puppy & adult dog

Canine Communication

Harnessing canine communication to maintain effective Social relationship

Dogs have three main methods of communication: Auditory, Visual and Olfactory.

Auditory Communication can be relayed over a range of distances. Dogs repertoire of sounds include barking, grunting, whining, yelping, screaming, howling, growling, tooth snapping and panting as a form of play.

The sounds can be expressed differently to communicate different things. For example, barking can indicate greeting, defensiveness, care seeking, distress or seeking contact. It is also used as a communal activity. The fact they have such a wide range of vocal communication should highlight how sensitive they are to our tone of voice. Always praise you dog enthusiastically make sure you gets its tail wagging.

If the dog gets over excited when you praise him or her, calm you voice accordingly.

Many owners, at some point, make the exclamation “he knows he has done the wrong thing”, when it comes to the behaviour of their pet. This statement is normally made after they find the dog’s misdemeanour, the dog is either hiding away or cowering (slinking) in the other room. When the owner appears to be angry a dog will slink (keep their body low) they will put their tail between their legs, flatten their ears, lower their head, and give no eye contact. In fact this is just simply submissive behaviour or body language, used by the dog to appease the owner’s aggressive body language. Your dog has the ability to link behaviour with thee consequence if the consequence happens within half a second of the behaviour.

Therefore punishing after the event, whether physical or verbal, is not only ineffective, it will only serve to increase the dogs’ anxiety. The reason that submissive behaviour is easily mistaken for guilt is the fact that dogs can learn to anticipate the circumstances in which their owners will behave aggressively towards them i.e. tell them off after the fact.