Issue 62

How Well Do You Understand Your Dog?

The dog is a sensitive and intelligent animal that relies on communication within his pack to thrive and survive, so as his ‘best friend’ we should have a grasp of basic dog lingo to help our relationship run that little bit more smoothly. And not just the verbal type. But too often it seems that people expect their dog to learn 'human' without doing him the same courtesy.

The canine vocabulary is made up of verbal, non verbal, spatial and many other types of communication. Our dogs are sophisticated enough to be seen flirting, chatting, changing the subject, introducing themselves and even doing the equivalent of reading the morning paper.

Christine Emerson takes you on a journey of understanding one of the most complex languages on earth.

Saying ‘Hello’

Take a look at your dog – go on, take a good look at him and ask yourself how well does he talk to other dogs and how well do you think he understands what they are saying to him?  Is he rude or is he a gentleman?

You can tell this by the way he approaches strangers. Eye contact, whether he approaches in a direct line or an arc, and what he does on initial contact are all markers of developed canine social skills.

Now take a good look at his coat.  Has nature helped him with eyeliner and an outline around his ears or is he a black mass?

Why Is His Coat Important?

Body posture is just one way that dogs communicate and this can be helped by coat decoration. A dark line of hair around the eye will emphasise direct eye contact or diffusing blinking and as the position of ears help to reflect a dog’s emotions, an outlined ear is another advantage.  However, I often hear people say their dog “does not like Black Labradors”.




It’s never too late to learn ‘dog’.

Dogs. They all have their funny traits that make them special to us. When did you first understand your dog and their behaviour, quirky or otherwise? Let us know the moment - we'd love to hear from you!

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