Dog Communication Systems: How Dogs Communicate

Some basic Dog Communication skills are needed to understand the puppy's behavior it is precise to recognize on one hand the development studies and on the other the communication systems. Communication is indispensable for the puppy to be able to socially interrelate. For this, the puppy uses several systems: sniffing signals, hearing, tactile and visual signals.

The Olfactory Signal: The dog is one of the animals that have the most powerful and sensitive smell, with 200 millions of smelling receptors. This type of communication is possible because of pheromones, substances that the dogs emit; these constitute the authentic messages for their species. These pheromones are found in their excretions and body secretions. Therefore the smell is very important for the transmission of information.

Sounds: The dog is able to emit different types of sounds. At the beginning the puppy puts into use its vocalizations. Their sound repertory is easily filled and enriched. The messages that the dog emits can be categorized into four types: alarm signals, approach signals, infantile signals and the signals of distance. When the puppy is 20 days old it begins to growl which is similar to barking. Barking first appears at 24 days after birth. The puppy only uses it in critical situations. The growl, which has a more aggressive connotation appears at the age of 8 weeks and is brought with a threatening imitation, which the puppy does with its lips to show its teeth. The adult dog has a very well developed ear. The dog can hear sounds that reach up to 67,000 hertz, while humans can only hear sounds up to 20,000 hertz. The dog can locate where the sound is coming from precisely. That is the mechanism that the mother uses to locate the puppies that have moved away from the nest. That is why it is required that the "family" is located in a calm and peaceful area so that the dogs can communicate successfully.

Dog Tactile Communication: This is the puppy's favorite kind of communication. Beginning in the third week, the puppies from the same family lick and learn to recognize each other. This communication happens very fast with the owner through petting. Petting the puppies can start after weaning, but never during the period of time while breast feeding is going on. Manipulating a puppy before weaning can cause the mother and the rest of the puppies to reject the one that has been manipulated by the owner.

Visual Communication: There are three factors that make up this system: corporal posture, facial mimic and body movements. Through these the dog expresses different notions of social life: submission, threat, playing desire, sexual tension, etc.

The objective is to understand and educate the animal, making him happy and sociable. We can achieve this by interpreting its messages:

  • Sound: barking, howling, growling, etc
  • Mimicking: ears back, tilted head, lips, etc
  • Body signs: tail movement, spiking hair, etc.

All we have to do is observe the dog carefully. Dog's Learning

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