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How do dogs communicate to each other?
Question Date: 2017-10-01
Answer 1:

Thanks for the fantastic question!

Dogs are highly social animals that live in groups, and so they need to communicate with each other to be successful members of the pack. Dogs communicate to each other and with humans in many different ways using their body, vocalizations, and even scents. It is important that dogs, and people, are able to tell how another dog is feeling, especially if a dog is frightened or upset.

Like humans, much of dog communication is done through their body language. Maybe most notably, dogs use their tails to convey their mood, with a wagging tail implying a dog is excited, and usually happy. A dog’s ears also reveal their emotions. When the ears are low and back, it could mean the dog is upset or afraid. Dogs also use different movements to communicate, for instance you may have seen a play bow, where a dog is down on its front legs, but has its rear-end in the air. This means the dog is feeling playful!

Dogs also use their bark, and all sort of other noises to communicate. Barks can be used to let other dogs know they are nearby, or to alert a human about something they see or smell. Beyond barks, dogs can make all sorts of other meaningful noises, such as growls and snarls to warn others to stay away, whines that mean a dog is afraid, and moans that means the dog is happy.

A dog’s sense of smell is 40 times more sensitive than a human’s, and scents provide another form of communication between dogs. Dogs often will greet each other by sniffing or licking each other. This results in the transfer of special chemicals called pheromones, which provide all sorts of information from dog to dog, including their mood, their gender, and their age. Scents are how dogs find their friends!

Thanks again for the great question,

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