Thursday, August 13, 2009

Can Dogs Talk?

Can Dogs Talk?

Can dogs talk? The answer depends on how you define "talking." If you consider only the spoken word as "talking," then the answer is no. On the other hand, if you think sign language is "talking," then maybe the answer is yes.

If by talking, you mean communicating, there's no doubt that dogs talk. Humans sometimes have a problem understanding "dog," but that doesn't mean that other dogs don't understand "dog." Verbal communication in the dog language is done with barks, growls, whimpers, yips, and moans. But unlike humans, dogs communicate in many other ways. They communicate through smell and body language.

Have you ever seen a dog bow to another dog? He puts both of his front feet forward and rests on them up to the elbow. His behind is up higher, and his tail is wagging. This is an invitation to play. The dog that's bowing is inviting another dog to join him in a game of chase or tug of war or some other doggy game. Have you ever watched one dog touch noses with another dog and then immediately lay down and roll over on his back? That's doggy language for "I'm not trying to make you mad. I accept that you are the alpha dog." If neither dog accedes, a dogfight happens.

Have you seen a dog send a warning signal that means "if you come any closer, I'm gonna take your leg off"! The dog is standing erect. He's raised his hackles. His tail is not wagging. His ears are swept back. He's showing his teeth, and he's also giving a verbal warning with a deep growl that sounds like he means business. He does mean business. Is that talking? You decide, but I'd say he's making his intentions known. Dogs can talk. You just have to
learn to understand the language.

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