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What are you talking about?

Several days ago, Sahar asked me if Hamlet, our dog, regards us as his family; I told her yes, of course, and she asked how I knew; I replied that we could see it all over him. Dogs can't speak like us, but they always communicate. I mean that they always talk to us and their surroundings - with other dogs, cats, birds, and a whole lot more... So dogs do know how to talk, maybe not in a language we all know, but it can be learned.


Every dog ​​has a neutral body position; his ears, tail, mouth, and eyes are in a certain way. This is the dog's natural position where he is comfortable and feels safe. These are also specific moments when nothing special happens: he lies down at home, gets up for a moment to drink or eat, or changes position. Each breed has its natural body position: a Cocker Spaniel with floppy ears or a German Shepherd with pointed ears.


And this is where it begins. Every slight movement of the body tells us what the dog is feeling, an ear moving, the tail rising, a small crease between the eyes, or tongue sticking out. All these small movements indicate an emotion, whether slight alertness or excitement. We will try to interpret a dog's emotion according to several body parts, not one because of the myth that when the tail wags, the dog is happy. Still, the truth is that a dog will wag even when in states of high arousal, stress, and alertness. In that situation, we will see the tail moving wildly, but we will also see a stiff body, eyes nailed and mouth closed shut; in fact, we will see the whole body communicating this stress.


Here's an example of a short conversation between dogs: when dogs are relaxed and feel safe, they circularly approach each other and behave in unrelated behaviors such as licking, looking away, suddenly sniffing, or scratching. In their own words, they say to each other, "Dude, I want to get to know you, and I respect your space, and if you feel like it, give me a bow, and let's play." but if their ears lean forward. Their gazes are naled and holding their bodies tight; it is better to avoid the situation and help them relax; they are most likely not ready to meet (not meeting with all the dogs is perfectly acceptable).

Learning a dog's body language can help us understand what the dog feels and thinks, help us communicate in a shared language, and help us navigate the world safely and comfortably. So to answer Sahar's question, if Hamlet feels we are family, I had to learn a new language like Czech or Italian.



Based on this article (if you feel like reading)


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