Dog Gossip


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273018_10150239890338494_2788569_o.jpgOne of the things I would never let my dog do was follow me into the bathroomor into my room while I was changing.  For some reason,I had this theory that if he saw me, he would go tell other dogs about what he saw.  Especially since my neighbors had two dogs that always played with mine, it seemed inevitable that IF dogs could talk to each other that all the dogs on the street would judge me.  I'm not sure if it was because he was a male dog or whatever, he just was not allowed.  So my question is, if dogs can talk to each other, how do they do it without me hearing what they are saying?
First off, here are some ways dogs communicate with each other:                      

1. Play bow:  This means let's play.  However, it can also be a sign of apology and basically a dog's way of saying "Ooops, I didn't mean to play so rough.  Let's keep playing!"
    2.  Paw slap: This is basically like a human coming up and slapping you on the back. This gesture puts the dog at an awkward angle, so it's also a sign that the dog trusts the dog it is playing with. 
    3.  Rearing hind legs:  When dogs rear up on their hind legs, it is a sign of affection.  It often looks like dancing when dogs do this when they're playing.
    4.  Biting: Again it is a sign of play and dogs are careful to avoid sensitive areas on the other animal.
    5.  Barking: The most obvious way dogs communicate with each other.  The pitch or volume of the bark will increase with the dog's level of emotion.  For example, in a study, different barks were distinguished for different situations.  Scientists could tell the difference between the barks towards a stranger, for fights between two dogs, and between barks during playtime just to name a few.  

All in all, during my research I found that most of the communication between dogs is visual and they can tell what the other is thinking just by looking at their body language.  Vocalization is not a main part of communication between dogs.  I was totally wrong when it came to thinking that my dog could just walk next-door and say "OMG I just saw Erin naked" to my neighbors dogs.  Am I just weird, or does anyone else feel uncomfortable having their dog see them naked?  Why do you think this is?
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7 Comments

I definitely have felt the same weirdness when it came to my dog seeing my change. But, after reading this I'm realizing that maybe that wasn't the smartest thing to think after all. My dog is always placing his paw on me, crying, barking in different tones, and trying to play (despite the fact that he is almost 10 years old). It was really interesting to see that these random movements are not random at all! So, I did a little more research and found an article about more movements, including tail wagging, which you did not mention. I was interested to see that a dog wagging its tail does not necessarily mean they are happy or excited, contrary to popular belief. Rather, it could also be a sign of fear or insecurity as well - or even a warning that they are not friendly and about to bite you. The article also said," In some ways, tail wagging serves the same communication functions as a human smile, a polite greeting or a nod of recognition. Smiles are social signals and are thus reserved mostly for situations where somebody is around to see them. For dogs, the wag seems to have the same properties," which I found very funny, and definitely believable because my dog is always greeting me with a wag of his tail.

hey erin! something else I found interesting about dogs and communication is their response to pitch. as you said, the pitch and volume of other dogs barks effects a dogs emotion/response, but I found that this is similar in how they respond to humans. In my research I found that more often than not, dogs will respond to any name you call them, as long as you call them that name in the same pitch you use for their normal name. For instance if your dog is called Rex and you call him Sailboat in the same excited tone you typically use to call him, he will respond.

I really enjoyed this!
My dog is always following me or my mom as we go change and I never let her. But the thought of dogs gossiping is notion I find funny.
Going with what Stephanie said about tail wagging, whenever I am playing with my dog and I stare her down, I watch her tail; once the wagging slows and eventually stops, I know she is about to make a move and jump at me.
I found a wikiHow article that talks about how to communicate with your dog and it talks about some of the same communication methods that you mentioned and others things dogs do to communicate with their owners.

Hey Erin! To be honest, scrolling down and see your topic really puts a big smile on my face! I LOVE DOGS (and of course I miss them so much!). However, the topic of communications among dogs NEVER cross my mind before. So it's very interesting to come across your perspective towards this subject matter! To me, I feel connected to my dogs, I have two black Labradors back home in Thailand. I feel as if they both can "read" my mind without me saying anything. I feel as if they knew what I was thinking, or even the appropriate time to approach me (well, if I was in a bad mood for instant). So yes, I went online and search for some more details about my own curiosity. And I found this article from Psychology Today, which gives out interesting ideas of whether or not dogs can actually "read" our mind. According to the article, which states that "understanding what that individual perceives is referred to as perspective thinking -- in essence it is an attempt to read someone's mind and figure out what they are thinking at the moment." The article develops through a controversial between those who really believe that dogs have consciousness similar to humans and those who believe that dogs react in response to stimulation in the environment WITHOUT conscious thought! To be honest, I used (and still) have faith of communicating with dogs though. Whenever I said nice words to them...I felt as if they were smiling to me! =) nice article once again!

So, of course I had to read your blog because I too love my dog! I thought it was very funny and that you had an interesting idea about dog gossip! I let my dog come in the bathroom with me and if he happens to be in my room when I'm changing, I don't kick him out. After reading your blog, I began to wonder if that was such a good idea or not, haha! I also thought of the possibility of dogs having a 'best friend.' I know I tell my best friend a lot more than I tell just someone who is my friend. My dog always gets a lot more excited and anxious to be let out when the dog across the street is let out or is on a walk. They bark back and forth to each other and are super excited to see each other when a 'play date' is arranged. Maybe through their barking conversations they are telling each other about their day and what they saw? On the other hand, my dog does not get nearly as excited and doesn't even acknowledge when the dog next door comes out or even when he barks at my dog. My dog honestly could care less. So, I am confident that at least the dog next door doesn't know how I look naked!

Why hello Erin. I was actually in 4-H, which is a youth development organization, but most people know us for being the kids at the county fairs that raise the animals that you go to see. Animals do communicate with each other and they also communicate with you. I really only know this because I raised animals ever since I joined the organization and my show animals and I had a deep connection because I spent so much time taking care of them up to the fair. My first livestock animals was violet and she was a pig. Swine is the hardest animal to teach to become a good show animal because they are more stubborn than other animals. Though with repetition and continues hard work every day for hours we won first place at the county fair. The reason why we did well was because we had a connection and a good communication between us. I did not even have to use a cane to direct her. I could say left or right and she would know what to do. The process to get her to that great communication was difficult and took a long time but was worth it. I love watching animals interact with each other because you get to see them communicate and play with each other. If one just sat around in a barn and watched all the animals for a day they would see how the communication works within a barn. It really is very exciting to watch because then you can see not only animals communicating, but you can also see their individual personalities.

Communication among animals is a very interesting topic. I ofter think about how dogs are communicating with each other and why they like being around other dogs so much? Can they understand what the other dog is expressing? This also make me thikn abour babies communicating. I have younger siblings that are twins and my mom said they would "talk" to each other for hours. This is called babbling. it's when young babies try to communicate by babbling or just making noises. If you look it up on youtube it's very entertaining to watch. It also makes you think are they really getting points across? The babies tones change, and they respond back and forth to each other. It's very interesting.

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