Communicating With Your Dog

  • 30 May 2018
  • ksmith


Dogs are very good at communicating. However, as humans, we’re not always as good at understanding them. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to remain this way. By taking some time to learn a little more about the different ways dogs communicate, you’ll learn what your pet is trying to tell you with different sounds and body language. Today, we want to take a look at some of the different ways dogs can communicate through barking and wagging their tails:

4 Different Types of Barks

It’s easy to dismiss barking as a dog “acting up” or trying to get attention. But once you take a closer look at this method of communication, it becomes clear that dogs have a lot of different things to say. Sounding the alarm is the first example of what a dog may want to communicate. A dog “alarm” is a rapid string of two to four barks with pauses between. Slower continuous barking at a lower pitch generally signals imminent danger. Next up is a dog greeting its owner or a visitor by barking. Most dogs do this with one or two sharp, short barks of high or midrange pitch.

If your dog lets out a long string of solitary barks with a deliberate pause after each one, it means your dog is feeling a little lonely and wants some companionship and attention. Finally, a joyful bark that sounds like a stutter means a pup is ready to play. You can be sure about this form of communication if the bark is accompanied by the dog having its front legs flat and rear held up in the air.

Tail Wags Have Different Meanings

Many people don’t realize that dogs use their tail to communicate in a variety of different ways. The first is a salutation wag, which takes the form of small swings. Next is the most common tail wag, which signals satisfaction. If your pup does something like eating a delicious bowl of dog food and then starts wagging its tail with a broad sweep, you can be quite sure this means your dog is feeling completely satisfied. When a dog slowly wags its tail at half mast, it’s a sign the dog feels confused. And if you notice your dog wagging in a way that resembles vibrating, it means your pet is experiencing a feeling of fight or flight.

Most dogs want to communicate with their humans as much as we want to communicate with them. By watching and listening, you’ll be communicating with your dog in no time.