ISSN 2398-2942      

Dog communication

icanis

Introduction

  • Despite the growing evidence that the proto-dog co-evolved alongside mankind, strengthening our ability to live closely with one another, sharing our homes and working environments, we continue to face communication struggles. These can lead to minor inconveniences, compromised welfare, or to a breakdown in the relationship altogether in some cases.
  • The domestic dog, Canis familiaris, evolved from a wolf-like ancestor but through a fascinating and unique journey, has altered its social behavior to suit its new niche. While the domesticated dog no longer hunts as pack or co-parents to raise their young, they continue to be a highly social species and have maintained communication strategies that allow them to cohabit with minimum risk of conflict. Reducing the likelihood of actual fighting is critical in an animal that lives so closely with others.
  • Dogs present a complex range of posturing, vocalization and olfactory signaling to express themselves. Their view of the world can be hard to imagine since their sensory systems are beyond our capabilities. 
Print off the owner factsheet on Dog communication Dog communication to give to your client.

Visual signaling

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Vocalization

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Understanding dog communication

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Faragó T, Pongrácz P, Range F et al (2010) ‘The bone is mine’: affective and referential aspects of dog growls. Animal Behaviour 79 (4), 917-925 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • Serpell J (ed) (2016) The Domestic Dog. Its Evolution, Behavior and Interactions with People. Cambridge University Press.
  • Handelman B, Elman B, Sloan M & Haug L I (2008) Canine behavior: A photo illustrated handbook. Dogwise Publishing.
  • Bowen J & Heath S (2005) Behaviour Problems In Small Animals. Practical Advice for the Veterinary Team. Elsevier Saunders.

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