’re doing something, but they won’t register the act as a kiss. With time though, they will eventually be able to understand that this is a sign of affection.
They will learn that with time and begin to understand what a kiss symbolizes by observing and analyzing your body language
Do dogs understand hugs?
Like with kisses, don’t understand what a hug is because they don’t hug each other. However, with time and external conditioning, they will grow to understand that it is an
However, if your dog continues to show signs that they hate hugs, please don’t force it upon them.
That’s it for today’s post! You should now know the different methods that dogs use to communicate with each other. You will find the sources of this blog post listed at the end.
If you have any questions regarding this topic or if you want to share with us what you’ve noticed while observing two dogs interacting with each other, then feel free to do so by replying to us in the comments section down below.
How do dogs communicate with each other: https://www.dogstrustdogschool.org.uk/behaviour/understanding-your-dog/communication-between-dogs/
What Are Dogs Saying When They Bark: https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/canine-corner/201103/what-are-dogs-trying-say-when-they-bark
Do dogs have names for things? I know my dog understands some names for things, but can she “think” up names of things herself: https://www.quora.com/Do-dogs-have-names-for-things-I-know-my-dog-understands-some-names-for-things-but-can-she-think-up-names-of-things-herself
Giving your dog affection the right way: https://animalwellnessmagazine.com/giving-your-dog-affection-the-right-way/