Ever wondered what your dog is telling the other dogs on the street by wagging their tails or putting their ears back? Wonder no more! We’ve done our own research to answer the question of whether our furry four-legged friends can really talk to each other.
The answer to ‘Can dogs talk to each other?’ is yes, they can. Though they don’t use the same word structures that humans do, dogs can communicate with members of their own species. They do so with yaps, growls, and barks that convey information on things like where they are in relation to one another or what mood they’re in. Oh yeah, and did we mention how adorable some of their noises are?
A Dog’s Bark
Dogs don’t actually bark as much as people think. In 2014, a team of researchers from Oxford University and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) published a study in the journal Animal Behavior and Cognition concluding that dogs barked an average of just 15 times a day. But even though our furry friends only vocalize so often, it’s good to know what each type of bark means.
Whether they’re playing or warning someone off, dogs growl to each other. As mentioned above, dogs release vocalizations that indicate their emotions. For example, a growl accompanied by a bared-teeth face is usually a sign that the dog is warning you off. They may also growl because they’re feeling threatened by something or someone, whether it’s another animal or human being.
Ever heard your pup howl at the sound of sirens? That’s another one of those things like barking and growling that dogs do to communicate. The RSPCA study found that dogs were more likely to howl when it was dark outside, an indicator of their strong reliance on their hearing to navigate through their surroundings.
Whines And Whimpers
Those who have been around dogs for a long time have probably noticed that dogs can whine and whimper for a number of different reasons, from being hungry to wanting someone’s attention. During the RSPCA study, researchers found that how frequently dogs whined also depended on their age. Older dogs, the story goes, will whine less frequently than younger animals because they’ve learned to control their emotions better. This brings us to our next point…
Much like howling at sirens, barking can indicate different things depending on the dog. Dogs will often bark to alert others of their presence or make known any perceived threats. When a dog barks, it’s a good idea to respond by letting them know that you’re there. This will help them to relax and not feel threatened.
While there’s no way to know how many words a dog knows, their ability to communicate with one another is pretty remarkable. In addition to barking and growling to warn each other of danger, dogs use yaps and barks to signal to each other when they want something from one another or when they want someone’s attention.
It’s also important to know that dogs can learn many words, and they can actually understand what you’re saying. There are some dogs who have learned the meaning of words, including “good boy” and “sit” during obedience training. And that’s not to mention how many dog owners use hand signals with their furry friends to indicate what action they’d like them to take. Yes, dogs can understand humans. You can find all about it in our article, ‘Can dogs talk?’
Dogs can’t really speak in a human language, but they can talk to each other. In fact, there are a few things that dogs say to each other, and it boils down to the fact that they basically have their own intricate languages of barks like howling, growling, whines, and whimpers.
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To explore more, read our other dog-related articles in dogs talk.
Have you ever seen your dogs talking to each other? How do they do it? We would love to hear from you. Please share with our community by leaving a comment below!