Canine language: how do dogs communicate with the owner and do they understand him?

Canine language manifests itself with verbal signals, as well as various postures. If a person carefully observes his pet, he will be able to understand how dogs communicate with the owner and whether they understand him.


From their ancestors – wolves, dogs received a way of expressing feelings, which manifests itself with the help of several options. To communicate with other dogs or people, animals express themselves through various postures, voices, and facial expressions.

Dogs don’t lie they will not hide their feelings, as a person can do. Every owner who wants to learn to understand dog language can watch his pet and notice that the reaction to different situations is different: at certain moments the dog growls, at other times it barks or starts wagging its tail. To understand what the dog wants to say, you should pay attention to his gestures, postures and body movements.

Having studied the behavior of your pet, you can understand without words what the four-legged friend wants to say, what he thinks and what his mood is. With this knowledge, you can predict the reaction of the dog to certain situations.

Canine tongue can tell when the animal is stressed, irritated, when the pet is happy, angry or fearful.

What verbal signals does the dog give?

By familiarizing yourself with the verbal signals of the dog and deciphering them, you can quickly understand what the animal wants to say, depending on the circumstances. There are the following signals that dogs give.


Such sounds may be an attempt to find its owner or a specific dog. When the owner goes to work, the pet starts to howl, thus trying to get him home.

When one dog starts howling, the rest of the dogs start howling along with it. This behavior is called a kind of simultaneous communication between animals.


A growl indicates that you should move away from the animal. Often the owner is faced with this behavior when someone tries to approach his pet’s food. Also, the dog may react negatively to a stranger or even to its owner if he tries to take away his favorite thing from him.

In the latter case A roar is considered an effective method of communication, since such a sound indicates that you can negotiate with a pet and take an item from him. But when the dog gets into an aggressive stance and does not make a sound, he is considered very dangerous.

Caution should be exercised, as at such moments the dog can attack a person.

Grunting, mumbling

As a rule, this signal indicates that the animal wants to receive something. Sound can be compared to manipulationsince the pet is familiar with the fact that they will scold him for barking, and for gentle grumblings, the owner will fulfill the whim of his four-legged friend.

As an example, consider a situation where a dog wants to eat a chocolate bar, but the owner is in no hurry to share. Similar sounds are made by the dog as a greeting to his relatives or guests.

Yawn with priskul

If the owner hears a similar sound from his four-legged friend, this indicates that the dog is dissatisfied with the current situation. The longer the priscus, the more dissatisfaction the animal expresses.

A similar phenomenon is observed in situations where the dog is forced to follow a command, is not allowed out of the room, or is not given a treat from the table.


Anxiety or injury causes the dog to whine. Some individuals like to attract attention with the help of whining. For example, if the animal is afraid of thunder.

Plaintive howl

The signal indicates the disappointment of the pet and his complaints about something.


Lay can be divided into several varieties:

  • a high-pitched sound speaks of excitement and happiness;
  • low-pitched barking indicates an aggressive mood or that the animal is threatening.

A dog may bark when he wants to get together with his relatives, to answer another dog, or as a demonstration of his happy state. With the help of barking, a pet can signal a problem.

It is not always possible for a person to understand what the problem is, because the dog is able to hear an alarm signal that is heard within a radius of several kilometers. A person is not able to hear such a distant sound.

By studying situations in which a pet gives a voice, you can understand his behavior, communicate with him correctly and minimize misunderstandings.

How to understand body language?

In addition to vocal communication, the dog uses body language. To learn the language of your pet, you need to pay attention to the following animal signals.


The position of the ears says a lot. If the animal presses them, this indicates fear.

  • Turned up or tilted forward indicate a high enthusiasm for some process. For example, if the dog is hunting, playing or experiencing curiosity.
  • Changing the angle of rotation closer to the head demonstrates aggression.
  • When the dog’s ears are partly pulled back, but not pressed down, it means that he is feeling restless and insecure. In this state, the pet shows puzzlement or frustration.

The standard of some breeds provides for ear cropping, so their mobility is significantly reduced, which makes it impossible to convey feelings and emotions in full.


The eyes are the mirror of the soul, and a dog can communicate with the help of a glance. Animals do not like to be stared at, so they may look away or react aggressively to such actions.

With the help of visual gestures, the pet can show the following emotions.

  • Demonstration of superiority. The dog will look into the eyes of his opponent without looking away from those around him.
  • desire to play. The owner will notice that his pet often blinks, as if winking. This signals that the dog does not mind playing and wants a person to join him.
  • Alertness along with complete readiness. Such a position is expressed by a wide-open look, in which maximum concentration and readiness for decisive action will be seen.
  • Humility and respect. When a dog looks away, it means that he has chosen a man as his master and accepts his supremacy over himself.
  • Aggressive attitude. The gaze will be fixed, as in a situation with a demonstration of superiority. The difference will be only in the narrowing of the eyes.

facial expressions

The muzzle of a dog is capable of showing different emotions, which may vary depending on the mood of the animal.

  • If your pet is stressed or uncomfortable (this can happen when meeting other animals or strangers), he will yawn or frantically lick his face. A human yawn can be contagious for a dog as well.
  • Aggressive attitude, warning. When the animal begins to wrinkle its face and show its teeth, it is better not to touch it at such a moment. Any step towards a four-legged friend will be regarded as an attack, which may result in a bite.
  • Joy. The well-known smile of dogs cannot be confused with other facial expressions. It symbolizes the delight of the animal and its joyful mood.


The desire to play is demonstrated by pressing to the ground and wagging the tail. The dog presses his chest and head to the ground, stretching his front paws forward. When the owner sees such a pose, you can safely get the ball and start playing.

When an animal is excited, nervous, or simply bored, it walks in circles.

Alertness and aggression will manifest itself in the form of rearing hair along the spine.

When a dog wants to attract attention (if he wants to get food, attract a person to play, get affection), he delicately touches the person with his paw.

The raised paw of the animal speaks of the presence of fears. If a tilted head is added to such a pose, then the four-legged pet is puzzled.

If the dog is full of energy and wants to play, he will cowardly with his tail up.

Embarrassment with puzzlement is expressed by leisurely waving of the tail.

The dog demonstrates trust with friendliness by swaying the hips and rubbing the sirloin against the person.

When a dog is scared, it lowers or tucks its tail. At such moments, you should protect your pet and provide him with protection.

If the dog is in a calm state, his tail is in a neutral position, at this moment the animal feels safe.

When the dog calms down after an aggressive attitude, he suddenly begins to shake his shoulders with his head. Such an action indicates that the animal has understood that the threat does not exist and is trying to eliminate the tension.

The demonstration that the dog loves the owner is manifested in licking. Using this method, the dog shows how much he misses, how much he loves his owner. The same action speaks of attracting attention. If the animal lies on its back, it trusts the person.

Unwillingness to enter into conflict and submission can be expressed in laying on the back or side in such a way that the opponent sees the stomach. If the animal is relaxed at this moment and its owner is nearby, the behavior symbolizes the recognition of a person as a leader.

How do animals talk to each other?

Since the dog is a social creature, he constantly needs communication and attention. Dogs communicate with each other using voice or body language. All actions are similar to those with which they communicate with a person. The only difference is that they perfectly understand each other and use smells.

With the help of marks, they also talk with their relatives. For this reason, during acquaintance, animals sniff each other. Such a gesture can show much more than simple sounds and postures.

Howling is the oldest form of communication among four-legged friends. She went to the dogs from distant ancestors. Such signals are heard over long distances and pets with great pleasure join the howl of their fellows, passing the message along the chain.

Do pets understand humans?

The dog belongs to the category of intellectually developed creatures. Despite the fact that they do not know how to speak and do not understand human speech, they tend to easily notice any change in human behavior. They analyze the intonation and volume of their owner’s voice.

Also, dogs have a well-developed memory, due to which they have a high ability to learn new skills and memorize commands.

A four-legged friend can remember a large number of commands, gestures and words, but this does not mean that they understand human speech. The animal only remembers the combination of sounds along with the intonation that is pronounced at one time or another.

The pet quickly understands what is required of him at the moment. In most cases, the animal feels well the household with which it lives under the same roof.

For information on how to understand your dog and its behavior, see the following video.