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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 14 May 2001 Issue:


Hi Kevin,

I am having an argument with my friend.  He says animals don't show emotions and do not have any personalities.  Can you please tell me how to prove him wrong?


Hi Jenny,

There are many ways to understand your dogs' feeling.  First lets take the eyes.  A dog will look you straight in the eye when it wants something.  Usually this will mean he wants to eat or play.

Though eye contact is an important conveyor of his feelings and a way to communicate with dogs, they do respond best to voices or sounds.  Especially voices that raise, like when you ask him a question.  Studies have shown that dogs can understand up to 300 hundred human words.

When your pet is behaving badly, lower your voice.  This gives him the message that he is receiving, in dog language, a warning from you.

Now how does your dog use his language to talk to you?  A high pitched bark means play with me.  A low pitched bark is usually a warning or beware of danger nearby.

How to let your dog know he is being noticed by you?  Simple, crouch or squat down next to him.  He can see your face easier.  This is the first place he looks when wondering what your emotions are.

Some people ask do dogs smile.  Yes dogs do.  When he has his mouth opened slightly, is relaxed and his tongue is out a bit over his lower teeth, he is smiling. When a dog feels unhappy he will slightly close his eyes, squint maybe, while hanging his ears down.  Now if also he has his head cocked he is confused.

When a dog licks you he is either hungry or letting you know he worships you.   You are the leader of the pack.

If your dog yawns this is a sign of stress.  If he yawns, pet him a bit and show him some love, he needs some reassurance.  This will quickly reduce his stress level.


Return to Animals in Print 14 May 2001 Issue

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