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• Dogs are a domesticated form of wolfs.
They use two ways of communication: one
to communicate with their peers and the
other one to communicate with us, humans.
• Through them, dogs can express their
emotions, desires, necessities and senses
of humor. They can also define their social
status among other dogs. Not only does
their language include movements from
ears, eyes, eyebrows, mouth, head, tail and
the entire body, but it also includes barks
and growls. We should differenciate their
body language from their vocalizations.
• Concerning the body language, we can identify
tail, ears, mouth, eyebrows, legs and head
• When the tail is held high, it shows that the dog
• When the tail is between the legs, it shows that
the dog is afraid.
• Fast wags of the tail may mean that the dog is
happy or excited.
• When the lips are curled back, it shows
that the dog has a strong urge to bite.
• Erect ears facing forward means the dog is
very attentive, while ears laid back
suggests a timid reaction.
• When a dog is happy or wants to play, it
might pant with lips relaxed, covering the
teeth and with what sometimes appears to
be a happy expression.
• However, when a dog
wants to be left alone, it
• Dogs lick other dogs’ faces and mouth when
they greet each other to indicate friendliness.
• Raised eyebrows suggest interest, but lowered
eyebrows suggest uncertainty or mild anger.
• A dog might stamp its feet, alternating its left
and right front legs when is excited, it means
that he wants something, or his owner’s
• It is also common for dogs to paw or scratch
for objects they desire.
• The leaning of a dog’s head to the right or to
the left often indicates curiosity or a sign of
recognition to an unfamiliar word.
• In addition to this, vocalizations are also very
important. Through these, they can show
emotions, pain and even boredom.
• Howls: These can reach long distances, and
they often use them to show their loneliness.
They are also used to communicate with other
dogs. Sometimes, dogs howl when they hear
sirens or loud sounds like flutes or clarinets.
They interpret this as another dog howling in the
• Barks: Dogs bark for many reasons, such as
when perceived intruders approaching their
living space, when hearing an unfamiliar noise,
or when playing. Barking also expresses
different emotions, such as loneliness, fear,
suspicion, stress, or pleasure. Some research
has suggested that dogs have separate barks
for different animals.
• Growls: Growls can express aggression or a
desire to play. For this reason, most pet owners
have been urged to treat growls with special
attention. This includes always considering the
context of a growl.
• Whines: It’s a vocalization produced nasally with
the mouth closed. They use it when they want
food, to go outside, or just attention. It’s the
language of puppies because they don’t bark.
• Some dogs can even recreate human speech
after a long training.
• Apart from that, dogs can also communicate through
smells. However, this can only be detected by other
dogs. It’s the most powerful language between dogs.
It serves to recognize each other by smelling their
anal zone, or ears. They also use it to mark their
territory or to express their hierarchy. All the
secretions they have serve as a way of
communication between them. In the same way,
dogs can also smell our emotions and even know
our reactions and movements.
• In conclusion, dogs have two very efficient
ways of communication with which they
can interact both with their peers and with
humans. To do this, they include all kinds
of movements, sounds and smells, but
these ones can only be detected by other
dogs. We should learn the language of our
dogs to improve our coexistence and
relationship with them, as they are our
best friends, indeed.